Adelaide to Kimberley and back

Submitted: Sunday, Aug 10, 2014 at 20:54
ThreadID: 109096 Views:2570 Replies:9 FollowUps:2
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Hi all, I know it's still early days, but am planning a trip to the Kimberley. Planning to depart Adelaide mid June 2015. Will be in a Isuzu D-Max, towing a Pioneer camper trailer we are allowing 4 weeks, taking the Tanami track, Halls Creek, Kununurra, Derby, Broome, than back through the Tanami, will try and see as much as possible in between. I don't want to stick to a tight scheduled but must have a general idea of times to allocate to areas.
As time gets closer I will be seeking all sorts on information. But for now, realistically, what time should be allowed to get to Halls Creek, bare in mind I want to spend some time and an over night camp at Wolfe Creek Crater. Obviously there will be the rest stops along the way, apart from fuel stop I have no intension of stoping in Alice Springs (been there).

I will appreciate an feed back from travellers who have done the trek.

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Reply By: Motherhen - Sunday, Aug 10, 2014 at 21:16

Sunday, Aug 10, 2014 at 21:16
Hi Jewels

You may like to check my blogs of the Kimberley and Tanami from 2008. I hope your route plan includes the Gibb River Road. We toured the GRR including the diversion to Mitchell Falls and Kalumburu taking over three weeks on that alone.

We were travelling in the reverse direction to you, and including a visit to Wolfe Creek Crater but not staying as it was too early in the day, we had three overnight camps along the Tanami.


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AnswerID: 537518

Reply By: Bob R4 - Sunday, Aug 10, 2014 at 21:44

Sunday, Aug 10, 2014 at 21:44
Hi JewelsA,

In May, 4 years ago from Adelaide in a Pajero towing a Kimberley Kamper, our overnight stops were Pt Augusta (I think we had a late start as Pt A is only 3 hrs from Adelaide), Cadney Park, Tilmouth Roadhouse, Rabbit Flat, Wolfe Ck, Purnululu (2 nights) Halls Ck, and on to Broome etc. I don't think I'd like to cover much more of that part in those sort of times. The Tanami was OK, very corrugated in places, but I couldn't see it would improve much at any other time, more likely to be worse. Hope this is an insight.
Cheers, Bob
AnswerID: 537525

Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 02:18

Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 02:18
With just 4 weeks you will need to stick to a tight schedule.
I suggest returning to Alice via the Gary Junction Road from Shay Gap and Marble Bar.
Probably quicker than the Tanami and certainly more pleasant driving.

I avoid telling people how long outback roads will take as I don't know you, your vehicle or how hard you push it.

OKA196 Motorhome
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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 22:18

Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 22:18
Or get onto the Gary Junction Rd from near 80 Mile Beach.

That'd be my preferred option for one way.
FollowupID: 821806

Reply By: Member - Don & Kathie M (TAS) - Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 10:47

Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 10:47
When planning to drive the Tanami, always have a Plan B.

On two of our four planned trips across the Tanami, it has been closed by heavy rain. As we always have a deadline to reach the boat on our way home, we always plan a contingency route.

Cheers, Kathie
AnswerID: 537544

Follow Up By: Carolynn L - Thursday, Aug 14, 2014 at 16:59

Thursday, Aug 14, 2014 at 16:59
Correct! Also, one should not travel The Tanami Track without adequate maps and guides.
FollowupID: 821895

Reply By: Member - John and Val - Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 11:07

Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 11:07
Hi Jewels,

Some good points already made, especially the need to have a plan B, and the difficulty of estimating how long others might take to do outback roads - so much depends on what you want to see and do along the way. I have blogs from 2008 and 2009 that might give you some ideas though. You will not see it all in 4 weeks, that is certain so maybe work out if you just want to skim a fair bit of it or have a closer look at just a few places.


J and V
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AnswerID: 537545

Reply By: Member - i'machocoholic - Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 15:36

Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 15:36
We have done the route you are planning a few times now. You will need to allow around 9-10 days return from Adelaide to Halls Creek via the Tanami just in travel which will give you time at Wolfe Creek. Don't rush the Tanami as there is lots to see if you can make the time. That leaves you with around 2.5 weeks to see what you can in the Kimberley. Not a lot of time so perhaps look at your must see list first, but allow time to soak up the place rather than just bouncing from one place to the next. Here's our blog if you would like an idea of what there is to see Grant and Linda. Posts 18-26 are worth a read. I'm up in the Kimberley at the moment if you have any specific questions. Enjoy your planning!
AnswerID: 537555

Reply By: JewelsA - Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 21:40

Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 21:40
Thanks all, still a lot of planning to do, but will consider all points mentioned
AnswerID: 537567

Reply By: Member - Mfewster(SA) - Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 at 11:59

Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 at 11:59
It's a huge distance to do in that time frame. I agree with Motherhen and I would try to add the Mitchell Plateau.
I'd be tempted to not go as far as Broome and spend a bit of the time gained along the way. Perhaps keep broome for another time. If the budget allows, I would also consider adding some flights. These will get you fast into places that otherwise can't be reached or will take up a lot of your time. And the Kimberly region from the air is utterly stunning. Consider the flights from Derby to the Horizontal Falls for example
AnswerID: 537580

Reply By: Mick T3 - Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 at 17:19

Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 at 17:19
I left for the Kimberley recently in a 14 year old Corolla. Took nothing except tent and blankets. Stayed in Halls Creek caravan park and Wolfe Creek and Balgo and Broome for a few months.

My only recommendation would be to take baby oil and Dettol to prevent midge (sand fly) bites. They can ruin a holiday and are too small for most people to see. Also, cortisone cream to treat the bites.

These little brutes can't stand grease, but they seem to drink insect repellent as if it is a refreshment.

I guess you'll find what your propensity to find is, but if you're lucky you'll have a semi-disaster that will throw you out of your usual zone. Most travellers stay in the crowded parks or rest areas and see no one except their own type of people.
AnswerID: 537586

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