20-Day Perth to Darwin Overland Adventure. Travel from the national parks of the Outback to the pristine coast of Western Australia from Perth to Darwin.
Kimberley Adventure Trips is a small company that began providing four-wheel-drive tours in the Kimberley in 1997. We operate 4WD Adventure Trucks and smaller 4WD/off-road vehicles that are specifically constructed for us. We figured out how to organize wonderful trips and explore the magnificent Kimberley Region many years ago, and our many years in the Kimberley have given us a solid reputation, and we have access to many spots during the trip that are off limits to the general public.
• Travel from the national parks of the Outback to the pristine coast of Western Australia.
Day 1: Perth to Kalbarri
The 9-day adventure begins with a visit to the Pinnacles Desert, where you can visit the discovery center and explore the exhibits. Then we’ll take a trip into the Desert to see these limestone shapes up close and get a sense of how big this area is. We pass through Geraldton, a large town with a population of over 30,000 people, saying our goodbyes to civilisation and traffic lights while stopping for some last supplies.
On our way into Kalbarri this afternoon, we stop by the pink lake and Kalbarri’s Coastal Cliffs for a sunset walk. Tonight is your first night of bush camping; relax by the campfire and sleep under the stars! Highlights Nambung National Park Pink Lake Pinnacles Desert Coastal Cliffs of Kalbarri. Hiking up to 3 kilometers.
Day 2: Kalbarri to Shark Bay
Coastal Cliffs of Kalbarri National Park
We went trekking and exploring in Kalbarri National Park this morning. We’ll get up bright and early and drive out into the park’s core, where we’ll walk down to see Natures Window, Kalbarri’s postcard image. Then we’ll climb down the Z Bend to the Murchison River on the other side of the National Park. This afternoon, we’ll continue our journey north to Shark Bay.
By viewing some of the locations, such as the Stromatolites, you can see why Shark Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We’ll also go swimming at Shell Beach, where the water is especially salty. We’re going to a secluded bush camping location near the beach tonight. Another night spent over the fire, preparing a delicious meal. Highlights include Kalbarri National Park, Murchison Gorge, Z Bend, Nature’s Window, Stromatolites, and Shell Beach.
Day 3: Shark Bay to Coral Bay
Monkey Mia Reserve
Monkey Mia, a gorgeous resort that is home to wild dolphins, is another excellent spot in Shark Bay to visit. For more than 50 years, dolphins have been coming into the shore each morning. Participate in a dolphin experience discussion, where volunteers will explain you everything you need to know about dolphins and select a few lucky people to feed a dolphin a fish; it could be you!
We’re heading north this afternoon to the Ningaloo Reef, where we’ll set up camp near Coral Bay for another night under the stars. Highlights Coral Bay’s Monkey Mia.
Day 4: Coral Bay (free time)
Coral Bay Beach
Today is a free day in Coral Bay. Coral Bay is a small town on a peninsula where part of the Ningaloo Reef lies. You can spend today totally relaxing and swimming on the beach, hire a snorkel or join in on a snorkeling tour with the Mantarays, Whale Sharks or Humpback Whales. (seasonal, at own expense) Late afternoon everyone will re group together again and take a short drive up to the northern end of the Ningaloo Reef, Exmouth.
Stop in at Vlaming Head lighthouse and watch a beautiful sunset before you head into another bush camping location in Yardie Creek. Highlights Swimming in Coral Bay Optional Snorkel tours (own expense) Visit the shark nursery (seasonal) Vlaming Head lighthouse.
Day 5: Exmouth
National Park of the Cape Range
Today you have the option of spending the day with your guide or booking a snorkeling/diving experience with the Whale Sharks on the Ningaloo Reef. (on your own dime/in season) Your tour will take you to Turquoise Bay, which has been voted one of Australia’s top beaches!
Enjoy some time lounging on the beach or snorkeling right off the beach. Take a walk along Yardie Creek in Exmouth for some great hiking opportunities. Highlights Turquoise Bay Camp Exmouth Yardie Creek: Swimming and hiking up to 5 kilometers are two activities available at the Bush Camp.
Day 6: Exmouth to Karijini National Park
Karijini National Park
We need to get some kilometers done today in order to reach Karijini National Park. We’ll proceed inland, stopping at the village of Tom Price for breaks and resupply. As we pass through the Hamersley Ranges and Pilbara region, this trip is quite spectacular and wonderful. We set up camp, make a meal together, and prepare for a fantastic day ahead when we arrive in Karijini National Park at the end of the day.
Day 7: Karijini National Park
Karijini National Park
Today is a full day in Karijini National Park. We normally head over the Karijini visitor centre and the Weano area where we find.
Day 8: Karijini National Park to Marble Bar
We spent this morning on the Eastern side of the National Park because there was still more to see. Fortescue Falls, Fern Pool, and Dales Gorge are all great places to hike and swim. We’ll continue on in land after leaving the park and take the dirt roads out to Marble Bar.
Marble Bar is a small Jaspar mining village that is recognized as Australia’s hottest town. After a quick lunch break, we’ll continue up the dirt roads until we reach another private bush camping area along the De Grey River. Relax in this lovely quiet setting and spend your final night over the campfire.
Day 9: Marble Bar to Broome
Caravan Park at 80 Mile Beach
We leave our camping early in the morning, waking up to the sound of birdsong, and continue driving through the Pilbara region, back up to the coast, towards Broome. Stop by 80 Mile Beach for a final swim or a stroll along the shore. When we arrive in Broome this afternoon, we’ll take in the famed Cable Beach sunset before dropping you off at your hotel. Highlights Swimming, Cable Beach, 80 Mile Beach.
Day 10: Broome (free day)
At the Kimberley Klub YHA in Broome, we take a vacation from the harsh desert and relax in style. We include 3 nights in a shared dorm, as well as 2 free days to enjoy wifi, laundry, and exploring Broome and Cable Beach. Please note that any activities you want to conduct on these two days are at your own expense, and meals are not included. On Cable Beach, unwind.
Markets should be visited (on weekends) Shopping in the city Embark on a camel ride. Pay a visit to Gantheaume Point. Beaches in Town There’s still a lot to do!
Day 11: Broome (free day)
Day 12: Broome to Windjana Gorge
Your Broome to Darwin tour begins when we pick you up from your Broome accommodation in the Adventure Truck and immediately head east and into the Kimberley. Our first stop is the famous Boab prison tree near Derby, a huge hollowed out Boab tree which was used as a prison in the early pioneering days, this is not only an amazing natural wonder but also gives us an insight into the challenging relationship between the early settlers and Aboriginal people of the Kimberley.
Next we head to Windjana Gorge, a huge gorge cut into the ranges over millennium to reveal beautiful scenery of high vertical cliffs, sandy beaches and meandering creek. We head off on a hike at Windjana of about 4km and often see freshwater crocodiles swimming in the clear waterholes. From Windjana it’s off to our first wilderness bush camp. It feels nice to get back into the great outdoors with the stars above. Highlights Depart Broome Boab Prison Tree Windjana Gorge. Activities: Short Hike approx 2km
Day 13: Winjana Gorge to Bell Gorge
We pack the phones with the camping gear because they are no longer useful, and we leave nice and early for our first activity, Tunnel Creek exploration. Tunnel Creek is a spectacular natural phenomenon with significant cultural value for the local Aboriginal people, and arriving early almost always ensures that we have the spot to ourselves. It’s a 750-meter section of watercourse that travels underground through one of Western Australia’s oldest cave systems. The cave contains several native rock paintings and was used as a hideout by the Aboriginal warrior Jandamarra in 1897.
We get on the Gibb River Road from Tunnel Creek, a 700-kilometer outback dirt road that connects Derby and Kununurra. It’s not the simplest way; the track is typically rocky, there are several deep water crossings, and a 4WD vehicle is required. However, the Gibb River Road is a great travel route, with large stretches of wilderness and various rivers, gorges, and waterfalls to explore.
Bell Gorge is the tour’s first waterfall. We arrive at a magnificent creek after a short 15-minute walk, which flows through the heart of this stunning valley and spills over multiple falls. Lunch can be taken in a deep swimming hole at the base of the main waterfall, which is flanked by shady ledges and steep cliffs.
We continue up the Gibb for a short distance after Bell Gorge before arriving at our second bush camp for the night, another lonely wilderness area where we collect firewood, set up camp, and settle in for the night. Highlights Gibb River Road Tunnel Creek Bell Gorge Camp: Station’s Private Wilderness Camp. Hike and swim approx. 5km in the country.
Day 14: Manning Gorge
A new day of adventure is on the horizon. After leaving camp, we return to the Gibb River Road and proceed to Manning Gorge, where we will spend the majority of the day. Only minutes after commencing the trek, we are greeted by white sand beaches and a Pandanus tree-lined stream that leads to a large clear waterhole. We must swim across the river before continuing on a track that leads to the gorge’s rim. (Alternatively, if you can’t swim well, take the pull-along tiny boat across.)
A waterfall and a deep, wide swimming hole are located within the gorge, which is bordered by granite cliffs and rock outcrops. It’s a breathtaking location with hidden Bradshaw Aboriginal Rock Art. The return route from Manning Gorge is a little less traditional, as we swim and rock hop along the creek before reaching the big waterhole where it all began; this activity is frequently ranked as a tour highlight. Galvan’s and/or Adcock Gorges are also visited depending on the amount of time available.
Depending on your guide’s decision, tonight’s camp will be either in Manning Gorge, where toilets and showers are available, or back in the woods. Highlights Manning Gorge is a gorge of the Manning River in The Gorge of Galvan Adcock Gorge Camp: A Private Wilderness Camp on Station Adcock Gorge Camp: A Private Wilderness Camp on Station Adcock Gorge Camp Hiking and swimming up to 8 kilometers in the country.
Day 15: Pentecost river crossing
A swim in the early morning at Manning is a terrific way to start the day. From here, we’ll return to “The Gibb” and resume our Easterly journey. There are a number of interesting places to visit, including hidden water holes and the Ellenbrae Cattle Station.
When we get at the Pentecost River, we are greeted by a breathtaking picture of a large river flanked by the steep Cockburn Ranges, a quintessential Kimberley scene. We must drive the 4WD via the Pentecost River, a 60-meter-wide outback river inhabited by Salt Water. It’s not something you do every day, but it’s the only way through, so we’re going across.
We’ll spend another night in a forest tent under the stars. Highlights Gibb River Road is a road that runs alongside the Gibb River Private Wilderness Camp on Station Pentecost River Indigenous Art is one of the country’s most popular activities. Approximate 2km hike.
Day 16: Emma Gorge/ El Questro
Wilderness Park of El Questro
El Questro Station, a short distance from the Pentecost, is home to further stunning sceneries, including Emma Falls. We reach very high and narrow falls with a deep chilly plunge pool where we can swim after hiking through a stunning valley. From El Questro, we travel to Purnululu National Park, also known as the Bungle Bungles, which is one of the tour’s highlights.
Our time in this location is spent hiking and enjoying the area’s gorges and breathtaking scenery. The long, dusty road into the Bungles is breathtaking; it winds through valleys, over mountains, and past creeks before arriving at one of the world’s most distinctive environments. A magnificent sunset can be seen from a vantage position at camp at the end of the day.
Day 17: Purnululu National Park/ Bungle Bungles
Walking Trails in Purnululu National Park
We can take advantage of a stunning Bungle Bungles sunrise by getting up early and watching the performance from a secluded area with a cup of tea or coffee and breakfast. The trailhead for the Cathedral Gorge hike, a beautiful hike through the beehive formations to Cathedral Gorge, is just a short drive from the sunrise area. The gorge itself is one of the most spectacular geological formations you’ll ever witness.
A beautiful trip over the Bungles may be taken from here, and helicopter rides starting at 18 minutes are available. The bungles take on a whole new meaning from the air, and the open chopper is breathtaking. Scenic flights are paid for on your own dime and arranged on the spot. Then it’s off to Echidna Chasm for a climb through the domes, following a creek to its source in a Bungles-buried channel.
We leave Purnululu after lunch and find our jungle camp, this time on a beautiful creek with a sandy beach. Highlights Sunrise Cathedral Gorge in Purnululu Picaninny Creek is a tributary of the Picaninn Chasm of the Echidna Formations of Beehives Helicopter (optional) Flight Camp: Station’s Private Wilderness Camp Country Activities: Approximate distance hiked: 5 kilometers.
Day 18: Bungle Bungles to Lake Argyle
We set out from our bush camp for Kununurra, the first trace of civilisation in a week. As we reach the town, our phones begin to ring, and we take advantage of some free time in this typical outback town to catch up on the news while your guide replaces supplies. We go from Kununurra to Lake Argyle, which is consistently considered the tour’s highlight.
Lake Argyle is a massive freshwater lake teeming with wildlife, including wallabies on the rocky shoreline, freshwater crocodiles, and a variety of birds. We board a boat and are shown around the lake by a local guide. We have time to swim before watching the sunset from the water and camping on one of the lonely islands. This is a fantastic adventure; being the only people on a lonely island in the middle of one of the world’s most secluded lakes is unforgettable.
There’s a campfire going, the sky is full of stars, and the chilly water tempts anyone daring enough to go for a midnight dip. Highlights Kununurra Argyle Lake Argyle Lake Argyle Lake Argyle Lake Argyle Lake Arg Private Island Camp Camp: Private Island Camp Camp is a private wilderness camp on an island. Swimming and a boat cruise are two activities available.
Day 19: Lake Argyle to aboriginal land
Our island camp’s daybreak is once again amazing. We break camp, re-board the boat, and return to our car. We go east from Lake Argyle to the Northern Territory border, where we camp on aboriginal territory near a billabong. Mr. Bill Harney, an aboriginal elder, will show us some aboriginal rock art out the rear of his land and tell us tales and sing songs about his culture and experiences.
Day 20: Edith Falls to Darwin
We arrive in Katherine on the last day. We go to Nitmiluk National Park to see Edith Falls, which has more adventure, hiking, swimming, and stunning scenery. We usually arrive in Darwin about 6 p.m., and your tour will end with your guide leaving you off at your hotel. Highlights Edith Falls is a fictional character. Upon arrival in Darwin, activities include a boat cruise and a 4-kilometer hike.
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