kalumburu

we are heading to the Kimberly in July for a month with our 2 kids, and are thinking of going to Kalumburu for 3 nights along the journey from Kununurra, which will leave us 17 nights on the Gibb river road...is it too much to cram in??would we enjoy 3 nights or is it too short?do you think the drive would be ok in July?we have a Prado and off road camper.
genuine answers only please...my last post i made the mistke of making KIMBERLY PLURAL and i got an english lesson on correct spelling,grammar and punctuation!!!
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Reply By: caseh - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 04:58

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 04:58
Pssssst!

This year Kimberley is spelled with an "E"

Enjoy your journey. I will be in the region in September.
Cheers, Case
AnswerID: 508796

Follow Up By: Eviec - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 13:43

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 13:43
Oops..I did it again! That's what happens typing on an I pad whilst enjoying a vino and not concentrating!i do actually know how to spell and where we are going!!
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Reply By: Bushranger1 - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 06:08

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 06:08
G'day,
It's great to see someone taking their time thru there.
That's a nice amount of time to do it & spend some time exploring the gorges on foot. Not sure how old your kids are but clambering along the gorges is a great way to get a feel for the place & escape from the tourists.

I worked on Elenbrae Station some years back & it amazed me the amount of people that want to rush through in a few days just to say they have done it. The good thing about being a local for a while is that you get to see places the main crowds have no access to.
Enjoy. It's a beautiful part of our country.

Cheers
Stu
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Follow Up By: Eviec - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 13:55

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 13:55
Thanks stu for feedback. The boys a 4 and 5 and are active and fairly good at climbing! Are there any gorges you would recommend over other for kids that age?ive heard some are quite steep and not worth attempting with young kids. Our main plan is bungle bungles,emma gorge, manning,bell,kalumburu. I've been up there a long time ago, and from memory tunnel creek is probably not suitable... Any feedback would be great, just it convinced we should make the trip to kalumburu for 3 nights only
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 14:32

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 14:32
Hi Stu,

You have sensibly allowed yourselves plenty of time to do the GRR. My suggestion would be to avoid planning your itinerary too tightly so that you can be flexible and respond to prevailing conditions when you are actually there. eg if you find that the boys are getting a bit tired of driving long distances it might be better to stay longer at a gorge where they can swim and run around. Or you may not be able to get a campsite at one place (can happen) so need to move on to the next area etc.

You dont seem to have either Mornington or Windjana on your list? Mornington has some lovely swimming spots and nice walks. Windjana with its freshies is great for walking along the gorge and getting up very close to the crocs (dont let the kids pat them tho).

While we havent been to Kalumbaru, the road up to the Mitchell Plateau can be rough (especially the drive to the Michell Falls) but the Falls and the KER crossing and camping area are great places with opportunities for swimming and seeing some wonderful aboriginal art. The boys would, I'm sure enjoy exploring the rock outcrops and making their own art discoveries.

However you go, have a wonderful trip.

Cheers,

Val
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Follow Up By: Eviec - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 14:52

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 14:52
Thanks for that Val, ill look into Mornington, I've not heard of that one, and Windjana is on our list...I have photos from years ago of me walking alongside freshies and my boys are amazed, so the definately want to go there!
Cheers
Eve
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 15:03

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 15:03
Hi Eve,

Mornington is on the southern side of the road a bit east of Bell Gorge. It was probably one of our favourite places in the Kimberley. Bit of info in one of our blogs here.

BTW I think your boys would really enjoy Tunnel Creek, its just the first few metres that are a bit of a scramble.

Cheers,

Val
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Reply By: Top End Az - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 07:02

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 07:02
July is a great time to go. There hasn't been much rain this year so roads should be open and I will also be there in July with our boy. Don't forget to get your permits.
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Follow Up By: wombat100 - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 09:26

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 09:26
Permits??? Wot permits are required for that area??

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Follow Up By: Top End Az - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 09:32

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 09:32
I don't think you need a permit to actually go to Kalumburu, but the information I have been reading up on prior to my trip indicates that if you intend to explore around Kalumburu such as accessing beaches and some camping areas etc then you may need a permit. There is some basic info on this page but a quick suref on the net should give you more. Please correct me if I am wrong, as I was about to start looking into this myself.

http://www.derbytourism.com.au/pages/kalumburu/

Happy travels
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 14:00

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 14:00
You should have a permit to go to Kalumburu and when you get there you have to purchase a further permit.

"On arrival at Kalumburu in the northern Kimberley, a visitor permit costing $50 per vehicle (or $25 per person where visitors come by coach or air) must be obtained from the Kalumburu Aboriginal Corporation office. This can be arranged by mail prior to the visit, but allow four weeks to receive your permit. The office may not be open during the lunch hour or outside of office hours of 8.30 am to 4.30 pm weekdays. This permit is in addition to the free transit permit required to visit Kalumburu, and is only for seven days."

As we left our plans very flexible, when we decided to go to Kalumburu I telephoned about a transit permit. They told me just to get the visitor permit when we arrived. I took it that I had been given a verbal transit permit.

Mh
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 07:28

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 07:28
Hi there,

Looks as though you will have plenty on time to enjoy your trip to the utmost.

I am planning a trip next year in May and will drive the GRR one way (probably east to west) then return along the bitumen highway to explore other places such as Wolf Creek Crater, Bungle Bungles, etc.

Have you checked out the Travel Guide by B (Birgit) Kimberley Australia Travel Guide

I have both "The Kimberley - an Adventurer's Guide (Ron and Viv Moon) and the Hema "The Kimberley - Atlas & Guide" but looking at B's comprehensive information I believe she has it well and truly covered.
The one big difference is with B's Web site, you can select east to west, or west to east, to assist in better planning of your trip.
You can even purchase an electronic copy of her guide for a modest price and have it available on a laptop or tablet for instant reference and it will always be up to date.

Have a great time on your Kimberley Adventure.
Bill


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Follow Up By: Eviec - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 14:00

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 14:00
Hi Bill,
I've got the Hema "the Kimberley" book and also Gibb river road (Ben Knapinski), and I've downloaded Brigits guide too! I'm really looking forward to the trip, I'm sure it will be amazing! We are planning 2 nights in the bungle bungles first stop,I was there years ago and it was the highlight of the trip for me!
Enjoy your travels
Cheers
Eve
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Reply By: Motherhen - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 08:52

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 08:52
Hi Eviec

Yes, it is possible. We were travelling with a caravan and only travelled 100 kilometres a day on the Kalumburu road, but we did not need to put in long days and driving can be tiring watching the road with such intensity as was needed.

The two highlights were the morning mission tour with the entertaining and informative father Anscar and his amazing collection of artefacts fro all over the world. We went fishing in a small boat one day, and although you can only can only keep what you can eat whilst in Kalumburu, we had fun catching and releasing. The fish were the best eating of any. Two nights would be adequate.

To get there, we stopped at Drysdale River Station (two nights - did the laundry), three nights at King Edward River campground with a day trip to Mitchell Falls, a day exploring the two major Aboriginal rock painting sites, and a day for relaxing ans swimming.

On the way back we had on night at each of these as we were taking it slowly. The rest can be seen in My Blogs (2008)

Motherhen
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Follow Up By: Eviec - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 13:50

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 13:50
Hi,
Thanks for the info, we may spend a night at drysdale and king Edward river, we have no definite plans as yet, but would like to get up to kalumburu. We have had mixed opinions about it. Our boys are 4 and 5 and are good travellers, so we can get a good run, but just not sure how rough it would be for them...
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 14:04

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 14:04
It would not be too rough for your boys - just take it slowly and cautiously. Unlike the corrugations of the GRR and to the Mitchell Plateau, much of the road on to Kalumburu was rock base and required going very slowly. They were grading at the time which improved the surface and had made detours around some bad washouts. This road can be closed for some time after the wet season.

We left our decision until we talked to others at Drysdale River Station who had just returned from Kalumburu.

Anne at Drysdale River Station often posts road opening news here on the forum.

Mh
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Follow Up By: Eviec - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 14:10

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 14:10
Thanks for that, can't wait!
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Saturday, Apr 13, 2013 at 17:59

Saturday, Apr 13, 2013 at 17:59
Eviec I should have mentioned that another reason to called in at Drysdale River Station is for fuel. They are the only fuel outlet between the Gibb River Road and Kalumburu. They also have a mechanical repair shop and are very resourceful as they see all sorts of breakages.

Mh
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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 at 22:17

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 at 22:17
Mc Gowen's Island has the cheapest diesel up there. If you can make it up there it's a great experience, a bit expensive but a great spot to relax and explore.

My wife and I lived on oysters off the rocks while we were there.
We spent a day going as far north as we could. We checked out the Old Pago Mission ruins, some beautiful little beaches and didn't see another vehicle all day.

Kalumburu is pretty special. The old Church and Museum is worth spending some time checking out, as is the art centre. We found they have a different style to other Communities and it's generally quite affordable.

Kalumburu is a really tidy Community with a fair bit to see. The people are friendly, there's some old plane wrecks to check out and some safe swimming holes.

We love the area and can't wait to get back up there.

Steve


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Reply By: braggy - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 16:14

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 16:14
Yeah you and your boys will love it,
we stay at Mc Gowan Island beach, you camp right on the beach(stay back a bit from the water.. wink ,wink) a lot like Honeymoon bay camp, but you probably would not want to stay at Kulumburu itself. There is afair bit to do up there, old mission and stuff, ask the guys at the camp when you get there.
And get a permit at the shop closed from 12 till 2pm, then go out to the camps.

Mornington is worth having a look at, its a 100km in from GRR , get to the gate early and there is a radio to call office limited numbers allowed in there.

Have a great time
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Reply By: Isuzumu - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 17:42

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 17:42
We are on our way to the Kimberley now, currently in Dundee Beach NT and should have been across the GRR and up to Kalumburu by the end of June. I will try and remember this thread to let you know of the road conditions.
Cheers Bruce
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Reply By: Kris and Kev - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 19:21

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 19:21
Yep, the road to Kalumburu can be bad, but just take your time and just when you think you may have missed the town, just keep going. The $50 is a bit of a rip off, but you have to pay it. Make sure you visit the old mission in town and the museum there. Certain days you can get a tour. Also, on the way there, after the Mitchell Falls turn off, keep a look out on the crossings. We spotted a small crocodile on one crossing, in very shallow water. Make sure you go oyster hunting when you get to the beach. Yummmmmmmmmmmmm. But they can be hard to find and the rocks can be very slippery. Have fun. Kevin
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Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Saturday, Apr 13, 2013 at 19:43

Saturday, Apr 13, 2013 at 19:43
You have some excellent advice from some well seasoned travellers. Thought I would share our blog which was our experience when we went in 2005. A great place and I will go back - soon I hope!
Our visit in 2005
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