Kimberley Region

Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 11, 2004 at 15:25
ThreadID: 10452 Views:2329 Replies:6 FollowUps:3
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My husband and I are heading up to the Kimberley region mid year and I was hoping for some up to date information on a few matters. We travel by 4x4 with an offroad camper van.

-What is the road like from Kununurra to El Questro and what is the campground at El Questro like?
-What is the road west of Fitzroy Crossing that heads up through Tunnel Creek NP and Windjana Gorge like?
-What is the road from Broom to Beagle Bay and beyond to Kooljaman resort like.
-Are these roads suitable for an off road camper?
- What is Broome like for accomodation during the Winter months.

It has been eight years since we were in this area and I wonder how things are now with regards to Caravan Parks and Campgrounds. Last time we had to book in Broome so I assume this is the case again. Also, I realise that information on road conditions is subject to change and that they need to be checked at the time we are there. I was just wanting a general idea.

Any feedback would be appreciated. Thnx.
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Reply By: shortgq - Wednesday, Feb 11, 2004 at 16:03

Wednesday, Feb 11, 2004 at 16:03
Hi Jacqueline,

There are heaps of threads on this if you have a search. Depends on what you gauge as hard, as different people have different views. My views as follows.

I was up that way in mid 93 and all those roads, in my opinion, will not be a problem for you or the camper, as long as your setup is good for corrugations.

Kunn to Elquestro, could be done in a 2WD in the dry.
Fitz xing to tunnel creek is fine, there are a couple of washouts from memory but not bad ones, some corrugation but I would call it a road and wouldn't say bad, some rocky outcrop, but again not bad. I only used 4wd to keep the oil flowing and not add to corrugations, if that is possible.

Broome to BB i found to be a bit more sandy in places but also corrugated for long lengths, but not anything i would worry about. did not go as far as Kooljaman.

Broome during the winter months is TOURIST season, it can be expensive and packed, I don't think you will have major problems with camping, but there will be lotsa ppl around.

El Questro, I like it, lots on this forum don't, the actual camp area can be a bit dusty during the dry, it has it's points but it is a commercial operation, so you have to pay for the privelidge. I was lucky and was able to access the luxury accomodation, now that's nice.

It all depends on what you consider harsh and easy, the majority of those roads will have many ppl on them during the winter months, always check ahead, i beleive there is a cyclone brewing up there at the moment, so late cyclones can affect things, check main roads, they have all the road closures etc.

you'll have a great trip, I am going in late April, can't wait.

AnswerID: 46349

Follow Up By: Yo Sam - Wednesday, Feb 11, 2004 at 17:24

Wednesday, Feb 11, 2004 at 17:24
I will be headed up that way myself in late april, keep a look out for a Hilux with " YO Sam" number plates..

Yo Sam
FollowupID: 308234

Follow Up By: shortgq - Thursday, Feb 12, 2004 at 00:24

Thursday, Feb 12, 2004 at 00:24
Yo Sam,

Not a problem, will keep a look out, I'll be in the Short GQ (Mav).
FollowupID: 308296

Follow Up By: Patsy - Saturday, Feb 14, 2004 at 07:50

Saturday, Feb 14, 2004 at 07:50
We did the area in September 2002 and found conditions the same as you describe. We carried a light weight slide on camper which went everywhere with us. No problems even in the most difficult terrain so long as you are sensible. We did get to Kooljaman and the roads were being upgraded from BB northwards. Have heard that it will be sealed (Don't know if its true). El Questro is a terrific place (we were privileged though as my husband had been there before for work purposes and we did get a bit of special treatment). The main camp ground was being extended and upgraded at the time also. Should be good now as I have heard a lot of people complain about it in the past. There are plenty of private campsites away from the main one if you like privacy.
We are heading back mid year after doing the CSR.
FollowupID: 308563

Reply By: Member - Alan - Wednesday, Feb 11, 2004 at 16:27

Wednesday, Feb 11, 2004 at 16:27
We spent 6 weeks up in this region from mid April (Easter)2003 touring with 4WD + ORC. We did not book initially but after Broome we always booked ahead.
The road to Cape Leveque was a shocker, the corrugations were so bad they cast shadows, but it was worth it, made the rest of our trip over the Gibb River Road and up to the Mitchell falls seem like a breeze.
We camped at Windjana and drove into Tunnel Creek , the road was fine , just a bit dusty but thats the Kimberley.
Camping at El Questro was OK , the abultions were a bit of a trek away for us but everything else was fine. Everything seems to cost a few dollars and I was a bit negative to start with , if it had been my decision we would have kept going but the "navigator" wanted a real shower etc. so we went in. Overall the area was well maintained and in reflection worth the three day stay.
Our camper is a "custom" made job and we had no problems other than a little water getting in when crossing deeper creeks and a few stone chips.We took the camper with us all the time except into the Mitchell Falls, we left it at the King Edward River campsite and made a day trip of it into the falls. This road was a shocker also, I hate corrugations!!
Its a great party of Aust. - enjoy.

AnswerID: 46354

Reply By: joc45 - Wednesday, Feb 11, 2004 at 16:49

Wednesday, Feb 11, 2004 at 16:49
Hi Jaqueline,
As stated, the road from Kun to El Q could be done in 2wd. And yes, it costs, but when I was there in the mid-90's, I still found it good. Forgetting the luxury side of it, they provided a general grassed camping area by the river with easy access to the ablution blocks, bar, etc. Further down the track, they had individual camping sites by the river, each one separated by a few hundred metres, so you were, for all intents, in an isolated spot. Nice. Plenty of gorges to do in the area (definitely walk/wade the entire length of El Questro Gorge), but they charge an arm and a leg to hire a boat to go up Chamberlain Gorge.
If you're heading west on the Gibb River Road, it's pretty corrugated from the Pentecost crossing thru to the Kulumburu turnoff. Kulumburu road is pretty bad also. West of the turnoff, it's not too bad, and gets better the further west you go.
Windjana/Tunnell Ck road is used by all the tour buses, so no probs. CALM camping area at Windjana, cold showers.
Been intending to make it to Beagle Bay for some years now - last time I tried, they had 50mm rain in July, and it was washed out, road closed. You have to book a camping spot with the community up there - quite limited spaces. Check Broome Tourist Bureau, I guess.
Broome is pretty busy from May right thru Oct. I just tried booking at Broome for June at the Roebuck CP, and they don't take bookings for unpowered sites. Try your luck on the day. But give them a try for powered sites. There is normally a queue of vehicles outside waiting for a spot, so it gets pretty busy in Broome that time of year. There are other CPs in Broome, but they all get busy.
Great country, can't wait to get back.....
AnswerID: 46362

Reply By: Member - Ric- Thursday, Feb 12, 2004 at 00:01

Thursday, Feb 12, 2004 at 00:01
Were up in Kimberleys last May/June

Broome in tourist season , suggest u book now, same for Middle Lagoon and Kooljaman, they don't like people just dropping in
road conditions ok depends if u have driven off road much, if u have not, u cld consider it a bit rough, we towed a Jayco off road camper trailer and did not have any problems, Gibb River Rd, as far as Winjana Gorge better than Broome/ Cape Leveque Rd.
We are going again this year around mid/late April until mid June hope to get up to Mitchell Falls and Kulumbaru (excuse spelling) if u wld like more info try our email ..... regards Ric and Mary
AnswerID: 46425

Reply By: Lyds - Thursday, Feb 12, 2004 at 13:16

Thursday, Feb 12, 2004 at 13:16
We stayed in a private camp area at ELQ. It was by the creek (cool), well shaded, dusty, but we felt like we were on our own (great for Richard Hatch aficionados). It was a nice change to caravan parks and fly blown bush camps.

Same price as the shared area too - and no queueing for the toilets :-)

The restaurant there wasn't bad either if you want to treat yourself.

And, they have an office in Kununurra if you want to book.Cheers,
- To err is human, to moo bovine -
AnswerID: 46454

Reply By: LynRoss - Saturday, Feb 14, 2004 at 19:46

Saturday, Feb 14, 2004 at 19:46
We did this trip in 2002. The road conditions were fine from Kununurra to El Questro. No problem at all. As was the road west of Fitzroy Crossing to Windjana. The roads are certainly suitable for an off road camper. We are thinking of going back, this time we will tow an off road caravan pop top. Cant say about Broom camping. We stayed in motel accommodation here. We had heard that there was a queue for caravan parks, but people we spoke to said rubbish. This was in September, though, not winter months.
AnswerID: 46706

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