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Kimberley Guide, Issue #005 -- Important news from Kooljaman and Home Valley Station
February 17, 2008
***What's Happening In The Kimberley?***
In this issue:
** Kimberley Travel: What do you do if Kooljaman is full?
I didn't expect to send out another newsletter so soon, but I have some news. Some is good and some is bad. Which would you like first?
Let's start with the stuff that falls in between...
One reader reported that when he booked a July stay at Kooljaman Resort (Cape Leveque) there were already only a few sites left. School holiday season...
Every year I read sad accounts from people who wanted to see Cape Leveque but were too late and the place was fully booked.
Kooljaman is the most prestigious and the most well known place on the Dampier Peninsula, but luckily it isn't the only one! There are other options.
You can camp just around the corner at Gambanan and visit Cape Leveque as a day visitor. If you are not into camping you can get a comfortable self contained cabin at Middle Lagoon or at Lombadina.
If insight into Aboriginal lifestyle and culture is what you are after, then there are several commmunities on the Dampier Peninsula that offer a much more authentic experience than Kooljaman does. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love Kooljaman, but it is a resort, not an Aboriginal community.
As I said above, it all depends what you are looking for. My guide book will have all the contacts and details for all the different options (what, where, how much?), but you can also ask the Broome visitor centre for help if urgently needed.
If you've been following my website then you already know that I much prefer Home Valley Station over the nearby, more famous and much more commercial El Questro.
Home Valley Station is currently undergoing some major development.
My eternal fear that their wonderful chef will pack up and leave has been alleviated. Sarah assured me that Keith will be with them for another season, and he's also getting a bigger kitchen, so hopefully he'll be happy and stick around!
Some of the other developments are the construction of more guesthouse rooms, more of their luxurious eco-tents, a new lagoon-style pool, and, ta-taa, a shower block for the river camp.
If you now think I must have lost the plot, to think that a new shower block is exciting news, then wait till you see the river camp. It's a bush camp away from the main homestead, at the mouth of the Bindoola Creek on the Penteost River, and it is a definite contender for the title, "Most scenic campground in the Kimberley".
And the bathrooms at Home Valley Station are among the best campground facilities in Australia. Wait till you see them and you'll understand what I mean.
Now the bad news: all the new construction work is taking time and Home Valley Station will reopen on 1 July. Gulp. You read that right. If you are on the road in May/June you won't be able to visit them.
When they do open it will probably be extremely busy. I hope they don't lose their rustic down-to-earth flair with all that growth and development...
Alternatives for May/June? The only comparable operation in the area is El Questro. But if you are happy with basic facilities, with a less tourism orientated, low key station stay, then I can very much recommend Digger's Rest near Wyndham. I love that place. (You can find all necessary details in my guide book or get them from the Wyndham or Kununurra visitor centre).
Thanks again to all those who were so kind to send in some feedback about the site or the free download, to let me know about typos (how embarassing) and similar. I appreciate it. Keep the comments coming!
I have also been FLOODED with questions via email.
On the last page of the free download I invited you to submit questions on the website. In case you haven't seen it yet, there is an area on my website where you can ask questions:
If you think your question may be interesting and helpful to others as well--and most of them are--please use the submission form on the website. (Don't worry, you can remain anonymous).
Depending on how many questions I get I can't promise that I will always answer everything, but I promise that I will try!
I want to help as many people as possible and the best way to achieve that is to make questions and answers available to all.
If you need specific advice regarding tours, accommodation, itinerary planning, any of the services that a travel agent would provide, then you can contact one of the Kimberley visitor centres.
More from the Kimberley soon!
(c) 2005-2008, 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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