Kooljiman or Middle lagoon??

Submitted: Wednesday, Jan 02, 2013 at 21:56
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Hi All. Planning my first trip around Oz and plan to be in the Kimberly region in August. Having done some research, I am very keen to get to Cape Leveque. Wondering where the best place is to stay. seems I can stay at Middle Lagoon for about a halfer the cost of Kooljiman. Planning on fishing, snorkelling and general sight seeing. Also curious to know people's thoughts on the 'beach shelters' as accom options??

Cheers in advance,
Jason.
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Reply By: Mick O - Wednesday, Jan 02, 2013 at 22:25

Wednesday, Jan 02, 2013 at 22:25
Jason I've heard good things about Middle Lagoon but really enjoy Leveque myself. Good and varied accomodation types. Beach shelters are ruggard with cold water shower but right on the northern point and beach. While we usually camp, I've stayed in the safari tents and they are great as well. Book early what ever you decide.

A couple of blogs that might give you an idea.

Cape Leveque



Cheers Mick
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trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
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Reply By: Member - Marilyn P (NSW) - Thursday, Jan 03, 2013 at 07:09

Thursday, Jan 03, 2013 at 07:09
Hi Jason,
Kooljaman resort is beautiful - grassy camp sites, power available, toilets/shower blocks OK, area clean, although sites reasonable size the place is crowded and busy. Lots to do with walks, cliff sites and sunset viewing, great beach access, good cafe, restaurant. Place is very professionally run.
Middle Lagoon has less "to do" if you like variety but most wonderful fishing and swimming beach, easy boat launcing on beach. Lots and lots of space to spread out under shady trees. Generally no power. Dog friendly, kid friendly. Toilet/ shower facilities fairly basic - sometimes struggling to cope with numbers. Aboriginal family that run it are great, very friendly and obliging. Don't expect resort conditions but it is a fantastic spot.
Camped at both places last year - enjoyed both very much for different reasons. If you plan on being there in WA school holidays book well in advance at Kooljaman. Not sure about Middle Lagoon - there is so much space.
Enjoy Cape Leveque - it is a treasure.
Marilyn
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Reply By: steamfire01 - Thursday, Jan 03, 2013 at 07:20

Thursday, Jan 03, 2013 at 07:20
Hi Jason
Cape Leveque is great, but the problem for travellers these days is the number of tour groups (including fly ins) that seem to be monopolising the place (good for Kooljiman, but difficult for travellers). On my last lap in 2011 I couldn't get a spot at all, though I must admit I only tried to book a month before - but we don't really know that far ahead where we may be. The beach shelters are pretty basic, but would be great for just a few days.
By the way, does anyone know whether the track from Derby through to the Cape Leveque Road (joining near Beagle Bay) has re-opened?
Keep safe out there
TJ
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Reply By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Jan 03, 2013 at 09:26

Thursday, Jan 03, 2013 at 09:26
Jason,

If you're considering Middle Lagoon, suggest you check out a small family run place called Whale Song. Dunno if it's still there - it was going well in 2009, our last visit. Coming up to ML from the south, from memory about 3km before ML there is a road to the right, signposted with a blue hand-written sign. I think Whale Song was about 10-15km along that road.

They have a small, shady campground, run a small restaurant, grow their own produce, do interpretive camel tours on their own part of the coast. I'm not a fisherman so I don't know anything about that.

They're a young eco-minded couple with a land grant making a go of it. Here's a link:
http://www.waitoc.com/archives/908

Cheers
FrankP

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Follow Up By: daz (SA) - Thursday, Jan 03, 2013 at 14:45

Thursday, Jan 03, 2013 at 14:45
Hi there.
We stayed at Whalesong, late August 2012.
Just a wonderful place, Fishing off the beach & rocks. Highly recommend Daz
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Follow Up By: Member - Gary Mawby (VIC) - Thursday, Jan 03, 2013 at 16:24

Thursday, Jan 03, 2013 at 16:24
Greetings, I agree with Jason and Daz, the Dampier Peninsula has many wonderful places but my favourite (almost anywhere) would have to be Whalesong.
We stayed there in late July 2012 and virtually had the place to ourselves.
Happy travelling, Gary M.
Gary M

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Follow Up By: daz (SA) - Thursday, Jan 03, 2013 at 20:22

Thursday, Jan 03, 2013 at 20:22
A little camp on the way to the top of Cape Leveque is Banana Well. Crabbing is the main go.
Even has a free use Sat phone installed there for the previous residents who prefer to camp in Broome

Daz
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Follow Up By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 01:11

Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 01:11
Re Whale Song. We didn't stay there, but had we known about it it beforehand it would have been our choice. Great hosts and a great site. Great cappucinos too!

Middle lagoon was fine but it wasn't very crowded at the time. If you get heavy pressure, you might as well go to a caravan park. Kooljamon sites are hard up against each other unless you're paying top dollar. Both places are very scenic.

Cheers.
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Reply By: Kris and Kev - Thursday, Jan 03, 2013 at 09:31

Thursday, Jan 03, 2013 at 09:31
Depending on how much time you have, there are lots of places to stay up there, maybe stay at several. Each has their own uniqueness. Brilliant area. Kevin
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Reply By: Member - Warrie (NSW) - Thursday, Jan 03, 2013 at 10:12

Thursday, Jan 03, 2013 at 10:12
Jason, we went to both in May 2010 and as per comments above they are both worthwhile. Kooljiman wanted $37/double and it would have been worth it but their werbsite seemed to indicate that caravans were not allowed. As it is it's OK for camper trailers and wind -up type Jayco swans etc. Absurd as 4WD Bushtrackers will gobble up the road as much as a smaller rig. Best to check the resort website for current size restrictions.
So we went 15 km further to Gambanan - WA for $30/dble. Click on word to see pix in places. Drove back to K. resort for the day and paid $10 day use fee and certainly got our moneys worth. Magic spot!! You must walk the cape at low tide and stay for sunset. Enjoy...
Warrie

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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Thursday, Jan 03, 2013 at 10:40

Thursday, Jan 03, 2013 at 10:40
We stayed at Middle Lagoon in 2008 and found it enjoyable, with basic facilities. Its an easy drive up to the tip on mostly sealed roads. You could make your base camp at any one of a number of places and do day trips from there. The advantage of the smaller less aggressively marketed places is that you probably dont need to book in advance (unless you have particular requirements) making forward planning just that bit easier.

Wherever you stay you will really enjoy the Dampier peninsular.

Cheers,

Val
J and V
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Follow Up By: Member - Scoey4 (SA) - Thursday, Jan 03, 2013 at 21:04

Thursday, Jan 03, 2013 at 21:04
Greetings,

Agree with Warrie - this is a great place - camp ground is on cliff overlooking water - huge tidal movement - run by local aboriginal family - very clean toilets and showers.

Good fishing, beautiful sunsets, good location to tour around the area.

Cheers.

SCOEY
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Reply By: Member - Wozikev - Friday, Jan 04, 2013 at 14:10

Friday, Jan 04, 2013 at 14:10
Hi Jason,
We were at Cape Leveque in July last year and stayed overnight at a spot called Mercedes Cove near Middle Lagoon. We found that everyone wanted to sell us two nights accommodation and Mercedes was the only spot that would do a single night. We stayed in what they termed their eco-tent. It was very good but basic. 12v power to lighting only. Shower and toilet 30m walk but good.Water supply 10m walk. Small single burner gas stove and gas BBQ. If nothing has changed I would advise taking a torch, a bucket (to carry water), and a stovetop kettle or billy for a cuppa. Chuck the kettle and the torch in the bucket and you've got it. The eco-tent was excellent, equipment basic, but location absolutely magic. Almost an Ooooops. Don't forget the camera. It's one of the most beautifull spots you're ever likely to see.Road conditions can change very quickly in the area, so it will be whatever it is when you get there.
Enjoy !!

Cheers ........................ KP.
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Reply By: gclan - Tuesday, Jan 08, 2013 at 15:22

Tuesday, Jan 08, 2013 at 15:22
Don't know if you'll have a caravan or not, but as mentioned earlier, last year Kooljaman weren't allowing anyone with a caravan to stay, regardless of whether you could physically get it there or not. We were told it was to do with a drain on their power supply.

Just something to keep in mind.

If you have a camper trailer, tent or plan to stay in their accomms, it is a magnificent place and I can't wait to get back. Well worth the money.

A group of our guys went out fishing and had a fantastic time. Some did the crabbing tour and we spent hours swimming, snorkelling and relaxing. It's a great spot at Cape Leveque because you have access to both the eastern and western beaches (though only swim at the eastern beach).

Wherever you end up staying, make sure to call in to the beautiful Beagle Bay church, the aquaculture centre at One Arm Point and hand feed the barramundi, and the wonderful bakery in the nice little community of Lombadina.

Cheers
Karen
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