Kimberley

Submitted: Saturday, May 31, 2008 at 21:14
ThreadID: 58237 Views:2338 Replies:5 FollowUps:4
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To all those seasoned travellers out there - can you recommend a good itinerary for the Kimberley? I will be the only driver, with my 8-year-old son for company, so can't handle too many kms per day, and don't want to rush things, want to relax and enjoy. Good camping spots? What muuuuuust we see? Starting from Kununurra and ending in Broome. Thanks for all suggestions.
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Reply By: Member - joc45 (WA) - Saturday, May 31, 2008 at 21:32

Saturday, May 31, 2008 at 21:32
How long have you got?
AnswerID: 307019

Reply By: Member - DoJa (NSW) - Saturday, May 31, 2008 at 21:40

Saturday, May 31, 2008 at 21:40
Woops forgot to say. We have approx three weeks, give or take few days.
AnswerID: 307020

Reply By: Motherhen - Saturday, May 31, 2008 at 22:26

Saturday, May 31, 2008 at 22:26
I am currently part way into our big holiday, and planning a trip featuring the Gibb River Road, but starting from the opposite direction. There are quite long walks involved so i don't know how you son will cope. The are also walks through water, and swimming opportunies in the gorges.

It looks like at present (plan can and usual does change as we get there, and as we speak to other travellers) we will head along the highway from the south to Geikie Gorge and take boat ride, then back to the road to Tunnel Creek and Windjana Gorge, and on to the GRR heading north.

I don't know what your vehicle or camping outfit is, but as we have a long rig, we will not go in to Lennard Gorge, but will go to most of the other Gorges along the way. Your young son may become bored with too many gorges and waterfalls.

Camping sites are at Windjana, Bell Gorge, Manning Gorge, Mitchell Falls and several other places. Stations with tourism also have a variety of levels of accommodation.

We will definitely go to Mitchell Falls, and undecided about are Kalumburu. We may visit few stations and/or wilderness stays (former stations) as well, but are undecided about El Questro, although it may be worth it to see Emma Gorge. We will most likely spend some time around Wyndham and Kununurra, then go to Purnululu, Halls Creek, Old Halls Creek and spots around there. If we leave via the Tanami, Wolfe Creek Crater. We don't have a tight time frame, and the cost of getting us there is high, so want to make the most of it and see as much as we can.

In the early planning stages, i got lots of good info from the forum, so if you do a search on Kimberley, you will pick most of it up.

Lots of info about the National Parks on Naturebase.net, the Department for Environment and Conservation web site.

Motherhen

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Follow Up By: Member - vivien C (VIC) - Sunday, Jun 01, 2008 at 15:14

Sunday, Jun 01, 2008 at 15:14
Hello Motherhen,

If you can go to Kalumburu I think it's worth making the trip. The road was (back in 2006) not too bad. The main reason we wanted to go there was the Mission Museum run by Father Anscar McPhee. It's an amazing collection of artefacts not just from the Kimberley but from all over the world. Father Anscar is a treasure as well. He tells stories about the collection that are interesting and sometimes hilarious and he's just so delighted about showing everything off. It was one of the real high lights of our trip. The tours don't run all the time so it might be a good idea to check out times etc. We got lucky and joined a group who had been flown in from a cruise ship especially for the tour. We looked a little out of place, I might add!!

Father Anscar was born in Beulah (my home town) and he was really excited that someone from his home town had made it up there to visit him. He's a real character.

Apart from that, we enjoyed driving around, seeing the sea from the top of the Kimberley and we camped at the Mission Campground which was quiet and clean.

Viv
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Sunday, Jun 01, 2008 at 16:40

Sunday, Jun 01, 2008 at 16:40
Thanks Viv, and for your lsit of good places further down.

Mh
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Follow Up By: HGMonaro - Sunday, Jun 01, 2008 at 22:57

Sunday, Jun 01, 2008 at 22:57
don't know your son's fitness and more importantly, desire, but my 5 1/2 year old did Bell Gorge, Manning Falls and the walk out of Mitchell Falls (he also did Kings Canyon rim walk and climbed Uluru).

Nige.
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Reply By: Crackles - Saturday, May 31, 2008 at 23:50

Saturday, May 31, 2008 at 23:50
Suggest you get Ron Moons Kimberly guide book. Has all the camp sites, places to see, history etc.
Cheers Craig...........
AnswerID: 307040

Follow Up By: Mobi Condo - Sunday, Jun 01, 2008 at 14:11

Sunday, Jun 01, 2008 at 14:11
Got to agree here - not a great fan of Ron etc, BUT we found his book fantastic help when travelling Kimberly to Broome etc 2007! Lots and lots of local anecdotal stuff in print which we followed and thus saved us a $1000 or so in "Guided Tour fees"
- Mobi
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Reply By: Member - vivien C (VIC) - Sunday, Jun 01, 2008 at 16:02

Sunday, Jun 01, 2008 at 16:02
DoJa,

Here are just a few of the places that I would not miss seeing and a few places where we camped:

El Questro - Emma Gorge, Chamberlain Gorge, Zebedee Springs. The camping beside the river is good. There is a charge for use of the park and for camping

Ellenbrae Station - good, cheap camping with interesting stone building for showers,toilets and big area for cooking and sitting around.

Gibb River Crossing - used to be great camp spot but latest info says just Day Use only now. Still nice spot for lunch and a bit of a swim.

Drysdale River Station - about 60kms north of the Gibb River Crossing....very nice spot for camping, meals, repairs, supplies, fuel etc

Mitchell Falls - if you have the time to go. Camping is excellent at King Edward River and the NP campground near the falls is good too.

Kalumburu - Interesting place, fantastic museum and stories by Father Anscar, good camping

Mt Elizabeth Station - fair way off the Gibb River Road but the road out was ok.

Barnett River Gorge - camping is free here. The Gorge isn't easy to get at but good views from top of cliffs.

Manning Gorge - Mt Barnett Roadhouse.Manning Gorge is a great spot. There is a large campground with cold water showers, toilets etc. The bottom pool is good for swimming but for the more adventurous, the climb up to the top pool and falls is really worth it. Up there is a large pool and falls, beautiful spot and although the walk talks at least an hour it's not really difficult.

Galvans Gorge - a real little gem. Not far to walk and it's a lovely small pool surrounded by high rocky cliffs, boabs on the skyline above the waterfall. It's a lovely place

Adcocks Gorge - is a short drive off the Gibb RR and a short walk in. Very nice pool and falls.

Old Mornington Station - is a fair way off the road.Dimond Gorge canoeing is great and the campground was just getting built when we were there in 1997 so should be well established now

Charnley River Station - about 30kms off the road. Large campground, good facilities and the campfee gives you access to all their tracks, gorges, pools and falls.Dillie Gorge is lovely

Bell Gorge - Beautiful falls and pool. You can camp at Silent Grove NP campground or if you're lucky you can get one of the individual campsites along the creek. There is a notice board just inside the gate to Silent Grove with tags for these campsites. If you get there and there's a tag, grab it quick. The walk to the gorge takes about 20 minutes and once there you can walk around the other side of the falls and down to the pool for a swim

Lennard River caravan shop - on the south side of the river...don't miss it!!

Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek - both really good. The camping is very good at Windjana and its just a short walk through a natural rock tunnel to get to the gorge. There are heaps of fresh water crocs sunning themselves alongside the river and we found a colony of bats hanging upside down amongst the trees. You don't have to do a long walk to see the magnificent cliffs.

It's about another 30 kms to Tunnel Creek and once there you need a torch and you can wade/walk through the tunnel to the other side. Along the road between here and Windjana are the ruins of Lillimilura Police Station and you can read the story of Pigeon the Aboriginal outlaw who used Tunnel Creek as his hideaway

Derby...great fish and chips at the port, amazing tidal range worth checking out, caravan park good

I think you can bush camp around Willare Bridge..others might know about this

If you can manage to fit a trip up to Cape Leveque into your plans then it's a beautiful place as well as Middle Lagoon. The road is usually very corrugated. The Church at Beagle Bay is worth a visit too, the altar and other decorations are all made of mother of pearl.

I hope you have a wonderful trip with your son, it's a great experience for him.

Viv
AnswerID: 307132

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