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Kimberley News: Opening dates for next season (not much yet!), warning for early season travellers.
April 02, 2017

2 April 2017, Issue #053

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In this issue:
  • Customer support between April 8 and April 20
  • Opening dates for the next season? (Not much yet!)
  • Be safe out there!

Hi everyone,

In this issue you find a couple of updates regarding opening times after this big wet season, a specific warning for people travelling early in the season, a warning and tip from a reader, and some important information regarding time zone changes.

First, however, I want you to know how you can get help and support while I am away...

Customer Support between April 8 and April 20

I will be away from April 8 to April 20, and most likely will not have any access to email.
(Apparently no WIFI in iglus in the wilderness in Kamchatka!
Yeah, I was dumbfounded, too.)

Monica Coleman (you know her as the author of Destination Red Centre) has kindly offered to help out during that time.

Monica is travelling herself and will only occasionally have access to email, so be aware that you may need to wait for a few days to get a response!

Also note that Monica will NOT be able to answer all the usual enquiries and questions, those will simply have to wait till I'm back.

Monica WILL be there to assist customers who run into any problems, to help you if your download link expired, or to save you if you arrive at your holiday destination and realise you left your guide at home. (Happens with amazing regularity!)

To get through to Monica, however, it is essential that you DO follow my requests to ALWAYS use the contact page when contacting us.

Let me say that again: always, ALWAYS use the contact page when contacting me.

If you want to request an update/fresh download link, follow the instructions there.

Only the messages from the contact page and the update requests will be forwarded to Monica.

Of course, you can still always contact me before April 8 or after April 20 with all your questions and concerns.

Opening dates for the next season? (Not much yet!)

It's April, and this is usually when the first adventurous travellers hit the road.

And usually, a couple of high profile destinations in the Kimberley open that early.

One of them is El Questro. Traditionally El Questro opens for the season on April 1.

I spoke to them and asked if the big wet had impacted this long standing date.

Nope! They are indeed open!

The road in is very rough and the creek crossings very deep. But if you have a high clearance 4WD (which is recommended anyway to visit ELQ) then you should be able to get in.

There are still many storms and showers around, so always do check the weather and road reports or give the station a quick call before heading out there.

(Naturally, you find all required links and contact details in the appendix of Destination Kimberley.)

Another famous destination to traditionally open very early is Purnululu National Park (Bungle Bungles).

Purnululu is in a different location from all the well known gorges. It is much further south, in much drier country.

Alas, not dry enough to open already!

I spoke to the ranger station and they are currently hoping to be ready for visitors by April 15.

Please note that this is just a goal at this stage! No guarantee that the park will be opening at that exact date.

As for everything else along the Gibb:

Patience, grasshopper, is all I can say for now.

I will be back from my trip on April 20, and I'll hopefully be able to send out another newsletter soon after that.

In the meantime, I hope you do know that I have no magical powers or secret contacts. (Well, I may have a few of those ;) )

All the links I am checking, all the phone numbers I am calling to get this info for a newsletter, are also in the appendix of Destination Kimberley and Destination Top End.

If you want to travel before May, make good use of them!!

Be safe out there!

Talking about weather and road conditions...

You may recall the "Cautionary Tale" that one of my readers shared in the last newsletter special issue.

It prompted another reader to add his own experience and tip for you:

"More to 'A Cautionary Tale'. Make sure that you have the best State automobile club coverage to minimise the cost of having to call out a mechanic in remote areas.
Most basic coverage is OK for metro areas but, if you have to get someone from several hundred kilometres away, it will still cost you hundreds of dollars. I blew a tyre on the Strzelecki Track last year and broke three out of five wheel studs when I changed the wheel. Having no spare studs, I had to get a mechanic travel from Copley and return and it cost me $930. The RAA insurance that I had accounted for only $90 of this."
Rod Owen

Thank you, Rod!

And here is a warning for everyone travelling early this season:

The wet season is the time when mosquitoes breed and increase hugely in numbers.

Mosquitoes up here are more than just annoying. They can also carry and transmit serious diseases.

Ross River Virus (RRV) is actually quite common, while thankfully infections from the dangerous Murray Valley Encephalitis (MVE) are very rare.

Those viruses ALSO become more active during the wet season!

MVE has recently been detected in "sentinel" chicken flocks in the east Kimberley, meaning the virus is currently active in the region.

There has also been a spike in RRV infections in people.

RRV is not quite as dangerous as MVE, but it certainly has the potential to ruin your quality of life for months if not years to come!

Not many mosquitoes actually do carry these viruses, but unfortunately you can't tell which do.
It's much better to be safe than sorry.
So please, especially this time of the year, be diligent when it comes to mosquito protection.

And last but not least, as some of you may have heard, everybody, regardless of when they travel, will now have to adjust their clocks when reaching Broome.

Yes, it's official: as of this Sunday, Broome has its own time zone, Broome Time.

Important details can be found here. (FB)

If you are not on Facebook, the important video is also available for all on this page.

And that's it for today!
I'll be in touch again some time after April 20.

Those of you planning on leaving for their trips soon, please always also refer to the appendix of Destination Kimberley, Destination Top End and Destination Red Centre or to the links in previous newsletters to keep yourself up to date about the conditions.

Happy travels,

Feedback? Found some out of date info in one of my guides? Let me know via

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