In this blog post the committee provides a summary of the current status regarding climbing and camping in the Kalbarri National Park (KNP). Within KNP, the area of the Murchison Gorge known as the “Z bend” provides some of the best rock climbing in Western Australia including classic routes such as Keith Goes Blank (15***), Kalbarri Gold (26***) and Swan Song (30***).
- In mid-2015, CAWA member Remi Vignals (now elected to the CAWA Committee), who regularly visits the gorge, photographed a couple of Black Flanked Rock Wallabies at the Promenade area of the Z Bend. Remi quite rightfully reported his sightings and observations to the local ranger.
- On 8 November 2015, CAWA published a blog post regarding the wallabies at the Promenade. The post caused some controversy among members.
- In December 2015, the Department of Park and Wildlife (DPaW) wrote a letter to CAWA, also posted on the CAWA website, confirming that due to the presence of the wallabies, camping would no longer be permitted in the gorge.
- A further letter dated 18 February 2016 was sent by DPaW to CAWA confirming their proposals for camping for members of CAWA.
On 22 February 2016, the CAWA Annual General Meeting was adjourned due to failure to obtain a quorum. On 14 March 2015, the new CAWA Committee was elected at the adjourned CAWA Annual General Meeting. It held its first meeting on 23 March 2016 and established a subcommittee in relation to access issues. The Access Subcommittee’s mandate is to identify and evaluate the access issues faced by WA climbers and bring them to the attention of the Committee.
Since the formation of the Access Subcommittee, the members of the Subcommittee (Dan, Dirk, Nathan, Peter and Remi) have brought up the current arrangements in place in Kalbarri and debated what further actions would be appropriate. The result was a draft letter to DPaW, including feedback on the Draft Code of Conduct and consideration for camping, and proposals to help streamline registration. The letter was endorsed by the Committee and sent to DPaW on 30 April. We will keep you updated on any further developments.
In the meantime, please note:
- Camping is not permitted in the gorge within 1.5Km of the Z Bend Lookout – this includes the area around the Promenade climbing site.
- No toilet waste is allowed within 500m of the Promenade / Rock wallaby site.
- An alternate car-camping area may be provided in the vicinity of the Z Bend carpark – booking and registration essential. Climbers must phone the ranger to obtain the registration form and get directions to the alternate camping area (it is not sign posted).
- Major upgrades to lookouts, roads and visitor infrastructure will cause some disruption this season. Road works are scheduled to start by August 2016 with completion early 2017.
Kalbarri National Park Office: 08 9937 1140 – 08 993 7114 (fax)
Senior Ranger: 08 9937 1192 – 0417 181 314 (mob)
Ranger: 08 9937 1424 – 0427 199 518 (mob)
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any further questions.