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Updates to "Destination Kimberley", more about Mornington Wilderness Camp, new pages on the website.
March 16, 2008

***What's Happening In The Kimberley?***

A (hopelessly) irregular e-letter with news, site updates and travel tips.
By Birgit Bradtke
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17 March 2008, Issue #006

In this issue:

** Destination Kimberley Guide Updates
** What's New? Itinerary Feedback
** A Hard Copy Is In The Works But Don't Hold Your Breath


Hello from sticky, steamy Kununurra. We had the most wonderful and cool February here with very constant rain, but now the sun has reappeared and turned everything into a big sauna. Let's hope the next rain is not too far away. The dog is behind the lounge on the veranda, so there is thunder around somewhere, even if I can't hear it.

I am still trying to catch up on the mountains of work that piled up while the book project had taken over my life, so this a somewhat hurried issue.

The full travel guide, Destination Kimberley, is live on the site now. It has turned out much more popular than I had dared to hope, which is of course great, but this also brought a few problems. They were all my fault. (And they are all fixed now. No glitches for well over a week...)

The technical side of putting it together and delivering it was quite a learning curve for me and there have been a few hiccups during the first few days. My apologies to the people who were affected, and thanks so much for bearing with me!

But to me the most embarrassing thing was that I missed two emails from readers who had a question about the book. For some mysterious reason they were sent to my spam folder and during that hectic first week I forgot to check that folder regularly. I felt terrible when I found the messages. Of course I wrote to them immediately and apologized. A bit late... No wonder I never heard from them again.

There is one more thing I'd like to mention before I get to the updates: two more readers have purchased the guide but never downloaded it! I kept reactivating your download links, I emailed you as well but never received a response, so I don't know if all my emails are just being filtered or what the story is. At this stage I am at a loss what to do.

Both of you are on this list and obviously reading the newsletter. So if this is you, please get in touch with me. If I don't hear from you in the next week, I will refund you. I can't think of anything else to do.

Ok, on to the updates...

Destination Kimberley Guide Updates

Broome Caravan Park:

This one is for dog owners. I have received word that Broome Caravan Park does NOT allow dogs any more. They used to but not any more. That means that ALL Broome caravan parks have now outlawed dogs. The only option in Broome for campers travelling with dogs are the overflow areas.

Mornington Wilderness Camp:

One reader asked for more information about what he can do once he gets to Mornington. That information is available in downloadable form on their own website and I did link to that in the book, but I certainly did not make it clear enough. There appears to be a lot more interest in the Mornington Wildlife Sanctuary than there used to be, so I also added some more information to the guide.

This is the updated section of the guide:

*******p 161********
The Mornington Wilderness Camp is your base here. You can enjoy stylish full accommodation in their safari tents, complete with ensuite ($470), or pitch your own tent at the shady creekside campground (full amenities, $15 pp) and enjoy use of the bar and the bush restaurant if you like. The $20 Wilderness Sanctuary Pass per vehicle gives you access to the gorges in the area and they even offer some tyre and mechanical repair facilities.

The 24 km self drive trail from the camp to Dimond Gorge takes about 1.5 hours (you will be supplied with detailed trek notes). Don't plan less for it because you will want to stop and take photos and admire the views on the way. This is one of the most spectacular gorges in the Kimberley. And the drive is not all there is to it. Get a packed lunch hamper, life jackets and paddles from the reception and explore the 2 km gorge in a hired canoe (2 person canoe $60).

Sir John Gorge is 14 km from the camp--on a rougher track than Dimond--and can also be explored by canoe. This massive gorge section of the Fitzroy River is 23 km long and they only allow 2 people in it at a time. Yes, you will have the whole gorge to yourself. I can't think of a better way to spend a day and it is well worth the $200 (canoe for two and includes your lunch hamper). If you can't make time for a full day, make sure you spend at least one sunset down there. Sir John Gorge is a very special and awe-inspiring place.

If you ever want to go for just a quick swim, check out Bluebush and Cadjeput, two swimming holes only a 20 minute drive from camp. You can also go for a short walk along Annie Creek. You can hire snorkles or binoculars for your excursions and of course you can also join the Mornington guides on one of the many birdwatching and ecological tours they offer. (See website for info on tours.)

In the end you will likely feel that two nights here was nowhere near enough.
****end update*********

Make sure you contact them ahead and let them know that you are coming. At that time you can also ask them about the current track conditions, something that can never be predicted far in advance.

Mornington Wilderness Camp is a bit off the beaten track and not many people do make the detour, but in my opinion it is the biggest highlight of the whole Gibb River Road. If you can, set at least two nights aside for it. You will not regret it.

What's New? Itinerary Feedback

I had been getting many questions for help with itinerary planning and I promised I would make an area on the site available for such questions.

It's now live here:

If you have a specific question related to your itinerary, or if you have an itinerary worked out and want some feedback, just submit it through the form. Adding your name and location is of course optional, you can certainly remain anonymous if you prefer.

By the way, the image on that page is the same that now adorns the cover of Destination Kimberley. It's a hired vehicle crossing the King Edward River on the Mitchell Plateau. And it's not the only hire vehicle I've seen up there!

(As you hopefully know from my site or the guide book, hire car insurance is a problem on that trip.)

I also made a new page with photos that show more of that track itself and the King Edward River Crossing. It's here:

Some of the new reader questions that have been submitted:

Walking to the Mitchell Falls with young children?
Vehicle Suitability for Gibb River Road
Day trip to Windjana Gorge from Broome

Don't forget, you can always check the "What's New" link in the navigation bar of the website to see what else is new on the website itself.

A Hard Copy Is In The Works But Don't Hold Your Breath

Let me finish this issue by looking a bit into the future. Several readers asked for a hard copy version of the guide. I can understand that a real book would be your preferred option. I am looking into it to see what's possible but I can tell you already that this is still many months away.

Now, if someone still thinks they would rather have the real book and wonders if they should wait for it, consider this:

If I do offer a hard copy at some stage, everybody who has purchased the e-version already would be able to upgrade to the hard copy. You would not miss out or have to pay full price again or anything like that. You just pay the difference (the printing/binding/shipping costs). You get exactly the same deal that you would get if you buy the hard copy. No difference.

So, if you are travelling to the Kimberley this year, I certainly would NOT wait. Get Destination Kimberley now:

PS.: When you print the e-version, make sure you have your printer set for double sided printing. There is no need to take 185 blank pages with you on your holiday!


And last but most certainly not least, a big THANK YOU. Thanks for being such loyal readers, for bearing with me through the hiccups and for all the questions, suggestions and feedback you sent. You made it all worth it!

More from the Kimberley soon.

B. (Birgit)



(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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