Kalbarri Gorge

The Kalbarri Gorge is a beautiful little slice of heaven with dark red cliff faces, exotic animals and a flowing river.  The 3 to 4 kilometer return hike wasn’t too tough despite some descents and climbs.  Once we made our way down to the river we captured some photos of the river (above) and made a group photo.

Near the bottom of the gorge we saw some spider webs that spanned 7 or 8 feet (2 ½ meters) that had huge spiders that were about as big as my hand.  I thought of how I would describe these huge spiders on this blog and realized that the only way to be able to adequately show how big they are would be to take a photo.  In the picture below you can see my hand to the left side of the frame and the spider to the right; my hand is blurred because I put it out and took it back very quickly – I didn’t want to get bitten!  The spider is actually a little bigger than it appears in this photo as my hand is closer to the camera.  If I were to open my hand this spider’s front and back legs would span from my finger tips to my wrist.

We worked out way back up into the gorge and met the rock repelling instructor(called “abseiling” in Australia); he gave us a quick safety brief and explained how we would repel down the rock face.  We were all very impressed when Trine conquered her fear of climbing off of this rock and making the plunge down the face of the vertical face.  I enjoyed a bit of “free air” time as I kicked out and covered the entire 25 meter drop in 2 or 3 bursts.  When I unbuckled at the bottom I found that my retaining ring was as hot as a pan on the stove; the friction of the rope passing through had super heated it.

After our first “sail” we climbed back up the rocky trail to have our second go.  We each watched with excitement as our travel mates took the plunge off the ledge and repelled to the river bed below.  Our instructor was quite cheeky and asked a battery of questions that seemed to change with the gender of his student.  He would ask where we were from, how long we were traveling in Australia and whether or not we had abseiled before and if we were afraid of heights.  And then, based on your gender, the questioning changed.  The girls had these additional questions:

Instructor: Do you have a boyfriend?

Student: No

Instructor: Do you want one?

The view from where we abseiled (repelled) gave a nice view of the Kalbarri Gorge and I snapped this photo (below).  We only had a few hours in the Kalbarri and then had to depart.  Mick had a long drive ahead and we had much ground to cover.  After all, we are traveling from Perth to Exmouth in 5 days – a huge distance to cover not including all of the “tourist” stops that we will visit.


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