Back to Back Issues Page
Kimberley and NT News: 2024 Kimberley season outlook and guide book updates.
March 28, 2024

28 March 2024, Issue #101

Please do not reply to this message.

To unsubscribe or change your address please use the links at the bottom of this message.
To contact me please use the contact page.

To sign up for this newsletter and receive the free Kimberley Pocket Guide go here.

In this issue:
  • 2024 Season Outlook
  • How To Request A Fresh Download Of Your Guide Book


I hope this finds you well!

As I hope you are aware I am not sending regular newsletters anymore. I had planned to send one in early January, just to let everyone know that I am still here, still looking after things, and that Destination Kimberley will be updated as always, ready by Easter.

Unfortunately I fell seriously ill on Christmas Eve and I still struggle with the aftermath, hence no January newsletter.
I did however manage to complete the Destination Kimberley updates for this season by March 15.
(As much as that is possible. Some businesses don't decide on offerings and prices until the season actually gets under way and there are many other things that may change between now and your arrival in the Kimberley. This is also the reason why I do these updates as late as possible, so that your guide is as current as possible.)

This newsletter will let you know how you can access an updated copy when you need one.

But before that, let's have a look at what has happened in the Kimberley in general.

Your guide Destination Kimberley is still the most comprehensive and best advice for independent travellers to the Kimberley and I hope it continues!
We recommend it to everyone … and it is still compulsory reading for our new tour pilots every year.

(Steve Irvine, Managing Director of Shoal Air, on Jan 19, 2019. Read many more testimonials and reviews here.)

2024 Season Outlook

My last newsletter to you was sent in January 2023 and contained a detailed account of the Fitzroy Crossing floods. So we have a bit of catching up to do.
(As I hinted above, I am still not well so unfortunately I will have to keep it short and general, not the detailed reporting you are used to from me.)

In the German language we have figure of speech to express when plans fell through. A literal translation of that phrase is "it fell into the water".
This is pretty much literally what happened to the 2023 season.
It's not that no tourists arrived at all, but with so many businesses, stations, roads and also two national parks closed, and with it being so hard to find out if and when it will be possible to drive between the East and West Kimberley at all, many people cancelled or postponed their trips. In fact, many had the perception that the whole Kimberley was "closed".
It wasn't and many businesses got back up and running surprisingly quickly. Kimberley people are a resilient lot. But yes, there were places and experiences that were inaccessible, and if you come up here for a once in a lifetime trip, then you want to see it all.

While not everything and everyone has recovered and some places STILL remain closed, things are looking much better for 2024.
(At least for the tourism side of things they do. It's a lot harder for pastoralists.)

One thing that was handled impressively well is the rebuilding of the main Fitzroy Bridge.
Less than a year after its destruction the bridge was fully rebuilt, six times stronger than before, and reopened on December 10, six months sooner than expected.
I quote: "It contains twice the amount of steel and concrete piles that have been driven twice as deep into the riverbed, leaving the region more resilient to future disasters."

Up until Dec 10 it was possible to travel between the East and West Kimberley via low level crossings but those type of crossings can not be used once water levels start to rise over the wet season. So the fact that this was possible to do in that time frame was great.

All roads have long been repaired. They made sure that roads are in a particularly good and solid state for the year to come.

(Unrelated, work on sealing the Tanami Road has also started. It's going to take years though to complete that one.)

The nearest national park to Fitzroy Crossing is Geikie Gorge. The damage there was severe, the visitor infrastructure is gone and rebuilding it is expected to take until at least August 2025.
There are however tentative plans to open the park to visitors in 2024 (possibly June). No boat cruises, though.

Windjana Gorge, which had to remain closed all of 2023, will reopen in 2024.
So will all other parks, which had already reopened in 2023.

Mornington Wilderness Camp (the Fitzroy River flows through here and washed away just about everything) and Charnley River Station will remain closed.

Almost everyone else is up and running again and looking forward to your visit!

You will still encounter partial closures and reduced offerings at some places. As you read through Destination Kimberley you will also discover that some small businesses across the Kimberley have gone out of business altogether. First Covid, then the floods and the not happening of the 2023 season... Smaller operators don't always have the deep pockets and long breath that sees you through something like that.
(Then again, the smaller and family operated businesses disappearing and mega corporations taking over is something that has been going on since before the twenties. My long term subscribers know I have been whingeing about this for a long time already.)

Oh, and the Derby and Halls Creek visitor centres are closed! It is hoped that Derby can reopen this year, Halls Creek will remain closed.
(See Destination Kimberley for contact details for the shires, they will be handling tourism inquiries. Alternatively the Broome (for Derby) and Kununurra (for Halls Creek) visitor centres can help you with your questions.)

The 23/24 wet season was average I'd say. ("Average" without any negative connotation. Just, you know, neither very wet nor very dry.)
Sure, the Great Northern and the Victoria Highway were cut in January, people freaked a bit with the memories of the Fitzroy floods fallout so fresh on everyone's mind, but there was nothing out of the ordinary. Just the usual spectacular wet season. At least in the East Kimberley. Rain in the West Kimberley was below average.

Which is to say you can expect things to open at their normal times and May/June will be the best time for a visit. (Everything open and still plenty of water around. After all, a swimming hole or waterfall without water is half the fun.)

I think those are the main things to know. If I forgot to mention something (I probably did) then you'll find it in my guide book.

Speaking of which...

"I've read your book back to front and it is a masterpiece!"

(Received February 9, 2021.
Thanks, Cameron!)

How To Request A Fresh Download Of Your Guide Book

First, the option to request a fresh download of your purchase is always there.
When you re-download your purchase you will be downloading the latest version.

So unless you need the most up to date version right now, it's always better to wait until you do, because apart from the big yearly overhaul I make small updates on the fly as information becomes available.

Having said that, if you need the 2024 version of Destination Kimberley now you can go to this page and fill in the form.
You also find a link to that page in the first pages of your guide.
You also find a link to that page in the first bullet point on my contact page.

Please read the information above the form to understand what I need from you.
I need the name and the email address you used for the purchase.
I can only send you a fresh download link if I can find your original purchase in my records.
Finding your record is super easy and only takes a second if I have the correct name and email address.
It is possible without (hence I ask for more information than just name and email) but can take a long time and since hundreds of people will be making a request now, I don't have that time.
So please help me to help you and figure out if it was your our your partner's details that were used, if it was your home or your work email etc.
Thank you!

Here is the link to the update request page again:

(The Top End and Red Centre guides did not go through a full review this year as both were thoroughly overhauled last year and things in the NT don't change as much as they do in the Kimberley.)

And that's it already for today!
Sorry this one was so short.

I wish you a wonderful Easter break and if you visit the Kimberley this year, I wish you a great trip!

Take care,

Destination Kimberley, Destination Top End and Destination Red Centre have all the information you need to put together your dream trip.

To sign up for this newsletter and receive the free Kimberley Pocket Guide go here.

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

(c) 2024, Birgit Bradtke. All rights reserved.
Back to Back Issues Page