17 days Broome-Kununurra GNH, Kununurra-Broome GRR

by Peter Robinson
(Perth WA)

This is our planned itinerary for our first trip to the Kimberley. I hope to get your feedback if that is possible.

Day 1: Pick up 4WD camper, stock up, head to Fitzroy Crossing

Day 2: Geikie Gorge, head to Turkey Creek

Day 3,4: Join Bungles tour

Day 5,6: Head to Kununurra, Hidden Valley Tourist Park

Day 7: El Questro

Day 8: Gibb River Road - Drysdale River Campsite

Day 9,10,11: Mitchell Falls Campsite

Day 12: Manning Gorge, Mt Barnett Roadhouse

Day 13: Mornington Wildlife Sanctuary, Dimond Gorge, Mornington Wilderness Camp

Day 14: King Leopold Conservation Park, Bell Gorge, Silent Grove

Day 15,16: Windjana Gorge, Tunnel Creek

Day 17: Return to Broome, 18:30 flight to Perth

We have tried to be free of bookings so we can change our priorities as we go. Would certainly be open to any suggestions.

Comments for 17 days Broome-Kununurra GNH, Kununurra-Broome GRR

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That looks good!
by: Birgit

Hi Peter,

That itinerary looks very good. There is only one thing that, if it was me, I'd do differently. I would definitely spend two nights at Mornington so you can have a full day there.

To find that extra day you could probably drop one of the nights at Windjana Gorge. You only need an hour or so to explore Tunnel Creek, and maybe two to explore Windjana, and the two are only half an hour apart.

Depending on what exactly you want to do on the Mitchell Plateau, you could also drop one of the nights up there.

But you could also leave everything exactly as is. There aren't any real problems with it. You are camping and therefore free to make adjustments on the way. It should all work out fine.

Can I ask a question? You have a 4WD camper, and you are self driving to places like Mornington and the Mitchell Plateau. What made you choose a tour to the Bungles? I was surprised to see that decision.

Bungles tour
by: Peter

We discovered the Bungles tour (with East Kimberley Tours) very early in our research, based on glowing recommendations from a friend, and it became an automatic part of the plan. I have also been told that the Bungles are a place where you benefit from the tour guides knowledge and commentary. It is an expensive part of the plan, buts it's done now so we plan just to enjoy the extra comfort of the bush camp accommodation and the chauffeur driven ride.

Makes sense
by: Birgit

I see. That makes perfect sense :-).
(What wouldn't have made sense is to avoid self driving only because of the "horrible" road, as many people do...)
And EKT is a great operator. Well, looks like you've got it all sorted. Enjoy your trip!

Review of the Trip
by: Peter Robinson

The trip is now over and we had a wonderful time - already thinking about what to do next time.
The book was an invaluable guide that we depended on very heavily. We have listed below a few small items where it is not accurate - I guess it is an ongoing task to keep it up to date.

The only disappointment was being rained in at the Bungles. We had one day of sunshine and saw the northern gorges, and then it rained and we were stuck for the best part of two days. Cold and damp, but well looked after by the EKT staff. We missed Cathedral Gorge and Piccaninny Creek :(

Mitchell Falls were spectacular, but the campsite is less than inspiring. We ended up, based on advice from the locals, moving back to Camp 1 at the King Edward River crossing and had a wonderful 2 days swimming and relaxing amongst beautiful scenery and wildlife right on the bank of the river. Highly recommended, and the aboriginal art in the area is worth finding.

Updates for the book:
- Mitchell Falls campsite is no longer free - $6.50 pp pn
- the King Edward River campsites are easy to miss. Camp 2 is 2.8 Km from the crossing and Camp 1 is 3.1 Km, both on the right coming from the crossing. Camp 1 is a nicer site.
- the aboriginal art sites around the KER crossing can be located as follows. The first turnoff is just 200 m from the crossing on the left. The second is 6.3 Km from the crossing on the right and is more difficult to find when you get there. You need to go through the little personnel gate and follow the tracks to the rock outcrops. The burial site is off to the the right before the gate and around begind the big rock outcrop about in line with the fenceline with the gate.
- the showers at Silent Grove and Windjana are COLD (not hot) but not too bad.

Overall, great scenery, great wildlife, roads not too bad. Great experience.

Thanks a bunch!
by: Birgit

Hi Peter,

Thanks so much for your review and the updates. Already changed and re-uploaded the book file :-). You're not wrong. It is hard to stay on top of this. (CALM don't even mention the new fee on their own site.)

Thank you very much for your help with it and thanks for the kind words.
Yes, that rain was a bummer. I can tell you that everybody here was holding their breath, wondering if we get a real disaster again like last year...

It's weird. This really isn't supposed to happen... I've just been to the NT for two weeks, and we also had a couple of overcast days just last week and it looked like rain. Luckily we didn't really get any. But again, this just isn't supposed to happen. I wonder if it's going to become a regular thing...

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