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Kimberley trip itineraries to download, new caravan park near Bungles, more updates and questions
February 20, 2011

21 February 2011, Issue #031

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In this issue:
  • Reader questions and updates
  • New self drive itinerary booklet for Destination Kimberley buyers
  • Access to the new bonus download for existing Destination Kimberley customers

Hello from a still very soggy Kununurra!

Yes, same greeting as in the last newsletter, I know. That's not because this is a lazy copy and paste job, but because nothing much has changed here with regard to the weather. It's still raining, raining, raining... this time courtesy of cyclone Carlos.

Mind you, we got nowhere near as much rain as Darwin did. And of course, compared to other flood areas in Australia, we are having a dry spell. I am not complaining!

I just wish I knew what kind of snake it is that sought refuge under my fridge in the kitchen. It's about four feet, and I didn't see the head, and saw the body only for a second or two against the first morning light. Size and number of scales? Colour? No idea.

I don't think I can convince it that living outside would be much nicer, not for now anyway. So I'm tiptoeing somewhat carefully around that fridge. Just gotta remember it's there, and not upset it until it decides to move on. (Unless it's a python. In which case it is very welcome to move in with me. It just did not look like a python at all...)

Enough of me, let's start this issue by getting a few of your questions and some updates out of the way.

Reader questions and updates

Road condition predictions

First off, always popular and still coming in regularly:
"How deep will the xyz-river/the creeks on the abc-track be on --insert date of choice, always several months away--.

People, wrong address. Google "psychic medium", and make sure you hire a very competent one. Because NOBODY can predict the precise rainfall for every square kilometre of the Kimberley for every single day until you travel.

For more detail read your free pocket guide, and also see these reader pages and past newsletter issues:

Wet Season Predictions (Scroll down to "2009 Season Predictions")
2009/2010 Wet Season In The Kimberley

That should make things clearer. Don't be perturbed by the 2009 heading. Some things will never change. Sorry!

I swear, I wish I could help you more with this, because I'd love to know for myself.

I will get going early April myself, but I have no idea yet where exactly I'll be going. Whichever road is open, that's the one I'll be taking.

New caravan park near the Bungles

One reader asked about the new caravan park near the start of the Bungles access track due to open for business soon. Sorry to the person who wrote in with that question, but during some technical problems your submission was accidentally deleted, so I couldn't answer it.

The new caravan park is on Mabel Downs Station and they plan to open for business on May 1. I am still waiting to get all the details for you, but as you can imagine, with the opening date looming they are run off their feet. As soon as I know more, I'll post it on the "What's New?" page.

Ord Valley Muster

The dates for the Ord Valley Muster have been published. The Muster will be on from May 12-22, and the open air Moon Experience is on May 14, this year with Jimmy Barnes, Vanessa Amorosi, Bob Evans and the Pigram Brothers & Alex Lloyd. Get all the details here.

Gibb River Road accommodation bookings

Also on the "What's New?" page you find a link to a cautionary tale regarding accommodation bookings on the Gibb River Road that one of my readers submitted.

Most of you don't have to worry about this because you will be camping. But those people who want to travel the length of the Gibb River Road while staying only in hosted accommodation, you should definitely read this.

The thing is, this is a destination for adventurers and campers. Yes, there is accommodation for people who want to travel in style, but it's limited. With the way the Kimberley is lately being promoted, with Oprah visiting and all, we are seeing a big influx of a very different kind of tourists: many more hosted tours, many more visitors who do want to see the wilderness, but, well, not have it be so wild, I guess.

And of course, travelling during peak season always means asking for those kinds of problems. If you can, avoid it, especially if for some reason you are not able to camp at all.

New self drive itinerary booklet for all Destination Kimberley buyers

In the last newsletter I said I would soon have a new download for all Destination Kimberley buyers.

The new download is a compilation of self drive itineraries both from online sources and from my own website. In the old version of Destination Kimberley I just told you where to find them, but it was a hassle to go to every single one of those itineraries and check if it's of any use to you. And many of them were presented in a way that was not particularly user friendly. All in all, it just wasn't as much help as I would have liked to offer.

So what I've done is collect them all, organise them according to length of trip, direction of travel etc., read through them to make sure they are sensible, changed them where they weren't, commented to point out the possible snags, and more.

(As an aside: I discovered something interesting while doing that... The online itineraries weren't particularly great. In fact, I thought some of them sucked. Others were totally unrealistic for the time frame. Of course I adapted them to make them as useful as possible. But the main point is that I discovered that Destination Kimberley readers can put together much better itineraries than any car hire or self drive package selling companies do. And that made me very happy.)

As of Sunday night a week ago, people who bought Destination Kimberley also received a link to the free bonus download.

Anybody who already bought Destination Kimberley since October should by now have received an email with the free bonus download. (If you haven't, or if you bought earlier, keep reading. I'll tell you below how to get it.)

On top of that, anybody who bought Destination Kimberley in the last three months of 2010 also received a fresh link for the current version of the main guide. (Your version is the older edition from last year, and I want you to have the current one.)

Again, if you haven't received the link, or if you bought Destination Kimberley earlier but plan to travel this year, keep reading.

Access to the new bonus download for existing Destination Kimberley customers

Check when exactly you bought Destination Kimberley, and then read below:

1. If you bought Destination Kimberley in October or later but did not get the bonus and/or updated main guide:

First check the email address that you used when purchasing Destination Kimberley (often it is a different one than the address where you receive the newsletter!), and also check the junk folder.

If it is not there, please write to, put "Please resend download link" in the subject line, include the email address you used for your purchase and -IMPORTANT- your surname. I need to be able to find you in the database to send you the link. (People may have several emails, but usually only one surname.)

2. If you bought Destination Kimberley before October but plan to travel this year

Most people who purchased before October will have been on their trips already. Please, only contact me if you really are planning a 2011 trip.

(The problem is that this is a manual process, and that I have thousands of existing customrs. So I am a bit worried just how much email I'll be getting...)

Also, if you have no trouble preparing your itinerary, if you already read through all itineraries on my website and understand all the issues and time requirements, then you don't need this new download. I promise, it does not contain any new revelations. It is simply a much more user friendly and compact version of the information, for people who do not find it so easy to gather information online.

If you do have problems planning your itinerary, if you think this will help you, then do not hesitate to ask for it. Please do exactly what I already outlined above for others:

Please write to adminsupport&, put "Please resend download link" in the subject line, and -IMPORTANT- include the email address you used for your original purchase and your surname. I need to be able to find you in the database to send you the link.

Again, this offer is only relevant for existing Destination Kimberley customers who are still in the planning stage of their trip.

And that's it for today.

No, stop press!
This just came in: 28 Days Darwin to Adelaide
Jackie has obviously done her homework. This is a good itinerary, and it's not included in your bonus booklet yet. (I will of course add it as soon as I get a chance.)

Jackie is also asking for input from the more experienced amongst you (i.e. those that have already been up here). She is looking for some tips from people with children. If that is you, I would be grateful, too, if you could chime in. Since I don't have kids myself I am unfortunately not much help in that department!

We already have some discussions on trips with children on the website (use the search to search for the word children and then also for kids), but it would be nice to collect more. I'd love to get enough useful info together to be able to compile it into another free download for you, so you have all the relevant info in one place.

And this is it. Really. There is a lot happening here at the moment, so you can expect to hear from me again soon!


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(c) 2005-2011, 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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