The Murchison River dissects the central part of the state of Western Australia before it empties into the Indian Ocean at Kalbarri. Kalbarri is the only population centre along its entire 800 kilometer length. The Murchison River is a dry river bed for much of the year and only reliably flows in the cyclone season of December to February when heavy rain falls over its upper catchment area. In 1839, the river was named in honour of the Scottish geologist Roderick Murchison by Sir George Grey who was governor of South Australia, Cape Town and New Zealand at different stages of his life.
This section of the river flows through Kalbarri National Park and is known as ‘z bend’ owing to the switching nature of its course. The park encompasses the lower reaches of the Murchison River and is famous for its sandstone gorges, rock-arches, coastal cliffs and wildflowers.