14 nights in the Kimberleys - Kununurra to Kununurra 1st-15th Aug.

by Cheryle & Bruce P
(Port Macquarie, NSW)

We are leaving home (Port Macquarie NSW) on 2nd July 2009 to travel to Darwin, Kakadu and then the highlight of our trip, into the Kimberleys. Below is our itinerary, which we would love you to comment on.

I put it together after buying a copy of your book Destination Kimberley, which I am totally hooked on along with your website.

Have I allowed enough time? And is there anything I have missed? We still have one night up our sleeve to spend somewhere. Any suggestion as to where we might spend it?

Day1 153kms to first night camp Durack River crossing.

Day2 251kms to King Edward River campsite 2nd night camp.

Day3 85kms to Mitchell Falls campsite. Helicopter flight to falls and walk back. Camp here 3rd night.

Day4 120kms to Mt Elizabeth Station 4th night camp.

Day5 Visit Mt Barnett roadhouse, Galvans Gorge & Adcock gorge. 5th night camp Charnley River station 135kms for day.

Day6 Mornington Wilderness camp 138kms for day 6th night camp.

Day7 Bell Gorge 153kms for day 7th night camp.

Day8 Visit Lennard Gorge on way to Windjana gorge. 146kms for the day. 8th night camp.

Day9 Tunnel Creek. 9th night camp at RAAF bushcamp. 95kms for the day.

Day10 Fitzroy Crossing, Geikie Gorge. 10th night camp at Mary Pool rest area. 273kms for the day.

Day11 Wolfe Creek crater. 244kms for the day. 11th night camp.

Day12 313kms for the day. China Wall at Halls Creek to Bungle Bungles for 12th & 13th night camp. Do walks and flight over the park.

Back to Kununurra to pick up c/van and head home to Port Macquarie NSW.

Comments for 14 nights in the Kimberleys - Kununurra to Kununurra 1st-15th Aug.

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Excellent itinerary
by: Birgit

Hi Cheryle & Bruce

Congratulations. I think you have put together a really beautiful trip and chosen some great places to spend the night. And yes, I also think you have allowed enough time.

(Well, not enough time for the Kimberley, that would of course require about 2 months, but you have allowed enough time to travel between the points you are visiting.)

Are you skipping Manning Gorge at Mt. Barnett? You only mention the roadhouse. If you do skip it then that day is ok, if not, then it would be very crammed (gorge after gorge after gorge tends to produce some sort of "not-another-gorge" effect...)

I quite like Manning Gorge, but since you have to skip something somewhere it would be ok. Charnley River Station also has a nice gorge to explore and you sure would have to share that with fewer people! Manning will be pretty packed in August.

Day 6 is one option to allocate your extra night. Mornington Wilderness Sanctuary really is a special place. Seems a shame to just drive there and back and not having much time to actually explore. Looks like you plan to only spend about half a day there.

Day 7, 8, and 9 are very generous with the time they allocate.

What you may want to consider is spending an extra half day at Mornington (morning of day 7), camping at Bell Gorge and walking down to that gorge in the morning, afternoon at Lennard, and then camping at Windjana. You can easily see Windjana and Tunnel Creek in one day and drive to the quarry with time to spare.

(By the way, one reader wrote in that the quarry was being worked in while she was there. No problems, lots of people were camping there at the same time as she was. Just that it was funny to stand on one side of it in her pajamas brushing her teeth, and on the other side there were the workmen J

Wow. I just realised it. You are totally skipping Broome. That's unusual. But a good decision for August, since you obviously won't have time to go up the Dampier Peninsula.

And to go to Broome for just one quick night and one quick look at Cable Beach... I would skip that, too :-).

Just make sure that you won't regret that.

The rest also looks fine. I think you did a great job in ensuring that you'll have some quiet time at uncrowded places and still get to see all the must sees. Excellent schedule overall in my opinion.

(I will email you with answers to the non itinerary related questions you had included.)

by: Birgit

One last comment:

One thing I am concerned about is bushcamping along the Gibb River Road in general. I don't know exactly what will happen there next season (not until I can get out there myself) but they are cracking down on it more and more. I am concerned that the Durack River camp site may not be available.

If that happens I suggest you move on to Ellenbrae Station and stay at their camp. It's not far from the Durack, not far off the main road, but it is far of the main tourist route, as in few people stop there for a night.

by: melinda

I've been along the Gibb Road. Must do.
By the way, what is the best way to drive with own car from Port Macquarie to Kununurra? Appreciate if you could let me know.

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