Just a few kilometres north of Kalbarri is Murchison Station on which you can freecamp in the sand by the beautiful Murchison River. The station is a working property where goats run throughout the year until summer when some 5000 are mustered. There's plenty of history here being an old farm. It was once owned by a Turkish Prince. The cost to stay is $11 per person per night and there are showers, toilets and a camp kitchen.
We've seen and met so many backpackers on this part of the West Australian coast. It was hardly surprising when a couple of 2WDs got themselves firmly bogged in the sand and had to be towed out. It was a new thing for us and J was pleased when he manouevered out of the sand without any trouble. The kids played in the river sand and from the rope swings for hours (when they weren't doing school work, that is!)
Unfortunately the biggest downside of the area is the fly population. I'm not kidding when I describe a plate of dinner with at least 50 flies on each plate and when those pesky little critters went to sleep the mozzies were waiting to move in.
Our girl is obsessed with all things horses at the moment. Big River Ranch (on the highway towards Kalbarri) has pony rides and trail rides depending on age and experience. Our kids were pleased to have a half hour pony ride each.
Our boy, on the other hand is bird obsessed since we stayed with friends in Hobart who had two pet birds. Every other day B is asking for a pet bird (remember him wanting to trap one to cuddle at Bay of Fires?). We've said that we'll need to finish our trip before well consider buying a pet bird. The next best thing was taking the kids to Rainbow Jungle - a parrot breeding centre - in Kalbarri.