How will we remember our visit to Kalbarri? That’s easy – it has rained every day we have been here. We are not saying we did not enjoy the visit but the weather made it significantly different to the rest of our journey.
Kalbarri is found at the mouth of the Murchison River on Australia’s Coral Coast. While the coastline would appear to be the primary attraction to visitors, the real attraction for us was the Kalbarri National Park. The National Park covers an area of 186,000 hectares, encircles the town and provides two contrasting settings. East of the town are the inland river gorges and south of the town is magnificent ocean sandstone cliffs, many more than 100 metres above the ocean.
Unfortunately because of the weather, some of the roads in areas we would have liked to visit would have been a driving challenge. Rather than put any of the vehicles at risk, we decided to not to enter those parts of the National Park. We did our best but again, perhaps on another day.
The navigator has been in heaven here. Kalbarri has over 800 species of wildflower and as we drove into the town through the National Park, on both sides of the road the wildflowers were in bloom. On Saturday we took a ride 50km west of Kalbarri and further into the National Park. The area’s sand plains enabled the Navigator to significantly add to her photographic collection of West Australia wildfires.
We were very keen yesterday to try and find a venue here where we could watch the All Black game. It really hit home that rugby is very much a minor sport over here. No hotel, club or resort had the All Black test. It was all AFL. We were able to watch Australia play South Africa on Channel Ten in the motorhome but it was not the same!!
Today was Fathers Day and the captain received a call from all the children. He was very chuffed. In his view there is nothing like knowing your family love you. Everything else pales into insignificance. To top off his day we decided to do a ‘boy’ thing. 20km south of Kalbarri, one of the local coastal cattle stations run quad bike tours. We were picked up at the motorhome and taken to the station. From there it was onto the bike, over the sandhills and onto the beach. We spend a brilliant couple of hours cruising along Wagoe Beach and through the sandhills.
Approximately 22,000 of the world’s humpback whale population pass the Kalbarri coastline around June through to November on their migration each year. We have been keeping an eye along the coast for the past three days but again because of the weather, luck was not on our side. No whales have been sighted. We have not given up – we are driving down the coast tomorrow so will be on alert for the elusive photo shot.
Tomorrow morning it is back on the road to follow the south road through Port Gregory and onto Geraldton. Geraldton is the regional hub of Australia’s Coral Coast and hopefully its size will enable us to get a couple of repair jobs completed ready for the next stage of our journey. Our plan is to stay in Geraldton for three or four days.