One of Western Australia's most spectacular coastal walks, the Bigurda Trail takes walkers along an 8 km stretch of coastal cliffs in Kalbarri National Park. Linking Eagle Gorge to the Natural Bridge, this moderately easy trail features incredible views of the region's rugged, banded cliffs juxtaposed by wildflowers in a myriad of colours. A fairly unique experience, this is an essential walk of Australia's Coral Coast.
Distance: 8 km (one way)
Gradient: Fairly even and easy, with minor ascents and descents along the way
Quality of Path: Clear and easy to follow path. Surface alternates between sandy and unevenly rocky
Quality of Signage: Well signed over its entire length
Experience Required: Previous Bushwalking Experience Recommended
Time: 2-3 Hours (one way)
Steps: No steps, but uneven and steep paths are definitely not wheelchair accessible
Best Time to Visit: Late Winter-Late Spring
Getting There: The trail starts at the Eagle Gorge car park, off George Grey Dr in Kalbarri. The trail ends at the Castle Cove car park; walkers will either need to walk back the other way, arrange a car shuffle, or park a car and cycle 8.7 km back to Eagle Gorge via the bitumen roads.
A walk along the west coast, we headed out in the afternoon with the aim of watching the sunset from the end of the walk. Being one way, the Bigurda Trail requires a bit of pre-planning, I recommend bringing a bike. I was able to complete the 8.7 kilometre cycle in about 20 minutes, and Parks & Wildlife even have bike racks at the car park!
The Bigurda was exceptionally well marked, with plastic marker pegs along its entire length making navigation very easy. The trail's symbol is the Bigurda - the Indigenous name for a Black Footed Wallaby. One of the reasons we had come to Kalbarri in late August was to see the wildflower displays; we were definitely not disappointed, with bursts of colour throughout the heathlands. The trail veers right, eventually running right along Kalbarri's coastal cliffs and providing walkers with excellent views of the Indian Ocean continually crashing into the Australian mainland.
At the 4km mark of the trails, the Grandstand is definitely one of the trail's highlights. A lookout has been constructed on the southern side, providing the gorgeous vantage point above. Even after the spectacular Grandstand, the Bigurda Trail still had more incredible formations in store for us, including the particularly banded section of the cliffs
Near Island Rock, the trail runs along a series of boardwalks through the heathland. This area again features multiple lookouts, with walkers being privy to superb views of Island Rock and Natural Bridge. Still tenuously connected to the coastline, Island Rock has an appearance not dissimilar to the Twelve Apostles in Victoria.
The boardwalk continues to the final car park and lookout of the trail at Natural Bridge/Castle Cove. The Bigurda Trail offers a really unique and very different take on the Western Australian coast, the Bigurda's moderately easy terrain and the continually astounding nature of this stretch of the Kalbarri coast marks it as a must do experience.
This story was written by Donovan De Souza, walker of trails and creator of The Long Way's Better hiking guide. This article was originally published by The Long Way’s Better who experienced this hike independent of Australia’s Coral Coast tourism. Australia’s Coral Coast did not review or approve these stories.