The Kimberley’s were not on my original Aussie bucket list but after living in Darwin for a bit they soon made it onto the list. I’ve finally just got around to visiting there and can report back that it is an amazing area of Australia and well worth the visit.
It’s a bit of a mission to get to, especially if you don’t have your own transport. I therefore chose to do a tour, take away the hassle of the long drives and get an expert who knows all the history and where to go. I went with Kimberley Wild and it was a fantastic tour.
Our first day was predominantly driving from Broom to Fitzroy Crossing, about half a day’s worth of travel. But in the afternoon we joined a boat tour of Geike Gauge. A tad touristy, it was nonetheless fascinating to see this ancient Gorge and spot a few freshwater crocs. This gorge is part of the Devonian Reef, thing Great Barrier Reef but out of the water! It’s older than the dinosaurs and if you look closely you can spot fossils.
These are everywhere and came to represent the Kimberley’s to me. Such an unusual tree and the first time I’ve seen it in Australia. As you drive around the Kimberley’s you’ll see heaps, from small to very very big!
For me, the Bungle Bungles were the main reason to visit the Kimberley’s. After another long drive from Fitzroy Crossing to Punulu National Park, with a quick stop in Halls Creek (had real coffee! You’d only understand how amazing this is if you’ve travelled up the west coast and encountered instant coffee after instant coffee 😂), we made it to our private camp site. Be prepared for a back massage on the drive in, it’s a tad bumpy!
The next day was spent exploring this beautiful national park. The first stop was in the south where we did the Picannary Gorge lookout walk, Cathedral Gorge and the Domes Walk. You get so close to the amazing natural phenomena that is the bungle bungles, it’s astounding.
After seeing some of the domes up close I decided to splash out on the helicopter ride over the bungle bungles. It’s not cheap but totally worth it, the views were amazing!
After a final night in our lovely campsite it was back on the road to Fitzroy Crossing ready for our final day of exploration the next day.
On predominantly a driving day this was suprise stop for the day and it was a great suprise. We were joined by Ronnie, our local indigenous tour guide who showed us through Mimbi Caves, another part of the Devonian Reef. There’s a dreamtime story of the blue lizard that goes with the Caves and you can see aboriginal rock art on the walls. Fascinating to see it from an indigenous viewpoint.
Due to a big wet season there was a fair amount of water in the Gorge but this only served to make it exceedingly pretty and the home to a lot of freshwater crocs. This Gorge was beautiful, you can spot fossils in the Devonian Reef and just enjoy the natural beauty and ancientness of the place.
This is an amazing cave system that is devoid of all the lights and signs you so often find in caves these days. We were lucky as the national park had only reopened the week before after the wet season. Be warned, you’re going to get your feet wet! It’s very dark inside so you follow the illumination of your head torch across rocks, sand and water. But every now and again you find natural light at open fissures and it’s so beautiful.
While crossing one sand bar our guide pointed out croc tracks. We could see he’d gone from one patch of water to another. A bit further up our torch light caught a red eye glinting in the water, we’d found the culprit- so cool!
After that it was a long drive back to Broom and the end of my Kimberley adventure. I’m so glad I found time and money to fit it in, it’s so worth the trip.