My other half has a strong aversion towards car trips, so we rarely venture outside Perth on weekends (it’s too expensive and/or time-consuming to fly out to anywhere). However, the weekend just gone I managed to trick him on a trip by inviting some friends to go with us and turning it into more of a catch-up than a driving mission. Monday being a public holiday it was decided that we would leave on Saturday morning, basically head up the coast, stay in Kalbarri for two nights and drive back home on Monday. Easy.
The Indian Ocean Road from Perth to almost all the way to Geraldton is actually not a bad drive; it offers some nice views of the ocean and there are a few places to stop off on the way. One of these is the Pinnacles in the Nambung National Park approximately 200 kilometres from Perth. The site of these limestone formations is a popular destination for tourists driving north or on a day-trip from Perth, but it wasn’t that busy at all when we were there. Then again, we were there in the morning, and apparently most visitors come in the afternoon when the sun starts to go down and the views are more impressive. We drove into the park and did a kilometre walk around the formations, saw some kangaroos and took some photos.
After the Pinnacles we had a quick stop in Jurien Bay, then a longer one in Geraldton, before arriving in Kalbarri just before sunset. We took some nice photos at the cliffs south of the town before heading to our accommodation for food and drinks.
On Sunday we spent better part the day visiting the river gorges of Kalbarri National Park, also known as the Z-bend and the Loop. We spotted some rock wallabies and even an echidna. The weather was absolutely beautiful 24 degrees and we did short walks around the sites.
In the afternoon we visited Rainbow Jungle, a parrot breeding centre with hundreds of parrots, located near the Kalbarri town. I must admit that my expectations for this place weren’t very high, but it turned out to be perhaps the best thing we did the whole weekend. There are so many different birds and a fair-sized walk-in area where (some of) the birds can fly around. The lady who owns the place is lovely, and I would definitely recommend visiting, although it does make me wonder whether being in a cage makes some of the birds suicidal…
After the parrots we had a look over the cliffs again, before retiring for the night.
On Monday we visited another spot in the national park (Ross Graham lookout and Hawk’s Head) before heading home.
All in all, the trip was fine, if nothing amazing. It was nice to get away for a few days and see some new things, but the drive is still long (600km one way) and the sights, in my opinion, not that spectacular. It was nice with some friends, but had it been just me and my boyfriend we probably would’ve been quite bored. I was talking to a friend and apparently the drive from Kalbarri further to Coral Bay is nice (although again over 600km), and Coral Bay itself, as everyone says, is fantastic. But unless we splurge and fly up there, there is no way I will be able to get my boyfriend to come with me.
P.s. In relation to my previous post, if in Geraldton, check out the Dome café near the main beach. I don’t usually go to Dome but this one is nice and does good coffee too.