Silent Grove - Bell Gorge camp sites

Birgit, I have your excellent 'Destination Kimberley' (I wish I'd known about it years ago ... I can now throw away all the printouts from tens of websites I have been using to research our trip!!!)

I am a bit confused about the camp site tag system at Bell Gorge. I had understood the system only referred to the 10 sites at Silent Grove. Is there a tag system for Bell Creek as well? As this might have been the first night out of Derby, to have to get there by 0900 to pick up a tag could mean a rethink.

I would not have known about the Duncan Road but for you. The thought of either having to pay an extra A$700 for a one way hire from Broome to Kununurra or to bash back to Broome via the GNH was causing me some thought. Duncan Road it is!

Your book is everything I could want ... brilliant!



Comments for Silent Grove - Bell Gorge camp sites

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Jul 04, 2008
Bell Gorge camping
by: Birgit

Hi James,

Thanks for your kind words! Glad you like the guide.

Now, the tag system admittedly is a bit confusing... You've got the right idea, just the names are the other way round :-). The board with the tags is located at Silent Grove, the first campground at Bell Gorge.

However, the tags are for the ten individual, secluded sites along the Bell Creek.

Because those sites are small and private, there needs to be some kind of reservation system. When they are full they are full.

Update 2010: the Bell Creek campsites have since been closed. Silent Grove is now the only campground at Bell Gorge.

Silent Grove on the other hand is a big open area, and if it gets full you just squeeze in a bit closer to each other. There is no reservation system for Silent Grove (or any other campground along the Gibb River Road.) Just rock up!

Another thing:

The Duncan Road connects Kununurra (or rather, the Victoria Highway near Kununurra) with Halls Creek, not with Broome. It's an alternative for only one third of the Great Northern Highway, ideal for people who do a round trip to the Bungles from Kununurra and want to avoid backtracking.

The stretch of highway that you avoid happens to be the most scenic part of it. You are still left with the boring two thirds towards Broome.

Jun 22, 2010
Closed camp ground at Bell Gorge
by: Kim Nind

My mum has bought and printed out your Destination Kimberley and Destination Top End guides off the internet. We are currently reading up on these to plan some long driving holidays, during my Univerisity holidays, over the next couple of years. Next year we plan to drive all the way from Toowoomba up to Kununnura then across to Broome and Derby via the Gibb and then back again. I was wondering was there any reasoning behind the closure of the Bell Creek camp ground. DEC have very little information on the closure on their website. We were hoping for this to be one of our stops. By the sound of it, it is extremly busy and I'm wondering if maybe we should plan it as a day trip. What do you think?

Jun 23, 2010
Bell Creek and Silent Grove
by: Birgit

Hi Kim,
Thanks for your purchase!

Hm, I never actually asked when I spoke to any DEC people... At this point I don't know what happened.

There were only 10 private sites at Bell Creek anyway. They were great for the few lucky people who were able to nab one but made no difference whatsoever to the majority of campers.
Silent Grove has always been full during peak season.

Who knows what the situation next year will be like. Many things could happen. I don't think it makes sense to make detailed plans now. Wait until you know when exactly you will be there and what exactly you'll find then.

Oct 13, 2010
Bell Gorge Camps
by: Barbara

I don't know whether you do have that information already on the page, but if not ... here it is:

We have been at Bell Gorge this year (June 2010). The 10 Camps don't exist any more. The Ranger at the Silent Grove Campground told us, that the toilets of the small camps have burned down (in the year 2009? - 2006 they still did exist) at a large fire, and they will not build them up again. They took the money to renew the showers and toilets at the Silent Grove Campground.

Many greetings from Germany


Oct 13, 2010
Kimberley Guide Updates
by: Birgit

Thanks, Barbara. Appreciate the help in keeping things current.

And thanks for relating what actually happened!

(Btw, if you scroll back up, the information about the closure is already there in my first comment. It was also published via the Kimberley Guide newsletter. See the issues of 4. May 2009, 18. June 2009 and the final announcement on 22. April 2010.)

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