Travelling through Kimberley with young children

View over Manning Gorge

View over Manning Gorge

We were looking at travelling through the Kimberley in July or August. It'd be myself, my wife and our two kids; a 2 and 1/2 year old, and a 10 month old infant.

I'm comfortable doing the trip, if I know there'll still be water in the majority of the waterholes... somewhere to cool off. We've travelled in desert regions before, while my wife was 7 months pregnant and our eldest was only 17 months.

I know conditions vary from year to year but generally, is there much water left at that time of year?

Has anyone had experience travelling with children that young through the region?

We're generally pretty well prepared on these trips i.e. just purchased Kimberley Destinations, but please tell me if you think we're biting off too much.

Related Reader Pages:
Gibb River Road with small kids
Walking to the Mitchell Falls with young children
Travelling With Children To Broome/Kimberley

Comments for Travelling through Kimberley with young children

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May 12, 2008
You should be fine
by: Birgit

Even in August there will still be enough water around to have a dip. The falls stop flowing early, but most of those gorges have huge pools. That water doesn't just disappear, especially during that cold time of the year!

If you are biting off too much depends on what exactly you have planned.

"Travelling through the Kimberley" can mean so many different things. Do you have a rough outline of what you want to see? Some places are better suited for young kids than others.

If you are mostly worried about the heat, I don't think there is any reason to. If you are camping the bigger problem may be how to stay warm at night. July can be freezing! (Well, not below zero, but it can go down to 10 degrees and less, and in the Bungles it can indeed drop below zero.)

Things that I would be more concerned about are for example the long and rough walks to some of the waterfalls and gorges, e.g. Manning Gorge or the Mitchell Falls, the climbing you have to do to get down to Bell Gorge, the deep waterholes with no safe shallow edges...

I don't think you are biting off too much, but I do think it makes sense to look at all the places in a bit more detail, and figure out which are more suitable and fun for young kids, and which aren't.

Here is another reader question regarding Kimberley travel with children:
Travelling with children to Broome/Kimberley

May 12, 2008
by: Dan

Hi Birgit,
Thanks for your response.

We would be hoping to go to Bell, Manning, Adcock, Galvans and the other gorges along the Gibb River Road, plus those around Kununurra.
We'd then be heading down to the Bungle Bungles for a couple of days as well.
Alternatively, we are thinking of doing Darwin to Broome (Litchfield, Kakadu), with a side trip down to the Bungle Bungles.

We will skip Broome and spend some time at Kooljaman, which we've been to before. Fantastic

We're looking at a 4WD campervan (assuming we can find one that lets us take these trips).
We just got back from Far North Queensland, no further than Lakefield National Park.
Went via the Daintree, up the coastal 4WD track. No issues at all for our son, he loved it and my wife was 7 months pregnant at the time.
Also did Fraser Island in the same trip.

We would give ourselves 3-4 weeks to complete the trip, which I hope, will give us, and our children, enough time enjoy the trip.

May 12, 2008
I don't see any problems
by: Birgit

Hi Dan,

In that case I really don't see any problems whatsoever.

You'll have no trouble finding water at any of those places. Bell Gorge and Manning Gorge are huge, and the others should also still have water left.

Around Kununurra Middle Springs might still be ok, and definitely Molly Springs. You can also sit in the water at Ivanhoe Crossing and of course there's the lake.

Skipping Broome is a wise decision :-).

Do you know Middle Lagoon on the Dampier Peninsula? I like Cape Leveque (Kooljaman Resort), too, but the beaches I would rate as somewhat hazardous for young children, with the steep drop and the currents...

When I was at Middle Lagoon last there was a young family with two little kids in the beach hut next to us, and that made me realise what a great place it is for children. It's a huge very shallow bay, very protected. Have a think about it!

Other than that I just want to repeat what I already said, most of those gorges are not easy to get to. It's usually quite a walk in. Manning Gorge is the longest and most challenging, and especially the beginning can be tricky. But hey, if everything was easy in life it would be boring.

One area where you can't swim or cool off and that will be hot during the day are the Bungles. The Bungles are purely a walking destination and all the walks would be difficult for little people with short legs... But then again... On my last visit I saw people pushing a stroller up Piccaninny Creek. Remember that, and when you get there have a look at the creek bed! I couldn't believe how far they got.

Anyway, your question was whether you are biting off more than you can chew. Nope. I don't think so at all. And 3-4 weeks is a very good time frame.

Hope you'll have a great trip!

Aug 24, 2015
Worried about crocs!
by: Anonymous

Hi, It is my first time up in the Kimberley next August and I am already freaking about about the crocodiles. I have two kids, aged 6 and 8 (they are 5 and 7 atm). Do all waterways have crocs in them? We are going up to see my husband's family and I don't think they are the most careful of people, I would imagine quite complacent as they have lived there most of their lives.

Are there any water holes that definitely do not have crocs? Do the waterways and beaches of Derby and Broome contain crocs?


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