Panigale Around Australia 2016: Day 10 – Kalbarri to Denham

Day 10: Live update – Odometer 51148km. I’ve been overdosing on ocean sunsets lately. Withdrawal symptoms will be difficult to alleviate once I return home.

Watching the afternoon sun at Francois Peron National Park.

Now that my travel route pointed up north, the temperature was continually going to rise from this point onwards until I reach Broome, where I will be greeted with temperatures comparable to a normal Summer day in Sydney. The morning at Kalbarri already reached a balmy 21°C by the time I was packed up and ready to hit the road for the day. Looks like I won’t be needing my thermal layers!

Talking about Kalbarri; what an oasis of tranquility! A beautiful contrast of the rugged arid landscape of the outback and the pristine beauty of a clear blue ocean serves as a huge tourist attraction for this town that’s lined with lush green lawns and palm trees. Murchison River, the second-longest river in Western Australia, flows right through Kalbarri, and it is reportedly a fishing enthusiast’s delight.

The crashing waves of the coast of Kalbarri.

Kalbarri has a lot of national park attractions, but i had no time at all to explore the area as I had a long road ahead of me. Behind all these images are the best of Kalbarri that I had missed out, including the many gorges, cliffs and rock formations that reside deep in the hilly forests. My recount of this place doesn’t do it any favours at all. Hopefully, I will be able to visit this place again in the future.

My illness from the previous day was becoming worse as the day went on. The effect of fatigue was magnified and a perpetually mucus-laden respiratory passage, combined with weather that was drastically warming up, required me to pull over all too frequently to get myself sorted. It was impossible to be able to do the distance that was required for the day.

Although the day’s schedule required me to go up to the peninsula town of Denham, then back down and around to head north for Carnarvon to stay the night, I had to revise my times in accordance with what I felt my ill self can handle. Denham was set as the new end destination, with just under 400km to be completed for the day.

Denham is a small coastal tourist town that is smack-bang in the middle of Francois Peron National Park, a park that is connected by the Shark Bay Heritage Area in the south by an isthmus. This particular narrow strip of land between the two conservation sites are fenced off to prevent the spread of feral animals. The combination of its isolation compared to the adjacent inland areas around the North West Coastal Highway make this area both eerie but also enchanting place to travel through. It’s a barren place that is strange and beautiful, and that makes it simply a captivating place to travel.

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Indeed, it is this particular eerieness and enchantment of such an environment that captures my admiration. The afternoon transforms into a burst of radiating evening light as the horizon’s golden sphere sinks under the vast Indian Ocean. A perfect display of colours, feeling at peace despite my feverish condition, it is nature’s reminder of the beauty of the Earth and the life that it supports. Misty pink swirls infiltrate the blue skies as daylight died to give way to a serene night sky.

Time to rest up at home.

I set up my camp out on the front seat of Nature’s display. At times, I felt that a tent in the middle of the wilderness, barren of any conveniences, was more homely than heading into any other accommodation option.

A tent is almost always the preferred way for me to pass the night. It doesn’t matter where you are, it doesn’t even matter how you feel, the familiarity of your own tent seems more comforting. With a tent, wherever you are, home is just a flat patch of dirt away, potable water is obtainable from the Rotopax water pack and VIP parking for the bike is right beside you. You can’t beat convenience like that.


Basic Statistics for the day:

  • Route: Kalbarri, Hamelin Pool, Denham
  • Total distance: 368km
  • Range of temperature: 21°C to 29°C

Expenses for the day:


General map route:

Day 10 - Map - Kalbarri to Denham.jpg