Gorgeous gorgesMarch 8 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C
The alarm went off extra early today. We even spared the time of eating breakfast and just did so while driving the 35 minute drive to the inland part of the Kalbarri National Park. We were actually lucky to be able to visit the park for several reasons. 1: the road leading to it was only sealed 2 years ago or so. 2: two weeks ago the park was closed for a week for undertaking a goat control program.
We arrived there at 7:06. On the way we read a sign telling us the loop track we wanted to do was closed after 7:00 due to heat risk. That took us a bit by surprise although we didn't get up that early for no reason. We knew it was going to be hot. We just didn't know they would close a track that early. Anyways, we decided it was OK to start 10 minutes later than allowed. After the first 100 meters we had a stop in the shade to apply sunscreen as we skipped that before due to time reasons.
After another few hundred meters we made it to probably the most popular attraction, Nature's Window. Incredibly red, very interestingly layered rocks formed a natural window through which one could see the gorge and river below. It was really very picturesque. Nonetheless we decided to actually undertake the 8km loop track starting right behind it. First along the ridge of the gorge, later along the river banks. There are some bushes and trees for breaks in the shadow but the actual trail is almost entirely in the sun. The views of the cliffs were truly amazing and the river was actually flooded due to recent rain. Apart from seeing trees in the water that also meant we had to climb around a narrow cliff part for a few meters which added a nice challenge to the track. While still early and also windy when on the ridge, it got very warm once we were walking in the gorge. They really are not joking when they warn people to not start this track too late. So we were happy when we were back at the car park at 11:00. In the last section Machiel was a bit too tall for a tree passing, so a short break to rest was very needed.
We forgot to mention, the flies were again really horrible. Now they even went into the van. So an hour later we went to yet another viewpoint. Luckily that was only 650m from the car park. Nonetheless, doing this at 12:00 just didn't feel good. The views were of course great though as we could see another part of the gorge called Z-bend.
Back at the car we were totally sweaty, annoyed by the flies and hungry. So we decided to spontaneously drive back to Kalbarri for some coastal climate and showers. The 24km detour was worth it. They had some free showers at the beach and great shadow parking with wind from the sea. Ideal for some resting. We also spotted some pelicans in the bay.
In the late afternoon we left again. On the way to our free camping at the highway, we stopped at two other view points. They were nice but not so much compared to what we had seen this morning. The campsite was again having millions of flies. Even after sunset when they weren't flying anymore, they were still sitting all over our van and would not leave until we drove 110km/h for several minutes the following morning.Read more