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Saturday

Surviving Nature's Window – Kalbarri National Park, Western Australia

Nature's Window, Kalbarri National Park, Western Australia



 



 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
The sun wasn't that hot.  The track wasn't that long. The going wasn't that tough.

And yet, all along the short walk to Nature's Window, people were dropping like flies.

Despite the detailed warning signs above the steep staircase accessing the track below the gorge rim, the walk to Kalbarri National Park's favourite attraction looks deceptively easy.

View from Nature's Window over Murchison River, Kalbarri National Park


Nature's Window is a mere 400 m (1312 ft) from the car park. AND hikers straggling along the track towards the knot of people on the ridge below are clearly visible from the trailhead. AND the light breeze above the rim keeps the temperature mild.

So who WOULDN'T assume they could knock this walk over in shoes more appropriate to, say, streetwalking?

Without water?? A hat??? Or a reasonable level of fitness????

From Nature's Window Ledge, Kalbarri National Park, Western Australia
Below the rim, the temperature in the gorge is much higher and the sun beats down mercilessly with no breeze to cool the air. It's hot. It's stuffy. And the return walk is relentlessly uphill all the way.

Just like the warning sign said.

But surviving Nature's Window is easy.
 
Wear real shoes.
 
Carry water.
 
Take your time.
 
 And don't, under ANY circumstances, attempt the walk with a hangover!

Or use the countless spring wildflower photo opportunities as an excuse for multiple rest breaks ...

Kalbarri Sandstone
While awaiting our turn for the obligatory Nature's Window photo, the staggering view of the Murchison river far below, lazily curving around the rocky spur on which we stood was a momentary distraction from the bickering English honeymoon couple already in the fast lane to divorce.
 
And the backpacker with an impossibly complex camera that would have captured the amazing panorama superbly had he actually known how to use it.
 
And the bogan family from hell endlessly conversing about the sneakers they'd be buying when they got to Bali …
 
Undeterred by the above average probability our Window photos would bear an astonishing similarity to everyone else's, it was finally our turn to record our first Tumblagooda Sandstone experience despite the danger of cliché.
 
Spot Nature's Window carpark from the Loop Lookout! Kalbarri National Park, Western Australia
 

 
 
A few kilometres away, the Loop Lookout put Nature's Window into perspective. And also showcased the aggressively scenic – with a far greater risk of heatstroke – 8 km (5 mile) Loop trail winding down to the river below and starting and ending at the Window car park.

Next visit we'll take the necessary precautions to walk the Loop trail!  Leave early in the morning.  Carry food and water.  Wear appropriate clothing.  Don't walk with hung over backpackers.  And leave the stripper shoes at home ...
 
Another cliché shot of Nature's Window, Kalbarri National Park, Western Australia


But for now, we're content with surviving Nature's Window!

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40 comments:

  1. Fabulous pictures I think that is rot about cliche shots. what else can you do if you want a shot of these types of "monuments." other than lie on your back and shoot up or on your tummy and miss the river. or a close up and only get half of it. I feel the same about what is called "postcard ' shots. I wish I had climbed up there but our tour group only stayed at the Carpark lookout. I was amazed at how the river is hidden until you are right on top of it.

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  2. A Sarah Lee construction, layer upon layer upon layer. Clichéd or not, I have never seen it before, so thanks.

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  3. So you made it to Natures Window... and survived!! Whooo Hoooo... great pictures you got for us. The window itself looks a little shaky to me.

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  4. Not ever expecting I'll travel this destination..I totally love your photographs Red..and your determination to make it happen...tks for sharing such beautiful scenes

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  5. We drove over the Murchinson this morning on our way home from Shark Bay. In Dongara now. One day soon we will be back to explore this river as I haven't stopped there for more than 40 years

    Barb.

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  6. Wow, what an amazing view. I love the Nature's Window. A great name by the way! And the curvy river shot is awesome. Sounds like a hard hike, how long did it take? Awesome photos!

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  7. Oh yes, nice sandy river beach. Where are we? I think too far south to share the river beach with crocs.

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  8. ha,ha I absolutely love your humour in this post and of course have in the past as well. What great photos you have at the top of Nature's Window and I did spot the car park in the distance. It amazes me too how many times I have gone on a little shoot of my own, only to discover someone else along the path that will stop me and ask if I know how to use their camera so they can take a photo. Point and shoot would be an answer to many of these folk. I have picked the shot overlooking "Murchison River as my fav and all the photos are quite lovely, as the red sandstone, walls n windows of your wonderful land remind me of our very own, along the beaches of our "RED" Prince Edward Island. Have a great day Red. Great post.

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  9. Don't we live in a fabulous country!
    I love the outback and your amazing photos remind me I'm due for a trip ;)

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  10. I think I may have a similar picture somewhere Red. It is a pretty magnificent sight. Stripper shoes..haha! I bet it's happened!

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  11. Bah! It's only cliché to those people too silly to look at the world with the wonder it deserves. I love how wonderfully you showcase the beauty of Oz, Red!

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  12. Loved this post. As amusing as always. We have all come across the tourists taking the obigatory photos when they need to use their eyes and other senses to appreciate nature at its best. What an apt title - 'Nature's window'.

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  13. There is just no telling how unprepared some tourists can be. Great photos and story.

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  14. The shots never look cliche to this woman sitting in New Jersey.

    No water or hat seems like an extra crispy death wish. No, I have never heard the phrase: Walking off a hangover at the national park. ~Mary

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  15. It might be cliché Red but definitely worth the walk .... Read Red Country.

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  16. Top marks for the post and pictures, Red – and bonus points for not shoving the bogans through the window. Mind you, you might’ve got more kudos for actually doing it.

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  17. This looks like some of the National parks in Colorado/Utah . And unfortunately some of those same damn people seem to visit at the same time we're there too. At least I know the US isn't alone. Have you noticed how the ladies with those "shoes" always have to hold hands with their guy as they totter along blocking the trail?

    Oh. Pet peeve. But what a beautiful beautiful spot; I would love it. If only all people were all just as wonderful as you and me, huh ;>)

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  18. It's the most beautiful window I've ever seen. i had to get out my map to see where Kalbarri NP is.
    one question...what would you recommend as suitable footwear? Sneakers with a good tread? Or would a person have to buy hiking boots? Obviously the glittery stilettos wouldn't be appropriate.

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  19. Any peeping Tom's in Nature's Window? I can't tell you how much Oz looks like Arizona.

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  20. Glad you had the stamina to show us these marvellous views!

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  21. @diane - For such a big river, it sure gets hidden away!!! And I don't care about taking cliché shots - because they're MY cliché shots!!!
    @Andrew - Haha, yes the Sara Lee analogy works well! And there's no point googling 'Nature's Window' now that you've seen my shots - all the others will look like some variation of that too!!! And you're right about the location - no crocs that I'm aware of!!!
    @MJWC - Haha!! I wasn't climbing up into the 'frame' for ANYTHING!!!!
    @Carole - Never say never, girlfriend!!! But it's always a pleasure to hunt down and shoot places like this!!!
    @Barb - Oh, you lucky girl!! All these places deserve several re-visits from me too - but I hope it doesn't take 40 years!!!
    @eileeninmd - The hike didn't take that long ... it was all the stopping for photos that took the time!!!!! Hahaha, only kidding ... it's a beautiful spot, you just have to watch the weather!!

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  22. I got as far as Nambung when I was in WA. Always meant to get to Kalbarri, never made it alas. But I've "seen" it through your photos which are great. Stripper shoes, boguns, Bali and sneakers - hahaha.

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  23. Is there anything more picturesque than scenes through this window? Amazing indeed! I've said it before and saying it again...lucky lucky you!:)

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  24. Don't walk with hung over backpackers...

    I've actually been in a group of hung over backpackers. Ir was in Colorado and we got so lost.

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  25. @Saucy Kod - Hahaha, actually 'point & shoot' is MY answer to my own photographic conundrums!!! So glad you enjoyed my adventure!!! We'll do one together one day ...
    @Journey Jottings - I look forward to seeing your next Outback adventure!!
    @PDP - Haha, similar?? Don't you mean 'identical'?
    @TMWH - It's one of the great tragedies of life that you don't work for the OZ Tourism Commission with THAT point of view!!
    @Fun60 - No one can accuse us Aussies of confusing people with our place names!
    @TFG - Unprepared tourists are a travel blogger's best friend!!
    @Mary - I'm strangely compelled to tell people whenever I post what would be a cliché shot downunder - but your kind comment might change all that!!! And why ANYONE would want a walk in the hot, bright sun after a hangover will forever be a mystery ...
    @Dianne - At least the cliché shots are MY cliché shots!

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  26. @FigMince - HAhaha, overcoming my vertigo just to shove a bogan through the window might just be a bit extreme ... Maybe next time!
    @Sallie - One day I'll have the guts to film AND publish what the worst dressed hikers are wearing ... it'll be AWESOME!
    @River - Sneakers with a good tread would be fine for this walk, and most I have been on. Hiking boots offer more protection when the track is very rough and/or rocky. Most tracks here are well-formed - Pilchard was quite happy with his sneakers!

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  27. @Mrs Tuna - I guess arid regions have similarities wherever they are!!! I guess that means there's no point you visiting OZ?!?!?!
    @ladyfi - One does one's poor best ...
    @BFG - Other than hungover backpackers, I doubt many people would regret a visit to Kalbarri!
    @LONDONLULU - Tragically, I can't see a bakery through the window ... but yes, I AM lucky!!
    @Beach Bum - Hahaha, NEVER follow a drunken backpacker - RUN LIKE HELL!!!

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  28. LOL, oh by golly, with a hangover!!!

    Yikes, I remember heaps and heaps of blowies and, ewwww, moths, yikes-yikes, yikes!
    Now is that good or boring, we were all alone there, apart freom said blowies and moths.

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  29. Amazing what you see isn't it when you go walking to the must-do sites. We have seen many an unprepared international tourist - most memorable are - no hat & 500ml water between 2 (30+ heat, Keep National Park, NT), high heels (the Blowholes Albany), high heels again & starting at 4pm (Bluff Knoll, Stirling Ranges). I guess Kalbarri is relatively close to Perth, and 500 metres doesn't sound far!
    Ps - another pointer to remember to survive Natures Window - don't bounce around under the rock and hit your head - which my 6 year old did when we were preparing to take the obligatory in-the-window photo years ago. You can tell by his photo he wasn't feeling great!
    Another great post Red.

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  30. I must say that your cliché shot is excellent, as are all of your photos. We're constantly amazed at the lack of preparation on the part of some of the hikers we meet on the trail. I'm glad it's not just an U.S. phenomenon.

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  31. Oh, these pics brought back memories!
    We used to live in Albany, and took a trip up to Kalbarri many years ago. What a stunning environment!

    Natural Bridge at "The Gap" was our town's cliche shot - The "edge of Antarctica".

    And obligatory, cliche or ubiquitous, such lovely images as yours are compulsory. Not many have had the pleasure of visiting this amazing part of the world. Now, they can - minus the heatstroke and heels :D

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  32. Oh that's beautiful! And the best bit (in this case) is the photos don't capture the soundtrack of whinging folk walking it with you :)

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  33. @Iris - I can't imagine walking this track with a hangover ... maybe that makes me un-Australian?? But I also can't imagine being there alone! In the middle of the day and the middle of the tourist season, there's no escape!
    @Jill - I've felt like handing out a few fashion infringement notices too!! I didn't have to worry about hitting my head - not standing in the window is what comes of not having a good head for heights!!!
    @George - Or maybe it's the US visitors downunder?!?!?! Only kidding, the lack of preparedness knows no national boundaries!!!
    @Vicki - Actually, I'm not sure I'd prefer it if the heatstroke & heelers DID visit virtually! Pointing out the foibles of others is one of the hidden joys of blogging!! Does that make me a bad person??!! I'd love to see your Albany clichés too - and I shall one day!!
    @Amanda - Hahaha, the whingers are worthy blog-fodder ... I think I'd miss them if they weren't there!! But I usually leave them behind by continuing past the hot shot tourist spots!!!

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  34. That rock formation is just amazing and the views are absolutely stunning!

    Your fellow hikers sound like an awful bunch, though. And, hey, I've seen tourists here trying to walk on our beaches in stilettos. It's just crazy.

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  35. Your blog posts are always worth a visit and this one is great. What a beautiful feature. Too bad you didn't get to enjoy it alone. I love it when I stumble across a spot when no one else is visiting. It would have been nice to enjoy this sort of marvel in peace. Happy travels.

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  36. When rivers start smiling at you - it's probably time to get in the shade

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  37. Lovely formation.
    Many people don't realise the harshness of our country in some areas. Always carry water, hats for shade of the head/face etc...

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  38. Great photos Red. I have been there and loved the beautiful scenery. Didn't do the 8km loop though....far too hot! The panoramic photo with the car park is amazing!

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  39. @Hilda - I actually saw some hiking boots with stilettos - lace ups, thick rubber tread, and HEELS!! Who knew?!?!
    @Nikki - We've been pretty lucky ... but sooner or later we had to hit the crowds!! I bet we'll be on our own when we do the 8km hike sometime in the future though ...
    @Glen - Haha! But you KNOW you're a Brit Tourist when ... rivers start smiling at you!!!
    @whiteangel - Hell, even I didn't realise how hot it would be!!! Those warning signs are there for a reason!!
    @Sami - Yeah, same! Next time we'll go when it's a bit cooler & do the hike in the morning!! If you look REALLY carefully you'll see the Window just below the carpark in the panorama shot!!! Amazing, huh?!

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  40. Stunning photos! Wow, they make me want to go back to Kalbarri (haven't been there in quite a few years)... I sure hope when I do go back that I can avoid the bickering couples and obnoxious bogans hahahaha
    Usually getting up bright and early in the morning does the trick. ;-)

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