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A new free pocket guide, more questions and news.
March 23, 2009
In this issue:
** New free pocket guide
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Boabs are shedding their leaves, dragonflies are out, Acacia platycarpa finished blooming and cane grass pollen is in the air...
If that sounds like dry season, well, it looks and feels like it, too. Twenty degrees this morning! Brrr...
Other than isolated thunderstorms we've had no rain worth mentioning for over three weeks, at least here in the East Kimberley.
But we had a great wet season. There is still a lot of water lying around everywhere. There are many damaged roads that first need to dry out and then they need to be fixed. There are still thunderstorms around, dumping a couple of inches here and there, and we also still have a month or so to go in which anything could happen.
Right now it looks promising. I shall keep my fingers crossed for everyone who took a gamble and scheduled an early trip.
But I've lived here for too long to make any wet season predictions, EVER. Let's see what happens!
Most of you will know my other website, www.TheOutbackGuide.com.
It was my first ever website. It is large, maybe a bit messy in some areas (beginner mistakes) and covers a broader range of Australia travel related topics.
But the destination section focuses on one area only: the Northern Territory. And I finally managed to put together a free guide for that as well.
If you have done a lot of research already and studied my other site in depth, then you won't learn much new from it. Like the Kimberley Pocket Guide it is mostly a general introduction to the area, not a detailed guide that will answer all your questions.
But if you aren't an expert on the Red Centre and Top End just yet, or if you are new here and don't know all that much about Outback Australia in general, then I think you will find it very useful.
It's free, so I suggest you go and grab it in any way :-). You can get it here:
If you have questions regarding travel in the Kimberley, please submit them here:
Q: I tried to ring Nicholson Station to get permission to camp at Marella Gorge. The number you give in the book does not work. Do you know if camping is still available at Marella Gorge?
A: Thanks for asking! This one took a bit of research to solve. Nicholson Station closed, it has become an outstation to Flora Valley Station. There were plans to doze the historical homestead (a crime!), then there was talk of leasing the buildings to a mining company...
I checked with the Halls Creek Visitor Centre. They had no idea. As far as they knew, to camp at Marella Gorge ring Nicholson Station on that number.
Thanks, Sue, for alerting all of us to that!
The nice lady from the Halls Creek Visitor Centre did some detective work. She reports that nothing has changed except for the management name and the telephone number.
Yes, you can still camp at Marella Gorge, provided you first contact Flora Valley Station for permission. Their number is (08) 9168 8920.
Q: We have been told that not all caravan parks in Broome allow you to pre book. Would you please tell us the caravan parks that allow bookings.
A: I am afraid none of the caravan parks in Broome like to take bookings during the main season. I checked with the Broome Visitor Centre to see if anything has changed here, and it hasn't.
However, the lady suggested that it doesn't hurt to try. Your best chance is at Broome Caravan Park, and Roebuck Bay and Cable Beach caravan parks are also worth a try.
By the way, I also get regular questions from people wanting to book campsites in our national parks or along the Gibb River Road. You can't.
Those campgrounds aren't your well manicured caravan parks with precisely measured sites that you can reserve. They are usually big open areas, with some basic facilities scattered through, and there are no restrictions to the number of people that can squeeze in.
(Though Silent Grove was pushing the limit last year, with about 200 campers squeezing in during one night...)
Q: Is fresh drinking water routinely available everywhere on the Gibb River Road and the Bungle Bungles? We have an offroad camper trailer with 180 litres of water storage.
A: It is not recommended to drink the bore water in the Bungles unless you boil it and I warn about that restriction, both on the website and in the guide book. I'd make sure you have enough left before you drive in there.
Along the Gibb River Road water is not a problem. Details can be found at the end of the Gibb River Road section of Destination Kimberley and the HEMA map I recommend also shows drinking water availability.
Q: Just another thought with our little bloke, I was going to bring his off road pram. I was wondering how difficult the terrain will be to push him around?
A: Hm. Very difficult. You'd definitely risk a rollover :-). That's if you don't get hopelessy bogged or washed down a creek first.
Maybe you can use it at Windjana Gorge and Geikie Gorge, but that's about it. None of the longer walks at the gorges are suitable for strollers at all.
(Though I sometimes see very dedicate people trying anyway. Once I saw a lady pushing a stroller into Piccaninny Creek. When we got back I could not believe how far in the tracks went.)
If it was me, I'd carry him...
Forget the stroller at Bell Gorge (unless you stay at the top), Adcock, Lennard, Manning Gorge and Mitchell Falls. For Galvans Gorge I have to admit I don't remember the surface well enough, but that one might be ok.
If you haven't yet heard about the government's plan for large scale industrialisation across the Kimberley, read up on it in my last newsletter issue and on the "Environment" page on my website. It's very scary stuff.
(You can access newsletter back issues via this page: http://www.kimberleyaustralia.com/Kimberley_Guide-backissues.html)
This part of the newsletter has been removed as the website it talked about does not exist any more and all the links I had listed had broken.
More from the Kimberley soon! B.
Feedback? Go to http://www.kimberleyaustralia.com/contact.html
(c) 2005-2009, 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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