As we say goodbye to 2021 and this coastal community we’ve lived in for the past two months I reflect on our time here and the year that’s been. Slowing down, choosing to work whilst holidaying and immersing ourselves in this beautiful town has changed the feel of our journey.
As I wrote in my recent column for the Summer edition of On the Road Magazine, “somewhere along the way our road trip has become less about ticking things off the bucket list and more about enjoying the people, the lifestyle and those simple moments …”
Here’s a look back at Kalbarri and some of those moments, in this picturesque and resilient little town that survived Cyclone Seroja in April and sweltered through their hottest Christmas Day on record in 2021.
Red Bluff Bakery was our pick for lunch with beautiful Vietnamese inspired focaccias, baked tarts and scrummy pies. Although it was closed more often than it was open, we always looked forward to the fresh flavours and a treat for lunch.
The pub in town has a great vibe and equally good food and we ended up there on many a hot day. However, Finlay’s was our favourite, this quirky alfresco popular spot with its live music and rusty memorabilia, dirt floor, covered eating area, scrumptious seafood and a microbrewery all rolled inti one. We loved it.
Most Exhilarating Hangout
Out here you can almost touch the sky! That big expanse above you and a huge drop below. Nothing beats a bit of “skywalking”. This place was my favourite hangout for sure and, over two months, we went back three times.
The Skywalk is spectacular and, together with Nature’s Window, is undeniably the jewel within Kalbarri National Park. It feels like you’re floating on air as you walk out onto the viewing platforms a hundred metres above the gorges. On our last visit we made it extra special with a glass of red, dips and cheese at sunset. So peaceful.
Where to start? There are so many great beaches here. There’s Jakes Beach, for surfers that want to ride the big waves and those that just want to watch them. Blue Pools has a beautiful shallow reef with a natural aquarium and the best snorkelling.
Our favourite beach that we kept going back to was literally down the road near the pier. It was calm, quiet and blissfully refreshing for a plunge when the temperature constantly soared towards 40C.
Those Vivid Vistas
The photo above doesn’t do it justice, but the sweeping view when you come into town is pure magic. The aqua colour of the water blends in with the turquoise of the Murchison River and it gets me every time.
No wonder so many people have fallen in love with Kalbarri, and stayed. There’s Nicky at the Visitors Centre. She told me she’d worked at the Centre twenty years ago, left and travelled the world, then returned. She said her heart’s in the place.
We also met a guy and his dog Cash on the beach. He’s a builder by trade and left to travel Australia but when he reached Kalbarri he stopped. While he’s working on rebuilding homes after the cyclone, his wife works at the bakery and he says they both love it. I agree, it’s an easy place to love, with its friendly locals, relaxed pace and a natural beauty that’s intoxicating.
From Landscapes to Lobsters
On Christmas Eve we treated ourselves to a Lobster Pot charter cruise. Nicky at the Visitors Centre booked it for us. We left at 7am, just us, another couple and a young family on board the Nebraska 11.
For two hours we cruised out to Pot Alley enjoying the calm waters and perfect weather conditions. The crew on board, James and Vaughan, are true pros and we learnt heaps about the lobster industry. It was new to me and awesome to watch them pull the lobster pots out of the water. So many crays inside.
Along the way we saw sharks and dolphins in the water. We ate lobster prepared three ways, by our on-board chef. We even got to take some home for Christmas lunch (three crays each). It was fantastic value and so much fun.
I remember the little things that made me smile. Walking through the gate to work and hearing a high pitched “hello” every single time from Fred the 40 year old cocky. Getting slobbered on by Barry, the Manager’s Staffy every time I went to the office.
However I won’t miss the constant gale force winds that blew in without fail every afternoon. Still, it seems a part of life here. And sometimes we need the cobwebs blown away so we can appreciate the stillness when it comes. It can be exhilarating, especially when we surrender to the unpredictability of nature.
Thank you to everyone who’s followed along on my travels this year, read my printed stories in magazines, left me comments and enjoyed my photos on Insta. It wouldn’t be the same without having you all along on the journey and I truly love all my connections, both new and old.
As 2021 comes to an end, with my theme word “cleanse” being so apt for life and our world this year, I’m still deliberating on a new word and focus to take me into 2022. I know what I want to do. Shining the light on truth, on our world, discovering more about myself and who I really am, underneath all the stories and the roles we play in this illusionary world.
I feel like my inner journey has only begun.
And despite all the distractions of our world and governments and media telling us how we should live, I believe we DO have free will. BUT it’s up to us individually to stand up for what we believe. What we do going forward really matters, and we all have our part to play in this constantly evolving world.
Perhaps if we step back and take a look at the bigger picture and question what’s being presented to us we might see things differently. And maybe when we all realise our inner strength and how much power we really have, we’ll be able to work towards a world we truly want, a world of choice, freedom, unity, love and kindness.
For me personally, I intend to step out fully into the best version of me I can be. I want to let go of limitations, shine a light on this world and glow, just like this sunset on our second last night in beautiful Kalbarri.
Here’s to more adventures and new directions, to joy, happiness and a sense of peace and hope for all of us as we head into 2022.
Sending you much love and light.