Kununurra – Broome
๏ Drive the iconic Gibb River Road.
๏ Visit Wyndham and bird watch at Parry Lagoon Reserve.
๏ Camp on the bank of the Pentecost River at Home Valley Station.
๏ Look for rare birds like the Purple-crowned Fairy-wren at Drysdale River Station.๏ Visit Wunambal Gaambera Country including Mitchell and Mertens Falls.
๏ Camp at Mt Elizabeth Station and visit Warla Gorge.
๏ Camp at Silent Grove and swim at Bells Gorge.
๏ Visit Windjana Gorge and walk through Tunnel Creek
The Kimberley region in the northwest of Western Australia is one of the most remote and unspoiled wilderness areas in the world. It’s unique geology, ancient limestone reef and rich Aboriginal culture have fascinated visitors for many years. It is home to some of Australia’s most beautiful and rare birdlife, diverse flora and exciting fauna.
We will spend two nights on the Mitchell Plateau, visiting the magnificent Mitchell and Mertens Falls. The area is biologically significant, with landscapes around the plateau varying from mangroves and swamps to woodlands and lush rainforest patches. A diverse array of wildlife populates the region. The rugged sandstone areas are home to some rare residents like the small rock wallaby called a monjon (Petrogale burbidgei), the Rough-scaled Python (Morelia carinata) and the elusive Black Grasswren (Amytornis housei). The area also has a rich indigenous history. Wunambal Aboriginal people have lived in the vicinity for thousands of years, and the plateau offers many fine examples of ancient rock art. Mitchell Falls are magnificent, and a great spot to enjoy a swim.
Bird enthusiasts will particularly enjoy our visit to the Fitzroy River flood plains around Camballin and Marlgu Billabong at Parry Lagoons Nature Reserve. The reserve is a haven for a wide variety and number of waterbirds which use it as a resting place during migration, and to shelter from the extreme conditions of the Kimberley wet season.
This itinerary is relaxed to allow plenty of time and flexibility to enjoy and explore this magnificent region under the guidance of our experienced naturalist leader.
Day 1 Kununurra to Home Valley Station
We’ll leave Kununurra early this morning to travel along the Gibb River Road, calling into Wyndham for a look at the old port and visit the Five Rivers Lookout. After lunch, we’ll visit Marlgu Billabong at Parry Lagoon Reserve, where a diverse array of wetland birds reside. We will cross the Pentacost River and Cockburn Range Lookout, for extensive views of the river flood plain. Our campsite tonight is on the banks of the Pentacost River.
Accommodation: Campsite Home Valley Station LD
Day 2 Home Valley Station to Drysdale River Station
Today we head for Drysdale River Station. Creek crossings, including a crossing of the Gibb River, will be a highlight of our day. We plan to arrive early at Miner’s Pool to give us time to start looking for Purple-crowned Fairy-wrens and other birdlife.
Accommodation: Miner’s Pool Campsite at Drysdale Station BLD
Day 3 Drysdale River Station to King Edward River
This morning we will do a nature walk around the campsite before moving on to our King Edward River. There will be time to visit a couple of Aboriginal art sites close to the camp and enjoy a swim.
Accommodation: Campsite King Edward River BLD
Day 4 & 5 Mitchell Falls
During the next two days, there’ll be plenty of time to explore the Mitchell Plateau, including the iconic Mitchell and Mertens Falls. The area is a real wilderness area offering spectacular scenery. Wildlife is abundant, and we will hopefully find the elusive Black Grasswren.
Enjoy a refreshing swim in the clear freshwater. You may also wish to take an optional helicopter flight for an aerial view of the falls.
Accommodation: National Park Campsite Mitchell Falls BLD
Day 6 Mitchell Falls to Drysdale Station
Today we head down the Kalumburu Road back to Drysdale Station.
Accommodation: Drysdale Station Campsite BLD
Day 7 Drysdale River Station to Mt Elizabeth Station
Back to the Gibb River Road to Mt Elizabeth Station, arriving in the early afternoon to do some washing or to have a look around the working station.
Accommodation: Campsite Mt Elizabeth Station BLD
Day 8 Mt Elizabeth Station
An easy day today exploring around the station and Warla Gorge on the Hann River This is a fabulous place to swim, look for birdlife or just relax.
Accommodation: Campsite Mt Elizabeth Station BLD
Day 9 Mt Elizabeth Station to Silent Grove
We’re back on the Gibb River Road this morning to Silent Grove and Bell Gorge, a great place for a swim and wildlife watching.
Accommodation: Campsite Silent Grove BLD
Day 10 Silent Grove to Windjana Gorge
An early walk this morning, before driving through the Napier Range to our campsite at Windjana Gorge. This afternoon we’ll have our first look at the gorge. This area is a significant historical and cultural sight. Aboriginal leader Jandamarra used the gorge as a hideout and was eventually shot at Pigeon’s Rock at Tunnel Creek during a gun battle with Europeans in 1894. Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek is a highly spiritual place to Bunuba people and the Wandjina are the powerful creation spirits that reside here. Hence the name Windjana.
Accommodation: National Park Campsite Windjana Gorge BLD
Day 11 Windjana Gorge – Tunnel Creek – Windjana Gorge
This morning we continue exploring Windjana Gorge with its varied bird life, the Devonian reef walls, tall broad-leaved leichardt trees, native figs and the paper-barked cadjeputs on the riverbank. These trees also provide shelter from the hot sun for many waterbirds, a colony of fruit bats and a large group of corellas. Down on the sand and in the pools you find Freshwater crocodiles. This afternoon we will take a short drive to Tunnel Creek, which flows through an eroded water tunnel in the limestone of the Napier Range and walk through the tunnel to the other side of the Range.
Accommodation:National Park Campsite at Windjana Gorge BLD
Day 12 Windjana Gorge to Broome
We’ll take a look at the front of the range this morning. On the way to Broome, we’ll call into the Mowanjum Community to visit their art centre and spend some time in Derby. We should arrive in Broome by mid to late afternoon and transfer you to your accommodation, marking the end of our tour. BL
NOTE: the above itinerary may be varied according to conditions and advice.
18th – 29th July 2020
- Coates tour leader/ driver
- Coates Naturalist leader
- Dome tents & chairs with arms
- Meals as per itinerary
- Visit to Parrys Lagoon / Marlgu Billabong
- Morning tea each day
- Fresh fruit on board daily
- All national park entrance fees
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“We both had an absolutely fantastic holiday. Maurice and Chris are great, the meals were wonderful. We will definitely recommend a Coates tour to anyone interested and we are also considering another ourselves.”
Judy & Rob Dawkins
“I just wanted to say thanks for a fabulous experience with the recent Kimberley trip led by Red & Peter. Everything was fabulous. Red is such a careful experienced driver, I felt very safe; his cooking was beyond my expectation, not to mention his wonderful friendly, patient way. Pete did a great job keeping everyone interested and included in whatever was happening, and his knowledge of the country, flora & fauna plus the night sky added to the whole experience. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone who wants to get an insight into the Kimberley, and the same time be looked after so wonderfully.”
“I am writing this to say how much I enjoyed my trip with your tour company to the Kimberley in June. I wanted to say a big thank you to Chris and Peter who made the trip so great for me and the other people on the tour.
They in particular had to contend with my special diet requirements as I am a coeliac and both of them have to be congratulated for their efforts, I was very impressed with their meals as I know it must have been a pain for them to have to cook some different or extra meals at times. Once again I appreciate what they did.
I had been planning this trip for some time and for various reasons have had to delay it, but I am very glad I was finally able to go and I think Coates was the best choice. I will certainly be recommending your company to anyone who will listen (as I have already). Once again thank you and I expect you will be hearing from me again as I have my eye on some of your other tours both here in Australia and O.S.”
“Coates Wildlife Tours are professionals in all aspects of their industry, from the air-conditioned comfortable 4WD bus, easy set-up camping equipment, delicious nutritious meals, friendly, efficient, knowledgeable staff – it was a wonderful trip to the Kimberley’s that I’ll never forget.
The tour leaders were fantastic with their knowledge and friendliness. Nothing was too much trouble for Tom and Sylvia. They worked tirelessly in looking after us and still had a great sense of humour and energy.
Camping equipment and food were excellent. All meals were varied, delicious and plentiful.”