Itinerary for Darwin to Broome
The sun rises early in the Kimberley so there's no point in sleeping in, we'll pick you up from your Darwin accommodation at 6am and head for the wilderness.
Leaving the comfort of the city behind we head for what many consider to be one of the last great expanses of rugged wilderness areas remaining in the world, the mighty Kimberley Region of Northern Western Australia.
Our first stop is about 2 hours south of Darwin, Edith Falls in Katherine Gorge National Park, a short 3 km walk to the upper pools brings us to the first of many beautiful waterfalls which we will see over the next 9 day.
After lunch we push west towards the Western Australia Northern Territory state border and our first bush camp.
Bush camping is a great experience whether you are an experienced outback drover or first time city slicker, there is nothing like finding a great spot of wilderness in the middle of nowhere, setting up a campfire, cooking up a feast on the fire and then rolling out the swags under the Kimberley night sky.
Tents are provide for those a little nervous about the under the stars experience.
- Depart Darwin
- Edith Falls or Katherine Gorge
- Hiking: 2 - 4km
- Camp: Wilderness bush Camp
With no roof over our heads the breaking dawn is our new alarm clock and we rise early. The mobile phones get packed up with the camping gear as they become useless and we head off nice and early for our days activities, exploring Keep River National Park and Lake Argyle.
Keep River is a Great destination and there are a number of hikes we can choose from.
From Keep River we head to Lake Argyle for what is regularly voted as the highlight of the tour, Lake Argyle is a huge freshwater lake teaming with wildlife, from wallabies in the rocky shores, to freshwater crocodiles to birdlife. We board a boat where a local guide shows us the lake, there is time to swim before we watch sunset from the water and then camp on one of the remote islands.
This is a great experience, knowing you are the only people on a single island in the middle of one of the most remote lakes in the world is unforgettable.
We have a campfire, the sky is full of stars and the cool water is inviting to those brave souls who want a midnight swim.
- Keep River National Park
- Lake Argyle Cruise
- Lake Argyle island camp
- Camp: Bush camp on Island
- Walking: 3km
The sunrise from our island camp is unforgettable.
We pack up camp, re board the boat and head back to our vehicle.
From Lake Argyle we head into Kununurra to replenish supplies, and then push south toward the Bungle bungles.
Another bush camp awaits, this time on a lovely creek with a sandy beach.
- Lake Argyle
- Camp: Bush camp on a creek
- Walking: 1 - 2 km
Another highlight of this Kimberley trip is Purnululu National Park, more commonly known as the Bungle Bungles.
We spend 2 days in this region hiking and exploring the Gorges and amazing landscapes the area contains. The long and dusty track into the Bungles is spectacular, it winds its way though valleys, over ranges and through creeks before arriving at what must be one of the world's most unique landscapes.
After locating our campsite we head off for Echidna Chasm form hike into the domes, following a creek to it's source at a narrow passage buried within the Bungles.
The day ends with a spectacular sunset from a hill top vantage point.
- Bungle bungles
- Echidna Chasm
- Bungle sunset
- Hike: 3 - 4 km
- Camp: Purnululu National Park campsite
With an early rise we are able to take advantage of a spectacular Bungle Bungles sunrise, from our vantage point we watch the show with a cup of tea or coffee and breakfast from a remote location.
A short drive from the sunrise area is the trailhead for the Cathedral Gorge hike, a spectacular hike though the bee hive formations to Cathedral Gorge. The gorge itself is one of the most impressive geological formations you are likely to see anywhere.
From here there is the opportunity to take a scenic flight over the Bungles, helicopter rides from 15 minutes are available. From the air the bungles take on a completely new perspective and the open chopper is sensational. Scenic flights are at your own expense and organised on the day.
Another bush camp awaits below at the foot of the Rugged Cockburn Ranges.
- Bungle Sunrise
- Cathedral Gorge
- Bee Hives
- Optional scenic flight.
- Camp: Bush camp
- Hikes: 3km
Today we get onto a dirt track, the famous Gibb River Road, a 700km long outback road which runs between Derby and Kununurra, it's not the easiest route, the track is often rough, there are a number or deep water crossings and a 4WD vehicle is essential. However it's an amazing travel route as along the length of the Gibb River Road are vast tracts of wilderness and numerous rivers, gorges and waterfalls to explore
After a short distance we reach El Questro Station, home of many beautiful landscapes, one of which is Emma Falls. A hike through a spectacular gorge takes us to a very high and narrow falls with a deep cool plunge pool where we can swim.
From here it's back on the "The Gibb" where we continue on our westerly trek. Arriving at the Pentacost River we are presented with an incredible landscape of a wide river surrounded by rugged Cockburn Ranges, a classic Kimberley scene.
Here we need to drive the 4WD though the Pentacost River, driving a vehicle across a 60 metre wide outback river which is occupied by Salt Water Crocodiles is not something you do every day, but it's only way through so across we go.
Another bush camp under the stars awaits us, this time on the banks of the Gibb River.
- Emma Falls
- El Questro
- Gibb River Rd
- Pentacost river
- Camp: Bush camp
- Hikes: 3 - 4km
An early morning swim in cool waters of the Gibb River is a great way to wake up.
From our camp the day starts with a short walk to a little known Aboriginal Art site containing some fine examples of Rock Art and your guide will be able to explain the significance of the paintings.
From here it's back on the "The Gibb" and onto Manning Gorge where we spend most of the day.
White sandy beaches with a Pandanus tree lined waterway opening into a wide clear waterhole greats us only minutes after starting the walk. We must swim across the river before following a trail leading to the top of gorge. The gorge has a waterfall plus a deep wide swimming hole surrounded by granite cliffs & rock outcrops. It is a spectacular setting with hidden examples of Aboriginal Rock Art.
The return route from Manning Gorge is a little less conventional as we swim and rock hop along the creek before reaching the main waterhole where it started.
Depending on the time available, Galvin's and / or Adcock Gorge's are also visited.
On departing Manning we locate our bush camp and set up for another night under the stars.
- Gibb River Rd
- Manning Gorge
- Camp: Bush camp
- Hikes: 5km
The first stop for the day is Bell Gorge, another day, another amazing watefall to explore! Such is life in the Kimberley. After a 20 minute walk we come to a beautiful Creek which flows through the centre of this impressive gorge and cascades over numerous falls. A deep swimming hole at the base of the main waterfall, surrounded by shady ledges and high cliffs, is an ideal lunch spot.
Next we head to Windjana Gorge, a huge gorge cut into the ranges over millennium to reveal beautiful scenery of high vertical cliffs, sandy beaches and meandering creek. We head off on a hike at Windjana of about 4km and often see freshwater crocodiles swimming in the clear waterholes.
From Windjana it's off to our last wilderness bush camp for the tour, another remote wilderness location where we collect firewood, set up camp and settle in for the night.
- Gibb River Road
- Bell Gorge
- Windjana Gorge
- Camp: Bush camp
- Hikes: 4 - 6km
By now we are experts to getting up early and on our way, our final swimming spot for the tour is Tunnel Creek.
Tunnel Creek is an amazing natural phenomenon and holds great significance to the local Aboriginal people, and getting there early normally guarantees we have the place for ourselves. It is a 750 metre long stretch of creek which runs underground through one of the oldest cave systems in Western Australia. Many aboriginal rock paintings are present in the cave and it was a hideout of the aboriginal warrior, Jandamarra in 1897.
From Tunnel creek we check out the Boad Prison tree near derby and then make our way into Broome.
We normally arrive into Broome at around 6pm and head for Cable beach to soak up the last amazing sunset of the tour, your guide will then drop you at your accommodation.
- Arrive Broome
- Boab Prison Tree
- Tunnel Creek
- Cable Beach sunset
- Hiking: 2 - 3km