Current weather situation in the Kimberleys?

by Brian

(Submitted 23.5.2010) We're currently looking to travel to the Kimberleys in mid August, but we're hearing that the region is still experiencing substantial rainfalls even as late as last week. We're wondering if this will delay the opening of some of the roads in the area? If so, should we be looking to delay our trip to, say, early to mid September? We'd appreciate your advice.

Comments for Current weather situation in the Kimberleys?

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May 23, 2010
Unseasonal rains across the Kimberley
by: Birgit

Hi Brian,

It's not like we're having monsoonal downpours here. Yes, it's raining (still), and at the moment just about everything had to be closed again. It's a bit of a disaster for just about everyone, tourists and tourism businesses alike.

It's not meant to rain this time of the year! Not like this.
(Exactly the same thing happened in June 2007, totally unseasonal rainfall that caused park and road closures and stranded people for many days.)

But everything had been open previously, the Gibb River Road currently still is, and all the parks will open again once it stops raining. It's not like it takes 3 months for some rain to dry up.

Unfortunately it does look like we will be getting a bit more rain over next week, or so the forecasters tell us. For everyone who had planned their trips for right now this is terrible. But August? Or July? Even June?

Goodness, I would hope most roads and parks will be open again by the end of this month or the week after. Won't be long once this stupid rain finally stops!

May 24, 2010
Update from the DEC as of Monday, 24.5.2010
by: Birgit

Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek remain closed.
Bell Gorge (including Silent Grove Campground) and Lennard Gorge remain closed.

Geikie Gorge is open.

The Derby Shire will inspect the roads again early next week.

Over east the Mitchell River National Park remains closed.

The Bungles are closed to the general public. (Fly in/drive tours operate in the south of the park.)

The DEC hopes to reopen Purnululu early next week.

May 27, 2010
Trips starts Monday
by: Jim

Hi guys. This is an amazing service you provide and wonderful to hear everyone's experiences.
We're landing in Broome this Sunday and meant to be starting our Gibb River Road trip on Monday (finishing in Darwin on 16th).
This rain has me concerned a bit for two reasons: one, without any 4wd experience, will the roads be considerably more difficult and dangerous ? and
two, even if the roads are inspected again on Monday, do the roads need to be regraded or simply reopened if considered ok ?
I'm now considering alternative options if GR road and the various camping spots may still be closed. Thanking you in advance

May 27, 2010
Kimberley roads May/June 2010
by: Birgit

Hi Jim,

The Gibb River Road is open. It never closed. The DEC had closed all their parks, that's the main let down for people in the region now.

The Bungles are open again.
And the other parks will open when they're dry enough to prevent road damage. There is no safety concern once access is open again. A bit of water in some creeks again maybe, but not much.

The Gibb is a bit slippery at the moment and the Durack has gone back up to 400mm, but that's not a water depth to worry about, assuming people drive a suitable vehicle.

So it's just a matter of taking it easy along the whole road.

Your (and everyone else's) problem is that it's STILL raining on and off. Not much, but it's impossible to predict what's gonna happen or when things will be dry enough again. Hopefully some parks along the Gibb will open again next week, but there are no guarantees.

And we have no experience with weather like this. It's just never happened before. Occasional out of season rain in the middle of the dry, yes. We've seen that. It can close roads and parks for a few days, but it never lasts long. And it stays cool.

This is different. The last two weeks were just like the middle of the wet season. Hot, steamy, and this stupid rain.

It's a total disaster, not just for tourism but for the farmers as well.

Probably no consolation for people who got caught out, but my own trip got canned as well. Nothing anyone can do...

PS.: I just had a look at the detailed road reports. Even if all the big name parks are closed, there are still many, many things people can do across the Kimberley. Many of the smaller and not so well known places I write about in Destination Kimberley were and are open.

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