We spent about 10 days travelling with a 4 year old and a 10 month old, and in our experience the following were the best things to do in Kalbarri and the WA midwest for families. Depending on the age of your kids, I’m sure there are many other great things to do with families in the area. particularly, I think there are so many beaches and secret spots that would make great getaways. However, this is how we saw it!!!
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Kalbarri with Kids: Our 10 best things to do with in Kalbarri & WA Midwest.
The Pinnacles, Nambung National Park
If you are heading north from Perth, our first convenient stop was The Pinnacles, just over 2 hours drive from perth. Known as the ‘Hummocks’ on early Dutch maps from the 1600s, the Pinnacles in Nambung National Park weren’t well known until the 1960s. There is a walking trail, very easy grade around the Pinnacles and an informative visitor centre. There is also the possibility to drive through the Pinnacles if you wish.
2. HMAS Sydney II Memorial Geraldton
This Memorial, located at Mt Scott in the centre of Geraldton came as a complete surprise. It commemorates the loss of HMAS Sydney II, the greatest single tragedy in Australian Naval History, and is dedicated to the lost Crew and their families.
While the significance of the memorial was lost on the littlies there is a stunning dome on seven pillars representing the seven states and territories of Australia. The dome is made up of silver gulls that form a canopy, which are really gorgeous. Also a bronze figure of a woman waiting for the return of her loved-one, stands at the memorial. With good views of Geraldton and the Port, and space to run, this was a nice place to visit
3. Old Geraldton Gaol Museum
We had an interesting (though brief) visit to the Old Geraldton Gaol Museum as the gaol cells were a little small and scary for our little girl. However, the Craft Centre contained within the Centre was a real hit – they had a lot of beautifully done (and affordably priced) crafts from talented local people, including a range of doll clothes to fit a Baby Bjorn doll.
4. Hutt River Province
When you visit Hutt River Province you are officially leaving Australia!!! The story of Hutt River Province is a curious one – it is the story of a farmer named Leonard Casley who was outraged with what he considered draconian taxes. He found a loophole in the Australian constitution and in 1970 created his own principality at the Hutt River Province. He became Prince Leonard, who ruled alongside his wife Princess Shirley. While this is a tourist attraction, it is also a moving story of fighting for what you believe inn. I was pleased to read, that after our visit, In April 2016, the Principality of Hutt River finally received an official nod from Australia’s head of state.
5. Kalbarri Coastal Walks
Bugurda Boadwalk was the first walk we did, a wheelchair accessible (therefore pram friendly!) 1.2 km (return) walk between the Natural Bridge and Island Rock. You couldn’t wipe the smiles off our faces – incredible coastal scenery, and also excellent facilities and accessibility. I remember a landscape architect friend once telling me that you never realised how important accessibility was until you had a pram. Now I understood!!!
The 3km Nature trail loop walk to Rainbow Valley and Mushroom Rock short hike was our #1 highlight from the time in Kalbarri (of which there were quite a few totally stunning times). It was our highlight because we love places where there are few people, and this was one of them. Though on the popular coast of Kalbarri National Park where there are many tourists, it seems that very few did this rugged and a little challenging loop walk.
We totally recommend going up to Red Bluff for sunset as a ‘must see’ of things to do in Kalbarri. In fact we did these sites over two afternoons (towards sunset)and got beautiful colors the whole time.
6. Kalbarri Murchison River Gorge Walks, including a visit to Natures Window
The Nature’s Window is one of Western Australia’s most iconic images. There is a short, do-able walk for 4 year old legs via the Loop Walk which provides different views of the winding Murchison Gorge below from several lookouts positioned around The Loop, including a visit to Nature’s Window or Inyaka Wookai Watju.
Next on the agenda was a short drive and then the Z-Bend lookout that overhangs the Murchison River, via a 500-metre walk trail from the car park. Z Bend Lookout is suitably named after the tight bends the Murchison River has carved into the Tumblagooda Sandstone
Finally, for this full day of red earth we visited the Ross Graham Lookout picnic shelter and experienced the Murchison River up close by taking the 700m (return) River Walk Trail from the car park to a shady and tranquil spot on the riverbank.
7. Feeding the Pelicans Kalbarri
Feeding the pelicans at Kalbarri is considered one of the town’s main attractions! The tradition started after one local would feed the pelicans each morning when he was cleaning the fish he caught that morning. Now, punctually at 8.45am each morning, local volunteers carry on the tradition. Our Little Miss 4 thought that the great big birds were pretty scared but with a bit of prompting threw some fish out!
8. Kalbarri Beach – for swimming and sunsets
As this was a mid -Winter break, we made one rather feeble attempt at a swim . However, I can imagine if the water was any warmer we would have been constant visitors. As it was we spent most nights by the foreshore enjoying the very beautiful sunsets, many times eating fish n chips.
9. Greenough Historic Village
This was a great stop 2 hours south of Kalbarri – and broke the return trip up to Perth really well. It so helps to have a good stretch of the legs and run around for the kids. We took a self guided tour walking amongst thje eleven historic buildings, they are nicely decorated and we enjoyed ‘stepping back in time’ to see how early settlers used to live. work and play. There was a large gift shop and restaurant on site. As we normally pack our lunches, we just bought chips and coffee and enjoyed the ambience.
The motivation for this trip was to “see the WA wildflowers in full bloom.” Well – we didn’t see many at all, because we weren’t that flexible with our timing and hadn’t done our research particularly well! that said, we also discovered that to see the really good fields in bloom was several hours extra driving – which we ruled out with the kids. But next time we will totally see the Wildflowers!
Accommodation Kalbarri and MidWest
We prefer to stay in Caravan Parks! We loved the Kalbarri Tudor Caravan Park, it had a great kids playground, bouncy pillow and swimming pool. It was a short 5 minute walk to the beach, which had another playground!
Take a look at this page for a complete list of where to stay in Kalbarri