7 Day - El Questro & the BUngle Bungles
Explore El Questro Wilderness Park, the Bungle Bungles; and so much more as we journey through the rugged eastern domain of the Kimberley. Six nights camping and seven days of well planned touring. Aussie Overlander expertly combines comfortable 4wd touring and great walking oportunities on this truly unique journey into the Kimberley.
Departs & returns to Kununurra - (the gateway to the Kimberley)
2016 Price $2450 - 6 Nights: Camping (sole occupancy tents)
Day 1 - For those staying in Kununurra we commence pickups at your accommodation at 8:30. A short walk follows at Mira Mira National Park to discover some of the common plants and there traditional uses in the Kimberley region. A quick stop will follow at Kununurra Airport to collect our guests who fly in today arriving on the 10:55 morning flight from Darwin.
El Questro Wilderness Park is our destination today and our place of stay for the next 3 nights. Before arriving at our camp site we have a wonderful walk into the awe inspiring Emma Gorge where you can swim bellow the magnificent falls and discover the ancient geological features of the Cockburn range. The walk into Emma gorge is typical of most Kimberley walks where rocky ground needs to be negotiated. The Emma Gorge walk is a 2-3 hour walk with time to swim and relax.
Our camp site for the next 3 nights is on the banks of the upper Penticost River shaded by large river red gums. Toilet and hot shower facilities are excellent.
Day 2 - After breakfast we head for Zebedee hot springs. These natural springs flow to the surface at 32 degrees. What better way to start the day than soaking in the natural pools and gazing up at the Livistonia palms rustling in the breeze around us.
Once revitalised by the warm thermal springs we are back in our 4x4 and heading to the start of another of El Questro's world class walks. Depending on seasonal water flows and local conditions we will explore either the gorgeous Amalia Gorge or El Questro Gorge. While both are challenging walks over rocky ground they also have many options to relax near water holes along the walk for those wishing to read a book, swim or simply enjoying the peacefulness and tranquillity of your surroundings.
After our day exploring we will return to our camp to relax, shower and refresh before enjoying dinner by a blazing camp fire. (Approx 6 hours walking)
Day 3 - Today we wake to hearty breakfast in preparation for one of the less visited and walked parts of El Questro. Our walk into Champagne Springs starts from camp. To avoid the heat on the exposed part of the walk we get under way before the sun is high in the sky. This walk is rocky 10km walk following the crystal clear river upstream. We will spend 5 – 6 hours exploring the river system on this moderately challenging walk. A great final walk at El Questro!
Returning in the afternoon we will have time to relax with your boots off and unwind by the Penticost River. If interested, you could join an optional station tour - helicopter flights, horse riding or the Chamberlain Gorge cruise are optional (own expense).
Tonight we dine together at the Steakhouse restaurant (own expense).
Day 4 - Bound for the World Heritage listed Purnululu National Park our journey takes us past some of the most scenic country in the Kimberley. We scout the jagged escarpment of the distant Carboyd Range and continue south past settlements of Doon Doon and Turkey creek before embarking on a rough and bumpy ride into the Bungle Bungle Range. This 4wd track crossing rolling spinifex studded hills takes us through Mabel Downs’s station before entering Purnululu National Park. Our camp site at Walardi within the National Park is in a great location allowing us to explore the park with less driving and more time walking!
We camp here for 2 nights – We will have our well appointed camp kitchen setup along with our own fire place. Only basic facilities are provided - water and composting toilets (no showers).
Day 5 - Today we wake to the sounds of Blue Winged Kookaburra's and the sun steadily rising to warm our camp. We begin the day with freshly brewed tea, coffee and a healthy breakfast to ensure you have the energy to hike the best tracks within Purnululu National Park. We spend the day exploring Cathedral Gorge, Piccaninny Creek and Echidna Chasm. (6 hours walking)
Tonight you may wish to lay out in peace and gaze up at the night sky. The low humidity, often clear skies and remoteness of this location combine to offer some of the best opportunities for night sky viewing. It simply has to be seen!
There will be the opportunity for optional scenic helicopter flights over the Bungle Bungle Range - Own expense.
Day 6 - Today starts with a relaxing breakfast before packing up camp and journeying onwards to Kununurra. Along the journey we will drop in and see some amazing indigenous art at the Warman art gallery. Warmun artists are renowned for their use of natural ochre and pigments on canvas. Traditional Ngarrangkarni (Dreaming) stories are expressed through this art and you will have to opportunity to learn some of these stories behind the incredible paintings.
An afternoon detour down a dusty track sees us stop at a local favourite - Molly Springs for swim or relax by this small picture postcard water hole. You will also be introduced to Kununurra and the Ord river irrigation scheme along with a stop at Ivanhoe crossing. We camp tonight at Ivanhoe Resort which has great facilities on hand including a well earned hot shower!
Day 7 - Our last day sees us explore one of my favourite day walks in the Kimberley. It's a local secret and beautiful place to explore. It’s only a short 30 min 4x4 drive from town and within the Carboyd range. It's a large permanent spring fed water course and rivals the best in the Kimberley. We explore up stream along this untracked river system revealing cascades and multiple waterfalls. It's a 5 – 6 hour walk and a trip highlight!
Before our trip concludes in Kununurra we stop off at the Zebra Rock gallery where you can see the artists Zebra rock creations and enjoy the best mango smoothly in the north by the upper Ord River.
There is the option today to fly out from Kununurra on the 3:20 or 4:45 afternoon flight to Darwin. If flying today you will forgo the stop at the Zebra Rock gallery.
Price: $2390 (incl GST) sole occupancy tent
PLEASE NOTE: Please be aware that the Kimberley is a vast area and can be subjected to unseasonal weather conditions that can alter our proposed itinerary. We have chosen the dry season as it is cooler and more comfortable to walk & travel. There are less insects and the dry air and cool nights allows for comfortable camping. It is also the time of year where access is generally assured. We do however have in place contingencies in the case of unseasonal weather, wild fires or culturally sensitive reasons that inhibit our access to the areas proposed in the itinerary.