Kalbarri National Park, Day 1

From Hamelin Pool we continued our drive south. After a couple of hours we turned towards the coast from the main highway but it was almost another hour before we arrived at the Murchison Caravan Park, our stopping point for the next few nights. After setting up the caravan we grabbed a few supplies from the supermarket and also a holiday guide from the helpful lady at the Kalbarri Visitor Information Centre. After dinner we had a look at this and planned out how we would spend our next few days. The following day we headed south out of town and drove down the coast about 12kms before turning off into the coastal section of Kalbarri National Park. We parked and followed the sealed pathway. A few shrubs were flowering alongside the path.

Lovely as they were the coastline was the star here.This rock formation was named the Natural Bridge. The waves crashing through the gap were evidence of why it was partly eroded from the mainland. A further five minute walk brought the Island Rock into view.Part of the trail known as the Bigurda Trail was a boardwalk and it came very close to the cliff edge, which was well signposted but you needed to be careful.Not wanting to do the whole trail, as we had parked at one end of it, we turned around after a while and retraced our steps. Now we spent a bit more time checking out the flora along the way.Some plants had really attractive flowers.

Hibbertia glomerosa

They were mostly quite small and looked delicate

but being this close to the ocean we knew they were actually pretty tough and resilient.Some weren’t even that pretty but you had to admire the way they continued to survive.Once we had returned to our car we headed back out to the main road and headed north a short distance before turning in again, this time to Eagle Gorge.Here we spotted a couple of different plants as we walked along the trail down to the beach below. This one was a Grevillea commutata (Sandhill Grevillea) we think.The trail here wasn’t sealed so we took our time as we descended to the beach.Once there we enjoyed seeing the waves crash in across the rocks at either end of the small secluded beach.Back up we wentadmiring how some of these plants grew and survived in the sandy and rocky conditions.

After that we drove further back towards Kalbarri making one more stop at Pot Alley.Again we found some plants in flower

as we made our way along the rocky trail to the beach.From the carpark we had observed some other people over to the left side of the beach on a rocky platform so we made our way over there. Signs warned to be careful so we made our way warily across the rock platform until we could see the waves crashing beneath this arch and up towards us. Close enough!Completing the 200 metres back to the car we continued our drive north to the next location, Red Bluff.Again we spotted some more stunning wildflowers adjacent to the path as we walked along.

Thelymitra spiralis (Curly Locks)

Sadly the weather had changed from cloudy to threatening so after taking a quick photo of the view to the north we made our way back to the car.As we approached Kalbarri we stopped in another carpark. Here we had a view of where the Murchison River meets the ocean

as it winds its way past the town.Unfortunately our plans to head out to the other part of Kalbarri National Park along the river after lunch were delayed by a rare afternoon of rain, something we hadn’t experienced for months. More about when we did eventually go there the following day in my next post.

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