We’ve been to Kalbarri twice before and both times it’s been so windy that we’ve left earlier than planned. Arriving at the Red Bluff caravan park at 11am yesterday we hoped this time would be different. A gentleman came out to us on his quad bike, ”do you have a booking?” he asked. We confirmed that indeed we did. ”You’re to early”, he says, ”check in time is 2pm”.
Mmmm – welcome to Kalbarri. We drove into town, parked up and went in search of lunch. Lots of places not open, two pubs that served lunch between 12 and 2. We arrived at the first at 12 only to be told that as two tables of people had already arrived, nothing would be available until 1pm. We tried the second pub, they hadn’t finished their lunch prep yet, and weren’t taking orders until the prep was finished. Next we tried the bakery, but they didn’t have tables. We wandered on.
Next stop, a fish and chip shop with a couple of outside tables. That’d have to do. They didn’t do coffee. We sat outside and ate our mediocre fish and chips, and yes it was windy, and a little drizzly, but we were under a roof, and managed to drag the table to a spot with some wind protection, so that was ok. Next we went in search of coffee. I think we managed to find the only place in Kalbarri serving coffee on a Thursday lunch time. Thank goodness it was before 2pm, as they closed at 2. Paul also ordered a cake. The coffee arrived, but the cake had been forgotten. They were apologetic though when reminded, which was the first indication since arriving in the town that someone at least had a general idea of ’customer service’. The coffee was really good.
Back to the van park at 2pm to join the queue of arrivals. We both went to reception to book in, however there was one person already there. ”only one person in the office at a time”, we were told. ”as per covid mandates, and the sign on the door”. I went back to the van, while Paul waited his turn to humbly enter reception on his lonesome.
From then on things magically transformed. The gentleman on the quad bike escorted us to our site, and skillfully directed the back in before presenting us with an envelope with the key for the ensuite, and the park rules inside. The park only has grassed, ensuite sites. The grass is immaculate (no ground sheets allowed), and the ensuite was spotlessly clean and completely dry. Ah! now I understand the later than usual check in time for caravanners – they use the time to bring all the sites up to their high standard. All is forgiven.
We set up, had a cuppa, then the noise of the waves crashing to shore close by beckoned. It looked like quite a distance to the water, but it was only about a three minute walk, and what we saw when we arrived took our breath away. I’ll let the photos do the talking!
We were gobsmacked. Raw nature at it’s absolute best, and soooo close to where we’ll be spending the next four nights. I’m happy.
It’s now 7.50am on the morning of our second day. I’ve been typing this in bed, as I listen to the waves crashing onto the rugged, rocky coastline only a few hundred metres away. There’s no wind today and the sky is blue. I’m thinking – I‘m going to like Kalbarri!