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|Population:||1,336 (2006 Census) |
|Elevation:||6 m (20 ft)|
|LGA:||Shire of Northampton|
Kalbarri is a coastal town in the Mid West region located 592 km north of Perth, Western Australia. The town is found at the mouth of the Murchison River and has an elevation of 6 metres (20 ft). It is connected by public transport to Perth via Transwa coach services N1 and N2.
The local Aboriginal people inhabited the area for thousands of years and have a dreaming story about the Rainbow serpent forming the Murchison River as she came from inland to the coast. The first European people to visit the area were the crew of the trading ship belonging to the Dutch East India Company, the Batavia, who put two mutinous crew members ashore near Bluff Point just south of the town. The cliffs near the river mouth were named after another trading ship, the Zuytdorp, that was wrecked there in 1712. The area became a popular fishing and tourist spot in the 1940s and by 1948 the state government declared a townsite. Lots were soon surveyed and the town was gazetted in 1951. Kalbarri was named after an Aboriginal man from the Murchison tribe and is also the name of an edible seed.
The town is geared towards tourism and fishing, with attractions including the daily pelican feeding, the Kalbarri National Park, Murchison River Gorge and the Murchison River. There are two charter boats to go on to view the Murchison River. The town attracts 200,000 tourists every year with the population of the town swelling to 8,000 during holiday seasons.
The Kalbarri National Park is home to a phenomenon of geography and geology known as the Z Bend, a walking track, and "Nature's Window", a rock formation overlooking hundreds of kilometres of Murchison River. The Rainbow Jungle (The Australian Parrot Breeding Centre), located a few kilometres south of the town centre, features hundreds of exotic species of birds in their native habitat plus a walk-in cage allowing humans to interact with the birds. Red Bluff and other coastal cliffs and formations are located south of the town.
Recreational fishing is also popular, with good catches being taken from the beaches at Wittecarra Creek as well as from the numerous cliffs.
Kalbarri is now one of Western Australia's premier skydiving locations with the recent addition of Skydive Kalbarri. Skydive Kalbarri offers tandem skydives over the Murchison river mouth. A scenic flight can offer views from Geraldton to the Abrolhos Islands, taking in some of WA 's most breathtaking scenery, taking you up to 14,000ft for a thrilling free fall ride followed by a tranquil canopy ride landing on the beach.
Kalbarri river mouth at sunset Kalbarri river after heavy rain
 In popular culture
Kalbarri was featured at the end of the film Wolf Creek when character Ben Mitchell (Nathan Phillips) was airlifted to hospital from Kalbarri Airport.
- ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Kalbarri (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2008-09-06.
- ^ "Main Roads - Distances from Perth". 2006. Retrieved 2008-09-07.
- ^ "Bureau of Meterology - Climate Summary statistics KALBARRI". 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-08.
- ^ "Kalbarri Aboriginal history". 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-08.
- ^ "Kalbarri - Western Australia". 2006. Archived from the original on 2008-07-19. Retrieved 2008-09-08.
- ^ Western Australian Land Information Authority. "History of names". Retrieved 2008-09-09.
 See also
This post has been edited by Ian Williams: 11 March 2012 - 12:47