Karlamilyi (Rudall River) NP
Join us 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 is a mixture of desert Bloodwood, Feathertop Spinifex, Kanji and Cork tree. 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.
Over 90 species of bird 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 different 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.
Our trip will take us northwards through Meekatharra, Newman and onto the national park via the Talawana Track. Entering Karlamilyi National Park from the south, we head to 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. We then continue on to Desert Queen Baths.
Leaving the national park behind we move onto Christmas Pool. We then travel westwards along the Telfer Road 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 fabulous spot to spend the day.
Our journey from Carawine Gorge continues westwards to Marble Bar. We intend to explore the natural wonders found close to this historic town. Our homeward journey to Perth takes us via the outback towns of Meekatharra, Cue and Mt Magnet, as well as the ghost town of Big Bell and the natural wonder of Walga Rock.
Download Trip Dossier Here
Extended Trip Details
|Day 1||Perth - Mt Magnet Area||We depart Perth around 7.30 am this morning and commence our journey north. We travel via the Great Northern Highway to our bush campsite in the Mt Magnet area. Accommodation: Bush Camp LD|
|Day 2||Mt Magnet Area - Kumarina||Today we continue to travel north via Cue and Meekatharra. Cue has many impressive buildings erected during the gold rush, while Meekatharra’s gold mining continues to this day (on a small scale). Tonight we will be camping at Kumarina roadhouse. This will be our last opportunity for a shower before we head out into the bush tomorrow. Accommodation: Campsite BLD|
|Day 3||Kumarina - Newman - Talawana track||We continue north to Newman. This will be our last opportunity to purchase supplies and contact home before leaving the main road and heading east via the Talawana Track. We move into the Little Sandy Desert and it’s associated sand dunes. Our camp tonight is in a grove of Desert Sheoak's. Accommodation: Bush Camp BLD|
|Day 4||Talawana Track - Karlamilyi National Park||Today we arrive in the national park and head north along the Kintyre Track. Our campsite for the next two nights will be at a waterhole located on the Rudall River. Across the waterhole from where we camp, is a quartz outcrop that glows in the setting sun. Accommodation: Bush Camp BLD|
|Day 5||Karlamilyi National Park||Today we spend a full day in the national park to explore areas such as Kalkan Kalkan Soak, Curran Curran Rock Hole and Tjingkulatjatjarra Pool (‘T’ Pool!). There will be time to take short walks along the riverbed and enjoy the birdlife along the residual pools and billabongs. Accommodation: Bush Camp BLD|
|Day 6||Karlamilyi National Park - Desert Queen Baths||This morning we continue up the Kintyre Track and head to Desert Queen Baths - a series of pools in a spectacular rocky gorge in the Broadhurst Range. If there has been sufficient recent rainfall, wildflowers should be abundant in this area and we hope to stop for this and other birding opportunities. On arrival at our campsite, we will set up camp and then start our exploration of the area. Accommodation: Bush Camp BLD|
|Day 7||Desert Queen Baths||We will spend the day exploring the rocky pools and aboriginal art sites of this area. The main pool close to our camp is suitable for swimming and provides great refreshment after a long walk. This pool is also home to aboriginal rock paintings. Accommodation: Bush Camp BLD|
|Day 8||Desert Queen Baths - Christmas Pool Area||Today we leave the national park behind and head north to Christmas Pool. William Rudall visited this pool (and left his mark) during his search for the last members of the ‘Calvert Expedition’. Tonight we set up our bush camp in the area. Accommodation: Bush Camp BLD|
|Day 9||Christmas Pool Area - Carawine Gorge||Today we head west along the Telfer Road to Carawine Gorge, located on the Oakover River. This will be our campsite for the next two days. This afternoon there will be plenty of time to discover the wildlife around the campsite. The permanent waters of the gorge makes it a hotspot for birdlife. Accommodation: Bush Camp BLD|
|Day 10||Carawine Gorge - Running Waters - Carawine Gorge||A short drive takes us across the Oakover River to a shaded wetland known as Running Waters. This paperbark-fringed waterway is spring fed with crystal clear water. Ideal for a walking, bird watching or taking a swim before we return to Carawine Gorge. Accommodation: Bush Camp BLD|
|Day 11||Carawine Gorge - Marble Bar||Our journey today takes us into Marble Bar, reputed to be the hottest town in Australia and famous for the banded red jasper bar across the Coongan River. There will be plenty of time to explore the natural wonders of the area. There will also be time for a long overdue shower and a meal (at your own expense) at the local Iron Clad Hotel. Here, you will get a true taste of country life. Accommodation Camp site BL|
|Day 12||Marble Bar - Area South of Newman||Today we will begin our homeward journey to Perth travelling through some spectacular Pilbara scenery, stopping regularly to make the most of our time. We will restock in Newman and then head south on the Great Northern Highway to our campsite. Accommodation: Bush Camp BLD|
|Day 13||Campsite South of Newman - Cue||After breakfast we will continue to the historic gold mining town of Cue. There will be time this afternoon to look around the town, exploring the history, or to enjoy a cold drink in the local hotel. Accommodation: Campsite BLD|
|Day 14||Cue - Mt Magnet - Paynes Find Area||From Cue we will visit the ghost town of Big Bell. Abandoned in the 1950’s much of the town is gone, however the ruins of some buildings remain including the spectacular Big Bell Hotel. We will also visit the natural wonder of Walga Rock (one of the largest monolith rocks in Australia) and the Dalgaranga Meteorite Crater. Accommodation: Campsite BLD|
|Day 15||Paynes Find Area - Perth||Today we conclude our journey with the final leg into Perth. Along the way we will travel though 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.
Places available on 7 September 2022 departure
- 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 whenbooking we 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.”