Canoe/Kayaking the Kimberley's

by Paul

Basically, is it worth while carting a canoe/kayak up there to the Kimberleys? I don't care about fresh water crocs. We have paddled all around South Australia, East, and Tassie.

How many rivers are salt croc free or declared safe in June? We plan on doing the Gibb River Road loop from Derby/Kununurra and looking to paddle.


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by: Birgit

Hi Paul,

It is most certainly worth it! That's how I feel anyway. (I don't know the areas you have paddled, how much paddling they offer and how it would compare when looking at the "is it worth lugging them up there" aspect.)

Now, there are no rivers or waterholes that are "declared" safe at some stage. This isn't like the tourism centres in the Territory, (Litchfield/Kakadu/Katherine Gorge), where the crocs regularly move in and they survey after the wet and remove crocs and then declare something safe.

That doesn't happen here. But it is well known where the crocodiles are, and most of our gorges and many smaller inland waterways are unsuitable as crocodile habitat.

Some places where you can canoe:
  • Ord River, from the top dam (Lake Argyle) to the bottom (Diversion Dam in Kununurra).
    If you don't want to do the whole trip, explore just the Everglades (Kununurra).
  • (Lake Argyle is no good for canoes, it's just too big.)
  • Check with El Questro about Chamberlain Gorge.
  • Drysdale River area (the station has canoes if you don't have your own).
  • Gorges on Charnley River Station (if you don't have your own canoe you could hire one here).
  • Dimond Gorge at Mornington (also offers canoes for hire). There is also Sir John Gorge but they only allow two people a day into it. Not sure if they let you in with your own canoe but doesn't hurt to ask.
  • Geikie Gorge (check with CALM about restrictions).

That are the obvious places that you'll pass on your way anyway. There are other, remoter or less known waterways. Plus, I probably forgot some.

I am currently looking for a kayak for myself, so at this stage I am not so clued when it comes to the remoter and harder to access places, but if you take your time, quiz the locals and the station owners/managers up here, you should find many more opportunities and I think it is well worth making that effort.

Having a little tinny or a canoe is definitely a plus up here. (Provided you have the time to make use of it.)

Canoe Trip
by: Anonymous

Beware!! Go wild adventure tours are very poorly organized. We had a trip booked but when phoned back to check time they said they had over booked so we didn't get to go.

by: Paul

We did take our kayak and paddled fished at Drysdale station, also exmouth, lake argyle, It's just exercise as it is too big and you see nothing.

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