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Western Australia: Kalbarri National Park (Day 4)

posted by Martin Rubli at 16:17

Kalbarri National Park was my personal highlight of the trip. We figured going into the national park and simply driving from parking lot to parking lot would border on an insult to nature. We at least wanted to do a bit of hiking and the ten kilometer Loop trail seemed like a good choice.

We had read the entire spectrum of experience reports: from "warm" to "unbearably hot", from "easy to get lost" to "well-designated", from "hardly any flies" to "eaten alive". We had somehow hit the middle ground: It was hot in the canyon but still bearable. The path was sometimes less than obvious but you wouldn't get lost. And the flies were annoying but far fewer than we had feared. Either way, we were prepared: Plenty of water, a good lunch, GPS, and fly nets, all of which were put to good use.

Many people primarily mention Nature's Window and Z-Bend when they talk about Kalbarri National Park. While Nature's Window is nice it is not spectacular. And if you want to have it for yourself you have to choose your time carefully (the hotter the better). Z-Bend practically wanes in comparison with the Loop, although we did hear from another couple that it gets much prettier if you descend all the way to the river, something we unfortunately didn't have time for.

Be that as it may, the Loop alone was easily worth the trip into Kalbarri National Park. Canyon views, river, trees, white sand, beautiful rock formations, and all in a single 10 km hike! But see for yourself ...



The highway into Kalbarri National Park (the paved part that is).

The highway into Kalbarri National Park (the paved part that is).

The lookout at Nature's Window and entrance to The Loop, which was destined to be our hike for the day.

The lookout at Nature's Window and entrance to The Loop, which was destined to be our hike for the day.

The Murchison river, today unfortunately in the color sand-brown because there had been some rain upstream.

The Murchison river, today unfortunately in the color sand-brown because there had been some rain upstream.

The trail towards Nature's Window and The Loop trail.

The trail towards Nature's Window and The Loop trail.

This is what Nature's Window looks like in the morning when the temperatures are still at levels that tourists can generally bear. We figured we'd just go ahead with our hike and take photos later instead of getting in line!

This is what Nature's Window looks like in the morning when the temperatures are still at levels that tourists can generally bear. We figured we'd just go ahead with our hike and take photos later instead of getting in line!

All the warnings almost make you want to turn around ...

All the warnings almost make you want to turn around ...

The Loop trail first follows the cliff before eventually leading down to Murchison River.

The Loop trail first follows the cliff before eventually leading down to Murchison River.

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The rocky trail.

The rocky trail.

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Approaching Murchison river. This is where the trail is the most beautiful.

Approaching Murchison river. This is where the trail is the most beautiful.

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Now imagine the water being blue-greenish! :-)

Now imagine the water being blue-greenish! :-)

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Somehow the rock formations along the river just kept reminding me of thousand-layer cake.

Somehow the rock formations along the river just kept reminding me of thousand-layer cake.

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I'm not sure if these "water falls" have a name but I've seen similarly tiny falls labeled with tourist information signs elsewhere in Australia. :-)

I'm not sure if these "water falls" have a name but I've seen similarly tiny falls labeled with tourist information signs elsewhere in Australia. :-)

The sandy part of the trail where there's no wind and where for every two steps forward you make one step back.

The sandy part of the trail where there's no wind and where for every two steps forward you make one step back.

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Nature's Window in the midday heat with just enough tourists to avoid a queue and always have someone to take your picture. :-)

Nature's Window in the midday heat with just enough tourists to avoid a queue and always have someone to take your picture. :-)

The gravel "highway" between Nature's Window and Z-Bend.

The gravel "highway" between Nature's Window and Z-Bend.

This gorge is called the Z Bend although it escapes our eyes why that is so.

This gorge is called the Z Bend although it escapes our eyes why that is so.

One of the many galah cockatoos in the little town of Kilbarri.

One of the many galah cockatoos in the little town of Kilbarri.


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