12 Day Kimberley Explorer ( May to Oct )

12 Day Kimberley Explorer  ( May to Oct )

The best 4WD adventure tour in the Kimberley! This is our most popular Kimberley Expedition as no Kimberley experience is complete without discovering both gorge country and the Kimberley coast. Immerse yourself in one of Australia's more remote, pristine wildernesses - from the savannah to the sea this trip explore the highlights of the Kimberley in depth. Experience the land of the saltwater people on the Dampier Peninsula, get a taste of the Kimberley Coast in the Buccaneer Archipelago, take an iconic journey up the famous Gibb River Road and explore El Questro Wilderness Park, Lake Argyle and the World Heritage-listed Bungle Bungles.

Tour Highlights

  • Giant Tides Cruise (or Kimberley Island Explorer),
  • Cape Leveque,
  • Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm Tour,
  • Beagle Bay Pearl Shell Church Altar,
  • One Arm Point Aquaculture Hatchery,
  • Bardi-Jawa Cultural Experience,
  • Gibb River Road, Windjana Gorge,
  • Tunnel Creek,
  • Bell Gorge,
  • Manning Falls,
  • El Questro Wilderness Park,
  • Zebedee Springs,
  • Kununurra,
  • Lake Argyle,
  • Bungle Bungles,
  • Echidna Chasm,
  • Cathedral Gorge,
  • Geikie Gorge Cruise

Tour Info

Code KE-12DKE
Style
  • Camping
Duration 12 Days
Price From $3595
Departures

Every Sat (May-Oct)

Vehicle 4WD
Suitability Open Age
Start Broome @ 06.30 am
Finish Broome @ 06.30 pm

- from the savannah to the sea3B

The Dampier Peninsula is an extraordinary blend of pristine beaches and dramatic coastlines, rich in traditional Aboriginal culture. Travelling up the red 4WD track, learn about the region's fascinating history from our guided commentary. Our first stop is the Beagle Bay Aboriginal Community, home of the Beagle Bay Church with its glimmering pearl shell altar, for morning tea. Soon we arrive at the One Arm Point Community, perched on the tip of the Dampier Peninsula, to visit the Community's aquaculture hatchery, complete with barramundi, pearl and trochus shell. After a hatchery tour join Kevin, our local guide from the Ejai family, traditional owners of Jackson Island, at the family's beach 'bali'. Enjoy fresh damper cooked over the fire while Kevin shares the traditions, lifestyle and culture of his family. After lunch we head for the remote Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm. In 1946 Dean Brown skippered a rickety wooden lugger into an unknown frontier to discover this hidden paradise: his descendants continue to operate what is now the oldest Pearl Farm in Australia. Embark an extraordinary cruise through the Islands of the Giant Tides to experience the remarkable tidal flows of King Sound. As dusk approaches we reach our private Safari Camp, exclusive to our travellers and nestled on the beach overlooking the bay. In this stunning location, we can swim, explore the mangroves and perhaps catch a fish for dinner before a warm Kimberley sunset: truly a privileged experience.

(LD)

Return to the pearl farm by boat, to gain an insight into this remote pearling industry on the Farm Tour, concluding with an in-depth pearl grading and appreciation session that will leave you feeling like a pearl expert! Come mid-morning, we travel across the peninsula to beautiful Kooljaman at Cape Leveque. You may like to discover the rugged red cliffs for which the area is famous or take one of the lovely walks. Alternatively you may prefer to enjoy a swim off the pristine beach. Driving back through the dusk, keep an eye out for wildlife before arriving at our private camp at approximately 6.00pm.

(BLD)

As we travel through the remote and beautiful Kimberley landscape, our guide shares stories of local history, people and the environment. Enjoy a morning tea break by the Fitzroy River and visit the Derby 'Boab Prison Tree' before we hit the Gibb River Road. Visit the fascinating Mowanjum Aboriginal Art & Cultural Centre for an insight into the culture of the Worrorra, Ngarinyin and Wunumbal tribes and their supreme spirit being, the Wandjina. The afternoon is devoted to exploring Tunnel Creek, with our local Bunuba guide. In this 750-metre cave system carved through the Napier Range, we discover stalactites, secret caves and a large variety of wildlife. It is here we also learn the legend of Jandamarra, an Aboriginal freedom fighter who used the tunnel as a hide-out in the late 1800's. Don't miss a refreshing swim in an idyllic waterhole. That night we settle into our first night under the Kimberley night sky.

(BLD)

Days 4 and 5 West Kimberley Gorges

The Napier Range is over 350 million years old and home to the geological wonder of Windjana Gorge. Beneath gorge walls rising 90m, we spend the morning searching for freshwater crocodiles, local birdlife and indigenous bush tucker. In the afternoon we head off for Bell Gorge, a hidden highlight of the West Kimberley. This idyllic retreat, considered amongst the most beautiful in the area, boasts cascading waterfalls and crystal clear pools formed over millions of years - an easy place to while away a few hours! Spend the next day swimming in paradise: further up the Gibb River Road, we discover the cool waters of water lillie-laden Galvins Gorge and stunning Adcock Gorge. Amid the rugged beauty of Manning Falls we swim in deep clear waters, relax, explore wandering streams, uncover local wildlife and take a dip in the waterfall pools. Overnight we camp by a billabong on Mt Barnett Cattle Station.

(BLD/BLD)

Days 6and 7 El Questro Wilderness Park

Our journey up the Gibb River Road continues to the iconic El Questro Wilderness Park. Two nights in our private campsite here allows free time join one or more of the many activities on offer. We include a refreshing dip in the Zebedee Springs and walk into Emma Gorge while a cruise on Chamberlain Gorge, bush tucker walk or bird watching tour are amongst the many optional activities. You may choose to simply explore this beautiful wilderness park at your own leisure. (BLD/BL)

We emerge from the Gibb River Road for a few hours free time in Kununurra. In the afternoon, travel onto the shores of the expansive Lake Argyle, the heart of the Ord River Irrigation System which has transformed this dry region into a lush agricultural oasis. There is free time to join a sunset boat cruise on the lake (approx AU$100pp), visit the historic Durack Homestead Museum or take on one of the many bush trails to explore the area.

(B)

Days 9and 10 Purnululu National Park: Bungle Bungles

After a leisurely morning, head south down the Great Northern Highway to Purnululu National Park, home of the magnificent Bungle Bungles. Two nights here, staying in our new private Bungle Bungle Safari Camp in the heart of the Park, allows a full day to explore the highlights of this extraordinary National Park, the most famous of which, are the Bungle Bungle domes. Rivers created this landscape of unique orange and black striped 'beehive' geological formations over a period of 20 million years. Unbelievably, only the locals knew it existed until the early 1980's; once discovered by others, the area was made a national park in 1987. We explore Echidna Chasm (2km), known for its towering Livistonia Palm trees, and take a short walk (2-3km) into stunning Cathedral Gorge, where towering rocks create a natural amphitheatre. There is time in the afternoon to take an optional scenic flight and enjoy a birds-eye view of the beehive domes (approx $400pp, own expense) to put it all into perspective.

(BLD/BLD)

& Fitzroy Crossing

Enroute to Fitzroy Crossing, we break the long journey with a visit the gold rush town of Halls Creek to see the remarkable China Wall. We also enjoy lunch at Marys Pool and visit the remote Laarri Aboriginal Art Gallery, before an evening by the Fitzroy River at Fitzroy Crossing.

(BL)

A morning cruise through the majestic Geikie Gorge is a great start to our last day. Nature carved this wonder through the Geikie and Oscar Ranges during the Devonian geological period. Learn of the fascinating geology of this natural wonder and discover the huge array of wildlife including freshwater crocodiles, birds and fish. Explore Old Fitzroy Crossing and enjoy lunch by the river before we return to Broome in time to enjoy the sunset on Cable Beach.

(BL)

Inclusions

  • Experienced Tour guide
  • Two Tour Hosts – including an Experienced Kimberley Tour Guide and Tour Assistant (on all tours with 8+ travellers)
  • Meals as specified (11 x Breakfasts, 11 x Lunches, 8 x Dinners)
  • Camping Accommodation (Upgrade Options available)
  • Coastal Safari Camp Stay (exclusive to Kimberley Wild)
  • Community Entry Permits & National Park Entry Fees
  • Islands of the Giant Tides Cruise (or Kimberley Island Explorer), valued at $190pp
  • Bardi-Jawi Cultural Experience
  • Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm Tour
  • Guided tour of One Arm Point Aboriginal Community’s Aquaculture Hatchery
  • Indigenous guided Tunnel Creek experience
  • 1 Hour Ranger Guided Geikie Gorge Boat Cruise
  • Zebedee Springs Permit
  • Bungle Bungles Safari Camp Stay (2nts)

Tour Upgrades

  • Upgrade to a permanent Mini Dome Tent: shared facilities at Kooljaman Resort on Nights 1 & 2, a Safari Tent: shared facilities at El Questro on Nights 6 & 7, a Safari Cabin: shared facilities at Lake Argyle on Night 8 and finally, a Safari Tent: with ensuite at Fitzroy Crossing on Nights 1 & 4. Upgrades are subject to availability. See the Accommodation Tab for more details.
  • Note that those who book the Camping Plus option are also upgraded to stretcher beds on most camping nights.

Accommodation

Camping

  • Nights 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 & 11 Camping in National Parks, on Cattle Stations and in the grounds of Kooljaman, El Questro, Lake Argyle and the Fitzroy River Lodge involves dome tents (single/twinshare), swags with fitted sheets & pillows with pillow cases. Stretcher beds are available for hire - $100pp, must be requested with our office prior to travel. On site ablutions have hot showers and flush toilets, except night 2, when facilities are very basic.

  • Night 3 Enjoy a comfortable stay in a Standard Room at the Mercure Broome. Operated by the Accor Group, this 3-star hotel overlooks the azure waters of Roebuck Bay, just 1km from Broome's town centre and over the road from the iconic Matsos Brewery and Restaurant. Note that during busy periods, an alternative hotel of similar standard may be used if the Mercure Broome is unavailable.

  • Nights 9 & 10 Our eco safari tents at the Bungle Bungles Safari Camp boast views of the Bungles Massif from your door. The camp features modern facilities, a covered dining deck with panoramic views and an open air campfire around which you can relax beneath a sparkling Kimberley night sky: chatting, star-gazing and sharing the adventure with like-minded travellers.

Camping Plus

  • Night 1  The Mini Safari Tents are located in the campground at the Award-winning, Aboriginal-owned Kooljaman Resort. Each sleeps up to two people and contains a comfortable futon style bed (twin or double), fan & light. There is a small balcony with shade and chairs. Shared ablutions are located in the campground.

  • Night 3 Enjoy a comfortable stay in a Standard Room at the Mercure Broome. Operated by the Accor Group, this 3-star hotel overlooks the azure waters of Roebuck Bay, just 1km from Broome's town centre and over the road from the iconic Matsos Brewery and Restaurant. Note that during busy periods, an alternative hotel of similar standard may be used if the Mercure Broome is unavailable.

  • Nights 2, 4 & 5 Camping in National Parks and on Cattle Stations involves dome tents (single/twinshare), swags with fitted sheets & pillows with pillow cases. On site ablutions have hot showers and flush toilets, except night 2 when facilities are very basic.

  • Nights 6 & 7 The new Permanent Tents at El Questro Station offer an affordable upgrade option at the famous El Questro Wilderness Park. With twin beds, lighting and a quality ablutions block nearby, these tents ensure you have a comfortable nights sleep while still enjoying the outback essence of Kimberley camping.

  • Night 8 The Standard Rooms at Lake Argyle Resort each have a queen & single bed, private ensuite bathroom, a small fridge, tea/coffee making facilities. airconditioning and a private verandah to enjoy the beautiful surrounds.

     
  • *Single travellers may stay in the Singles Station Quarters - these are air conditioned with ensuite

  • Nights 9 & 10 Our eco safari tents at the Bungle Bungles Safari Camp boast views of the Bungles Massif from your door. The camp features modern facilities, a covered dining deck with panoramic views and an open air campfire around which you can relax beneath a sparkling Kimberley night sky: chatting, star-gazing and sharing the adventure with like-minded travellers.

  • Night 11 The Safari Cabins at the Fitzroy River Lodge offer a traditional Kimberley-style accommodation upgrade option for travellers looking for a little extra comfort. Similar to a regular motel room, they feature beds with pillows and linen, fans, power and private ensuite. Relax on the porch and enjoy the bush ambiance.

Options

  • 30 minute Scenic Helicopter Flight over the Bungle Bungles – allow approx $400 per person
  • Sunset Cruise on Lake Argyle – allow approx $100 per person

Your Tour Guide will assist with arranging these optional activities while on tour.

What to Bring

  • It is essential that you bring a torch, shoes you don’t mind getting wet – and we mean fully immersed in water: ideally, wet shoes, sandals or old runners, broad-brimmed hat with sun visor for all round sun protection, sunscreen, swimming costume and towel, good walking/trekking shoes and a personal water bottle.
  • You will also need to bring a sleeping bag, even if you have chosen the Camping Plus option (KE-12DKE1) as these are necessary for the Camping nights and also the Bungle Bungles Safari Camp stay. 10ºC sleeping bags are available for sale at $35pp – these must be requested with our office prior to travel and can be kept following your trip or donated to local indigenous communities.
  • Other recommendations include: warm clothes for the evening (particularly if travelling May-Aug), personal toiletries and first aid, with any personal medication required.
  • ** Don’t forget the necessary luggage restrictions – due to limited space in the vehicles it is important that your luggage is in a small, soft bag (suitcases are not suitable) and weighs a maximum of 15kg.

Notes

  • Maximum 20 passengers
  • LuggageMax 15kg in Soft Bag/Backpack & Day Bag (No Suitcases)
  • Private CharterAvailable On Request
  • Departures are subject to weather conditions and road closures: usually only a concern for tours in April.
  • Due to the nature of the Cape Leveque Road, this tour may not be suitable for pregnant women or travellers with back problems.
  • The Islands of the Giant Tides cruise is tidal dependent. On neap tides, we will enjoy the alternative Kimberley Island Explorer Cruise.
  • Accommodation upgrades are subject to availability and On Request until Confirmed.
  • Breakfast on Day 4 and Dinner on Nights 3, 7, 8 & 11 and Lunch on Day 8 are not included as there are excellent local options available, providing freshness, variety and choice – allow approx AUD $200pp for meals. (Allow a little more if you want a beer or glass of wine with dinner.)
  • This itinerary involves some clambering over rocks, wading in water by torchlight, walking on rocky creek beds and ascending/descending into gorges. A reasonable level of fitness and being sure on your feet is necessary to participate. Refer to the Fitness rating in The Facts.
  • Expect some early morning starts! It is nicer to walk in the cooler morning and travel in the vehicle during the heat of the day.
  • The Single Supplement does not include the Bungle Bungles stay; due to capacity constraints single travellers may have to twinshare with another traveller of the same gender – this is a rare occurrence.
  • It is important that you appreciate the Kimberley Wild experience and the remote, vast nature of the areas through which we travel – please ensure you read our What You Need to Know and Frequently Asked Questions pages.
  • Travel Insurance is compulsory for all travellers on all tours and details must be presented to tour guide before departure.
  • Are you over 70 years old? Due to the remote location and challenging nature of our extended camping tours it is essential for older travellers to review and sign our Medical Form to ensure you can participate fully in the itinerary.
  • A Tour Assistant is provided on tour for all larger groups of 8 or more travellers.
  • On night 1 we reach the Safari Camp by boat, you will only be able to take a small day bag with a change of clothes, necessary personal items and toiletries for the night out at the Safari Camp.
  • This tour is a Combination of two separate tours: 2 Day Cape Leveque Experience and the 10 Day Wild Kimberley Loop. It may therefore have different guides for each stretch.

Fitness

Our tours are for reasonably fit and mobile travellers – age is irrelevant. Itineraries often involve some very early starts and long days. We are exploring a range of remote wilderness environments and activities involve some clambering over rocks, wading in water by torchlight, walking on rocky creek beds and ascending/descending into gorges. A reasonable level of fitness and being sure on your feet is necessary to participate. Overnight on some nights we are sleeping in traditional Aussie ‘swags’ , which are comfortable foam mattresses with linen.  Refer to the Fitness Level rating (explained below) in The Facts for each itinerary to help determine how suitable the trip is for you. Feel free to ask our staff for any further details if you have any concerns.

Note that due to the remote location and challenging nature of our extended tours it is essential for our travellers who are 70 years and beyond, to review and sign our Medical Form to ensure you can participate fully in the itinerary.