21 night trip, July 2010

by Frances

Thanks for this fantastic guide. I've poured over it. I also really appreciate all the reader stories. I'm travelling through the Kimberley on a 21 night trip - last week of June and first two weeks of July. It's me in 4WD camping, with my 3 kids.

The way I've organised my itinerary is to try to mix up driving with decents stays - that is, make the tough choice spend a couple of days in a few key places, then getting to the next place with a LONG days drive.

Could you let me know whether I've bitten off too much on these long days. I'm particularly worried about the end of the trip, as it is all getting too compressed. I'm also worried about how busy the camping ground at Bell Gorge might be in mid-July - is there any chance there won't be room for us to camp there?

  • Nights 1,2,3 Broome - pick up vehicle, pack, have fun (accommodation already booked)
  • Nights 4,5,6,7 - Kooljaman, explore around Bardi country
  • Night 8 - LONG DAYS DRIVE - up very early - into Broome by late morning - restock 1 weeks food - drive to Derby, collapse at Birdswood Downs
  • Night 9 - Tunnel Creek, Windjana Gorge (camp there)
  • Night 10 - LONG days drive via Fitzroy to Halls Creek, perhaps look at Geikie Gorge, camp at Halls Creek
  • Night 11,12,13 Purnululu
  • Night 14 and 15 Leave Purnululu early for LONG days drive. 1 weeks food Kununurra, sleep El Questro for 2 nights
  • Night 16 and 17 Home Valley
  • Night 18 and 19 Mt Elizabeth
  • Night 20 on drive swim Adcock Gorge - destination Bell Gorge
  • THEN waking at Bell Gorge, LONG LONG drive to Broome Night 21 Broome (accommodation booked, flight home.

Comments for 21 night trip, July 2010

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Looks doable
by: Birgit

Hi Frances,

Bell Gorge will be busy, but they'll squeeze you in. I don't think they can send away people even if they wanted to. You can ring the DEC and confirm that with them. (The contact details are in the appendix and also in the relevant chapter of your guide).

Day 8 could turn into a long one, depending on how much time it takes you to do organise yourself in Broome and just how much you want to see and do in Derby. But you could always skip Derby if you run out of time.

Day 10 doesn't seem too bad.

Day 15 again could indeed be a very long and tiring one, again the shopping and getting organised could potentially swallow up a lot of time. The worst case scenario here would be to stay in Kununurra instead of pressing on to El Questro.

The drive back to Broome from Bell Gorge is not a problem. That part of the road is not so bad and a lot is sealed already.

No, I don't think you've bitten off too much. It all looks very doable, apart maybe from the two shopping days where you may have to adjust the plan on the fly.

Having said said, keep in mind that I don't have kids myself. I may underestimate the time it takes to organise those :-).

Rejigging the July trip
by: Frances

Thanks. The kids are excellent travel companions. I really appreciate getting your feedback.

You're right. I hadn't factored in just what a long day it would be getting out of Purnululu.

On your advice I've re-jigged it as follows

Day 14 Leave the Bungle Bungles and drive to Kununurra. Treat ourselves to a night at the Lakeview Apartments: have a bath, catch up on the laundry and do some shopping!

Day 15-17 El Questro

Day 18-19 perhaps pull into Home Valley, definitely morning tea at Ellenbrae, sleeping at Mt Elizabeth

Day 20 leave stopping at Adcock Gorge to Bell Gorge

Day 21 Broome

I was tempted to cut back a day at El Questro to squeeze in a night at Manning Gorge to make the drive on day 20 shorter, but you can't do everything and perhaps I'll be getting gorged out by then. Anyhow, I'll see how much we enjoy El Questro.

Thanks heaps!

Looking good
by: Birgit

You're welcome. That looks good. And as you say, you can always see how you feel and adjust on the fly as needed.
Enjoy your trip!

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