15 days
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Kimberley WA tour map

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Articles about the Kimberley

Pilbara wildflowers WA

The Australian Outback: A Definitive Guide

15 mins read

Explore learn and consider what is the outback in this article. For mature and senior travelers considering joining a small group package tours into the outback to see, learn and explore about this unique place, not only the landscape but the Aboriginal approach to living. On each of the tours for couples and the single traveler you learn something different but fascinating, from Outback Queensland, the Flinders, Broken Hill and the Kimberley and the wildflowers all contribute to this question, what is the outback?


Yes! When you enter the Kimberley, you are well and truly entering ‘Crocodile Country’. But don’t worry: if you act sensibly, you have no need to worry about a crocodile attack.
The Kimberley is home two types of crocodiles: freshwater and saltwater. Lake Argyle (Western Australia’s largest manmade reservoir) is home to a population of over 35, 000 freshwater crocodiles. Freshwater crocodiles are mostly harmless (though we don’t recommend that you approach them), and locals consider the lake to be safe for swimming.
Saltwater crocodiles – or as the locals call them, ‘salties’ – are more dangerous. Make sure to be crocodile safe – obey any signs warning you of their presence; and in the absence of signs, don’t just assume it’s safe to dive in. Ask a friendly local or inquire at the Kimberley Tourist Station.
Bear in mind that all the major gorges on the Gibb River Road are safe. Our guides will choose safe locations for opportunities to swim on the tour.

Most people get to the Kimberleys by flight to Broome or Darwin, or by driving from Perth. Our tour begins and ends in Broome, giving you the opportunity to independently explore the quirky capital of the Kimberley.

Our tours are scheduled for the start of the dry season for the north, which is also the cooler time of the year with maximum temperatures in the high 20s to low 30s – cool, mild nights with warm to hot days. There will be opportunities to swim at a few locations such as Mitchell Falls and Mt Elizabeth Station.

At this time of the year the probability of rainfall is down to a few days per month or less. Given that the nights can be quite cold, a “three seasons” sleeping bag should ensure comfort. Biting insects, mainly mosquitoes, are variable in their occurrence, so participants should come prepared with a good repellent and possibly clothing to cover exposed legs and arms.

The Kimberley region was given the name ‘The District of Kimberley’ by the government surveyor, Andrew Forrest, after the 1st Secretary of State for the colonies, John Wodehouse, First Earl of Kimberley. The Earl of Kimberley also gave his name to the Kimberley region in South Africa, which is similarly famous for producing diamonds.

The Argyle and Ellendale diamond mines, in the Kimberley, mine over a third of the world’s diamonds today. Thanks to higher presence of nitrogen and nickel in the soils of Western Australia, the Kimberley Region is particularly famed for producing distinctive ‘yellow’, ‘pink’, ‘champagne’, and ‘cognac’ diamonds.

Tour Notes
  • Single accommodation is not available where we use Safari Tent style rooms. You will be paired with another traveller of the same gender.
  • Due to the nature of this tour, the order of the itinerary may be changed however all sights will still be visited.

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Overview: We meet in the late afternoon as a group for an introduction to the tour program. Followed by a group evening meal.

Accommodation:  Cable Beach Club Resort or similar

Overview:  Today we have an early morning pick up, at 7am pick up by local guide. We will firstly call into one of Broome’s popular coffee bars for breakfast and our morning coffee. After departing Broome, we make our way to Beagle Bay to see the beautiful pearl shell altar at the Sacred Heart Church built by the German Pallotine monks in 1917/18. Continuing towards Cape Leveque, we detour to enjoy a tour of the Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm, followed by lunch. Upon reaching Cape Leveque, the afternoon is spent walking the beautiful beaches and surrounds, before returning to Broome for the night. 

Accommodation: Cable Beach Club Resort or similar

Overview: Departing early, we will head towards Derby to see the Boab Prison Tree which is estimated to be over 1000 years old. Following morning tea, we take a short drive to the Mowanjum Aboriginal Art Gallery so you can peruse the exquisite pieces and learn about the traditional art history of this area. The journey now begins along the Gibb River Rd, passing through the King Leopold Range and onto our overnight stay at the Bell Gorge Wilderness Lodge. 

Accommodation: Bell Gorge Wilderness Lodge Or Mount Hart Lodge (ensuite safari tent, twin share) or similar

Overview: We begin the day with our hike of Bell Gorge. Eroded into the King Leopold Range, Bell Gorge is one of the most impressive gorges in the Kimberley. Bell Creek cascades down through a series of falls and pools. There is time to enjoy a beautiful early morning swim to cool down before we continue. We then head towards Galvans Gorge for a short walk before stopping at the Barnett River, our lunch stop. We continue north along the Gibb River Rd before arriving at our evening destination, Drysdale River Station. 

Accommodation: Drysdale River Station or similar

Overview: Today’s drive along the Port Warrender Road will be slow and steady to the Mitchell Plateau. The roads are a good example of 4WD terrain. We join a cultural tour with traditional owners at two spectacular Aboriginal Rock Art site, w immerse ourselves back in time, followed by Lunch. We continue onto the Mitchell Falls Lodge, arriving late afternoon in time for a refreshing swim in the picturesque swimming hole the divides the lodge tents. 

Accommodation: Mitchell Falls Wilderness Lodge (ensuite safari tent, twin share) or similar

Overview: Departing the lodge for the day, we arrive at the Mertens carpark where we embark on a short scenic helicopter flight over the Mitchell Plateau and the incredible Mitchell Falls. The scenery is remarkable, and it gives us a great perspective before seeing it on the ground. After exploring the top of the falls, and enjoying a swim, we hike 3.5km back to the carpark, stopping in at some Aboriginal Rock Art along the way. Once we arrive back at the vehicle, we take the short drive back to the lodge and relax. 

Accommodation: Mitchell Falls Wilderness Lodge (ensuite safari tent, twin share) or similar

Overview: Today is one of our biggest drive days (due to limited accommodation options). We make our way back to re-join the Gibb River Road. One of our scheduled stops is to Ellenbrae Station to meet the wonderful hosts and indulge in afternoon tea. Along the way we will be presented with fabulous views of the Kimberley and Cockburn Range. Our journey continues along the Gibb River Road to our evening accommodation at Home Valley Station. 

Accommodation: Home Valley Station or similar

Overview: Home Valley Station to El Questro 

Today we experience the beauty of El Questro Wilderness Park, firstly with a swim in the magnificent Thermal Pools of Zebedee Springs, followed by a 1.2km hike into Emma Gorge, in the heart of the Cockburn Ranges. Following the hike, we enjoy lunch before making our way to one of the most spectacular sunset views in the Kimberley for drinks and appetizers. 

Accommodation: El Questro Wilderness Park (ensuite safari tent, twin share) or similar

Overview: Following breakfast, we take a short journey into Kununurra and surrounds where you will embark on a half day tour of the Ord River and Lake Argyle via boat, returning to Kununurra just after sunset. 

Accommodation: Kununurra Country Club or similar

Overview: Following breakfast, we travel into Kununurra to restock supplies and enjoy some magnificent art galleries. The following leg of our journey takes us to the World Heritage Listed Purnululu National Park (Bungle Bungles). The Bungle Bungle Range is renowned for its striking orange and grey horizontal banded domes. The distinctive beehive-shaped landforms have been produced by uplift and erosion over the last 20 million years. 

The Bungle Bungles are, by far, the most outstanding example of cone karst in sandstones anywhere in the world and owe their existence and uniqueness to several interacting geological, biological, erosional and climatic phenomena. The sandstone karst of Purnululu National Park is of great scientific importance in demonstrating so clearly the process of cone karst formation on sandstone – a phenomenon recognised by geomorphologists only recently and still not completely understood. The Bungle Bungle Ranges of the Park also display to an exceptional degree evidence of geomorphic processes of dissolution, weathering and erosion in the evolution of landforms under a savannah climatic regime within an ancient, stable sedimentary landscape.

Our evening will consist of a spectacular sunset viewing of the Bungle Bungle Ranges while enjoying a glass of Champagne, before returning to our evening accommodation. 

Accommodation: Purnululu (Bungle Bungles) (ensuite safari tent, twin share) or similar

Overview: After breakfast, we spend the day walking and exploring the magnificent beehive formations of this World Heritage Listed region. This will include hikes into Echidna Chasm, Cathedral Gorge and Piccaninny Creek Lookout. Up until 1982 the region was largely ‘undiscovered’. Prior to 1982 only local Aboriginal people and a handful of stockmen knew of the area and in 1987 it became a National Park. An unforgettable helicopter flight over the Bungles is an optional extra and highly recommended. We depart Purnululu and head to our evening destination, Halls Creek. 

Accommodation: Kimberley Hotel (Halls Creek) or similar

Overview: Leaving Halls Creek, we make our way to China Wall, an interesting quartz formation on the outskirts of town before enjoying morning tea and refreshments. We leave the Great Northern Highway and take the Tanami Rd south towards Wolfe Creek Crater. After soaking in the surround landscape and lunch, we continue our last leg of the day along the Great Northern Highway to our evening destination, the Fitzroy River Lodge. The lodge is a beautiful oasis nestled along the banks of the Fitzroy River, where you can enjoy a short walk. 

Leaving Halls Creek, we make our way to China Wall, an interesting quartz formation on the outskirts of town before enjoying morning tea and refreshments. We leave the Great Northern Highway and take the Tanami Rd south towards Wolfe Creek Crater. After soaking in the surround landscape and lunch, we continue our last leg of the day along the Great Northern Highway to our evening destination, the Fitzroy River Lodge. The lodge is a beautiful oasis nestled along the banks of the Fitzroy River, where you can enjoy a short walk. 

Accommodation: Fitzroy River Lodge or similar

Overview: The final day takes you on a boat tour down the Fitzroy River through Geikie Gorge, offering marvellous views and photo opportunities. We then make our way to Tunnel Creek which flows through a water worn tunnel beneath the limestone of the Napier Range. Tunnel Creek is part of the 350-375 million-year-old Devonian Reef, formed when most of the Kimberley was covered by the sea and gradually exposed as the sea level fell to its present level. Tunnel Creek was the hideout for Jandamarra (Pigeon) who led the Aboriginal resistance against the police and pastoralists until he was tracked down and killed by a police posse in 1897. We will walk 750 metres through the tunnel, wading through several permanent pools to the other side of Napier Range. Our next destination is Windjana Gorge, a stunning gorge cut through the Napier Range. This site holds special significance to the local Aboriginal people. The gorge is 3.5 km long and formed by the Lennard River as it winds its way through the Napier Range. There are primeval life forms fossilised within the gorge walls. Isolated pools in the ‘dry’ season, support an abundance of wildlife including freshwater crocodiles, water birds, corellas, and a colony of fruit bats.

We return to Broome late afternoon and take you to your evening accommodation.

Accommodation: Cable Beach Club Resort or similar

Overview: Today we join a cultural tour of Broome and surrounds including visits to China Town, Pearl Luggers Museum, the Broome Historical Museum followed by Gantheaume Point and Lighthouse. The remainder of the day is at leisure until we gather for our final group dinner at the resort.

Accommodation: Cable Beach Club Resort or similar

Overview: Our tour concludes today after breakfast.

Explore Broome on a guided walking tour of this town on the edge of the Kimberley region.
See, learn and develop an understanding about Indigenous Aboriginal rock art that may date back 45,000 years or more.
Visit and explore Well known sites of beauty such as Mitchell’s plateau, Cape Leveque & Bell’s gorge.
Spend 2 days in the UNESCO World heritage listed Pulunuru National Park which has the Bungle Bungle Karst formation.
Visit the intact visually stunning Wolfe creek meteor crater.

What’s included in our Tour

  • 15 nights accommodation.
  • 15 breakfasts, 13 lunches, 14 dinners.
  • Transport by modern and comfortable 4wd or other vehicle suitable for the highway conditions.
  • Entrances and sightseeing as specified.
  • Services of Tour Leader for the duration of tour and a local driver-guide.
  • Detailed Preparatory Information

What’s not included in our Tour

  • Return Domestic airfares
  • Comprehensive travel insurance.
  • Items of a personal nature, such as telephone calls and laundry
Bungle Bungles
Cockburn Ranges Panoramic
White and orange escarpments, Kimberly, Western Australia
Kimberley, Western Australia
Bell Gorge
Bungle Bungles below
Purnululu National Park
Aboriginal Artwork The Kimberley Australia
Kooljaman at Cape Leveque
Kooljaman at Cape Leveque
Waringarri Aboriginal Arts Centre, Kununurra
Waringarri Aboriginal Arts Centre, Kununurra
Pentecost River Crossing
Home Valley Station, Gibb River Road
Pentecost River Crossing
Sacred Heart Church, Beagle Bay
The Kimberley
Windjana Gorge National Park, off the Gibb River Road
Windjana Gorge National Park, off the Gibb River Road
Cockburn Ranges, Gibb River Road
Oxer Lookout, Karijini National Park