Location: Kalbarri National Park, Western Australia
If there’s one thing you come to Kalbarri for, it’s for the cliché of having your photograph taken in a wind eroded section of the sandstone that forms Nature’s Window. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, I mean, would you go to Paris and not have your photo taken with the Eiffle tower in the background? Of course not. However, with that done you should definitely explore the National Park and take your feet for a walk through the outback.
We hiked the 9km Loop trail that took us along cliffs faces and the sandy banks of the Murchison River, and found that 3 hours later we weren’t so unfit after all! Having checked out the Z bend, Hawks Head and Ross Graham Lookout, my favourite was definitely the sunrise we saw over Hawk’s Head. If there’s one tip I can give it’s definitely worth getting up early to see the gorges come alive with the warm morning sun. You’ll also beat the crowds and get the place to yourself which is a bonus.
As I mentioned previously, my first experience up here wasn’t the greatest; the only thing I remember of doing this hike the first time around was how stupid we were to hike it in summer, oh and my ex boyfriend being chased by a wild goat (which was probably the best thing about that trip). This was definitely a much better experience, although with the sun beating down on your even in wintertime it gets hot! I thought I was crazy to be hiking in long pants when beads of sweat were trickling down my legs and everyone else was wearing shorts, however, on returning to the car park and seeing the short wearing people with sun burnt and scratched up legs, I was pretty pleased with myself – now that’s a win for sensibility right there!
So if you are looking for a break from the cold winter days, the months of June, July and August are amazing to be up in the north west of Western Australia. The days are sunny and the temperatures are warm, and you can still swim and hike to your hearts content. Are you feeling like taking a road trip up the north coast of WA yet?
Featured photograph and images 1, 3 & 5 by Auyeung Photography, all others by Jelena Stipanicev.