Top things to do in and around Kalbarri

About a six hour drive north of Perth, you’ll find the picturesque desert town of Kalbarri. It’s a popular stop on the way North or South for roadtrippers who are out to explore Australia’s wild west as much as it is a top destination for nature lovers, surfers and sunbathers. What to expect? Spectacular lookouts, fascinating wildflowers and alluring rock pools, to name a few features. And there’s more! Here are 8 things to do while in the area.

Visit Kalbarri National Park

Kalbarri lies in the midst of the spectacular Kalbarri National Park, with a unique combination of inland and coastal highlights. Both the inland gorgeous, carved by the Murchison River and the long stretch of coastal cliffs are fairly easy to admire from different lookouts. Our personal highlights? Gaze through nature’s window, watch the waves attacking the base of the red cliffs at Pot Alley.

Check out the surfers at Jakes Point

Jakes point is a well known ‘left hander’ surfing spot for experienced surfers only. It’s easy to access by car and you can get very close to the water. It’s an absolute thrill to watch the surfers take on the meter high waves.

Watch the tough fisherman too

Kalbarri is famous for rock and beach fishing. If you don’t have the nerve to stand on the edge of a cliff yourself with the roaring wind and the waves tumbling ad crashing all around, just watch others do it. Where there is a shore and a nice rock to stand on, you’ll see fishermen.

Join the pelican feeding

Every morning at 8:45 am you can witness the pelican feeding on the beach close to the Kalbarri visitor centre. It’s the children that get to give them fish (yes, I was jealous), but it’s still fascinating to see these huge birds devour the fish. They aren’t intimidated at all by humans, but then again there aren’t that many (no more than 10) so nothing to worry about. Make sure you get there on time because it’s especially fun to watch the pelicans fly low over the sand and then waddle towards the feeding spot.

Go see the Pink lake

It’s weird when you first see this pink lake, 50 kilometers south of Kalbarri. Your mind automatically assumes that the water is contaminated, but in fact the color is all natural. The pink color is said to be caused by the high concentration of algae (they produce a red pigment) and pink halobacteria in the water. The lake isn’t always bright pink though – it depends on the position of the sun, the temperatures, the amount of algae and so on. Try driving around the lake: the color can get more intense depending on where you stand. 

Swim in the blue holes

Blue Holes is a charming protected swim area north from Jakes Point with a sandy beach and rock pools. The breaks in the rocks produce these ‘blue holes’, perfect to cool down in the sheltered waters of the Indian Ocean while the waves are crashing heavily on the rocks just a few meters behind you. 

Those waves!

Spot the wildflowers

Fact: Western Australia has the largest variety of wildflowers in the world… A lot of them (800 to 1100 species) you can spot in bloom right here in Kalbarri, from July to October. We arrived in Kalbarri beginning of October so we didn’t see the enormous variety that you would see earlier in the summer, but we still managed to discover a few pretty weird species along the coast route, near the gorges and especially along the unsealed road towards the Loop Walk in the National Park. Try spotting the catspaw, a small yellow or red plant that is unique to the Kalbarri region.

White plumed grevillea
Banksia serrata or old man banksia
Not a wildflower but too cute not to mention: the grass tree

Gaze at the sunset

I guess this one counts for all coastal towns in Western Australia: sunsets never disappoint! So find yourself a spot on the rugged rocky coastline and enjoy the spectacle.

  • World Journeys

    wow. SO beautiful. Your pelican shots are simply amazing!

  • I really liked this post. I live in Perth and it’s been a while since my last visit to Kalbarri. Watching the surfers at Jake’s is definitely one of my favourite things to do there and love the daily Pelican feeding sessions.

    • Tine

      Thanks Nina! I wish I had spent more time in Perth, we spent our day there but it wasn’t nearly enough to explore the city! Good enough reason to go back to WA 😉

  • Russel Ray Photos

    Pelicans, my favorite bird that I actually have seen in the wild.

    • I agree, I could have stayed there all day to observe them 🙂