Kalbarri is a small, coastal town about a day’s ride north of Perth, the capital of Western Australia. It is pretty much surrounded and isolated from other towns by the beautiful and spectacular Kalbarri National Park. Its striated gorges, both inland and coastal, are often compared to the look of America’s own Grand Canyon, but on a somewhat smaller scale.
The town’s main industries are its fishing fleet and state, national and international tourism. The fishing fleet of about two dozen boats is mostly engaged in the catching of Rock Lobster. The tourism industry is primarily aimed at a mixture of relaxation and nature based activities. There is a growing sport fishing market as well.
Its name, “Kalbarri” is derived from the Aboriginal language. As it is an unwritten native language it has been interpreted in many ways, including ‘meeting place of two waters’, from the fact that the many and diverse tribes of the coastal plains would often meet here because of it being a reliable source of fresh water. Kalbarri has remained true to its name even unto today.
Kalbarri is so small and so far off the main highway (Highway 1) that until recently, it was the custom for the late night delivery truck to simply leave the bundles of Sunday newspapers at the ‘ turn off ‘ and the first tourists to come through in the morning would toss a bundle in their car and proudly ‘deliver’ it to the local grocery shop.