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 has fascinated visitors for many years. It is home to some of Australia’s most beautiful and rare bird life, diverse flora and exciting fauna.
A highlight is our visit to Purnululu National Park to see the Bungle Bungle Range. This World Heritage listed site is one of the most fascinating geological landmarks in Western Australia. The beehive-like mounds are encased in a skin of silica and algae, creating a striking stripe pattern. A magnificent hidden world of gorges and pools lie within the range.
More than 130 bird species reside within Purnululu, including Rainbow Bee-eaters, flocks of Budgerigars and Australian Bustards. The Nail-tail wallaby and the Euro live around the massif, while Short-eared Rock wallabies are thought to live on top. Several species of rare animals also call Purnululu home.
Bird enthusiasts will particularly enjoy our visit to Marlgu Billabong at Parrys Lagoon Nature Reserve. These reserves are havens for a vast variety of sea and waterbirds.
We will also spend two nights on the Mitchell Plateau, visiting the magnificent Mitchell and Mertens Falls. Landscapes around the plateau vary 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 excellent examples of ancient rock art.
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Extended Trip Details
|Day 1||Kununurra to Purnululu (Bungle Bungle)||An early start today as we leave Kununurra and head for the Purnululu National Park. The 53 kilometre trip into the park is our introduction to outback tracks with many creek crossings, wash aways and rough slow sections, the journey from the highway to our accommodation normally takes around three hours. We will start our exploration of the national park today with a visit to Echidna Chasm. Accommodation: National Park Campsite - Purnululu LD|
|Day 2 & 3||Purnululu (Bungle Bungle)||We spend the next two days exploring the natural wonders the park including Echidna Chasm, Mini Palms gorge, Piccanniny Creek and Cathedral Gorge. There is time on day 3 for an optional helicopter flight over the Bungle Bungle Range.. Accommodation: National Park Campsite - Purnululu BLD|
|Day 4||Purnululu (Bungle Bungle) to Kununurra||This morning we leave the national park and make the return journey to Kununurra. On arriving in Kununurra there will be free time this afternoon to catch up on washing, postcards or just to relax. The crew will be organising the fresh food requirements for the the next section of the trip. Dinner is not included tonight to give you the opportunity to taste some of the local delights. Accommodation: Campsite - Kununurra BL|
|Day 5||Kununurra to Home Valley||An early morning departure as we leave Kununurra. We will call into Wyndham for a look at the old port and then visit the Five Rivers Lookout then onto Marlgu Billabong, Parry Lagoon Reserve where we should witness a very diverse array of wetland birds. This afternoon we will start our journey down the Gibb River Road. Accommodation: Campsite - Home Valley Station BLD|
|Day 6||Home Valley to Drysdale River Station||Leaving Home Valley we continue down the Gibb. Our drive will see us crossing of the Durack River. The road is mixture of steep Jump ups and rough corrugations. We leave the Gibb and move up the Kalumburu Road to Drysdale. Accommodation: Campsite - Drysdale Station BLD|
|Day 7||Drysdale River Station to King Edward River||This morning there is plenty of time to look for some of the local birds that make this camp site interesting - the bird list here includes sightings of the Purple-crowned Fairy- wren, Gouldian Finch, and Red Goshawk. Mid morning we move on to the campsite at King Edward River where we settle in. There will be time during the afternoon for us to visit the Wandjina and Bradshaw (Gwion) aboriginal art sites located here. Accommodation: Bush Camp - King Edward River BLD|
|Day 8 & 9||Mitchell Falls (Punamii-unpuu)||The next two days will give us plenty of time to explore the wonders of the Mitchell Plateau, including the magnificent Mitchell and Mertens Falls. This is a true wilderness area and offers a full day of spectacular scenery and wildlife including an opportunity to find the elusive Black Grasswren. There will be plenty of time at the falls to fully enjoy the experience as well a cool off in the clear fresh water of what must be one of the most remote sites anywhere in the world. Accommodation: Bush Camp - Mitchell Falls (Punamii-unpuu) BLD|
|Day 10||Mitchell Falls to Drysdale Station||Today we head down the Kalumburu Road back to Drysdale Station. There will be time for a hot shower and a visit to the stations bar for a drink and a chance to chat with the locals. Accommodation: Camp Site Drysdale Station BLD|
|Day 11||Drysdale to Manning Creek||Leaving Drysdale we continue down the Kalumburu Road to the Gibb. Our drive will see us crossing of the Durack River. We should arrive at our camp site around mid afternoon. There will be plenty of time for a swim in the local waterhole. Accommodation: Campsite - Manning Creek. BLD|
|Day 12||Manning Creek area to Mornington Station||Continuing westwards on the Gibb River Road, heading for Mornington Station we will visit the picturesque Galvins Gorge for a swim on the way. Arriving at our Mornington Station camp site mid afternoon. There will be time to enjoy short walk around the campsite. Accommodation: Campsite - Mornington Station BLD|
|Day 13||Mornington Station||Today we explore the wonders of this wilderness wildlife sanctuary. The sanctuary is home to two endangered bird species, the Gouldian Finch and the Purple Crowned Fairy Wren. A visit to the station would not be complete without a swim in the spectacular Sir John Gorge on the Fitzroy River. Accommodation: Campsite - Mornington Station BLD|
|Day 14||Mornington Station to Silent Grove||This morning we’ll get back onto the Gibb River Road. We’ll stop for fuel and enjoy a break at the Imintji store. On arrival we’ll have time for lunch before we visit the magnificent Bell Creek Gorge. This gorge offers a short walk, great swimming and spectacular scenery. Accommodation: National Park Campsite - Silent Grove BLD|
|Day 15||Silent Grove to Windjana Gorge||After breakfast we will leave Silent Grove and head back to the Gibb River Road. We will travel through the Napier and King Leopold Ranges to our next campsite at Silent Grove. Our exploration of the Devonian Reef will start with a visit to Tunnel Creek where we will learn about the Aboriginal history that is so strong in this area. Accommodation: National Park Campsite - Windjana Gorge BLD|
|Day 16||Windjana Gorge to Broome||An early morning walk into the gorge before leaving Windjana then we head for Broome. During the day we will call into Derby to look at this interesting port town and also visit Mowanjum community to see the aboriginal art that is on display. We should arrive in Broome late afternoon. This wonderful outback experience concludes with the transfer to your chosen accommodation. BL|
NOTE: the above itinerary may be varied according to conditions and advice.
Places available on 16 July 2022 departure
- 3 crew members consisting of a naturalist guide, driver-guide and camp support crew member
- Easy Camping included (Camp is set up and packed away each day for you);
- Dome tents & chairs with arms;
- Well maintained vehicle with front-facing, seat-belted, mostly reclining, coach-style seats
- Eating utensils
- Meals as per itinerary;
- Morning tea each day;
- Fresh fruit onboard daily;
- All national park entrance fees
New Tour – review coming soon!