Travelling with children to Broome/Kimberley

by Sharyn
(Alexandra, Victoria)

We are heading off for 6 months on an Aussie adventure after Christmas this year (so excited!!) and plan on being in Broome by April and in the Kimberley area in May.

Our current home is Alexandra in Victoria (near Lake Eildon). After a health scare earlier in the year, my husband and I made the completely not practical or financial decision to call a time out on our lives. My husband has knocked back a $20K new job to reconnect to me and our beautiful kids (aged 6 and 9).

We have a 4wd and an offroad camper and my husband is really into his 4wding, so we would love to explore as much of the beautiful Kimberley region as we can. We are planning to be as self sufficient as we can and steer away from the commercialised areas and caravan parks.

What advice can you give us on places that would be great for us as a family to go?

PS.: Love your website. So down to earth and informative all in one. Your passion for the Kimberley region is so inspiring and refreshing to read in this over materialised/commercialised culture we sadly live in.

So looking forward to hearing your advice and thanks heaps in advance,
Kind wishes,
Sharyn

Related question:
Travelling Through Kimberley With Young Children

Response to: Travelling with children to Broome/Kimberley



Hi Sharyn!

Now you got me! Advice for a family with young children... I have to admit that my experience and knowledge in that area leave a bit to be desired. (I don't have children myself.)

Let's see. April/May is a great time of the year, though a bit unpredictable (some roads may still be closed). It's great that you are into 4wding, I'd say your husband will love the place.

You will also get to enjoy everything before the big wave of tourists arrives. Perfect.

The first advice I'd give you is to get Jan Holland's books if you don't have them already. They are a must for any self sufficient camper who wants to avoid the commercial parks. (There are three books: the NT, the south of WA, and the north of WA. My own guide Destination Kimberley of course covers the sites in the Kimberley.)

Places to go as a family:

One great place that immediately comes to mind is Middle Lagoon on the Dampier Peninsula north of Broome. The lagoon is safe for swimming all year round. (I would not let the kids swim at Cable Beach that time of the year. It's prime time for Irukandji.)

The water is also shallow all the way and there is great snorkelling around the rocks. (The beaches at Kooljaman at Cape Leveque are not so good for children, pretty steep, submerged rocks, currents...)

At Middle Lagoon you can rent a little shelter right on the beach and cook at night over an open fire, also right on the beach if you like. It's unlikely that you'll see many other travellers there, if any. This is mostly a place the locals go to.

Here is a page (opens in new window) with ideas for things to do with children in Broome itself. (Unfortunately I can't comment on any.)

Once you leave the Broome area you definitely can't miss Tunnel Creek. I imagine the kids would also enjoy Windjana Gorge a lot, as it gives them a chance to see crocodiles (the harmless freshwater variety) in the wild from fairly close.

The old RAAF quarry near Fitzroy Crossing is a great camping spot with good swimming.

Out of Halls Creek you have Caroline Pool and Sawpit Gorge along the Duncan Road, also great for camping, safe for swimming for the kids, and a safe area for them to run around and explore.

If your children don't mind hiking and are reasonable swimmers then the whole GGibb River Road has a lot to offer, provided you take your time. Bell Gorge is a bit difficult to climb down to, and Manning Gorge is a long hike. (But having to swim and float all the belongings across the creek in styro foam tubs should be entertaining :-).)

Whether the Gibb River Road will be open when you get there is of course another question...

In Wyndham you have another crocodile farm (though you probably already visited the one in Broome.)

At the Kununurra end are Molly Springs and Middle Springs, both popular swimming holes for local families.

How about a canoe trip down the Ord River? You could rent two canoes for two people, and take a kid each. The trip from the top dam (Lake Argyle) to the bottom dam (Lake Kununurra) can be done in one day, or with one or two overnight camping stops.

Ok, those were a few thoughts of the top of my head. I'll ask around a bit in the next weeks (I do have friends with kids) and see what else I can come up with!

--
Related Reader Pages:
Gibb River Road with small kids
Walking to the Mitchell Falls with young children
Travelling Through Kimberley With Young Children

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Thanks so much!
by: Sharyn

Hi again B,

Thank you sooo much for all of your great advice. I will definitely be ordering Jan Hollands books asap, all three of them!

And you have given us a great start to planning our Kimberley adventure. If you do come up with any other ideas from your friends with kids that would be awesome.

You have made me so excited that I cant wait to get on the road and let the adventure begin!!!!
Keep up your great work,

Warmest regards,
Sharyn

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