Bookings at Cape Levique or Middle Lagoon

Submitted: Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 23:16
ThreadID: 76536 Views:6050 Replies:7 FollowUps:10
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We are heading back to the Kimberley again in July and August. We have never visited Cape Leveque or Middle Lagoon and are thinking about including it on the itinerary this time. There will be four couples in the group. We tend not to have firm plans other than our departure date and our dreaded return deadline so we prefer to take "pot luck". My question is....are bookings essential at either of these locations well in advance? We can phone a few days before our anticipated arrival of course. I wait in anticipation!
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Reply By: Kanga1 - Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 23:56

Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 23:56
Hi guys, Kooljamon right up the the tip is very nice and bookings would be necessary for that time of year, you may or may not be aware that caravans are not allowed up the Cape Leveque road, so for accomodation anywhere up there it is either theirs or your Camper trailer or tent. Well worth the trip though, cheers, Kanga
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Follow Up By: Member - Steve & Paula - Thursday, Mar 04, 2010 at 00:07

Thursday, Mar 04, 2010 at 00:07
Thanks Kanga. What do you mean by caravans? My Quantum is allowed into the Bungles, Mitchell Plateau, Kalumburu etc. My "van" is considered and sold as a camper. I was not aware of restrictions in this regard and actually had heard that the road was being paved!

Cheers

Steve
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Follow Up By: Kanga1 - Thursday, Mar 04, 2010 at 00:21

Thursday, Mar 04, 2010 at 00:21
We were told by the people running Kooljamon that caravans were not allowed whilst up there in 08, I have since heard a claim from Kimberley campers that their Kimberley Karavan is the closest thing to a caravan allowed up there, I suppose if what you have is rego'ed as a Camper, then a camper it is. You should be able to get a phone # for Kooljamon out of google, give them a buzz. As far as the sealing of the road goes, the first 100kms ish from the Broome road is sandy and not too good in places, the top half is good black top, the local people were reluctant to blacktop the rest to minimize visitors, they just don't have the infrastructure up there to cope with a mass invasion. Cheers, Kanga.
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Follow Up By: Member - Steve & Paula - Thursday, Mar 04, 2010 at 00:47

Thursday, Mar 04, 2010 at 00:47
Thanks for your help Kanga - we really appreciate it.

As for the Kimberley Karavan bit....(we owned a Kimberley Kamper prior to our Quantum so we are not biased in that sense.) ...The KK people have tried an agressive marketing campaign to infer that they are the only vans allowed.

The following link adds another perspective AORC. This has been indepentently confirmed by a friend of mine who also owns a Quantum.

In addition, I have been following this web site and the link specifically talks about vans on the road.Off Road Vans

Thanks again.

Steve
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Follow Up By: Richard W (NSW) - Thursday, Mar 04, 2010 at 05:25

Thursday, Mar 04, 2010 at 05:25
One off our group took up a Goldstream Storm RV fitted with tandem offroad suspension. This was allowed in when we booked prior to the trip and explained it was a large off road camper.
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Follow Up By: The Rambler( W.A.) - Thursday, Mar 04, 2010 at 13:42

Thursday, Mar 04, 2010 at 13:42
Maybe caravans are not permitted at Cape Leveque but you can certainly take them to Middle Lagoon.I was there last year with my daughter who took a 18f. Evernew caravan with no problems.We contacted Peter the owner of the park before going and was told it was quite ok provided you take it easy. There were other vans there as well.
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Reply By: Member - Si (WA) - Thursday, Mar 04, 2010 at 02:03

Thursday, Mar 04, 2010 at 02:03
Great place to head. Booking is recommended but you could always make a couple of calls from Broome before you make the drive out there.

Try to avoid the school holidays (3rd July - 18th July) and you should be OK.

Don't worry to much about the road out there either. We had so many people tell us it the worst you will come across... blah! It is no more corrugated than most the roads in the Kimberly or Pilbara and the sandy bits are nothing to write home about.

Having said this... some of the roads off the main one are a bit sandy and do like to stop cars dead in their tracks. Common sense prevails.

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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Thursday, Mar 04, 2010 at 16:24

Thursday, Mar 04, 2010 at 16:24
I think the corrugations depend on when it was graded last. On our trip in late June and we came across two groups with camper springs broken. They said they were only going slow (10-15) and they just shook apart. Well that's another story and it depends on the car and trailer what speed you should do.

Just a heads up.

Maybe you could see how you go on the first few K's.

We were lucky enough to have an 8 days cruise and also saw it all from the ocean as well. Magnificent. Fishing!!! You gotta believe it. I don't blame you going all that way back to get up there.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - Si (WA) - Friday, Mar 05, 2010 at 02:01

Friday, Mar 05, 2010 at 02:01
heading in for us, it was pre-grading. they started to grade when we were leaving and it was definitely better, but still not the worst we have come across.
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Reply By: wato35 - Thursday, Mar 04, 2010 at 07:48

Thursday, Mar 04, 2010 at 07:48
We stayed there in May last year, we rang the Broome Tourist Information Centre and were able to get in within a few days. They were about 90% full at that time. Might be a good idea to ring Broome Information Centre for advice.

Regards

Wato35
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Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Thursday, Mar 04, 2010 at 10:20

Thursday, Mar 04, 2010 at 10:20
We camped at Middle Lagoon in the dry of 08 - heaps of room for campers - there's probably only semi shaded spots (see below) for a couple of dozen setups but heaps of room for people who can slap up a bit of their own shade. The region was powder dry in the 08 - but still a beautiful place to visit - fabulous blue ocean, red / yellow cliffs, passing whales, mudcrabs, fish and a wonderful beach. There were a few real caravans at Middle Lagoon too ! The rough road finished at the middle lagoon turnoff in 08 - sealed up to the top from thereon I'm told (seems a bit back t front to me :-o).

Coupla pics from the collection............

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Reply By: Member - Megan and Kevin D (AC - Thursday, Mar 04, 2010 at 10:40

Thursday, Mar 04, 2010 at 10:40
Hi Steve and Paula
Suggest you spend time at both! We did and loved every minute of each. The beachside camp site at Cape Leveque is fantastic but I suspect would be booked out 12 mths in advance. The general camping ground is at the top of the cliff and a totally different experience. We had a beachside camp site and will post a couple of pics later today. It is all beautiful - do your best to get a spot - the early bird etc. Whilst I know it is a nuisance to be tied to a date, there really are experiences for which it is worth being tied down.

BTW we towed a camper trailer to these places without incident but we talked to a fellow whose Ultimate camper trailer tipped over on its side on the road up to Cape L - but it righted itself. His suspension was badly damaged - so care is necessary although that was 2006 and things may have changed.
Best wishes
Megan
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Reply By: Member - Tom V (WA) - Thursday, Mar 04, 2010 at 12:42

Thursday, Mar 04, 2010 at 12:42
Hi Steve & Paula
we went to Cape Leveque last year, yes had to book 6 months in advance to get one of the "beach shacks".
I had to convince them that my jayco dove outback could make it & it did, so yr quantum should not have a problem.
back then on the road we were down to 5kph in some spots & up to 65 in others. yes u can get around the corrugations by driving up the embankments, but be careful about rollovers.
called in @ middle lagoon on the way back for a look, yes should of stayed here as well.
u have to be fairly self sufficient in both spots, but they both have showers & toilets.
good luck Tom
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Thursday, Mar 04, 2010 at 19:51

Thursday, Mar 04, 2010 at 19:51
Just a hint.

Driving up the side embankments is frowned upon locally. You won't get booked but if your seen doing it the word will get around through the locals very quickly about it. It is spreading the sand out and making the road wider.

I also would not recommend doing 5KPH. Get good suspension and a good set of shocks set up for corrugations and you will find about 45-50 on the bad corrugations and you won't even spill a glass of milk on the console. Believe it because the first time we went up there the guide did it. Now we have our own car and have done it also; albeit very tentatively. Had to spend some money on the suspension but at least I still have the false teeth in place.

Top colours at sunset and top fishing. Try a local crab hunting trip.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - Si (WA) - Friday, Mar 05, 2010 at 01:58

Friday, Mar 05, 2010 at 01:58
Fully agree with Phil. stay of the embankments and keep the speed up on the corrugations. We have paid good dollars for OME suspension and compared to the factory fitted cr*p it is a god send.

If you try to tackle the corri's too slow then bits will fall off and you will need to visit your dentist to have your fillings re-done.
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Friday, Mar 05, 2010 at 02:47

Friday, Mar 05, 2010 at 02:47
Same again. Good shocks. We took a leaf out of the sons book and god rally based Bilsteins. Cost a bit more but we are happy. As you are with the OEM. I think our other son is going OEM. He just got a basic GQ patrol. Our springs are OEM. So its a combo.

Here is a little of what Steve and Paula can expect up at the top:







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Reply By: Member - Steve & Paula - Thursday, Mar 04, 2010 at 23:50

Thursday, Mar 04, 2010 at 23:50
Thanks for the replies one and all. To be honest though.....road conditions are not our concern.....we really wanted to know if bookings were essential.

Cheers

Steve
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