One of the Mid West’s most popular tourist attractions is on track to surpass its record for the number of annual visitors. Kalbarri National Park has recorded 175,000 visitors so far this year and is set to beat last year’s all-time high of 193,000. National park senior ranger Mike Paxman urged hikers to be vigilant about their safety heading into the warmer months. He said The Loop Trail, Nature’s Window and the Kalbarri Skywalk were must-sees for travellers, and although he expected to top last year’s figure, he warned visitors of trail closures during summer. “The last couple of years we’ve seen Australians travelling vigorously across the State. The town itself is relatively secluded and we have wonderful weather,” he said. “We’ve had a history of people getting into strife with dehydration and heatstroke in summer, and to reduce the risk of emergency incidents, the Loop Trail is closed after 7am from November-March.” Since COVID-19 restrictions eased and exemptions lifted, Mr Paxman said domestic travellers had flooded into the State, and as a result, many visitors stopped at the park to see what Kalbarri had to offer. “We’ve seen a pick-up in interstate visitors and now we’re starting to see an increase in overseas visitors,” he said. “It’s starting to drop off as the weather warms, but we still get people travelling south from warmer parts.” Mr Paxman said he hoped next season would bring just as many visitors to the national park as international travellers made their way around the world. “I think we’re still seeing a lot of domestic people, but the economy is starting to slow as they go overseas,” he said. “We have the Skywalk so it’s a big drawcard. Kalbarri itself has a lot of attractions. We have the Murchison gorge, walking trails, lookouts inland and on the coast. We had had a great wildflower season as well.” Mr Paxman said visitors should be mindful heading into summer and plan their hikes for the early morning as temperatures between the gorges could reach 50C. “Read the signs, wear loose-fitting clothing, carry enough water — we recommend a litre per hour — as inland gorges here are much hotter than in town, up to 10C warmer,” he said.