Western Australia’s Coral Coast is filled with incredible destinations. But, there is nothing quite like the beauty of Kalbarri National Park! Wether you’re stopping here on a road trip along the Coral Coast or staying in Kalbarri, it is definitely worth a visit. Here is a complete guide with everything to know about Kalbarri and the National Park.
This post was originally posted in 2020 but was updated in 2023.
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Where is Kalbarri National Park
Kalbarri National Park is 600km north of Perth, Western Australia. It will take you approximately 6-7 hours to drive here, so it is not a day trip destination!
If you are heading somewhere further north, Kalbarri can be a great spot to explore along the way. We have stopped here on our way to Coral Bay, which is another 6 hours north of Kalbarri. If you plan to make this a road trip stop, you’ll want to plan for at least 2 days. However, if you have less time than this then make sure to chose your top things to do from this post!
Kalbarri National Park is split into two sections: the Inland National Park and the Coastal National Park. While the Inland National Park is more popular, the coastline here is really incredible!
The town of Kalbarri is situated between the two sections of the National Park, making it a great place to stay.
Getting Around Kalbarri
In Kalbarri, there is no public transport. So you will need a vehicle to get around. If you don’t have a vehicle, you will need to look into booking a tour so that you can explore the area.
Most of the roads in the National Park are paved so you don’t need a four-wheel drive to get around.
However, you cannot take caravans or trailers into the Inland National Park. So if you are towing, it’s best to leave your caravan at your accommodation. Otherwise, there is a spot in the National Park where you’ll have to unhitch and leave your trailer while you explore.
Where to Stay in Kalbarri
It is important to note that you cannot camp in the National Park. We’ve stayed at the Tasman Holiday Park Kalbarri on two occasion. Once on an unpowered site (overnight stay) and another (longer stay) on a powered site.
I’ve put together a complete guide on where to stay in Kalbarri, including the best accommodation options for families. Make sure you go read that if you’re wondering where to stay on your trip to Kalbarri!
Alternatively, here are some quick links to a few accommodation options in Kalbarri:
- Kalbarri Palm Resort ($): Located just a 10 minute walk from the beach, Kalbarri Palm Resort has 2 pools, a hot tub and a tennis court.
- Kalbarri Sea Front Villas ($$): Kalbarri Seafront Villas offers holiday accommodation in various forms. Some villas even have views over the river and ocean! Guests can enjoy the outdoor swimming pool and BBQ areas.
- Murchison View Appartments ($$): Murchison View Apartments feature an outdoor pool and a barbecue area for guests to use. all appartments include a full kitchen, bathroom and spacious lounge area.
- Kalbarri Edge Resort ($$): Kalbarri Edge Resort is just 5 minutes’ walk from the Murchison River with a solar-heated pool and BBQ facilities.
How long to stay in Kalbarri
When visiting Kalbarri you should have at least 2 days to explore the Kalbarri National Park. Especially if you like to go hiking! If you’re stopping overnight on a road trip along Australia’s Coral Coast I’d recommend seeing just a few of the main attractions in Kalbarri’s Inland National Park.
Kalbarri is a great destination for a family holiday, you could easily stay here for up to 2-weeks!
When to visit Kalbarri National Park
This area is great throughout the year, with the best being the summer/autumn months. December – May is generally a warmer and dryer time of the year, making it better weather to enjoy all of the outdoor activities. Please note though, if you plan to do a lot of hiking it can get VERY hot out on the trails during this time of year.
We recently visited in July, which is the middle of Winter. Although the nights were cold, the days were beautiful and great for exploring! However, you should expect some rain if you choose to visit during the winter months.
Kalbarri National Park Entrance Fees + Opening Hours
There is only an entrance fee required for the Inland National Park. All coastal sites are free to explore.
A day pass can be purchased electronically as you enter the National Park. This will cost you $15 per vehicle per day.
Alternatively, you can purchase a 5-day holiday pass for $30 (2024). If you plan to re-enter the park on another day, make sure you do this! This pass can also be used for other parks in WA if you are travelling in the area. There are also longer holiday passes available for purchase if you think you’ll need more than 5 days!
Opening Times: The Park is open from sunrise to sunset. Especially in the summer months, come as early as possible since temperature can get very high inside the National Park.
Things to Do in Kalbarri National Park
As already mentioned, Kalbarri National Park is split into 2 sections. The coastal section is free to explore, while the inland section requires an entrance fee.
If you’re looking for a full guide on things to do in Kalbarri then read this post!
Inland Section of Kalbarri National Park
The inland section of the National Park features a lot of incredible hikes and views. If you want to do everything in this area you will need 2 days as some of the hikes can take up almost a whole day.
Alternatively, if you’re not up to hike there are plenty of incredible walk trails to explore throughout Kalbarri and the National Park.
Natures Window is the most popular and renowned attraction in all of Kalbarri. This is what many people come here for. If you only have time to do one thing while here, this is it.
Natures Window is a naturally formed rock window that overlooks the gorges of the Murchison River. It’s very common for people to take a photo sitting in the window… gotta get that insta shot!
The walk down to Natures Window requires taking some stairs and walking over rocks. If visiting with young kids, be careful of the edges as there are also drop offs. I’d highly recommend putting little ones in a carrier here, mostly so that they don’t run off!
Sunrise is the most incredible time of the day to come. You can watch the sunrise over the gorges, through the window.
However, even though it is early in the morning, this can also be a very busy time of the day to visit. Remember to be respectful of other people, take turns to take photos in the window and just enjoy the serenity of the sunrise.
From Natures Window is the Loop Walk, which will lead you along the gorges and Murchison River.
Loop Walk is a 8km long hike and will take half a day to complete. It can be challenging in some parks so it may be difficult with young kids, depending on your hiking experience.
Temperatures along this walk can get VERY high, no matter the time of year. Make sure to wear protective clothing and pack plenty of water.
The Kalbarri Skywalk is the newest attraction in the National Park, completed in 2020. You can read my full guide to visiting the Kalbarri Skywalk here.
There are two 100-meter high lookouts projecting out over the Murchison Gorge, offering incredible views of the surrounding environment. You can also see through the base of the lookouts making it fun to walk on with kids.
Pathways around the Skywalk are flat, making it an accessible attraction for people with prams or wheelchairs. The walk down from the carpark is short and easily manageable for all people.
The Skywalk also has a cafe, which is the only place you can purchase food or drink in the National Park. The Skywalk Cafe opens from 8am-2pm.
There are toilets here. However, there were no changing facilities for babies offered in the toilets.
Z Bend (River Trail)
This is the one hike in Kalbarri National Park that I am dreaming of doing. However, on our two trips we’ve taken to Kalbarri we still haven’t been able to go.
We have, however, done the 1.2km return walk to the Z Bend Lookout. Which is a great and relatively easy walk that takes you to another stunning view of the Kalbarri Gorges.
If you would like to walk the River Trail (you can visit the Z Bend Lookout on the way) it is 2.6km return and will take 2 hours. The River Trail is a demanding hike, with steep descents to the river through a gully and narrow chasm.
We were able to see people swimming in the river below from the Z Bend Lookout!
Coastal Section of the Kalbarri National Park
This section of the National Park is free to explore. It predominantly features the sheer limestone cliffs of Kalbarri that plunge into the ocean.
Island Rock & Natural Bridge
The Kalbarri coastline is full of rough and rugged limestone cliffs. Island Rock and Natural Bridge are easily accessible via a short walk from the car park along the boardwalk. There is also a boardwalk between the two locations!
If you are visiting from July to October, make sure you lookout for whales, which are often spotted from this lookout point. We saw so many on our visit in July!
Mushroom Rock has a walk trail that takes around 1-2 hours return. Along the way you will see a rock formation that looks like a giant mushroom, with waves crashing into it.
From Red Bluff you can get incredible views over the Kalbarri Coastline. You can even choose to park at the carpark near the beach and explore the rocks below.
Pot Alley is a destination along Kalbarri’s coastal cliffs. With the striking red cliffs in comparison to the blue ocean, it really is an incredible site! Visit here at sunset to really boost those red and orange colours.
Tips for Visiting Kalbarri National Park with Kids
Kalbarri National Park is filled with nature attractions for the adventurous family. But if you are travelling here with kids, its important to be aware of these things.
- It’s important to note that a lot of the hikes in the area are challenging, so take your kids with caution!
- Pack a carrier for hikes with young kids. Some hikes can be quite long and challenging for their little legs.
- Remember to take a hat, sunscreen and water. The sun can be quite intense, especially during the summer months.
- Teach your kids to keep to the path. There are a lot of sudden cliffs in the area and you never know when a snake might be lurking in a bush.
Things to Take
- Your Camera – You’ll want to document this incredible place! (learn how to take better photos here!)
- Sunscreen – The sun can be VERY intense here.
- Water – There is no drinking water in the park aside from at the Skywalk Kiosk.
- Natural Insect Repellent – There can be a lot of flies!
Other Things to Do around Kalbarri
The National Park isn’t the only thing to do in the area. The town of Kalbarri has so much to offer. Additionally, the surrounding landscape outside of the National Park is incredibly unique!
In the town of Kalbarri is the Murchison River Inlet. The town is built along the inlet, making it easily accessible no matter where you stay.
The inlet is a great place for kids to swim, as the water is quiet and calm. Take some beach toys down to the river edge and spend a day in the water and sand. There are also several playgrounds located along the river!
Fishing in the inlet is also very popular, especially around sunset. We loved going for walks along the river around this time of day!
Hutt Lagoon (aka the Pink Lake)
With naturally pink water, Hutt Lagoon is located 30 minutes out of Kalbarri. It is pink from the high levels of salt in the water, making it an incredibly unique attraction in the area.
Tips for Visiting Hutt Lagoon:
- The water is the pinkest on a sunny day.
- Be careful when walking in the water… sometimes the ground cracks & can make small cuts on your feet (which will sting in the salty water!)
- The water is even MORE stunning on a day without wind. So if your staying in the area, visit then.
- The best spot to get to the waterfront is from access points along the main road (so don’t turn down the road for Hutt Lagoon)
Kalbarri National Park has some of Western Australia’s most spectacular natural attractions. While the new Skywalk and the ever-popular Natures Window are worth the visit in themselves, there are so many other things to see too! While some of the activities may be challenging with young kids, Kalbarri is still a great place for a family holiday.