Kununurra to Kalumburu

Submitted: Wednesday, Aug 20, 2014 at 22:44
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Anybody going up to Kalumburu from Kununurra, Jude and i did the trip last weekend.
Road conditions: For those who don't know black top from kununurra to the Pentecost River, from there its gravel, the road from the pentecost to the western boundry of Home Valley is quite good, from there it gets a bit rough through to the T intersection. It was here we let our tyres down to 30 psi, the road from here to Drysdale river is quite corrugated, but we managed to do this stretch which is 60 kms in 1 hour. From here to Mitchell Plateau T/O is once again corrugated although you can still average 60 kmh which is quite good at this time of the year. The road from here is good driving untill you get within about 25 kms from Kalumburu, then its down to about 30 to 40 kph keep an eye out for sharps along this stretch. If you are staying at Mcgowans or Honeymoon beach the road out to the turn off is like a sealed road , but after the T/O it gets really rough to the camps.
Fuel prices: Ordco Weaber Plains Rd Kununurra Diesel only $1.78.2cpl
Drysdale river stn Diesel $2.40 cpl
Kalumburu Diesel $2.45 cpl
All up driving time was 8 hours from Kununurra.
Hope this helps, safe driving
Cheers Hayd and Jude
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Reply By: Member - Mark C (QLD) - Thursday, Aug 21, 2014 at 05:57

Thursday, Aug 21, 2014 at 05:57
Thanks Hayjude. We will be there in 2weeks time. We are going to stay st McGowan island. Friends of ours were there last year and raved about the fishing and quietness. Did you go to Mitchell falls? Where did you get you pass for kalumbaru?
Mark And Helen QLD
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Follow Up By: Member - Hayjude (NSW) - Thursday, Aug 21, 2014 at 08:23

Thursday, Aug 21, 2014 at 08:23
Hi Mark,
We didn't go to Mitchell Falls as we had been there before, but we were told that the grader had not long been on the road.
The permit to enter the reserve you can get in Kununurra from the offices on the corner of Coolibah drive and Raintree St. The other permit you get from the offices in Kalumburu these cost $50.
Don't let the big bloke with the attitude put you off at Mcgowans it is a real nice spot.
safe travels
Hayd n Jude.
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Follow Up By: Member - Rosco from way back - Thursday, Aug 21, 2014 at 08:49

Thursday, Aug 21, 2014 at 08:49
You're right about attitude. We found the people at Honeymoon Bay much more friendly/helpful. Even took us crabbing local style with a spear.
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Follow Up By: Member - Mark C (QLD) - Thursday, Aug 21, 2014 at 18:02

Thursday, Aug 21, 2014 at 18:02
Thanks hayjude. Appreciate the advice and looking forward to our Kimberley trip which we start in Darwin on Monday. 5 weeks inthekimberlies then a week and a bit to travel back to toowoomba.
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Reply By: Grumblebum and the Dragon - Thursday, Aug 21, 2014 at 08:40

Thursday, Aug 21, 2014 at 08:40
Wow Kununurra to Kalumburu in eight hours. fantastic - you must have seen lots and had a very relaxed trip. Sounds more like a drag race to me.

John
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Follow Up By: Top End Az - Thursday, Aug 21, 2014 at 13:54

Thursday, Aug 21, 2014 at 13:54
I don't think this comment is in the spirit of the forum. Everyone has their right to travel how they please. We don't know the circumstances, so best let people share their experiences without fear of being harpooned by other forum users.
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Follow Up By: Grumblebum and the Dragon - Friday, Aug 22, 2014 at 11:58

Friday, Aug 22, 2014 at 11:58
One of the major negatives of the GRR are the wannebee cowboys demonstrating their bush driving skills by getting up on top of the corrugations at 80+ KPH, showering other drivers with a hail of stones and drifting around corners. No idea of bush driving etiquette and little consideration. That why you see so many tilt trailer recovering vehicles. I lived in Kununurra for 24 years and saw it all.

Kununurra to Kalumburu is approx. 550 km - in 8 hours + Average of 68 kph - Go figure!

The same applies to the Cape York Peninsular during the school holidays.

John
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Follow Up By: Top End Az - Friday, Aug 22, 2014 at 20:38

Friday, Aug 22, 2014 at 20:38
From that perspective I couldn't agree more. Although 80 on the road when I was there 2012 was a good buffer against the corrugations. However , 1. We weren't towing and 2. We always slowed down to 30 or 40kph when oncoming traffic was approaching.
I wish the courtesy was reciprocated as I need up was a smashed windscreen from an AAT Kings tour truck who was in a hell of a hurry.
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Follow Up By: Member - Hayjude (NSW) - Sunday, Sep 07, 2014 at 16:08

Sunday, Sep 07, 2014 at 16:08
We weren't towing anything either and we had previously been up to Mitchell Falls before and stayed at King Edward River for 4 nights making it our base to have a good look around. Really there isn't a lot to look at between Drysdale and Kalumburu so only stopped to let the dog have a stretch and a bite to eat. We always drive to the conditions and don't take stupid chances while travelling, including slowing down for oncoming traffic. We only had 5 days off after a busy season and it gave us the chance to have 3 full days to relax before returning to work. If you had read the thread properly it stated 8 hours DRIVING TIME. It's comments like this that makes me wonder whether it is worth even putting up a thread to let fellow travellers know what roads/places etc are like, perhaps from now on will just read comments. By the way this is Jude (Hayd's other half). Jess is the dog.
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Reply By: Robyn R4 - Thursday, Aug 21, 2014 at 09:34

Thursday, Aug 21, 2014 at 09:34
Thanks for this information!
Hubby's dream of fishing up Kalumburu way will hopefully come true next year, as long as he can get enough weeks off!
Without opening the invitation to the "leave your damn dog at home" brigade, how is this trip, in your opinion, with a dog? (I'm assuming Jude is the gorgeous pooch in the photo?)
We have a little "home-grown" trailer with a windowed canopy that we sleep in and the dog can get locked in for a few hours. We've done a lot of western Qld with this set-up.
Hubby's plan is Kalumburu/Honeymoon Bay. Don't care what we are restricted in seeing on the way from the Gold Coast, his dream is to fish the quieter areas up there in the Kimberley.
Thanks.
Robyn :)
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Follow Up By: Member - KBAD - Thursday, Aug 21, 2014 at 10:25

Thursday, Aug 21, 2014 at 10:25
Robyn you can travel the Gibb with your dog, best bet to get an updated list of places that allow them is to contact the Kununurra visitor info. It changes a bit year to year over who allows dogs and not, IMO it depends on how busy the season has been read into that what you will.
Watch out for 1080 baits, ask locals where you can, most of the National Parks aren't baited but don't allow dogs. My experience I lived up there for a while, all the locals travelled with their dogs as did I. Hope you enjoy it.
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Follow Up By: Robyn R4 - Thursday, Aug 21, 2014 at 14:05

Thursday, Aug 21, 2014 at 14:05
Thanks Karl!
I was aware that outback, people are pretty tolerant of well-behaved dogs and accept that they travel, too.
We know that the number of National Parks in the Kimberley will restrict us in ways but we've managed to do "no-dog" places like Lark Quarry (breezy day-whew-dog in opened car) and Porcupine Gorge (we can walk her to a certain point), some great outback museums (carry her through with permission-there's certain advantages to being small and cute) etc.
I shall pencil the Kunnunurra Visitor Info in my list of things to do before going.
Thanks again.
:)
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Reply By: get outmore - Thursday, Aug 21, 2014 at 16:34

Thursday, Aug 21, 2014 at 16:34
heading off now... will report my experience compared to yours.. thanks for the info.
planning to get to king edward tomorrow night then mcgowans on sat
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Follow Up By: Carolynn L - Thursday, Aug 21, 2014 at 17:39

Thursday, Aug 21, 2014 at 17:39
Glad to know, we look forward to your experiences and tips if any. Hope you have a great time during your journey.
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Reply By: get outmore - Wednesday, Aug 27, 2014 at 16:39

Wednesday, Aug 27, 2014 at 16:39
ok just got back. found the guys at mcgowans fine. but customer service isnt thier strong piont very relaxed .
drove all the way out to the mouth of the Drysdale where I was stalked by a croc while fishing.
teachers pool is also worth the 4x4 track.
fuel and store (there is another store but not fuel).
was shut until the perpetrators of the break in come forward so to be sure get your fuel at Drysdale. . its cheaper anyway.
roads were fine if your not in a hurry
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