A minimum 3 night stay is recommended in Kalbarri.
Along the coast, wind and wave erosion has exposed the sedimentary layers in the sandstone cliffs that plunge more than 100 metres to the ocean. Red Bluff, Mushroom Rock, Rainbow Valley, Eagle Gorge, Island Rock and the Natural Bridge are among the best-known features of this rugged coast.
Spot humpback whales from the coastal gorges and towering cliffs or take a whale watching tour with Reef walker charters - the annual migration runs from June to November.
Feed the friendly local pelicans at 8.45am daily on the river foreshore.
Experience some of Australia’s best fishing in Kalbarri. The annual migration of Spanish mackerel runs from late December to late July. Or bring your boat to the Kalbarri fishing classic a 3 day event held annually on the March long weekend.
Or you can catch the annual Canoe and Cray Festival combined with the Kalbarri adventurethon on the June long weekend.
Go on, take a six hour drive from Perth and discover why the region of Kalbarri on Australia’s Coral Coast is among the State’s most popular holiday destinations.
In 1712, the Zuytdorp, a Dutch East India Company vessel was wrecked along the high limestone cliffs between Kalbarri and Steep Point, while voyaging to Batavia (Jakarta, Indonesia). It carried a rich cargo of 248,000 freshly minted silver coins along with 200 passengers. Hundreds of coins have been recovered from the famous ‘carpet of silver’ in and around the wreck. The precise circumstances of the wreck remain a mystery, because no survivors reached Batavia to tell the tale. Some did live for a time in Shark Bay, where they were helped by local Aboriginal people. This contact with Europeans was probably the first ever made by Australia’s Indigenous people to last longer than a brief encounter experienced in previous exploration voyagers by Europeans.
In 1839 Lieutenant George Grey, while attempting to explore North West Cape, was shipwrecked near the mouth of the Murchison. He was forced to walk back 500km to Perth and thus became the first white explorer to travel along the coastal strip of the Central West.
The area was settled intermittently through the late 19th century by miners and fishermen and in 1848 the Geraldine lead mine was opened up. Still, as recently as 1943, there were only a few cray-fishermen living in the area and the township, was known simply as 'The Mouth of the Murchison'. The name of Kalbarri is derived from a local Aboriginal word which means 'seed'.
The Fishing and Lobster Industry
Fishing vessels and Lobster boats lined the pens and dotted the Murchison River on moorings at a time when the fishing fleet was the backbone of employment in Kalbarri. Numbers have more than halved in recent years due to fishing regulations and a general change in the industry. On a global scale, fish resources are being exploited, however WA’s outstanding management systems are working to ensure all our fisheries are ecologically sustainable to bring high standards vital to the long-term viability of our fishing industry. Fresh crayfish catches are unloaded directly from the vessel and transported to Geraldton for processing. Crayfish is not available for sale direct from the boats. Fresh lobster is often featured on the local restaurants’ menu. Fish can be purchased from the boats at the wharf. Kalbarri is now best known as a tourism town with a relaxed holiday vibe that attracts over 150,000 visitors per year.
Experiencing a Mediterranean climate which is almost sub-tropical, Kalbarri has pleasant weather all year. Rainfall in the region is less than it's nearest cities such as Geraldton and it is hard to find a resident who owns an umbrella! The weather is perfect for a holiday resort town. In Summer (December to February), the average maximum temperature is 35°C with an average minimum temperature of 16°C. In Winter (June to August), the average maximum temperature is 21°C with an average minimum temperature of 9°C. What’s more, Kalbarri weather is sunny and warm all year round making any time a great time to visit.