Hiking the Bigurda Trail | Western Australia


Named after the Bigurda kangaroo endemic to the region, the 8km Bigurda Trail gives you an opportunity to view the rugged, red, 100m high Zuytdorp Cliffs, where the Indian Ocean meets the West Australian mainland.

If you have someone to pick you up at the other end, the trail can be walked one way, but as we didn’t have that luxury we did the trail both ways (16km). It doesn’t really matter whether you start at Eagle Gorge or the Natural Bridge, however you may want to give some consideration to the direction of the wind as the winds are extremely strong along the cliff tops and it’s a lot more enjoyable walking with the wind.

The start of the Bigurda Trail at Eagle Gorge is easily reached by following the Port Gregory-Kalbarri Road for about 8km from the centre of Kalbarri, turning right at the signpost and driving for another 2km to the car park at Eagle Gorge.

At Eagle Gorge you can walk north up the track to the viewing area, and if you feel like getting up close and personal with the massive waves you can continue further north, down the cliffs to the beach at the base of the gorge.

Alternatively, if you’re keen to get started on the trail simply follow the dirt track to the south.

The hike

For the first 1km or so the trail meanders its way across flat, rocky terrain. As with most of the trail, due to the scouring winds and lack of rainfall the vegetation doesn’t grow much higher than waist high.

On reaching the cliff top you are greeted by the incredible Zuytdorp Cliffs. These sandstone cliffs are all sorts of shades of red, orange and brown, layered in natural steps from the top of the cliffs down to the ocean’s edge. The closer you get the edge of the cliff, the stronger the wind as well. At some points in the walk we were literally struggling to move forward into the wind, and in others it was downright dangerous when the wind gusts pushed us towards the edge of the cliffs!!

For the next 3km or so the trail follows the flat cliff tops, making the occasional inland detour to navigate gorges. On reaching the Shellhouse and Grandstand you’ve probably been walking for about 1.5hrs.

After walking for another 1.5hrs or so you’ll reach Island Rock and Natural Bridge. This is a great spot to have lunch as there is a fantastic shelter built on the edge of the cliffs looking out over the Indian Ocean. We were there at the wrong time of year, but we were told that during the whale migration season you are guaranteed to see numerous whales breaching and travelling up the coastline.

As mentioned above, you can either get picked up here, or you can walk back along the trail to your car at Eagle Gorge.

In summary?

It took us around 6 hours to walk the 16km, but as one of us had a dodgy leg we were taking it a lot slower than usual. In reality I reckon most people could do this walk in a little over 5 hours. Although the walk is flat and easy on the body, it’s important to make sure you take plenty of water (and sunscreen!) as the temperatures can be extremely hot and there is no water available on the trail.

Reward-to-effort ratio = 6/10
Snake count = 0
Leech count = 0