Kimberley Trail Darwin to Broome (Basix)

Australia,

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20 people
14 days
Code: PKTDB-B
Activity and Adventure, Overland, Tours
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Overview of Kimberley Trail Darwin to Broome (Basix)

Experience the beautiful rugged Kimberley on this true Australian adventure from Darwin to Broome. Uncover some of the country’s most incredible, untouched territory on an all-terrain journey along the Gibb River Road. Learn the customs of the traditional land-owners while cruising through the gorges of Nitmiluk, sail across the vast waters of Lake Argyle, and squeeze through the narrow rock passages of the striped Bungle Bungles. Soak up the idyllic isolation of remote stations like El Questro and head out to discover secret palm-shaded waterholes. Make your way to the remote Mitchell Plateau and see its majestic four-tiered waterfall, discover the unbelievably picturesque oases of the Bell, Galvans, Adcock gorges, and find hidden caves and indigenous history at Tunnel Creek. Come face-to-face with vast horizons and immense wilderness with this unforgettable taste of Australia at its most untamed.

Trip Summary for Kimberley Trail Darwin to Broome (Basix)

Start Location: Darwin,   End Location: Broome

Countries Visited: Australia, 
Meals Included: Breakfast: 13   Lunches: 14   Dinners: 8
Highlights:

    • Climb aboard a Nitnit Dreaming Cultural Cruise through the inspiring natural wonder of the Nitmiluk Gorge – made up of 13 different chasms carved by the Katherine River – and acquire an understanding of Jawoyn customs
    • The red domes of the Bungle Bungle Ranges in Purnululu National Park form one of the most iconic Australian landscapes in existence. You’ll have two whole days to explore the gorges and valleys of the park, not to mention soak up a few fiery sunsets
    • Enjoy plenty of time to discover the untamed natural beauty of El Questro Station. Paddle around in waterfalls, hike through gorges and access remote parts of this huge park on adventurous 4WD expeditions
    • Test the 4WD as you take on the rugged terrain of the Mitchell Plateau. This extraordinary area is home to the huge, four-tiered Mitchell Falls – a stunning testament to the power and scale of nature
    • Discover a hidden highlight of the West Kimberley with a stop in the idyllic retreat of Bell Gorge
    • Tunnell Creek has a rich Aboriginal and bushranger history. Walk through the underground passage with an Indigenous Bunuba guide, learning about the culture and traditions of the first Australians

 

Day 1 - Nitmiluk Gorge & Katherine
This Kimberley adventure kicks off early to ensure you'll get most out of the day. First stop is an invigorating dip in the natural springs of Edith Falls; quite a lovely wake-up call. Carry on to the outback town of Katherine, which is the gateway to the spectacular Nitmiluk Gorge. This stunning natural wonder is made up of 13 different ravines, carved over millennia, which become fully interconnected by the Katherine River during the wet season. On the Nitnit Dreaming Cultural Cruise you’ll explore two of these gorges and discover the customs of the traditional custodians – the Jawoyn people.

Day 2-3 - Kununurra
Travel west along the Victoria Highway, cross the border into Western Australia and head to the heart of the East Kimberley – the lively town of Kununurra. Join Triple J Tours on their Lake Argyle and Ord River Cruise. Lake Argyle is a vast man-made aquatic area – part of an irrigation project, it’s turned Kununurra into an agricultural centre and also become a flourishing eco-system and natural habitat. The biggest manmade lake in Australia, Lake Argyle is 18 times the size of Sydney Harbour. The wetlands support myriad birds, and the many islands are inhabited by a variety of marsupials. You’ll enjoy a ground tour of the area including a visit to the historic Durack Homestead and a scenic lookout, before boarding a boat for a relaxing cruise along the Ord River back to Kununurra. The evening is free to discover Kununurra at your leisure.

Day 4-5 - Purnululu National Park (Bungle Bungles)
Head south down the Great Northern Highway to Purnululu National Park, home of the iconic Bungle Bungles. You’ll have two nights here, which gives you a full day to explore the highlights of this extraordinary national park, the most famous of which are the ‘beehive domes’. You’ll stay in East Kimberley bush camp, which provides a delightful retreat in this remarkable remote wilderness area. Over the course of 20 millions years, rivers formed the unique orange and black striped geological formations that the area is famed for. It’s hard to believe, but before the early 1980s outsiders knew nothing of this extraordinary landscape. Once ‘discovered’, it was made a national park in 1987. While here you’ll explore Echidna Chasm and its towering Livistonia Palm trees. The trail starts in a wide creek bed before getting narrower and narrower – at one point the sheer walls are only 1 metre apart – and stunning sunlight colours filter through the gorge. You’ll also take a short walk through Cathedral Gorge, which ends in a vast natural amphitheatre creating by towering rocks. There’ll also be time to take an optional scenic flight to put the beehive domes (at own expense) into perspective.

Day 6-7 - El Questro Wilderness Park
Turn back north to the iconic El Questro Wilderness Park. Prepare for two days of idyllic isolation and access to some of the most breathtaking scenery in the Kimberley. Take the opportunity relax and to join one or more of the many activities on offer. The area is blessed with some of the most stunning gorges and waterholes in the whole of Western Australia. Emma Gorge lies at the end of a well-marked track, with 100 metre high walls around a horseshoe crystal clear pool filled by a small waterfall, and a hidden little bath warmed by thermal water that trickles from a crevice. El Questro Gorge is another stunning highlight, scrambling over boulders to rock pools filled by little waterfalls – scenery that’s straight out of movie. A refreshing dip in the Zebedee Springs is also another ‘must-do’, where Livistonia palm trees and lush tropical vegetation surround a series of pools that sit at the base of bright red cliff. Perhaps take a cruise on Chamberlain Gorge (own expense), or simply explore this beautiful wilderness park at your own leisure.

Day 8 - Drysdale Station
Head along the Gibb River Road to the North Kimberley to another oasis in the outback – Drysdale River Station. Over 1 million acres, this family owned and operated cattle station runs approximately 10,000 head of cattle, and gives you a real sense of how the outback does things on a massive scale. Hang out in the true blue Australian outback, surrounded by its magical scenery and welcoming sense of isolation. On arrival you might want to get out and explore the surroundings, or sit back and enjoy a cold drink in the beer garden of one of Australia’s most remote bars, then warm yourself around the log fire in the night air.

Day 9-10 - Mitchell Plateau
Veer off-road and cross to the Mitchell Plateau for a real highlight of the trip. Take on rugged country in the 4WD, taking the rough Kalumburu Road then turning off onto the Mitchell Plateau Track. The drive is unlike any other on the Gibb River Road, as the vegetation transforms and you ford rivers and ramble through ancient Livistonia palm forests to emerge on the savannah, where two days of camping in the national park await. The park is home to the magnificent four-tiered Mitchell Falls, and the scale and power of nature here is unforgettable. Your time here will include the chance of a dip in the Little and Big Merten Falls, a viewing of the Bradshaw rock art, and, if you so choose, a helicopter flight with incredible views of this extraordinary landscape.

Day 11 - Mount Elizabeth Station
Descending from the plateau, travel to the family owned Mt Elizabeth Station Homestead, where you'll be able to enjoy the scenery and see what Kimberley cattle station life is really like. Surrounded by water spots, rocky rises and grasslands, you will be sure to take a great photo, enjoy bush walks and settle in for a lovely evening in the Kimberley outback.

Day 12 - Silent Grove
make the most of the oases of the lily-laden Galvans Gorge and the tranquil retreat of Adcock Gorge, where you’ll pause for a refreshing swim. The afternoon is devoted to exploring Bell Gorge, which is a hidden highlight of the West Kimberley. This idyllic retreat, considered amongst the most beautiful gorge on the Gibb River Road, boasts cascading waterfalls and crystal clear pools formed over millions of years, all surrounded by a horseshoe of bright orange rock wall. There are smooth rocks to lounge on and welcome areas of shade. It’s an easy place to while away a few hours! You’ll camp tonight at Silent Grove.

Day 13 - Windjana Gorge
Once a great reef 350 million years ago, Windjana Gorge is now home to a diverse array of animals and plants. Experience the stunning natural beauty of this outback oasis today. Beneath gorge walls that rise 90 metres in height, search for freshwater crocodiles, local birdlife and Indigenous bush tucker, before setting up camp for the night.

Day 14 - Tunnel Creek & Broome
Spend the morning exploring Tunnel Creek with a local Indigenous Bunuba guide, who will share ancient rock art and reveal the legend of his ancestor, Jandamarra – an Aboriginal freedom fighter who used the tunnel as a hide-out in the late 1800. In this 750-metre cave system carved through the Napier Range, discover stalactites, secret caves and a large variety of wildlife. Don't miss a refreshing swim in an idyllic waterhole. After lunch, we return to the Gibb River Road and visit the Derby 'Boab Prison Tree' before completing your journey to Broome.

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