11 Day - Kimberley Explorer
The Kimberley Explorer is the best way for avid bush walkers or active travellers to explore the vast variety of landscapes this still pristine and remote land offers. Aussie Overlander expertly combines relaxed paced & comfortable 4wd touring with the very best day walks the region has to offer.
We have been operating this itinerary for a number of years. We find by running the trip from Kununurra in a loop we can spend more time on the walking tracks and enjoy the Kimberley landscapes in a more relaxed way than what was possible running a trip from Broome or Darwin. By operating the trip this way we have less long traveling days as well as the ability to ease into the camping side of things with camping areas getting more and more remote with less facilities as the trip progresses.
Getting to and from Kununurra is easy and affordable with Virgin, Air North or Qantas. Please look at our trip notes for more detail in getting to and from Kununurra.
Departs and returns to Kununurra (the gateway to the Kimberley)
Trip price $3790 - 10 nights: Camping (single travellers get their own tent at no extra cost guaranteed!)
Group size - Maximum 11 guests
Experienced & Professional Guide
Comfortable 4WD transport
Most meals including hiking snacks for the trail (as per itinerary indicated by B, L, D)
All camping gear including comfortable swags with clean linen & quality tents
Pick up and drop of at your pre and post tour Accommodation
Day 1 - Emma Gorge & El Questo (around 5km walking)
Departing Kununurra this morning we commence pickups at your accommodation at 9:00am.
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. It's a very manageable with a relaxed paced walk that will acclimatise you well to the conditions of the Kimberley region. The Emma Gorge walk is a 2 - 3 hour walk with time to swim and relax.
Our camp site for the next 3 nights at El Questro wilderness park is on the banks of the upper Pentecost River shaded by large river red gums. Toilet and hot shower facilities and washing facilities are excellent. (L, D)
Day 2 – Zebedee & El Questro Gorge walks (around 7km walking)
Kick the day off at Zebedee hot springs. These natural springs flow to the surface at 32 degrees. What better way to start the day than relaxing 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 4wd and heading to the start of another of El Questro's world class walks. Depending on seasonal water flows and local conditions we will spend the rest of the day exploring on foot at 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. Put simply the walk can be as demanding as you'd like it to be as we have built in options for a more relaxed day if you wish.
After our day exploring we will return to our camp to relax, shower and refresh before enjoying dinner by a blazing camp fire. (B, L, D)
Day 3 - Champagne Springs & El Questro Station (around 10 km walking)
Todays 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. It's a rocky 10km return walk following the crystal clear river upstream. We will spend most of the day exploring the river system on this moderately challenging walk. A great final walk at El Questro!
You have the option of a shorter walk and time in the afternoon to relax with your boots off and unwind by the Pentecost 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). (B, L)
Day 4 - 4wd the Gibb River Rd (2 – 3 km walking)
Leaving El Questro we head back onto the Gibb river road enjoying panoramas of the Cockburn Range and crossing the iconic Pentecost River. We stop at some of the “Gibb's” hidden locations en route to see a parts of the Kimberley seen by few people. We continue west stopping off at Elenbrae Station. Today's journey along the Gibb ends at our camp beside the Manning River.
Facilities include flushing toilets & hot showers along with a gorgeous swimming hole on the Manning River which you'll find great for swimming at the end of a long day. We camp here for the next two nights. (B, L, D)
Day 5 - Manning Gorge Walk (between 6 – 10 km walking)
A very relaxed feel descends upon us this morning as we are in no need to rush off anywhere. Instead we’ll set off over rocky exposed ground on a 6km return walk into Manning Gorge. A little adventure to kick off the walk includes wading across the river to access the gorge walk where you’ll witness the timeless rock art of the areas ancient Aboriginal inhabitants.
There is a very large water hole with excellent swimming in the clear pools near the falls or for the more adventurous you could explore further on foot “rock hopping” around the gorge system. It's a great place to explore and we can easily spend a few hours here over lunch appreciating and exploring the surroundings.
We’ll arrive back into camp in the afternoon, time for you to soak up your surrounds at your own pace, enjoy camp life and watch the sun set while relaxing by the waterhole. (B, L, D)
Day 6 - Galvan's & Bell Gorges (6km walking)
Leaving camp it’s not long before we park up at the start of a great short walk into Galvan’s Gorge. There is rock art to be seen along with the opportunity for a morning dip in the picture perfect waterhole.
We journey onwards towards Imitji for a break before arriving at the Silent Grove campsite in the early afternoon. We have a great walk to explore Bell Gorge in the afternoon which is only a short drive from our camp site.
Silent Grove camp site has hot showers and flushing toilets. (B, L, D)
Day 7 – King Leopold Ranges & Windjana Gorge walk (7km walking)
Our last day on the Gibb river road sees us descend through the mighty King Leopold Ranges to the flat savannah county of the West Kimberley region.
The landscape is dominated by the exposed Devonian Reef system known by early pastoralists as the “barrier”. We explore part of the barrier on foot as we follow the Lennard River into Windjana Gorge to explore the ancient reef system and discover the diversity of life it holds. It's also a great spot to see fresh water crocodiles in the wild as they bask in the last rays of sun shine.
We settle into camp at the entrance to the Gorge with hot showers and flushing toilets. (B, L, D)
Day 8 – Tunnel Creek Cave Walk (2km wadding and walking)
Today starts as we discover the story of Jandamarra and venture into the Tunnel Creek cave system where a creek flows naturally through the limestone ranges. Head torches on and water shoes ready we head into darkness and walk through the 750m cave system following an underground stream. It's a bit unnerving for some however we take our time and ensure a great experience for all.
In the afternoon we continue onto Fitzroy Crossing to marvel at the mighty Fitzroy River and have a break for lunch before continuing along the Great Northern Hwy to camp at an authentic Kimberley cattle station run by the Brockhurst family.
Tonight we sit down for dinner with the Brockhurst family at the homestead and have the opportunity get a rare in site into station life in the Kimberley. Camping facilities include hot showers and toilets. (B, D)
Day 9 – 4wd Tracks into Purnululu National Park
Bound for the World Heritage listed Purnululu National Park our journey takes us through the old gold rush town of Halls creek where we have a break for lunch and re supply. Soon we turn off the main road onto a bumpy 4wd track which traverses Mable 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. Only basic facilities are provided - water and composting toilets (there are no showers however we do have a tap at camp so you can have a cold wash if you wish). It's a small price to pay to be able to a camp within the National Park close to all the walking tracks! (B, D)
Day 10 – Punululu National Park Walks (10 – 14 km walking)
Today we hike the best tracks within Purnululu National Park. We spend the day exploring Cathedral Gorge, Piccaninny Creek and Echidna Chasm and other stunning locations on foot.
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!
Over our lunch break today there will be the opportunity for optional scenic helicopter flights over the Bungle Bungle Range - Own expense. Flights start at $299pp. (B, L, D)
Day 11 – 4wd Tracks & Warman Art Gallery
Our final day starts with a relaxing breakfast before packing up camp and journeying onwards to the aboriginal community of Warman where we visit 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.
In the afternoon we have time to reflect on an amazing time away whilst enjoying our last scenic drive into the town of Kununurra. (B, L)
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 very few insects in the dry season and cool nights allow 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.