Our Kimberley tour has a focus on The Gibb River Road that passes through the heart of one of Australia’s last wilderness frontiers – The Kimberley Region of Western Australia. Rail Holidays Australia is offering a fantastic 4WD coach tour along the Gibb River Road.
From Darwin we will fly to Kununurra where our adventure begins on our Kimberley Tour!
We’ll head into the Bungle Bungles – or Purnululu National Park as it is officially called. We’ll explore these orange and black striped beehive domes and learn how they were formed. Back through Kununurra, we join the Gibb River Road for an unforgettable tour through an age old landscape that is crowded with spectacular ranges, magnificent rivers, vast savannahs of bushland, steep cliff faces, and delightful gorges forged over millions of years by the power of nature.
There is a rich aboriginal history here as we travel through country that was inhabited by tribes with a deep and powerful understanding of this magnificent country. We then follow the European explorers and cattle barons, whose hard work and determination opened up this country so that it is now accessible to all. The Gibb River Road offers a unique opportunity to experience the real outback Australian lifestyle. As they say in these parts …get off the bitumen, and experience the true Kimberley….and that’s exactly what we are going to do!!.
We finish our tour with four luxurious nights in Broome.
Wed 7 June, 2017
Back by popular demand, we welcome you to our fabulous tour to The Magnificent Kimberley. Today we make our way to Sydney (OPAL Card required) for our overnight accommodation.
Thu 8 June, 2017
SYDNEY TO DARWIN
We have a very early start as we are transferred to Sydney Airport in time to connect with our direct flight to Darwin. QF840 departs at 9.15am. We have the afternoon free to relax – spend time around the pool or stroll into town. Overnight Double Tree by Hilton Esplanade
Fri 9 June, 2017
DARWIN TO KUNUNURRA
Following a hearty breakfast, we say goodbye to Darwin and board our Air North flight to Kununurra – because of the time difference, we arrive before we left Darwin! On arrival, we’ll be met by our driver-guide from Kimberley Wild who will look after us for the rest of our Kimberley tour.
We head to Lake Argyle for lunch. The first of many highlights of our tour to the Kimberley Ranges will be our cruise this afternoon from below the massive wall of Lake Argyle into Lake Kununurra, 55 kilometres downstream. During “the wet’ the rivers of the East Kimberley become raging torrents. At times the Ord River can empty 50 million litres a second into the Cambridge Gulf! Accommodation 2 nights Kununurra Lakeside Resort
Sat 10 June, 2017
KUNUNURRA & LAKE ARGYLE
This morning, we’ll be introduced to Kununurra. Our sightseeing will include a visit to the town centre and the Diversion Dam, Kellys Knob for excellent views over the surrounding irrigated land and Ivanhoe Crossing. We’ll then head for the Zebra Mine where we spend the rest of the day. Lunch will be freshly caught Silver Cobbler and they say the lunch hits a 10 on the “fish ‘n chip-odometer”!! We’ll take a tour of the mine then enjoy our afternoon tea.
It’s now time to board our Wetlands Cruise, sure to be a highlight on our Kimberley tour; the wetlands are situated on the eastern side of Lake Argyle where the many creeks feed into the dam. We’re sure to see a huge variety of birds, in particular, brolgas, cormorants, ibis, egrets, darters, corellas, herons, whistling ducks, magpie geese, sea eagles – just to name a few! We might see a few Johnston freshwater crocodiles too. How does some champagne and nibbles sound as we watch the sun set over Lake Argyle. After dinner we head back to Kununurra – it will be quite late, but what a fantastic day!
Sun 11 June, 2017
TO THE BUNGLE BUNGLES
Today we make our way to the Bungle Bungles – the next exciting part of our Kimberley tour! Our journey will take us to Doon Doon for a break. As we make our way into the park, we’ll find a picturesque spot for our picnic lunches. Our next two nights’ accommodation is in the Purnululu National Park. It is world heritage listed and is famous for its Bungle Bungles Range – a landscape of stripped beehive-shaped rock towers. We will arrive and settle into the Camp by about 4pm which will give us time to prepare for the sunset. Accommodation 2 nights APT Touring Bungle Bungles Wilderness Camp Safari Tents
Mon 12 June, 2017
THE PURNULULU NATIONAL PARK
We have the opportunity to take a helicopter flight for some amazing sightseeing over the national park. (own expense pre booking essential). Mid-morning, we head to Piccaninny Creek where we can enjoy the Cathedral Gorge Walk. Cathedral Gorge is a huge natural amphitheatre. The acoustics are fascinating. The rock ledges will invite us to just sit down and reflect on the time, the amount of water and the forces it took to form this amazing Gorge. If you don’t care to do the walk, we’ll pick a nice shady spot with a number of shorter walks to investigate. This afternoon there’ll be another walk to explore before we return to the camp to relax.
Tue 13 June, 2017
Today we take our time retracing our steps back to Kununurra. On the way, we’ll drop into Warmun Aboriginal Art Centre, a gallery well-known for its contemporary Australian Aboriginal art. Overnight accommodation Kununurra Lakeside Resort.
Wed 14 June, 2017
KUNUNURRA TO HOME VALLEY
A journey along the Gibb River Road 4WD route is one of the last true outback adventures. It stretches some 660kms from Wyndham to King Sound in Derby. Our Kimberley tour is one highlight after another and today is no different. This morning we head north to Wyndham, a small frontier town that typifies the character of the Kimberley. Established near the tidal waters of the Cambridge Gulf, the port town is guarded by the thrusting summit of the Bastion Range, towering 1100 feet above sea level at its highest point. Many people say the “5 Rivers Lookout” from the top of the Bastion is one of the finest in Australia!
We can’t be this close to Wyndham and not go to the lookout, but today’s real destination is El Questro Station – a million acre cattle station and wilderness park. On arrival we enjoy an early lunch before a cruise through Chamberlain Gorge, a 3 Kilometre waterhole with towering cliffs and lively and interesting bird life. This afternoon, we really start our adventure along the Gibb River Road as we make our way to HQ8, another working cattle station to settle into our lovely accommodation for the next 2 nights.
Thu 15 June, 2017
HOME VALLEY STATION
The Kimberley region has a wondrous history. The natural beauty of the Station and its surrounds is brought to life this morning as we embark on an HV8 Station History tour. We tour around the Station grounds returning to the station for lunch and then have a couple of hours to relax – take a dip in the pool or lounge in the shade – OR, perhaps an optional drive “just down the road” to Bindoola Falls. Sandstone cliffs rise to 300ft providing refreshing waterfalls and safe swimming holes during the popular dry season.
Later this afternoon, we drive to the Station’s private lookout. As the sun sets and the dust settles, we experience an unforgettable view of sundown in the Kimberley. The early evening colours bring the Cockburn Range to life, radiating brilliant burning reds, pinks and purples as the sun fades to the west. Our indulgence continues with an insight into the local landscape whilst enjoying a cool drink and a gourmet cheese and fruit platter.
Fri 16 June, 2017
HOME VALLEY TO DRYSDALE RIVER STATION
An early start today on our Kimberley tour as we continue on, stopping at Mt Ebenezer for our morning break (own expense for homemade scones). Heading bush where we enjoy our picnic lunches alongside the King River before arriving at Drysdale Station our overnight accommodation is in station cabins. We have the afternoon to relax – but on our Kimberley Tour we do have a special optional flight over Mitchell Falls which must be pre-booked, own expense.
This afternoon we have the opportunity for a special optional flight which must be pre-booked, own expense and on a first come/first served basis, so subject to availability 4 or 5 passengers only ask for details.
Sat 17 June, 2017
DRYSDALE RIVER STATION TO MT HART
We’re on the road early this morning as we head towards Manning Gorge. We don’t actually take the walk to the gorge as it’s a 90 minute walk each way, however we do stop for our smoko by the waterhole – and have the chance to swim in this wonderful oasis. Returning to Mt Barnett, we can purchase our own lunch at the Mt Barnett Roadhouse. This afternoon, we visit Galvans Gorge – a 30-minute walk passing through bushland, granite rock outcrops and lily-lined waterways. This picturesque waterhole has boab trees clinging to the escarpment above. After our stop, we continue to Mt Hart, in the heart of the breath taking King Leopold Ranges, for 2 nights in Safari Tents.
Sun 18 June, 2017
FREE DAY – OR BELL GORGE
We have an option today – some of us may like to have the day off! Sleep in, just relax and enjoy the area around the homestead. Lunch is included whilst enjoying the superb ambience of our surroundings. Recharge!
Or embark on a day tour to Bell Gorge another highlight on the Kimberley tour. Water flowing west from the King Leopold Range has cut down through the ancient rock to form spectacular gorges and one such is Bell Gorge. Bell Gorge, about 300 metres above sea level is the beginning of a series of waterfalls which descend through the Isdell Range to Walcott Inlet. We walk into the gorge to enjoy a packed lunch on the Bell Plateau surrounded by its beauty. A further walk / climb into the gorge for a swim if you wish. Bell Gorge is a spectacular spot for swimming, photography and enjoying what nature has to offer. When we’re ready, we’ll retrace the beaten path back to Mt Hart
Mon 19 June, 2017
MT HART TO DERBY
This morning we rejoin the Gibb River Road west to Windjana Gorge for our smoko. Windjana Gorge National Park is part of a 375 million-year-old Devonian reef system. Carved by the Lennard River, Windjana Gorge is over three kilometres long with 300-metre-high walls. At the base of the gorge, deep freshwater pools surrounded by native fig, cadjeput and liechardt trees attract flocks of noisy corellas, fruit bats and fresh water crocodiles. The area is of great cultural importance to the local Bunuba people who once lived here.
Our Kimberley tour heads to Tunnel Creek were we enjoy our picnic lunch before we take time to explore. Tunnel Creek National Park is Western Australia’s oldest cave system. Part of the same ancient reef system as Windjana Gorge, the cave has been carved by the waters of Tunnel Creek flowing beneath the Napier Range. We can walk 750 metres into the tunnel, wading waist-deep through freshwater pools. The cave features many beautiful formations, including stalactites and stalagmites, and is also home to a variety of bats, olive pythons and freshwater crocodiles. Be prepared to get wet! Our Gibb River adventure is almost coming to an end as we head to Derby for the night at the Spinifex Hotel.
Tue 20 June, 2017
DERBY TO BROOME
Our destination today is Broome, but this morning we take a look around Derby. It is located on the tidal mud flats on the edge of King Sound and has the highest tidal range of any port in Australia. It was gazetted in 1883 and was the first official town and port in the Kimberley region. The unusual boab trees are common in this area. Some individual boabs are 1500 years old, which makes them the oldest living “beings” in Australia and amongst the oldest in the world.
A great opportunity to photograph one is at the famous Boab Prison Tree located 7 kilometres from the town. It was used in the early days as an overnight lock up for prisoners before the final trek into Derby. Capable of holding a number of prisoners, it has an entrance about one-metre-wide and two metres high. We have time here for a photo in front of the water trough – at 120m long and 1.2m wide, locals claim it is the biggest water trough in the southern hemisphere, before the last leg of our Kimberley tour into Broome. Our accommodation for the next 4 nights is the Oaks Resort Broome.
Wed 21 June, 2017
This morning, we embark on a sightseeing tour of Broome. We have a look at the Port area – it is the largest deep-water access port serving the Kimberley region, now also popular with cruise liners. We’ll see the rugged, red rocks of Gantheaume Point and look for the cast of dinosaur footprints! See Anastasia’s Pool which was created amongst the rocks by the former lighthouse keeper for his wife who suffered from arthritis.
We then take time to wander through the Japanese Cemetery. The cemetery dates back to the very early pearling days and bears witness to the close ties Japan established with Broome in the early 20th century. The first recorded interment in this cemetery is 1896. Literally hundreds of young Japanese divers died either from the bends (diver’s paralysis) or from drowning. A large stone obelisk in the cemetery recalls those who were drowned at sea in the 1908 cyclone.
We now have some free time in Chinatown to purchase some lunch and maybe a souvenir or two. At 1.00pm, our driver will transfer us back to our resort. We have some free time this afternoon before driving to the famous Cable Beach for dinner. We arrive just before sunset for a unique photo opportunity.
Thu 22 June, 2017
BROOME FREE DAY
You may like to just relax around the pool, or spend some time in town. There are other sightseeing opportunities like visiting Pearl-luggers, ride on the Broome Hovercraft, a sail on a catamaran around Roebuck Bay, or even a ride on a camel at Cable Beach. The choice is yours (tours at own expense)
Fri 23 June, 2017
HORIZONTAL FALLS & CAPE LEVEQUE
No Kimberley tour is complete without a visit to the Horizontal Falls so today we have an early start to head to the Horizontal Falls. All aboard a seaplane for a scenic low level flight over the thousand islands of the Buccaneer Archipelago. Experience a spectacular seaplane landing at Talbot Bay, before breakfast on board a luxury houseboat. Then It’s time to get the heart rate up, with a ride through the Horizontal Falls on a 900hp fast boat. Then sit back and relax as you cruise through the spectacular untouched surrounding bays and creeks. Experience the thrill of swimming in a huge croc/shark free cage and feeding friendly fish.
Our day continues to Cape Leveque for lunch and a tour of the area’s stunning, unspoilt beaches. A short distance away we visit One Arm Point community for an informative tour of their innovative aquaculture hatchery. Our return to Broome is by 4WD stopping at the famous pearl shell church at Beagle Bay.
Sat 24 June, 2017
BROOME TO SYDNEY
This morning, we drive out to Willie Creek Pearl Farm. Here we discover how the rare and beautiful Australian South Sea Cultured Pearl is produced at the Farm. Knowledgeable guides will reveal the intricate processes of today’s modern cultured pearling industry – from the seeding of an oyster to the harvesting and grading of a pearl, right through to the final stunning product on display in the showroom. Our farm tour also includes a Willie Creek boat cruise and time for some retail therapy in the shop before our early lunch. Our Kimberly tour is coming to an end when we head to the airport where we board our non-stop flight to Sydney, QF1043 departing at 2.20pm. This flight arrives into Sydney late tonight our transfer coach will take us to our overnight accommodation Rendezvous Studio Hotel Sydney Central.
Sun 25 June, 2017
Following an early breakfast, we walk ourselves across to Central Station to connect with the train back to Bathurst or home town. We arrive home with some wonderful memories, fantastic photographs from our fabulous once-in-a-lifetime Kimberley tour.
Join us on this once in a life time 19 Day Exclusive Small Group Kimberley Tour.
Including 18 nights accommodation 4 flights, 45 meals, quality touring and inclusions
The Kimberley tour is priced at $9,500 pp
Rail Holidays Australia
Po Box 1430, Bathurst, NSW. 2795
Ph: 0418 337 263 or 02 6331 1128