KARLAMILYI RUDALL RIVER NATIONAL PARK, WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Join us on tour as we head to the very remote yet beautiful Karlamilyi (Rudall River) National Park. Situated approximately 400 km east of Newman in Western Australia’s Great Sandy Desert, this is one of the most remote wilderness areas in the world. At 1,283,706 hectares, the park is the largest in Western Australia.
Vegetation in the park combines desert Bloodwood, Feathertop Spinifex, Kanji and Cork trees. River Red Gums and Coolabah trees are found on the river flats. After a good rain, wildflowers also appear (Mulla Mullas, Grevillea’s, Sturt’s Desert Pea and Hakea’s), adding their beautiful colours to the landscape.
WILDLIFE IN KARLAMILYI NATIONAL PARK
Over 90 species of birds have been recorded in the park. Most are located around the river and in streams. Many of the species reflect the more arid areas of Australia; Spinifex Pigeons, Painted Finches, Peregrine and Brown Falcons. An assortment of honeyeaters also come to drink at the pools. The White-winged Fairy-wren can also be seen, and in good seasons, Crimson Chats and Button-quail can be spotted in the area.
Seventeen mammals have been recorded in the park, mainly small creatures such as the Hairy-footed Dunnart and the Spinifex Hopping Mouse. Camels and dingoes can be found, but other larger mammals seem to have disappeared over time.
JOURNEY FROM BROOME TO PERTH
Our trip begins as we head south to our campsite on the banks of the De Grey River, before we arrive in Marble Bar and explore the natural wonders found close to this historic town. We then travel to Carawine Gorge and the Oakover River. We will camp here for two nights and have plenty of time to enjoy the natural beauty and birdlife. We will also visit the remote waterhole known as Running Waters; surrounded by paperbarks, this is a fabulous spot to spend the day.
We then move on to Christmas Pool and Desert Queen Baths, before arriving in the national park and our campsite on the banks of the Rudall River. This will be our base for the next two nights. We will explore many natural wonders of the area, including Kalkan Kalkan Soak, Tjingkulatjatjarra Pool and Curran Curran Rockhole.
Leaving the park behind, we travel to Newman before starting our homeward trip to Perth. This journey south will take us through the outback towns of Cue, Mt Magnet and the ghost town of Big Bell, and we will explore the natural wonder of Walga Rock and the Dalgaranga Meteorite Crater.
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Extended Trip Details
Broome to De Grey River
|Early today you will be picked up from your chosen accommodation in Broome and our journey south will begin. As we travel through the Roebuck Plains, we will keep our eyes peeled for water and coastal birds. After morning tea, we will turn off the main road and head inland. After passing through the abandoned town of Shay Gap, we will arrive at our campsite on the banks of the De Grey River. Accommodation: Bush Camp LD
De Grey River to Marble Bar
|After breakfast, we will depart and head to our next destination, Marble Bar. We will arrive early afternoon and have lunch at Chinaman Pool before we explore the Jasper bar that gives the town its name. Tonight we will dine at the iconic Iron Clad Hotel (at your own expense) to get an authentic taste of country life. Accommodation: Campsite BL
Marble Bar to Carawine Gorge
|Today we travel east through the Ripon Hills to Carawine Gorge, located right on the banks of the Oakover River. Today's drive will offer spectacular views of the rolling Ripon Hills and is a dream for photographers. Our Carawine Gorge campsite, home for the next two nights, is located right on the water and is a great location for birdwatching. Accommodation: Bush Camp BLD
Carawine Gorge to Running Waters to Carawine Gorge
|A short drive takes us across the Oakover River to a shaded spring-fed wetland called Running Waters. This paperbark-fringed waterway is ideal for walking and swimming. We return to Carawine Gorge for the night. Accommodation: Bush Camp BLD
Carawine Gorge to Christmas Pool
|Today we will travel east along the well-maintained Telfer Road, before turning south on the Kintyre Track towards Christmas Pool. William Rudall visited this pool while searching for the last members of the ‘Calvert Expedition’. Accommodation Bush Camp BLD
Christmas Pool to Desert Queen Baths
|This morning we continue south and head to Desert Queen Baths - a series of pools in a spectacular rocky gorge in the Broadhurst Range. If there has been recent suitable rainfall, the wildflowers should be abundant, and as usual we will stop for this and other birding/wildlife opportunities. Upon arrival at our campsite, we will set up and start exploring the area. Accommodation: Bush Camp BLD
|Day 7 & 8
Desert Queen Baths
|We will spend the next two days exploring the area's rocky pools and aboriginal art sites. The main pool close to our camp is suitable for swimming. Accommodation: Bush Camp BLD
Desert Queen Baths to Rudall River
|Today we continue heading south along the Kintyre Track to our campsite at a water hole on the Rudall River. This will be our campsite for the next two nights. Accommodation: Bush Camp BLD
|Today we will explore Kalkan Kalkan Soak, Curran Curran Rock Hole and Tjingkulatjatjarra Pool (‘T’ Pool). There will be time to take short walks along the riverbed. The residual pools and billabongs are attractive to birds and other wildlife. Accommodation: Bush Camp BLD
Rudall River to Newman
|Today ends our time in Karlamilyi as we travel west down the Talawana Track towards Newman. In Newman, we will be staying at the Newman Hotel, which will be our first opportunity for a shower since Marble Bar. We will also dine at the hotel restaurant tonight (at your own expense). Accommodation: Newman Hotel BL
Newman to Gascoyne River
|Today we start our southward travels towards Perth. We will have an easy drive to the banks of the Gascoyne River, where we will be camping tonight. The Gascoyne is sometimes called the “upside-down river,” as it only flows above ground for roughly 120 days of the year. For the remaining days, it only flows below the dry river bed. Accommodation: Bush Camp BLD
Gascoyne River to Cue
|After breakfast, we will head to the historic gold mining town of Cue. From here, we will visit the ghost town of Big Bell and the natural wonder of Walga Rock, one of the largest monolith rocks in Australia. Accommodation: Bush Camp BLD
Cue to Paynes Find
|On the way to Paynes Find, we will visit the Dalgaranga Meteorite Crater before travelling through the mining town of Mount Magnet. Accommodation: Unit BLD
Paynes Find Area to Perth
|Today we conclude our journey with the final leg into Perth. Along the way, we will travel through the Wheatbelt town of Dalwallinu and the monastic town of New Norcia. Our adventure ends with our arrival in Perth, where you will be dropped off at your chosen central Perth accommodation. BL
NOTE: The above itinerary may be varied according to conditions and advice at the time.
Tour Full - Please contact us
- Two well-maintained 4WD vehicles;
- Naturalist/Driver Guide;
- Easy-to-erect tents, camp chairs with armrests;
- Self-inflating air mattress and stretcher bed;
- All eating utensils;
- Meals as per itinerary: breakfast (B), lunch (L), dinner(D);
- Campsite fees;
- Morning teas;
- Fresh fruit on board daily;
- All national park entrance fees & travel permits;
- Tag Along Participants – If requested when bookingwe can supply tents, armchairs and eating utensils but they will need to be carried in your own vehicle.
“A week after our fantastic tour of Karlamilyi and those other magic places ended, we are still enjoying the memories – and once the photos are sorted into a reasonable set of highlights, we’ll be able to revisit many times. Such a privilege to be able to see such very remote parts of the country – being there (rather than looking in the glossy books and magazines) is like attending a live concert versus listening to a CD or the radio.
So thanks, Sylvia, for making the arrangements go so smoothly, and thanks again, Tom and Ray, for the success of the trip.”
“We wanted to tell you HOW very much we enjoyed our trip to Karlamilyi /Rudall River. This trip had long been on my list and it did not disappoint! Even the weather was perfect 😊
Special thanks to you Tom and Ray for all your driving, cooking and expert guiding along the way. Such a huge effort, you both must have been exhausted when we got back.
I know we all so appreciated your yummy meals at the end of long days on the road Tom. [You do get the star for best cook so far with Coates!] Special thanks also to all the team for all the work and help to make these huge trips so do-able for us [mostly] Easterners. We long ago decided WA was too big to access easily for these kinds of trips. I cannot tell how grateful we feel for the opportunity your tour company offers us to travel with wonderful like-minded people as well as in the way we love to experience the outback!”
“I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the trip to Ruddall River with Rick and Red. They looked after us so well, cooked marvellous meals and were great sources of knowledge and fun as well. How lucky we were to see that country after good rains – whole green landscapes and flowering plants wherever they could get a toe hold.
I’ll have to save my pennies and come on another trip with Coates – and I’ll certainly recommend you to anyone interested.”
“Just a short note to say what a great tour I had. The route, logistics, meals and the knowledge given by the leaders Rick and Red was terrific. I had such fun that I have booked 3 more tours online.”
“Thank you for a brilliant holiday. We’ve just been to Rudall River with Rick and Red. It is a spectacular part of the world and we really appreciated the efforts of Rick and Red to make it such an enjoyable experience. Their knowledge, patience, continued good humour and attention to detail really set this trip apart from similar trips we have been on in Australia and overseas. You guys are really good. It was our first time with Coates and we are already planning to travel with you again. Thanks so much also for all the organisation beforehand.”
“We had a fantastic time, the trip was well paced and left lots of time for everyone to pursue their own interests, and this was really appreciated. The three R’s were wonderful and we were very impressed by Richard and Red converting the Oka from 4WD to 2WD and then managing to get us in to all the sites except one in this mode.
As usual the food was very good and we felt very spoilt. I am quite sure we will call upon your services again, thank you so much for your terrific organisation.”
“Once again many thanks for organising such a great trip. Rick and Red, as usual, were fantastic and it was very nice to get to know Richard. Food was great and the trip was very well paced. We saw a wonderful array of flowers and birds and had a great time – it certainly is one of the most interesting and lovely parts of Australia.”
“Worth waiting through two years of covid restrictions to join such a well organised and enjoyable trip in such a scenic and diverse area”
“Both Jolanda and Gane were most helpful and certainly very knowledgeable. They tailored the experiences to suit the interests of the group, e.g. early morning bird walks.”