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Updates, updates... about the weather, the roads, roadhouses, camping hire and more
May 14, 2010

14 May 2010, Issue #025

In this issue:
  • Road and weather updates
  • Restricted Services at Drysdale Homestead
  • Hiring camping gear and trailers in Kunnurra
  • Tanami and Wolfe Creek Crater Road news
  • Aussie Travel Saver now available for Australians

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I thought the dry season had finally arrived for real. We had been enjoying a string of crisp mornings.
Night temperatures in Kununurra had been hovering around 16 - 18°C, with me rugging up with long pants, thick socks and fleece jacket, trying to warm my fingers with my steaming mug while I'm checking email in the mornings.
(Yes, people DO get used to the high temperatures up here!!)

However, it's a bit warmer again, with a bit more moisture in the air and now also a blanket of cloud overhead. The forecast is for isolated showers and thunderstorms, and possible heavy rains.
Not here.
Or so everyone hopes as the Ord Muster kicks into gear.

I hadn't planned on writing this issue.
Heck, I hadn't planned on being here!
But as you know from my books and the website, this time of the year you just never know...
The roads that I need open are still closed.

On the other hand the roads many of you are waiting for are open!

Yes, the Kalumburu Road and the road to the Mitchell Plateau have just been opened.
(Note that open does not mean the same as smooth!)

And with that all main tracks in the Kimberley are open.
(You just can't get down to Port Warrender from the Mitchell Plateau yet and you also can't get through on the Karunjie Track yet. It's closed between Diggers Rest t/o and the Gibb River Road.)

Of course, with this weather forecast it could all change again in a heartbeat.

The situation over in the Territory is more mixed and all the usual suspects are still closed.
Use the links in the appendix of Destination Top End to check all the different tracks and national parks. There are way too many over there to cover everything in this email.

I can tell you that most unsealed tracks in Kakadu and Litchfield are still off limits, including the track to Jim Jim Falls/Twin Falls and the southern access into Litchfield. There is also no getting through on the Central Arnhem Road, Roper Highway/Nathan River Rd. or Savannah Way to the east.
Or I wouldn't be here...

Oh well.
On to a few more quick updates.

Restricted Services at Drysdale Homestead

Note that Drysdale Homestead offers restricted services over the weekend from 21st to 23rd of May:
Camping remains available at Miners Pool all weekend but bar, restaurant and room accommodation are closed.
Access to the homestead is closed altogether from Sat 2pm until Sun 9am and that means no fuel on Sat afternoon!
(Fuel is available during normal hours Friday, until 1.30pm Sat, and again after 9am Sun.)

Normal service resumes on Monday, May 24.

You can now hire camper trailers and camping gear in Kununurra!

Starting any bigger trip through the Kimberley from Kununurra has been difficult in the past. You could hire 4WDs here, but not campervans.
You still can't get campervans but you can get a trailer or a camping kit for the car. And that makes it a lot easier to do smaller and less expensive trips in the East Kimberley or do a big round trip through the whole region from Kununurra.

To see what exactly Trevor and Marian offer check out their new website. It has all the details and prices.

Tanami and Wolfe Creek Crater Road News

Sadly, in the Tanami Desert an era comes to an end. After 41 years, Bruce and Jaqueline Farrands will be closing Rabbit Flat Roadhouse permanently.

There is no need to panic just yet if you plan a trip across the Tanami for this year. The closure is not imminent.

But I thought I let you know that if you want to meet Bruce and Jaqcui and visit one of the most famous and most isolated roadhouses in Australia, then you need to go this year. Be there before sundown December 31. :-(

On a different note, one reader wrote in and asked whether the sealing of the Wolfe Creek Crater Road has been done yet. Um, nope. While there has been talk about the sealing of the Tanami Road and the access to the crater, that won't happen any time soon.
Read about the details here.

Aussie Travel Saver now available for Australians also!

(Previously it was only available to international visitors.)
The Aussie Travel Saver Card is not Kimberley or NT specific and may therefore be of limited use to you. On the other hand it may save you a few hundred dollars or more...

Anyone considering renting a vehicle from Apollo, travelling on Greyhound or taking a scenic flight over the Bungles from Kununurra should look at this. It might save you a good chunk of money.
Also, if your travel plans involve other parts of Australia, especially the east coast and south, then you should also read this page very carefully.
And if you know someone else who plans any of the above, then you might be able to do them a big favour by letting them know about the card.

Read all about the Aussie Travel Saver Card here.

And last but not least, Eric wrote in to recommend Ra-Ra's on Dampier Terrace in Broome, a great café for breakfast or lunch serving cheap and delicious home made tucker. So if you're over there, check it out.

Thanks to everyone who's been writing in with updates, and more from the Kimberley soon!

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(c) 2005-2010, Birgit Bradtke. All rights reserved. The Kimberley Guide is published by Birgit Bradtke in Kununurra, WA 6743, Australia. Reproduction of any material from this newsletter without written permission is prohibited.
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