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Another free campsite on the Gibb River Road closed
August 23, 2008

It's been a while since I sent out an update. The main reason for my silence is, as some of you may have seen, that I am overseas. I left Kununurra on August 1 to fly to Germany, where I am catching up with family and friends and climbing lots of mountains.

This visit is only a warm up for the real purpose of the trip: a 6 week visit to Tanzania to fulfil my mother's lifelong dream of seeing and climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.

The logistics and preparations of the whole adventure had fully occupied me in the last weeks before my departure, and as you can probably imagine, finding quiet time to get some work done while here is also a challenge.

(Not to mention this weird German keyboard with all the keys in the wrong places...)

Anyway, let's leave Germany and Tanzania and concentrate on the Kimberley again. What's been happening?

Something that was inevitable:

I have bad news for people who were hoping to stay at free campsites as much as possible: a "no camping" sign now adorns the bush campsites at the Barnett River Gorges. And with that the last previously authorised bush campsite along the Gibb River Road has been closed. You are only allowed to camp where there are toilet facilties:

Windjana, Bell Gorge, Mt. Barnett etc.

(In case you wondered: the King Edawrd River sites on the way to the Mitchell Plateau do have toilet facilities.)

As a dedicated bush camper I was sorry to hear this, but looking at the big picture I have to say it is a good move, necessary and inevitable. I am sure we will see more and more closures, restrictions and regulations in the coming years. (I think they call it progress...)


What else is happening? Things are starting to slow down. Visitor numbers in the Kimberley are dropping and so is the number of questions I receive through the site.

Speaking of questions: Chris wants to know if anyone has towed a trailer into the Bungles with only a standard ball hitch. If you have, or if you have an opinion regarding the feasiblity of his plan, let him know in the comments:

Geoff sent me a link to the video he made about his Darwin to Broome trip and allowed me to put it on the site as well. (Thanks!) It's here:

A big thank you again to all those people who wrote in after they returned from their trips. Your thank you notes always make my day. I love to read the stories, see your pictures or videos, and the feedback and updates are invaluable and much appreciated.

Interestingly the comment I get most often is that people are grateful for the advice to take it easy, allow enough time and not cram in too much. (The same people tell me how they witnessed other travellers, with huge rigs and loaded to the max, flying along the roads, stressed out at the road houses, angry about the cost of tyre repairs and replacements... Oh well.)

One reader who has truly perfected the art of slow travel is Charles from the UK:

Garden of Eden:

Favourite places to watch the world go by:

So, if you are still in the planning stage, remember to keep tyre pressures down on the dirt and take it easy.

More from the Kimberley soon!

B. (Birgit)

PS.: I still have to catch up with a few reader questions. If you have submitted a question through the site and are still waiting for an answer, you should hear from me in the next day or two.


Heading for the Kimberley? Get your copy of Destination Kimberley here:

And keep the feedback coming:


(c) 2005-2008, Birgit Bradtke. All rights reserved. The Kimberley Guide is published by Birgit Bradtke in Kununurra, WA 6743, Australia. Reproduction of any material from this newsletter without written permission is prohibited.

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