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The Great Kimberley Overland (Basix)

The Great Kimberley Overland (Basix)
From £ 1648
Duration 13 Days
From £1648
Duration 13 Days

Explore Australia’s rugged Kimberley region on this 13-day adventure through the red heart of the west. Explore the underground caves at Tunnel Creek, the tranquil pools at Bell Gorge and the lily-filled waters at Galvans Gorge. Trek through sandstone ranges at El Questro, spot wildlife in Geikie Gorge and hear stories from a descendant of the traditional owners of the Sunday Islands. Visit pearl farms at Cygnet Bay, admire the iconic Bungle Bungles and camp by a billabong (Banjo Patterson-style) on a cattle station. Get as active as you want or simply enjoy the serenity of this unusual corner of Australia.

Tour Itinerary

1 - Beagle Bay, Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm & Buccaneer Archipelago

The Dampier Peninsula is an extraordinary blend of stunning coastline and indigenous culture. Travelling up the red 4WD track, learn about the region's fascinating history by guided commentary. Your first stop is for morning tea at the Beagle Bay Aboriginal Community, home of the Beagle Bay Church and its glimmering pearl shell altar. By mid-morning, arrive at One Arm Point (also known as Ardyaloon) home of the Bardi-Jawi people, an indigenous community perched on the tip of the Dampier Peninsula, and visit the Community’s aquaculture hatchery for barramundi, pearl and trochus shell. We’ll also visit Kevin and Donna, traditional owners from One Arm Point who will tell us about their history and life on the peninsula as they make us a traditional sand cooked damper to enjoy with our picnic lunch. After lunch arrive at Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm to enjoy a pearl appreciation tour and then embark on an extraordinary cruise through the Islands of the Giant Tides. In the evening, you'll reach the remote private safari camp, exclusive to our travellers and nestled on the beach overlooking the bay. In this stunning location, you can swim, explore the mangroves or go for a walk in the dunes to find some old pearlers graves: truly a privileged experience.

2 - Kooljaman, Cape Leveque & Broome

Travel back to Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm by boat to undertake a tour of Australia’s oldest pearl farm. Learn about this fascinating history from local guides descended from the very first pearlers. From here, you'll soon reach Kooljaman at Cape Leveque, where you may like to swim on the Eastern beach, take one of the lovely walks over the Cape itself or alternatively you might choose to go for a wander along the Western beach where famous red sandstone cliffs tower above the white sand providing some of the most famous images of this area. Driving back to Broome through the afternoon, keep an eye out for wildlife.

3 - Tunnel Creek

It's an early start this morning, we leave Broome as the sun begins to rise. While travelling through the remote Kimberley landscape, your guide shares stories of local history, people and the environment. Enjoy a morning tea break by the Fitzroy River and visit the Derby 'Boab Prison Tree', before hitting the Gibb River Road. The afternoon is devoted to exploring Tunnel Creek with your local Bunuba guide. In this 750-metre cave system carved through the Napier Range, discover stalactites, secret caves and a large variety of wildlife. It's here where you'll also learn the legend of Jandamarra, an Aboriginal freedom fighter who used the tunnel as a hide-out in the late 1800s. From here you’ll travel to Windjana Gorge in time to set up camp and go for a walk down to the gorge itself where you’ll be able to spot a number of freshwater crocodiles and enjoy the sunset over the Napier Range. Tonight, settle in under a big Kimberley sky.

4 - Bell Gorge and Mt Barnett Station

First thing this morning we head off for Bell Gorge, a hidden highlight of the West Kimberleys. This idyllic retreat, considered the most beautiful in the area, boasts cascading waterfalls and crystal clear pools formed over millions of years - an easy place to while away a few hours! We’ll then travel slowly along the Gibb River Road to Mt Barnett Cattle Station exploring the beautiful and ancient King Leopold Range on the way to our camp by the Manning River.

5 - Mt Barnett Cattle Station

Spend today swimming in paradise. Cross the Manning River and hike through the rugged wilderness of the King Leopold Ranges to arrive at the stunning Manning Gorge. Amid the rugged beauty of Manning Falls swim in the deep clear pool, discover Aboriginal rock art and look out for wildlife on the edges of the water. Return the way we came to spend our second night at the beautiful Mt Barnett Cattle Station camp

6 - El Questro Wilderness Park

This morning we leave Mt Barnett to drive the back end of the Gibb River Road. An absolutely magical drive out of the King Leopold Ranges and into the Pentecost Range. We’ll stop at a stunning lookout over the high flat mesas of the Cockburn Range with the Pentecost River snaking its way past the mountains out to the sea. We’ll drive down to the Pentecost River for an iconic photograph before driving across the river. Shortly after our river crossing we’ll arrive in the scenic El Questro Wilderness Park where we’ll set up in our permanent camp for two nights.

7 - El Questro Wilderness Park

A free day today, maybe join one or more of the many activities on offer. We include a refreshing dip in the Zebedee Springs and walk into Emma Gorge while a cruise on Chamberlain Gorge, bush tucker walk or bird watching tour are amongst the many optional activities. You may choose to simply explore this beautiful wilderness park at your own leisure

8 - Kununurra

We emerge from the Gibb River Road for a few hours free time in Kununurra. In the afternoon, travel onto the shores of the expansive Lake Argyle, the heart of the Ord River Irrigation System which has transformed this dry region into a lush agricultural oasis. There is free time to join a sunset boat cruise on the lake, visit the historic Durack Homestead Museum or take on one of the many bush trails to explore the area.

9 - Purnululu National Park (The Bungle Bungles)

After a leisurely morning, head south down the Great Northern Highway to Purnululu National Park, home of the magnificent Bungle Bungle Range. Two nights here, staying overnight in the new private Bungle Bungle Safari Camp in the heart of the Park, the only camp in the national park to overlook the Bungle Bungle Range. This allows a full day to explore the highlights of this extraordinary National Park, the most famous of which, are the ‘beehive domes’.

10 - Purnululu National Park

Unbelievably, nobody but the local indigenous people knew of the Bungle Bungles until the early 1980s; once discovered by outsiders, the area was made a national park in 1987. Explore Echidna Chasm (2 km), known for its towering Livistonia Palm trees, and take a short walk (2-3 km) into Cathedral Gorge, where towering rocks create a natural amphitheatre. There's time in the afternoon to take an optional scenic flight and enjoy an optional birds-eye view of the beehive domes (approximately AUD 379 per person) to put it all into perspective.

11 - Purnululu National Park

En route to Fitzroy Crossing, break the long journey with a visit to the gold rush town of Halls Creek to see the remarkable China Wall. You'll also enjoy lunch at Mary Pool and visit the remote Laarri Aboriginal Art Gallery, before an evening by the Fitzroy River at Fitzroy Crossing.

12 - Geikie Gorge and Broome

A morning cruise through the majestic Geikie Gorge is a great start to your last day. Nature carved this wonder through the Napier Range during the Devonian geological period. Learn of the fascinating geology and discover the huge array of wildlife, including freshwater crocodiles, birds and fish. Explore Old Fitzroy Crossing and enjoy lunch by the river before returning to Broome.

13 - Broome

As the adventure draws to an end, it is time to bid farewell to the Kimberley. If you are departing on a flight today, an airport transfer is included. Alternatively, you may have booked into one of Broome’s many resorts for a little luxury following your intrepid experience in the Kimberley wilderness – there is plenty more of Broome to explore and experience!

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