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Mark Moxon's Travel Writing

Australia: Kalbarri

Kalbarri's coastline
Kalbarri's coastline near Red Bluff is almost Martian in its appearance

After teaming up in Cervantes, I happily offered Andreas a lift to Kalbarri, 400km to the north, as we were both planning to visit the National Park there. Little did we expect such terrible driving conditions; at times, I couldn't see a thing through the driving rain, and had to use the Force to see the road. However, we got there in one piece, and managed to fit in a visit to the coast to see Red Bluff before sunset. Red Bluff is a large, jutting cliff that gives you a good view of Kalbarri town and the Indian Ocean; it was extremely pleasant, and followed by a mean, lean spaghetti bolognese à la tent.

Sandstone cliffs on the Kalbarri coast
The vertical tubes in Kalbarri's coastal sandstone were formed by prehistoric sand worms burrowing straight down

The Z-Bend and Loop

Mark sitting above the magnificent Loop
Sitting above the magnificent Loop

By Saturday all the park's roads were open, so we were able to visit the park's highlights, the Z-Bend and the Loop. We drove to the Z-Bend early in the morning, and if we thought the earlier gorges were stunning, this was just incredible. I have no idea how deep the gorge is at this point, but I've read it reaches down 80m (240 ft), and I can well believe it. It's hard to describe looking at a bend in the river, as it cuts a Grand Canyon-esque furrow through deep red, stripy rock, the cliffs speckled with stumpy green bushes, and a deep blue sky above to accentuate the colours. It was quite incredible.

Kalbarri gorge scenery
Typical Kalbarri gorge scenery