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Small group tour of Australia's Kimberley

Escorted small group tour of the Kimberley. We explore and visit Cape Leveque, The Bungles, Bell Gorge, Mitchell plateau & Halls Creek in the dry season. Amazing landscapes intertwined with Aboriginal communities resident more than 45,000 years.

From A$15,390 AUD

Guaranteed

Highlights

  1. 1. See, learn and develop an understanding about Indigenous Aboriginal rock art that may date back 45,000 years or more.
  2. 2. Visit and explore well known sites of beauty such as Mitchell's Plateau, Cape Leveque & Bell's Gorge.
  3. 3. Spend 2 days in the UNESCO World heritage listed Pulunuru National Park which has the Bungle Bungle Karst formation.
  4. 4. Enjoy the serene surroundings of Emma Gorge Waterfall at El Questro and the many other natural wonders of the area.
Small group tour of Australia's Kimberley itinerary

Departure Dates

Departure Date Price
09 May 2022

Ends 22 May 2022

Selected
12 June 2022

Ends 25 June 2022

18 July 2022

Ends 31 July 2022

25 August 2022

Ends 07 September 2022

14 September 2022

Ends 27 September 2022

09 May 2023

Ends 22 May 2023

30 May 2023

Ends 12 June 2023

03 August 2023

Ends 16 August 2023

19 August 2023

Ends 01 September 2023

04 September 2023

Ends 17 September 2023

Small Group Tour of the Kimberley.

Odyssey Traveller is pleased to announce our new small group tour of of the Kimberley, Western Australia. Our tours of mature and senior travellers for couples and solo travellers of up to 12 people leave at the best times to visit the Kimberley: the dry season, June to September, or at the end of the wet season in April and May when the landscape is lush and the gorges - Bell Gorge, Cathedral Gorge - and rivers - Gibb River, Fitzroy River, and Tunnel Creek - all flow with water. Seeing masses of water flow in a place where the landscape is dry for most of the year is one of the delights of a trip in the Australian outback.

This small group tour of the Kimberley has a minimum participant requirement of five people per departure of this fifteen-day adventure. We have scheduled departures, typically commencing in April through to early November. We do not operate trips to the Kimberley region during the wet season.

This Odyssey Traveller small group tour is limited to just 10 people.( Other groups are typically 20 +)

What you can expect to experience and see on a trip in the Kimberley.

Unlike other areas of Outback Australia, the corrosive effect of the wet season has defined the landscapes, vegetation, and cultures of the Kimberley. Gorges such as Galvans Gorge and Emma Gorge have been geologically defined by the impact of water over millennia. The contrast between wet and dry season influences the native vegetation of the national park(s) in the Kimberley Region, and the lifestyle of local Aboriginal communities. On this small group tour of the Kimberley, we learn about the unique adaptations and management approaches that have ensured a sustainable occupation for Indigenous Australians for over 40 000 to 65 000 years. On each of our Kimberley outback tours, these stories and geological features are a crucial part of our learning and exploration of the region. The remote location of the Kimberley has given it a long history of Aboriginal civilisations to learn about, long separated from European and Asian cultures (with the exception of the Portuguese crash-landing on the Kimberley Coast during the 17th century race for spices!).

Cape Leveque

This small group tour of the Kimberley takes you into the heart of the outback, far away from the coast. We begin this tour of Western Australia's Kimberley region in Broome, then make the journey across the Dampier Peninsula, up the Kimberley Coast to Cape Leveque, our launching point for our exploration of the remote Kimberley region.

What sets an Odyssey small group tore apart is the opportunity to indulge in the local history that other operators simply pass by. In the Kimberley, we visit quirky churches, local museums full of history (and run on an honesty box!), and have the privilege of viewing the region's incredible ancient Aboriginal rock art.

Bell Gorge and Mitchell Plateau

After a second night in Broome this small group tour of the Kimberley joins the infamous 4WD-only Gibb River Road, heading to Bell Gorge and Mitchell Plateau. At the Mitchell Plateau we enjoy a short helicopter scenic flight, over the Mitchell River and the Mitchell Plateau, placing the landscape within its regional setting in Western Australia. We observe how the landscape changes, reflecting on the underlying geology and weathering processes that shaped what we see today. At times, the landscape is dominated by boab trees, an unusual tree with a hollow centre. On a side trip to the infamous Boab Prison Tree at Wyndham, we see how these were sometimes used by local police as a gaol.

El Questro Wilderness area

This small group tour spends a day in the El Questro Wilderness area, another national park dominated visually by the Cockburn Range. The group will walk up through the spectacular Emma Gorge. After just over a week of travelling, having spent the day in the El Questro Wilderness Park, we make the short trip up the Gibb River Road to stay overnight in the El Questro station. This is the most eastern point of the trip, almost reaching Kununurra township and the Northern Territory border. Instead of crossing over into the Northern Territory, our small group tour heads south on the Gibb River, crossing over the Wilson River (a feeder to Lake Argyle), and then travels on to the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Purnululu National Park.

Purnululu National Park

The Bungle Bungles in Purnululu National Park are, by far, the most outstanding example of cone karst in sandstones anywhere in the world and are unique to Western Australia. This small group tour of the Kimberley spends almost two days in Purnululu National Park. On the first day, we explore the Bungle Bungles with a local guide, and on the second we enjoy a day tour, walking through Echidna Chasm, Cathedral Gorge, and the Piccaninny Creek lookout before transferring from the national park to the gold rush town of Halls Creek for the night.

Halls Creek

While the outback makes you think of empty space, the Kimberley is packed full of fascinating things to discover and learn about! The history here is fascinating: Aboriginal rock art dating back 60, 000 years (the oldest in the world), giant nuggets that start a gold rush, and meteorite craters dating back 120, 000 or more years. On our last few days we uncover these hidden histories, heading from Halls Creek to Fitzroy Crossing, where we spend our last night in the outback before returning to Broome. We start this day tour early with a short trip to the 'China Wall' (known in the Jaru language as Burraluba and the Kija language as Mulugunjiny). Named by settlers for its resemblance to the Great Wall of China, the China Wall is a natural vein of sub-vertical white quartz rising up to six metres, transecting the country for many kilometres, rising high out of the ground and then disappearing back into the earth again.

Fitzroy Crossing

Set on the banks of the mighty Fitzroy River, Fitzroy Crossing is a true outback town, and a great base for exploration of the nearby Tunnel Creek National Park, where we explore and learn about and visit Tunnel Creek, Windjana Gorge, and Geikie Gorge, on a boat trip down the Fitzroy River. For the those seeking a short adventure you may make your way to Tunnel Creek, known as such because it 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 fell to its present level. In the late morning, the group returns to Broome for two nights.

Broome

The last full day of this small group tour of the Kimberley is spent with a local guide learning about the history of Broome. This day trip includes visits to the local museums and exploring the township including Cable Beach. The afternoon is at your leisure. Broome is where this outback adventure in the Kimberley region will draw to a close following breakfast the following day.

For more details, click the ‘Top 5’ or ‘Itinerary’ buttons above! If you’re keen to experience this tour, please call or send an email. Or, to book, simply fill in the form on the right hand side of this page.

Articles about Australia published by Odyssey Traveller:

For all the articles Odyssey Traveller has published for mature aged and senior travellers, click through on this link.

External articles to assist you on your visit to the Kimberley:

Itinerary

14 days

Day 1: Broome

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

Day 2: Broome - Cape Leveque - Broome

Today we have an early morning pick up at 7am and depart Broome after a short coffee stop at a local café. 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.

Day 3: Bell Gorge

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.

Day 4: Bell Gorge

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 then return to Bell Gorge for the evening.

Day 5: Mitchell Plateau

Today’s drive along the Gibb River Rd and then Port Warrender Road, it will be slow and steady until we reach 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.

Day 6: Mitchell Falls

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.

Day 7: El Questro

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 El Questro.

Day 8: 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 appetisers.

Day 9: Kununurra

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.

Day 10 : Purnululu National Park (Bungle Bungles)

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.

Day 11: Halls Creek

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.

Day 12: Fitzroy Crossing

Leaving Purnululu, we make our way to China Wall, an interesting quartz formation on the outskirts of town before enjoying morning tea and refreshments. We continue our journey and stop to soak up the surrounding landscape and have lunch and depart for our last leg of the day 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.

Day 13: Broome

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 enjoy our group farewell dinner in the evening.

Day 14: Broome

In the morning 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. Our tour concludes when we return to our hotel at lunch time.

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 or a suitable alternative provided.

Includes / Excludes

What’s included in our Tour

  • 13 nights accommodation.
  • 13 breakfasts, 12 lunches, 12 dinners.
  • Transport by modern and comfortable 4wd or other vehicle suitable for the highway conditions.
  • Entrances and sightseeing as specified.
  • Services of a local driver-guide for the duration of tour.
  • 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.
Level 2 - Moderate

Participants must be able to carry their own luggage, climb and descend stairs, be in good health, mobile and able to participate in 3-5 hours of physical activity per day, the equivalent of walking / hiking up to 8 kilometers per day on uneven ground.

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Departure

09 May 2022

Guaranteed

Ends 22 May 2022 • 14 days

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Room Type

Single room
A$16,750
Twin room
A$15,390 pp

Payment Type

You can reserve your spot by paying a A$500 deposit, pay the rest 90 days before departure (excludes AU/NZ tours).

Pay Deposit
A$1,000
Pay Full
A$30,780

Prices are per person and valid until 30th December 2021.

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Make it a private tour

If you have a group of 6 friends or more you can book this tour as a private departure, with all the benefits of our small group tours.
Get in touch to find out more.

Easing your journey

Crossing international borders with restrictions

The list of requirements to travel internationally has changed and will continue to change for several years. Odyssey is here to assist you in managing your way through these requirements:

Pre-departure checklist for travelling across International borders.
Support over email or phone available 24/7 for any questions you have.

For more information see our Crossing international borders with restrictions page.

Book With Confidence

If less than 30 days before your tour starts you are unable to travel as a result of Government travel restrictions, Odyssey Traveller will assist you with a date change, provide you with a credit or process a refund for your booking less any non-recoverable costs.

See Terms and conditions for details.

Peace of Mind Travel

The safety of our travellers, tour leader, local guide and support staff has always been our top priority and with the new guidelines for public health and safety for keeping safe for destinations around the world, we’ve developed our plan to give you peace of mind when travelling with us.

See Peace of Mind Travel for details.

Reading List Download PDF

Pioneers of the Kimberley

After The Boss Drover and His Mates made such an impact, Anne Ingham began recording a different sort of outback story: The moving tale of Maggie Lilly and the pioneers who shared the heroic struggle for the life in the Northwest. Now an energetic 88, Maggie has moved to Kunnunurra, from the Bow River Station which she and her family built up. Her amazing life is a snapshot of the 20th century and its characters.

By Anne Marie Ingham

Booktopia

The Lost World of the Kimberley

Australia's Kimberley was the cultural hub of the Ice Age world. Today, it holds within its bounds the world's largest collection of Ice Age figurative art, giving us vital clues to the origins of other cultures and civilisations right across the world.

Back at a time when most of Europe lay deep beneath ice sheets, a people in the remote and rugged Kimberley Ranges of north-west Australia created figurative paintings of such verve and talent that they surpass all other of the world's rock art.

Known as 'Bradshaws', after pioneer farmer Joseph Bradshaw who chanced upon the first examples in 1891, the Kimberley paintings feature lithe, graceful human figures depicted in a fashion altogether different from that of even the oldest traditional art, providing extraordinary visual insights into the everyday lives of Ice Age people.

So who were these Bradshaw people? When did they live? What happened to them?

Ian Wilson describes the early research on the Bradshaw paintings, and explains how advanced dating techniques have shed new light on the findings. He explores the theories put forward on for the origins of these seafaring people; one possibility is that they arrived from the Andaman Islands, where pygmy-like tribes still survive. Farther afield still the author draws connections with Saharan peoples, and he even unearths startling similarities with South American tribes.

Lost World of the Kimberley is a wide-ranging and provocative look at the very Australian, yet also potentially international, mystery of the Bradshaw paintings of the Kimberley one of Australia's least known, yet most extraordinary, national treasures.

By Ian Wilson

Amazon

Gularabulu, Stories from the West Kimberley

A groundbreaking presentation, in a revised edition, of Indigenous Australian storytelling as it actually sounds; these stories provide a fascinating picture of the life of the people of the west Kimberley after colonisation. Paddy Roe was a legendary figure in the revival and maintenance of law and culture in the Broome area in the mid-twentieth century. In this book he continues and revitalises one of the great literary traditions of Australia. Stephen Muecke is a leading Australian academic whose work has encompassed a number of disciplines in the humanities. With Paddy Roe, Muecke is co-writer of the prize-winning Reading the Country.

By Paddy Roe, Stephen Muecke

Fishpond

Australian Geographic Guide to the Kimberley

Australian Geographic, in Association with Woodslane Press is delighted to introduce a new series of photographic souvenir guides to some of Australia’s most beautiful and iconic places. The 64-page large format books will be full of vibrant photography, accompanied by a concise but fascinating commentary by some of Australia’s most experienced travel writers. One of the first two books in the series, the Australian Geographic Book of the Kimberley is an indispensable reminder and souvenir for both international and Australian visitors to this very special place. Armchair travellers and children will pick it up time and again to whet their appetites and perhaps to plan their own visits.

Includes sections on geography, wildlife and culture, Kununurra and Lake Argyle, El Questro, Purnululu (Bungle Bungles), Gibb River Road, Mitchell River, the Dampier Peninsula and Broome.

By Katrina O'Brien

Dymocks

Kimberley Warrior, The Story of Jandamarra

The story of Jandamarra - legendary Aboriginal 'freedom fighter'.

Shortlisted, Eve Pownall Award for Information Books, Children's Book Council Book of the Year Awards 1998
Special Mention, Individual Category, Centre for Australian Cultural Studies National Awards 1997
Shortlisted, Children's and Young Adults Award, Western Australian Premier's Book Awards 1997

Jandamarra - hero or criminal?

One hundred years ago, Jandamarra led his people against the white occupation of Bunuba lands. At 21 he organised his first ambush, and by the age of 24 he was dead. To his people he was a hero, to the whites a dangerous 'baddie' who must be captured at any cost.

Kimberley Warrior is a gripping frontier story set in the rocky mountain ranges, gorges and tunnels of the Kimberley region in Western Australia. It is also the story of a complex, gifted person caught between two worlds, black and white.

This retelling of Jandamarra's story is authorised by the Bunuba people.

About the Author

John Nicholson is a former architect, now a full-time author and illustrator.

By John Nicholson

Booktopia

100 Things To See In The Kimberley

100 Things To See In The Kimberley, by local guide Scotty Connell, is the culmination of a life spent exploring Australia's wild and remote north west. Scotty grew up in the Kimberley and has made it his mission to thoroughly explore the region via air, land and sea. In that pursuit, Scotty's led elite Nepalese Gurkhas on wild, wet season training missions, hiked through the Kimberley's untamed ranges looking for unnamed waterfalls and hosted celebrities looking for unique Aussie experiences. All because he loves showing intrepid visitors why his backyard is the best backyard on earth. Inside you'll find 100 of the best things to see and do all across the Kimberley - from stunning waterholes to cool off in, to incredible, natural wonders that are found nowhere else on earth.

By Scotty Connell

Dymocks

The Lost World of the Kimberley: Extraordinary glimpses of Australia's ice age ancestors: Extraordinary New Glimpses of Australia's Ice Age Ancestors

Australia's Kimberley was the cultural hub of the Ice Age world. Today, it holds within its bounds the world's largest collection of Ice Age figurative art, giving us vital clues to the origins of other cultures and civilisations right across the world.

Back at a time when most of Europe lay deep beneath ice sheets, a people in the remote and rugged Kimberley Ranges of north-west Australia created figurative paintings of such verve and talent that they surpass all other of the world's rock art.

Known as 'Bradshaws', after pioneer farmer Joseph Bradshaw who chanced upon the first examples in 1891, the Kimberley paintings feature lithe, graceful human figures depicted in a fashion altogether different from that of even the oldest traditional art, providing extraordinary visual insights into the everyday lives of Ice Age people.

So who were these Bradshaw people? When did they live? What happened to them?

Ian Wilson describes the early research on the Bradshaw paintings, and explains how advanced dating techniques have shed new light on the findings. He explores the theories put forward on for the origins of these seafaring people; one possibility is that they arrived from the Andaman Islands, where pygmy-like tribes still survive. Farther afield still the author draws connections with Saharan peoples, and he even unearths startling similarities with South American tribes.

Lost World of the Kimberley is a wide-ranging and provocative look at the very Australian, yet also potentially international, mystery of the Bradshaw paintings of the Kimberley one of Australia's least known, yet most extraordinary, national treasures.

By Ian Wilson

Amazon

Pioneers of the Kimberley: the Maggie Lilly Story

After The Boss Drover and His Mates made such an impact, Anne Ingham began recording a different sort of outback story: The moving tale of Maggie Lilly and the pioneers who shared the heroic struggle for the life in the Northwest. Now an energetic 88, Maggie has moved to Kunnunurra, from the Bow River Station which she and her family built up. Her amazing life is a snapshot of the 20th century and its characters.

By Anne Marie Ingham

Amazon

The Kimberley

The Kimberley is a remarkable, yet little-known region of Australia. Occupying an immense area of the continent's northwest, it is remote, sparsely populated, and features an abundance of natural diversity. As a region, it stands apart. The great arc of ranges to the south and east effectively isolates this area from the rest of the mainland. The deeply indented coastline to the north, fortified by rugged cliffs and washed by monstrous tides, completes the Kimberley's natural borders. Home to an amazing array of wildlife and vegetation, the Kimberley is also one of the world's last great natural refuges. From its scorched desert fringes and vast eucalypt woodlands, to pockets of remnant rainforest and coastal mangrove communities patrolled by saltwater crocodiles, the Kimberley's variety of habitats has few equals. This volume delves into the most remote and least-known parts of this wild frontier. A vibrant and informative text, accompanied by stunning photographs, superb paintings, and personal reflections, reveals many aspects of the Kimberley, from its natural history to the history of its exploration. With a strong cultural emphasis, this book also explores the area's Aboriginal history and the significance of rock art. This memorable book will truly captivate readers and leave them with an understanding of the complexity of one of the world's few remaining wild frontiers.

By Alasdair McGregor

Amazon

Out of the Desert: Stories from the Walmajarri Storytellers

Out of the Desert is a compelling collection of stories, art and photographs from the Walmajarri people of the Great Sandy Desert, in north western Australia. It tells of their remarkable exodus from remote desert country to an unfamiliar modern society. Within only one generation the Walmajarri desert dwellers left their traditional places behind to face station life and a world far beyond the sandhills. These accounts of a recent past reveal the challenges of the epic journey north to station country, the courage of the Walmajarri in confronting the unknown, and their first contact with white people.

By Honey Bulugardie, Walmajarri Elders, Joyce Hudson

Booktopia

Kimberley Warrior The Story of Jandamarra

Jandamarra - hero or criminal?

One hundred years ago, Jandamarra led his people against the white occupation of Bunuba lands. At 21 he organised his first ambush, and by the age of 24 he was dead. To his people he was a hero, to the whites a dangerous 'baddie' who must be captured at any cost.

Kimberley Warrior is a gripping frontier story set in the rocky mountain ranges, gorges and tunnels of the Kimberley region in Western Australia. It is also the story of a complex, gifted person caught between two worlds, black and white.

This retelling of Jandamarra's story is authorised by the Bunuba people.

By John Nicholson

Booktopia

Every Mother's Son is Guilty Policing the Kimberley Frontier of Western Australia 1882 - 1905

In Every Mother’s Son is Guilty, Chris Owen provides a compelling account of policing in the Kimberley district from 1882, when police were established in the district, until 1905 when Dr. Walter Roth’s controversial Royal Commission into the treatment of Aboriginal people was released.

Owen’s achievement is to take elements of all the pre-existing historiography and test them against a rigorous archival investigation. In doing so a fuller understanding of the complex social, economic and political changes occurring in Western Australia during the period are exposed. The policing of Aboriginal people changed from one of protection under law to one of punishment and control. The subsequent violence of colonial settlement and the associated policing and criminal justice system that developed, often of questionable legality, was what Royal Commissioner Roth termed a ‘brutal and outrageous state of affairs’.

By Chris Owen

Booktopia

The Stranger Artist: Life at the edge of Kimberley painting

At a hinge-point in his life, artist and ex-gallerist Tony Oliver travelled to the East Kimberley, where he plunged into the crosscurrents and eddies of the Aboriginal art world. He would stay for almost a decade, working alongside a group of senior Gija artists, including acclaimed figures Paddy Bedford and Freddie Timms, to establish Jirrawun Arts, briefly one of the country’s most successful and controversial Aboriginal painting collectives.

The Stranger Artist follows Oliver’s journey and the deep relationships he formed, an experience that forever altered his life’s trajectory. His story will draw readers close to what he came to know of Kimberley life: the immersion of culture and spirituality in the everyday, the importance of Law, the deep and abiding connection to country, and the humour and tragedy that pervade the Aboriginal world.

Evocative and absorbing in equal measure, The Stranger Artist tells not only of the connections that can be formed through the sharing of mutual interests and experiences, but of what it takes to live between cultures.

By Quentin Sprague

FAQs

Are there crocodiles in the Kimberley?

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.

How do you get to the Kimberleys?

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.

What is the best time to visit 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.

Why is it called the Kimberley?

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.

Are there still diamonds in the Kimberley?

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.

What should you see in the Kimberley?

Combining small country towns with gorgeous natural phenomena and UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Kimberley region offers a truly remote wilderness experience in Australia.

Here are a few things you don’t want to miss:

  • Broome is one of Western Australia’s top tourist destinations with several must-visit attractions, including Cable Beach.
  • Fly over the Bungle Bungle Range in Purnululu National Park. Amazingly, the Bungle Bungle Range’s unique set of beehive-shaped karst sandstone domes were only discovered in 1983.
  • Swim in Lake Argyle – Western Australia’s largest freshwater man-made reservoir.
  • Horizontal Falls – Sir David Attenborough called Horizontal Falls“one of the greatest natural wonders of the world”.
  • Cape Leveque is the northernmost tip of the Dampier Peninsula and home to rugged red cliffs, which look striking against the white sand and turquoise waters.

What makes the Kimberley special?

Kimberley, also called The Kimberleys, plateau region of northern Western Australia, extending from the rugged northwest Indian Ocean coast south to the Fitzroy River and east to the Ord River. The plateau has an area of about 420,000 square km).

What is Kimberley famous for?

Famous attractions include World Heritage listed Purnululu National Park and Mitchell Falls, and stunning El Questro Wilderness Park and Broome’s Cable Beach.

When is the best time to visit the Kimberley?

During the dry season (April to October) you are able to enjoy the landscape and get active in fine warm (but not too warm) conditions. If you would like to see the Kimberley’s waterfalls at their best, aim for the start of the dry season (March to May depending on the specific area.

Who can take the tour?

Odyssey Traveller’s tour to the Kimberley in Western Australia is designed for mature and senior travellers. Typically, our clients begin travelling with us in their mid-50s, but we’ve had clients in their 80s travel with us!

If you’re concerned about your health or mobility, you may want to look at our tour activity levels before you book with us. Our tour of World Heritage Sites in Southern Australia is graded activity level 2 (moderate):

Participants must be able to carry their own luggage, climb and descend stairs, be in good health, mobile and able to participate in 3-5 hours of physical activity per day, the equivalent of walking/hiking up to 8 kilometres on uneven ground.

Why is it called the Outback?

The term ‘Outback’ comes from the idea of ‘Back country’, which was used in the early colonies (with recorded uses as early as 1800) to refer to land beyond the settled regions. With the spread of settlement, ‘Outback’ came into use to describe the inland, arid and semi-arid centres of Australia. ‘Outback’ was first used in print in 1869, when the writer clearly meant west of Wagga Wagga, NSW.

‘Outback’ has a number of variants, including ‘Back o’ Bourke’, ‘Back of Beyond’, ‘Back Country’, and ‘Beyond the Black Stump’ (the precise location of which varies according to local folklore!).

What other Australian outback tours are offered?

Odyssey has a collection of Australian Outback tours that will take the senior traveller on a guided tour into the Northern territory with a tour of Australia’s red centre and the Canning stock route or up into Kakadu national park. The Dubbo to Dubbo outback Australia tour is an Australian adventure that takes the senior traveller up through outback Queensland via Winton to Hughenden and then back to Cathedral gorge to see some incredible Aboriginal rock art as you pass through to Lightning ridge and to Dubbo.

As well, there is the Outback Australia tour offered as an outback experience as a guided tour of South Australia Flinders range for 14 days including the Oodnadatta track. The Flinders range outback tour includes the option of a scenic flight over Wilpena pound. Then in Western Australia, our Outback tours include a tour of the Kimberley that starts on the west coast before turning inland across Western Australia to the border with the Northern Territory and then returns across the Kimberley to Broome over several days. From Broome there are regular connecting flights to Perth and across to Sydney.

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