Some of the most picturesque views in Western Australia can be found inside the Kalbarri National Park. There are not a lot of natural landscapes in the world that can top the Grand Canyon but this national park is the closest I have found so far!
We started our day nice and early, as temperatures inside the park can rise to scorching levels much higher than what is forecast for the Kalbarri townsite. On very hot days there may be access restrictions to avoid tourists becoming dehydrated at the bottom of the gorge, so check ahead if it is going to be a particularly hot day.
We tried accessing Natures Window about 10 years ago but at that time it was mainly gravel roads so our little hatchback wasn’t going to cut it. These days all of the roadways are sealed bitumen so you can easy access the park with any kind of vehicle. The drive from the Kalbarri townsite to the National Park and then through to Natures Window takes about 30 minutes.
Once you have arrived at the Natures Window carpark, you need to take a short hike down to the rock face. This is about 1km return and involves a large flight of stairs. It shouldn’t be too difficult for moderately fit people, however even first thing in the morning it was very hot with little shade. You will definitely need sturdy shoes and water to tackle this one.
The trail is well signed with no turn-offs so it is easy to tell exactly where you need to go. After following a paved pathway most of the way, you then reach a rocky outcrop that where you do have to pay attention to safely stepping up and around the rocks to finally get to this iconic view.
While Natures Window provides a beautiful frame to the Murchison River below, the views all around were just as stunning. We were lucky that first thing in the morning there were only a couple of other people around, so we did get about 10 minutes to ourselves at the window to take pictures and look around.
Once you are done you follow the same track to head back to the car park. By that point the sun was really beaming down so I must reiterate how important taking water and sun protection is, but the views are definitely worth it. Once you are finished here you can make your way around to the newly constructed Skywalk.
I must admit the views are not as impressive as the ones at Natures Window but it is much more accessible, so would still make a great option for those unable to tackle the other trails. The Skywalk also helps you take in just how vast and wide the National Park is, and pinpoint all bends and folds in the earths surface.
There are a lot more interpretive signs and information at the Skywalk, as well as a cafe for refreshments and shaded areas closeby. After taking a short break to enjoy a coffee we headed off to some of the less popular (but still beautiful) lookouts. You have to pass by these on your way out of the park anyway so I recommend stopping, especially at Hawks Head lookout. This is only a short stroll from the car park so would make another great option for those who cannot get to Natures Window.
If you are lucky you might even get to see some wildlife enjoying the sunshine!
Access to Kalbarri National Park requires an entry fee of $15 per vehicle ($8 concession) and then you are able to access all of the lookouts. Tickets can be purchased in advance from the visitor centre in town, or at the gate when you arrive.
Since my visit to Kalbarri the region was devastated by Cyclone Seroja and is in the process of recovering and rebuilding. During this time please ensure your accommodation arrangements are confirmed prior to visiting the townsite and contact the Kalbarri Visitor Centre for the latest updates.