If you're planning a trip to Kalumburu
, you've already planned to take in at least some of the Gibb River Road
and probably another few thousand kilometres from home just to get there so hopefully your vehicle is already well setup and you've got spares and parts sorted out.
When you reach your final destination, you're really ready to do something other than driving, so make sure you have some rods and lures and have enough time in your itinerary to take a rest. It's quite an effort to get to Kalumburu
, so plan to stay at least 3 nights at either Honeymoon Bay
or McGowan Island
. However, the ideal way to visit Kalumburu
is to take your own boat.
We have seen people setup for over a month - a few advance arrangements and you can get yourself really setup, as you will see for yourself on your first trip. Our advice is to do some research and go prepared - who knows when you'll ever get the chance to go back again. Make your first trip as best as you can. Try to talk to other people who have been there a few times with their boat and learn from their experiences.
If you can't/don't want to take a boat, then the next best option is to spend a few nights at each McGowan Island
and Honeymoon Bay
and pay to be taken fishing. Costs vary from $50 - $70 pp for a half day but you must supply your own fishing gear and baits (although you will be shown how to catch live bait). A word of advice - take HEAVY fishing gear, and lots of it - as a gauge, the locals use 200lb line!
As most barra fishermen will already know, the best fishing time is usually at the most difficult times for vehicle access - either side of the wet season. However, Kalumburu
offers excellent coastal fishing, with reef fish and pelagics being caught year-round. Spanish Mackeral
, Queenfish, Golden Trevally, Threadfin Salmon, Coral Trout
and Cod are all the usual catches from the sea, with barra and bream from the river (the mouth of the King Edward River
is just 5km from Kalumburu
Permits are necessary to visit Kalumburu
because you are entering Aboriginal Land. Although you can arrange your permit in advance, there are no problems obtaining one on arrival. Permits are $25 valid for one vehicle for a maximum of 21 days. A permit consists of a windscreen sticker, received after completing some forms, and a handout on the region, including regulations and touring information. You can purchase your permit from the Kalumburu
Aboriginal Corporation Office, Honeymoon Beach or McGowan Island
If you wish to arrange your permit in advance, you can contact the community direct on: (08) 9161 4300 or (08) 9332 7044
Fax: (08) 9161 4331
If you wish to write to Kalumburu
Aboriginal Corporation, address the letter to: Kalumburu
Community, PMB 10 Via, WYNDHAM
Your permit states that you are only allowed to camp within designated areas, which are the Kalumburu
caravan park or the Mission Camping Ground - both in town, or head out to the coast to either Honeymoon Bay
or McGowan Island
which are run by Aboriginal families. No bush camping elsewhere is allowed. Fines and evictions are enforced.
Fuel Supplies & UsageDrysdale River Homestead
depot. Both no gas.
|4cyl 42 litres||4cyl 48 litres||4cyl 60 litres|
|6cyl 46 litres||6cyl 54 litres||6cyl 52 litres|
|8cyl 46 litres||8cyl 49 litres|
Usage is averaged from recorded data (* specific to this trek) and calculated based on trek distance.
Best Time To Visit
May to November would be the best time to visit Kalumburu
since very heavy rains occur during the summer months.
Closest Climatic Station
Distance from Trek Mid Point 43.06km SW
Best time to travel Ok time to travel Travel NOT recommended
|Mean Max. °C||33.2||32.6||33.1||33.1||31.1||29.0||29.7||31.5||35.3||36.9||36.6||34.5|
|Mean Min. °C||22.8||22.6||21.9||19.0||14.6||11.3||10.8||12.3||17.6||21.3||22.9||23.1|
|Mean Rain mm||299.9||243.8||207.1||47.7||15.5||5.4||0.4||1.0||5.4||33.7||115.1||222.7|
Services & Supplies
Very good supermarket in Kalumburu
- no supplies at coastal camping areas. Fuel and basic supplies at Drysdale Station plus takeaway and counter meals.