We set off into the West Australian outback pretty early today and after a bit of highway driving we reach the Fitzroy River, then it’s all off-road to the Napier Range. The main attraction here is Tunnel Creek, a vast cave system that extends 750 metres underground. It’s from here that the indigenous warrior Jandamarra waged his rebellion against the colonial authorities – a legacy you’ll learn more about on walk through the tunnel with your guide. We camp overnight at Windjana Gorge, once an underwater reef. During the wet season a river flows all the way through it, but during the dry it’s really more a series of ponds and billabongs. (LD)
Spend the morning exploring Windjana Gorge while in the afternoon we journey to Bell Gorge, home to a stunning cascade of water flowing from the previous wet season rains that fall in the King Leopold Ranges. A great place to swim! Further east, Mt Barnett Station will be our camp for this evening. (BLD)
Stretch your legs on a morning hike and you will be rewarded with a swim in a large rock pool at the base of Manning Falls. After lunch we discover Adcock or Galvins Gorge, before heading back to camp to relax around the campfire. (BLD)
Fording rivers and weaving through gorges, travel by 4WD along the wild Gibb River Road – a 600-kilometre stretch that winds right through the heart of the Kimberley. We’ve got a fair bit of ground to cover today, so there is a fair bit of drive time, but we’ll be breaking the journey up with lunch and at a few stops along the way. This journey includes the iconic Pentecost River crossing in our 4WD. How Australian is that! Originally established as an enormous cattle station, El Questro is now a vast wilderness reserve sprawled over more than one million acres. Camping out here, you’ll really feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere – albeit an extremely beautiful middle of nowhere. The ochre-coloured massifs of the Cockburn Ranges frame the landscape whichever way you turn and numerous natural springs offer plenty of opportunities for a refreshing cool-off. Following a soak in Zebedee Springs, enjoy a short trek to either El Questro or Emma Gorge (BLD/BLD)
So long El Questro, hello Bungle Bungles. Today we drive through the rugged landscape of Carr Boyd and the Durack Ranges into Purnululu National Park. This park is home-ground of the Bungle Bungles, a UNESCO World Heritage Site dominated by massive sandstone karsts that rear hundreds of metres above the surrounding grasslands. We arrive at our bush camp in time to sit back and watch the sun set over the Osmond Ranges. If you’ve had enough of tent camping by now, you might want to spend tonight sleeping out beneath the stars snuggled up in a swag. Unbelievably, only the locals knew it existed until the early 1980’s when they were ‘discovered’ by a film team – who then had to fly over the top by plane to find a route in by land. We know the way in, but you can sign up for a helicopter ride over the site if you wish. At ground level, we’ll go on a walk through Echidna Chasm – a long and narrow ravine banked on either side by 200 metre high rock walls – and enter the massive natural Amphitheatre of Cathedral Gorge. (BLD/BLD)
Today we leave the Bungle Bungles for Kununurra, the largest town between Broome and Darwin. Tonight’s campsite is on the shores of Lake Argyle. There are no further activities booked for the rest of the day, but an optional sunset cruise out on the lake is highly recommended. (BLD)
Lake Argyle is actually a man-made lake, though you’d never have guessed so from looking at it. For a body of water situated in the centre of the world’s second driest continent, it looks pretty at home. Barramundi, birds and freshwater crocodiles thrive in these waters, and the islands look like they’ve always been there (they used to be mountains). In the afternoon we push on across the state border into the Northern Territory. (BLD)
The final leg of our journey takes us through to Darwin, with stop-offs made en route at either Katherine Gorge or Edith Falls. (BL)
This adventure departs on selected Mondays, Wednesdays & Saturdays from April to October.
Click here for dates.
What’s included in your trip price?
* Experienced Guide
* Meals as specified
* Camping Accommodation
* National Park Entry Fees
* Scenic Flights – allow approx $500 per person
* Sunset Cruise Lake Argyle – allow approx $100 per person
Your Tour Guide can assist with booking these optional activities while on tour.
It is essential that you bring a torch, shoes you don’t mind getting wet – and we mean fully immersed in water: ideally, wet shoes, sandals or old runners, broad-brimmed hat with sun visor for all round protection, sunscreen, swimming costume and towel, good walking/trekking shoes, a personal water bottle and a pillow.
It is also recommended that you bring insect repellent, warm clothes for the evening (particularly if travelling in Winter), personal toiletries and first aid, with any personal medication required.
You will also need to bring a pillow and a sleeping bag. 10ºC sleeping bags are available for sale at $50pp – these must be requested with our office prior to travel and can be kept following your trip or donated to local indigenous communities.