About this tour: Including Experienced Tour Guide, Meals as indicated in the itinerary, Camping Accommodation & National Park Entry Fees. Western Australia’s North West is one of the last remaining wilderness regions of this country, and, during this exciting 10-day overland safari we’ll take you on a journey that will combine a taste of the Northern Territory with the vastness and beauty of the Kimberley Region. Journey the Gibb River Road, sleep under a blanket of Kimberley stars, enjoy evenings around a campfire, explore El Questro Wilderness Park, check out the famous Bungle Bungle Domes and more, en-route to Darwin.
Day 1 Broome to Tunnel Creek
The town of Broome made its fortune from the pearling industry, though these days it’s better known as an easy going tourist town with a pretty striking coastline. We set off into the West Australian outback pretty early today, so consider arriving a day or two early if you fancy getting to know Broome better. After a bit of highway driving we reach the Fitzroy River, then it’s all off-road to the Napier Range. The main attraction here is Tunnel Creek, a vast cave system that extends 750 meters underground. It’s from here that the indigenous warrior Jandamarra waged his rebellion against the colonial authorities – a legacy you’ll learn more about on walk through the tunnel with your guide. (LD)
Day 2 Windjana Gorge & Bell Gorge
It might be hard to imagine these days, but Windjana Gorge was once an underwater reef. During the wet season a river flows all the way through it, but during the dry, it’s really more a series of ponds and billabongs. We’ll set out on a bit of an explore, hopefully spotting a freshwater crocodile or two. The western Kimberley region is full of endless stunning gorges that have to be explored and this afternoon is no exception.
After Lunch, we adventure to Bell Gorge home to a stunning cascade of water flowing from the previous wet season rains that fall in the King Leopold Ranges. We enjoy an afternoon swim in the large plunge pool before making our way back to camp. (BLD)
Day 3 Silent Grove to Manning Gorge
We spend the morning exploring Adcock or Galvans gorge before making our way to Mt Barnett Station which will be our camp for this evening. After lunch we have the whole afternoon to explore and enjoy Manning Gorge. After stretching your legs on the hike in you will be rewarded with a swim in a large rock pool at the base of Manning Falls. (BLD)
Day 4 Gibb River Road to El Questro
Fording rivers and weaving through gorges, travel by 4WD along the wild Gibb River Road – a 600-kilometre stretch that winds right through the heart of the Kimberley. We’ve got a fair bit of ground to cover today, so there is a fair bit of drive time, but we’ll be breaking the journey up with lunch and at a few stops along the way. This journey includes the iconic Pentecost River crossing in our 4WD. How Australian is that! (BLD)
Day 5 El Questro Station
Originally established as an enormous cattle station, El Questro is now a vast wilderness reserve sprawled over more than one million acres. Camping out here, you’ll really feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere – albeit an extremely beautiful middle of nowhere. The ochre-coloured massifs of the Cockburn Ranges frame the landscape whichever way you turn and numerous natural springs offer plenty of opportunities for a refreshing cool-off. Following a soak in Zebedee Springs, enjoy a short trek to either El Questro or Emma Gorge (where there’s a very pretty waterfall).
Then it’s another night camped out in El Questro. (BLD)
Days 6-7 Purnululu National Park: Bungle Bungles
So long El Questro, hello Bungle Bungles. Today we drive through the rugged landscape of Carr Boyd and the Durack Ranges into Purnululu National Park. This park is home-ground of the Bungle Bungles, a UNESCO World Heritage Site dominated by massive sandstone karsts that rear hundreds of metres above the surrounding grasslands.
We arrive at our bush camp in time to sit back and watch the sun set over the Osmond Ranges. If you’ve had enough of tent camping by now, you might want to spend tonight sleeping out beneath the stars snuggled up in a swag. Unbelievably, only the locals knew it existed until the early 1980’s when they were ‘discovered’ by a film team – who then had to fly over the top by plane to find a route in by land.
We know the way in, but you can sign up for a helicopter ride over the site if you wish. At ground level, we’ll go on a walk through Echidna Chasm – a long and narrow ravine banked on either side by 200 metre high rock walls – and enter the massive natural Amphitheatre of Cathedral Gorge. (BLD)
Day 8 Bungle Bungles to Lake Argyle
Today we leave the Bungle Bungles for Kununurra, the largest town between Broome and Darwin. Tonight’s campsite is on the shores of Lake Argyle. There are no further activities booked for the rest of the day, but an optional sunset cruise out on the lake is highly recommended. (BLD)
Day 9 Lake Argyle & Victoria River Region
Lake Argyle is actually a man-made lake, though you’d never have guessed so from looking at it. For a body of water situated in the centre of the world’s second driest continent, it looks pretty at home. Barramundi, birds and freshwater crocodiles thrive in these waters, and the islands look like they’ve always been there (they used to be mountains).
In the afternoon we push on across the state border into the Northern Territory. (BLD)
Day 10 Katherine & Darwin
The final leg of our journey takes us through to Darwin, with stop-offs made en route at either Katherine Gorge or Edith Falls. Then it’s all over red rover (an Australian expression meaning ‘all finished’). (BL)
Our Group Travel Dates:
- DEPARTS: Every Thursday from the beginning of April until the end of October. Please advise your accommodation in Broome so we can arrange the closest pickup location
- ARRIVES: Saturday Evening at approximately 6:30pm
- 6 nights Camping with shared bathroom facilities
- 2 nights Bush Camping with limited bathroom facilities
- 1 night Lodge with shared bathroom facilities
- Custom made, comfortable 4 Wheel Drive
- 9 Breakfasts / 10 Lunches / 9 Dinners
(Special Dietary Requirements can be catered for and must be advised at time of booking)
- Maximum of 15 kilogram’s in a Soft Bag or Backpacker plus a Day Pack. No suitcases are permitted on this tour.
Advanced: No need to be a mountaineer, but some walks are reasonably challenging: on uneven terrain, sometimes unstable underfoot, and including steep (but usually short) descents and ascents into gorges. It is possible to opt out of the more difficult walks, so those with Moderate fitness may still be able to choose one of these trips.
What to bring
On all tours we recommend you bring…
A broad-brimmed sun hat
Good walking boots or sturdy shoes for hiking over rocky terrain
Fitted shoes for walking in water
Torch / Flashlight (a head torch is ideal)
Swimmers & towel
Personal water bottle (1 Liter recommended)
On short breaks and extended adventures we recommend you also bring…
Long-sleeved cotton shirt (sun protection) and loose-fitting pants (warmth and insect protection for evenings)
Towels – shower and swimming
Personal toiletries* & medication
Ear Plugs – you never know when you might need these!
Sleeping bag (available for purchase $35 from office prior to tour – can be kept or donated to local communities after your tour)
A pillow (if you have your favorite)
*Please choose environmentally-friendly toiletries so as to minimize chemical residue in waterways!
This tour is ‘Participatory’ which means the groups rally together and assist the guide – our program is designed to foster a ’group of friends’ dynamic as everyone works together to make it all happen, alongside the leadership of an experienced Tour Guide. This not only makes for a fun adventure shared with like-minded travelers, but also enables us to provide affordable travel options in the Kimberley.
On those nights where we are not staying in one of our fantastic private permanent camp sites, it is important that travelers participate in setting up camp, though the Tour Guide will also be on hand to help – it is a team effort! Your Guide will always appreciate the assistance of one or two group members in preparing/clearing meals.
It is essential that all our groups leave the camps they stay in as they found them for the next travelers – the Kimberley is a pristine wilderness and it is our responsibility to ensure it stays this way.
Travel insurance is definitely recommended for all tours reserved through Travel Forever. As we are travelling in a remote area, you should ensure you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation at a minimum. We recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Finally, to ensure you are covered in the event of unseasonable weather and conditions that may cause road and national park closures, please make sure your policy considers costs incurred by any unforeseeable tour cancellations. Travel Forever can assist you with the purchase of Travel Insurance or, if you are coming from Overseas, we recommend you purchase Travel Insurance through Insurance Company in your home country.