Outback Road Trips

Kimberley

Continuing on a 10 day Intrepid 4WD Darwin to Broome Overland” – Kununurra to Broome. (Darwin to Kununurra here).

The Kimberley is Western Australia’s sparsely settled northern region crossed by the mostly unsealed Gibb River Road running 660km through rugged ranges, dramatic gorges, semi-arid savanna wilderness.

Thursday 12 August 2021: Kununurra to El Questro 180km

The legendary Gibb River Road, 660km of corrugated dirt road across the Kimberley

Zebedee Hot Springs

Zebedee Hot Springs in the El Questro Wilderness Park are about an hour’s drive from Kununurra . It opens at 7am and we arrived soon after.

Zebedee Springs is an easy 600m return walk from the carpark
The spring is fed from a crack deep in the earth supplying 30°C water all year
These Livistonia Palms are endemic to El Questro and have thrived in the warm spring waters for thousands of years

El Questro Gorge

To get to El Questro Gorge you need to take the rough road with a couple of creek crossings towards El Questro Station and then walk.

Start of the El Questro Gorge walk – 2.6km return to the Half Way Pool
It’s a Grade 4 track with loose rocks …
… and wet crossings
The Half Way Pool is a great swimming hole
To go further you need to swim across and climb the big rock

Emma Gorge

Emma Gorge, our third hike and swim for the day, is about an hour’s walk over rocky terrain through the Cockburn Range to a deep pool of bracing, fresh water.

Massive cliffs, 120m high, on both sides of the trail were laid down 1800 million years ago
Changing vegetation as we proceed up the Gorge
Water is cold but refreshing after a hot walk

Friday 13 August 2021: El Questro to Mt Barnett 350km

El Questro to Mt Barnett is about 350km and took us over 7 hours on the unsealed Gibb River Road.

Crossing the Pentecost River
What the hell is that? It’s a French man walking the Gibb!
Pulled into Ellenbrae Homestead for hot scones in the middle of nowhere
Another creek crossing
Beautiful rough red road
Crushed beer cans from our Esky after a day bouncing along the Gibb River Road

Galvans Gorge

Galvans Gorge is 14 kilometres drive west of the Mt Barnett Roadhouse and then a 10 minute walk.

Local Aboriginal people believe the Boab was created upside down, the roots exposed
After a hot dusty day on the Gibb, a pretty swimming spot
With COVID limited tourism we had this beautiful place to ourselves
Wandjinas, the supreme Creator and a symbol of fertility and rain, found only in the Kimberley region
Wandjinas have been painting for millennia, the world’s oldest continuous sacred painting movement

Saturday 14 August 2021: Manning Gorge

We spent the day at the Mt Barnett campground so we could enjoy Manning Gorge and Falls.

It’s about an hour’s walk to Manning Gorge but first you have to swim your gear across Manning Creek
Manning Gorge
Our leader, Clint, helps Pam on the Grade 5 path to the Falls
Manning Creek Falls, worth the effort
Roast lamb in the camp oven for dinner tonight

Sunday 15 August 2021: Mt Barnett to Windjana Gorge, 250km

Bell Creek

We stopped at Bell Creek, about 30km off the Gibb River Road for a final swim.

Bell Creek Falls are a 2km round trip walk
The base of the falls form a deep pool, a superb spot for swimming
Dust and diesel, the story of the outback

Windjana Gorge

Windjana Gorge was cut through limestone which was once part of an ancient barrier reef formed around 350 million years ago when a large part of the Kimberley was covered with a tropical sea.

Windjara Gorge is a petrified coral reef, distinct from the other Kimberley gorges which are sandstone
Swimming not permitted in Windjara Gorge – there are between 30 & 100 freshwater crocodiles

Monday 16 August 2021: Windjana Gorge to Broome, 350km

The Gibb River Road is sealed (except for roadworks) from the Windjara Gorge turnoff to Derby and on to Broome making for much faster travelling.

Giant termite mound looks like a Gaudi building
Boab Prison Tree used to hold Aboriginal prisoners being transported to Derby in the late 19th century
After 3200km driving from Darwin our trip finished at Gantheaume Point on the Indian Ocean
Chinatown has been the multicultural heart and soul of Broome since the pearling crews set up their first camps and corrugated tin sheds in the 1880s
The world’s oldest operating picture gardens in Broome’s Chinatown
Broome Chinatown Revitalisation Project is preserving the town’s history and its local culture
4WDs lined up on Cable Beach, Broome for the sunset
The famous Cable Beach sunset camel ride
Sunset from Cable Beach