Z Bend Lookout and River Trail

1 h 30 min to 2 h 30 min

2.5 km
return

↑ 142 m
↓ -142 m

Hard track
Starting from the Z Bend car park at the end of Z Bend Access Road, Kalbarri National Park, this walk takes you past the Z Bend Lookout and down to the Murchison River Gorge via the River Trail. This fairly demanding hike provides river access from the Z Bend Lookout, with spectacular scenery throughout the hike. The trail is relatively flat for the first part, with well made rocky steps providing a gradual descent to the lookout. Fit walkers can make their way down into the gorge and the river as well. The steep descent into the gorge involves some scrambling, ladder climbs, and narrow chasms to get to the bottom. Although relatively clear and straightforward, much of the trail is along unmodified rocky surfaces. Once at the bottom, you can cool off with a swim in the river before heading back to the car park. Facilities at the car park include informative displays, gas barbecues, picnic shelters and toilets. Beware of loose rocks and unstable surfaces, and be careful with foot placement to avoid sprains. Avoid doing this walk during the wet autumn due to high river levels and dangerously hot summer months. Let us begin by acknowledging the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we travel today, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present.
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Safer Bushwalks
Tips on staying safe on track
Before you start any bushwalk ensure you;
• Tell someone you trust where you are going and what to do if you are overdue
• Have adequate equipment, supplies, skills & knowledge for the whole journey
• Consider the impact of weather forecasts, park/track closures & fire dangers
• Can respond to emergencies & call for help at any point
• Are healthy and fit enough for this journey
If not, change plans and stay safe. It is okay to delay and ask people for help.
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Getting There
Transport options and directions
Start (-27.6490946,114.455483)
Mode Car
DirectionsFrom Kalbarri Road
  • Turn on to Gorge Access Road (NP) then drive for 19.5 km
  • Turn right onto Z Bend Access Road (NP) and drive for another 5.4 km
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
From the Z Bend carpark at the end of Z Bend Access Road, Kalbarri National Park, head along the sandy path behind the informative shelter, passing a 'Warning: Heat Kills' sign. Follow the trail ahead past the 'Z Bend Lookout' and 'River Trail' sign, and continue the Z Bend Lookout and River Trail.....
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
There is a toilet (about 60 m back from the start).
There is a car park (about 10 m back from the start).
There is a BBQ (about 9 m back from the start).
Find the sign at the start.
After another 15 m continue straight.
After another 490 m veer left.
After another 135 m find the "Z Bend Lookout" (on your right).
Z Bend Lookout
Z Bend Lookout

A spectacular rock lookout sitting 150m above the gorge, where visitors can admire breathtaking views of the Murchison River gorge below. One of the most scenic locations in the Kalbarri National Park, the Z Bend is suitably named after the tight bends the Murchison River has carved into the Tumblagooda Sandstone gorge. The Z Bend can be admired from a lookout, or experienced first hand by hiking down into the gorge.
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A spectacular rock lookout sitting 150m above the gorge, where visitors can admire breathtaking views of the Murchison River gorge below. One of the most scenic locations in the Kalbarri National Park, the Z Bend is suitably named after the tight bends the Murchison River has carved into the Tumblagooda Sandstone gorge. The Z Bend can be admired from a lookout, or experienced first hand by hiking down into the gorge.

After another 110 m turn left, to head along Z Bend River Trail.
Continue another 500 m to find the end. Then turn around here and retrace the main route for 1.3 km to get back to the start.
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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Z Bend Lookout and River Trail


Grading
Class 4/6
Hard track
Length 2.5 km
Time 1 h 30 min to 2 h 30 min
Quality of track Rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely (4/6)
Gradient Very steep (4/6)
Signage Clearly signposted (2/6)
Infrastructure Generally useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats) (2/6)
Experience Required Moderate level of bushwalking experience recommended (4/6)
Weather Foretasted & unexpected storms and severe weather may impact on navigation and safety (4/6)

Some facilities on route
Toilet: There is one -61 m back from the start.


Order of key facilities on route
ItemFrom StartName & link to notes
Toilet
-61 m[toilet]
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