16 days Broome to Darwin

by Jacek

I am planning a trip between Broome and Darwin 28th of June 2009 to 14th of July 2009. I would like to thank you for the detailed guide that you have created. It was well worth buying it and it helped me a lot. You have put so much effort in it and it's really useful.

I would really appreciate if you could have a look at my trip plan and share your opinion, recommendations and tips. I would like to avoid crowds and be in places where you can really feel the wilderness and pristine beauty. I know it's not the best time of the year for that, but due to some reasons it is the only option for me and my family.

We will be renting a 4WD fully equipped with camping gear.

  • 28.06 - arriving in Broome, get supplies, have a look around. Spend the night in Broome.
  • 29.06 - early in the morning pick up the car and head towards Cape Leveque / Kooljaman (was lucky enough to book the last beach shelter for two nights!). Arrive in the afternoon and set up camp. Enjoy the sunset.
  • 30.06 - do some mud crabbing (is it the season?), relaxing, swimming, maybe a scenic short flight over the Bucaneer?
  • 1.07 - leave early in order to make it to Windjana NP. Maybe. Camp there.
  • 2.07 - enjoy Windjana, maybe Tunnel Creek, Bell Gorge and get to Mornington AWC in the afternoon. Set up camp. Enjoy the sunset over the Leopold Ranges.
  • 3.07 - Rent a canoe and see the Dimond Gorge or Sir John Gorge. And here is where I need your help. Is it possible to sleep at AWC, wake up early in the morning and make it to Mitchell Falls or it's not posssible / wise?
    Alternatively I was thinking to leave AWC and camp at Mt Barnett and then continue the trip to Mitchell Falls.
  • 4.07 - Regardless, arrive at Mitchell Falls this day in the afternoon, set up camp. And here I need your advise as well, which camp site is good in your opinion. Please share your view.
  • 5.07 - Spend the whole day walking to the falls exploring the area, and maybe a scenic flight back before the sunset.
  • 6.07 - early wake up. Get to El Questro and set up camp.
  • 7.07 - get to Purnululu NP in the afternoon. Set up camp, see the sunset etc.
  • 8.07 - spend the whole day walking to Cathedral Gorge and then as deeply as possible to Picanniny Gorge. Turn around (in time hopefully) and maybe do a scenic flight over the Bungle Bungle, enjoy the sunset again :)?
  • 9.07 - do a short Echidna Chasm walk before heading to Kununurra. But before reaching it detour to Wyndham to the Five Rivers Lookout for a evening view. Get to Kununurra and camp somewhere (or maybe Keep River NP, but that is further away or maybe the opposite camp at Diggers Rest Station? Please share your opinion.)
  • 10.07 - do the scenic drive between Kununurra and Nitmiluk NP. Find a spot to camp, probably there is heaps of them as well as crowds everywhere.
  • 11.07 - see Katherine Gorge. I really wanted to do the overnight canoe trip but there is just not enough time :(
    Instead I am considering a boat cruise or a shorter canoe trip combined with a short (15-20mins) helicopter flight to at least get s glimpse of the vast 8 or 13 gorges. And here I am confused as well is it possible assuming an early start of the day get to some camping spot in Kakadu (Gunlom or Maguk) or it's not possible/ wise?
  • 12.07 - see Jim Jim and Twin Falls, maybe camp there even though I would prefer to avoid crowds, but Koolpin Gorge is already booked out and Graveside Gorge is too complicated to get to (I mean time consuming). I am really confused and slightly frustrated with this part of the trip planning. Your help would be priceless.
  • 13.07 - do a 6:45 Yellow Water cruise to see our beloved crocs in full glory, see Nourlangie Rock, maybe a eco-tour with a Aboriginal guide and sunset over the wetlands. Camp somewhere (???).
  • 14.07 - need to give back the car in Darwin at 4PM but I was thinking to go through the termite mounds (short detour) in Litchfield NP before reaching Darwin.

I was looking into Litchfield as an alternative to Kakadu, but don't know whether it's a good idea. There are some nice, secluded camp sites there especially in the southern part and far northern part, and the falls are also spectacular. What do you think about interchanging one day in Kakadu for Litchfield?

Please share your comments, opinions, what doesn't make sense, where can I alter my plans. All your input will be extremely appreciated.

Once again thank you for the guide, for the website and for all your help in exploring those beautiful parts of Australia...

Warm regards,

Comments for 16 days Broome to Darwin

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16 Days Broome to Darwin
by: Birgit

Hi Jacek,

1.07: Getting to Windjana should would not be a problem if you drive more or less directly. Once you add a stop in Broome or Derby to restock, and maybe some sight seeing on the way (jetty in Derby, prison boab...) it becomes a very long day.

2.07: That does not seem realistic. You'd be run off your feet all day. I'd spend a night at Bell Gorge

3./4.07: There is only one campground at the Mitchell Falls. The King Edward River sites are about 80 km away, just after the turn off from the Kalumburu Road. Miners Pool at Drysdale Station is another bush campground. So even if you are late, there are options to camp on the way.

9.07: Another really long and stressful day. Digger's Rest is great, but you wouldn't want to try and find it in the dark. Also, what's the point of venturing out there if you get there late and leave early? Maybe you could camp in Wyndham. Or you skip it.

10.07: If you want to see the gorge next day, camp at the gorge.

11.07: Not wise. I don't see a point in camping at Maguk or Gunlom, if you get there after dark and leave in the early morning.

12.07: even leaving in the early morning from Gunlom/Maguk, that would be a very quick look at best.

14.07: I don't really see much point in driving into Litchfield just to see a few termite hills, unusual as they may be...

I think Litchfield instead of Kakadu would be a good idea for you. It's a lot less driving.

Jacek, I'd suggest you do some cutting.

You say you want to feel wilderness and pristine beauty. You squeezed in every single place that is great for that sort of thing, but there isn't much time to spend at those places! You really are defeating that purpose if you cram it all in and then just race from one place to the next.

You are trying to fit in ALL of the Kimberley, every single out of the way site, and all the big parks in the Territory. I give a recommendation in the full guide for that: four weeks. You are trying to do it in two. No wonder you are getting frustrated...

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