Kimberley and the Bungle Bungles

Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 01:38 AM
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dkw
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Kimberley and the Bungle Bungles

Hi There,

We are planning a holiday to the Bungle Bungles and are having trouble determining how to allocate our time and money.

We will have about 10 days (including travel days from Sydney) this coming August and want to rent a 4WD so we can drive into and stay in Purnululu at the wilderness camp there. Does anyone have suggestions as to where else we should go in the time we have? I understand that we won't have time for everything, but we'd like to see as much as possible.

BTW, I have checked into one way 4WD rentals and it looks as if the drop-off charge (either direction) runs over $500, so we probably won't be doing that. Does anyone know of any self-drive packages that might fit the bill?

From my preliminary search it seems to be most economical to fly to Darwin and take a small plane into Kununurra.

Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions.

DKW
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 09:08 PM
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DKW,
What are your interests other than getting out in the bush?
Geology
Botany
Wildlife
Hiking
History

The Western Australian Department of Conservation and Land Management produce a great range of little field guides to the natural history of the area.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2008, 01:47 AM
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dkw
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Good question....

we are a fit mid 40's couple and will be looking for hiking and photographic opportunities.

Thanks for the info...I will contact the Conservation and Land Management Dept to see about getting those field guides.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2008, 05:43 AM
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Hi dkw,

A great destination you've chosen! The Bungle Bungles are very special. Whilst we did drive into the Bungles beforehand we did stop at Turkey Creek and took a helicopter flight over the area first. We thought it was money well spent - so you may want to think about that.

Whilst double checking my facts I came across this little snippet which may interest you.

http://tinyurl.com/68wq9j

We did the trip in 1997 (was it really that long ago now?) and it sounds like the road in has not improved at all.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2008, 10:05 AM
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My wife and I did a Kimberley trip in August 1997. We both agree it was likely the best trip we have done in Australia, and we have done many. The Bungle Bungles are utterly amazing...very well worth enduring the bone jarring road that accesses them.

We started our trip in Darwin, taking a Greyhound to Kununurra (with a day in Katherine en route). We spent another day in Kununurra taking the boat tour of Lake Argyle. Then we did a 6 night 4WD tour (run by a local backpackers - very basic) out to the Bungles for one night (did the helicopter flight...a must!). The tour then doubled back almost to Kununurra to the start of the Gibb River Road (GRR), which we followed all the way to Broome over 5 nights.

I believe the GRR remains one of the top 4WD trips in Australia...unpaved road for more than 600 km. Starkly beautiful scenery, very wild and very remote. Lots of weird boab trees everywhere, unique to this part of Australia. We swam, hiked and camped near several of the many spectcular gorges and waterfalls there are to see along the way...Windjana, Bell, Galvan, Manning etc.

So I'd consider the Gibb River Rd...there is the alternative route to Broome (the Great Northern Hwy) that is all paved, but I don't think this would be as interesting or adventurous. You might also consider doing a 4WD tour like we did. Our group was a lot of fun.

One of the famous gorges we did not see was Geike Gorge, which I believe is more easily accessed via the Great Northern Hwy.

Hope this helps!
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Old Jun 4th, 2008, 06:15 AM
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10 days to see sights along the way and still get to BBs. I think you'll be pushing it a bit. Whatever you do make sure you see them from the air......... sooooo much better and you'll have a far greater appreciation of the country.
If you've got the time ( thou' I doubt it) call into Exmouth for a day of diving with the whale sharks. It is an unforgettable experience
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Old Jun 4th, 2008, 09:17 PM
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You may have time to drive the loop or a shorter version of it. Some good advice so far. We spent a month and a half in the area and felt that was rushing it. We will go back some time.

Try www.tourism.wa.gov.au and http://www.westernaustralia.com/en/D...Kimberley.aspx

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Old Jun 6th, 2008, 06:55 PM
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Just make sure your vehicle is covered by insurance if you are driving off the bitumen.
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Old Jun 9th, 2008, 01:44 AM
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Hi dkw,

I'm just a little uncertain about leash's advice there about Exmouth. My understanding was that the whale sharks were only there during March.

I could be wrong but if you are contemplating it best to check it out.
Regards
Stormer
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Old Jun 11th, 2008, 11:10 PM
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Hi there,

Thanks for all your responses. The ideas are greatly appreciated.

The trip is shaping up, however not exactly as I had planned. It seems that lack of accomodations is what is actually determining where we go. My fault for waiting this long!!

We were able to get 2 nights at the Wilderness Camp in the Bungle Bungles, so we are working the itinerary around that.

Our original plan was to fly into Kununurra spend one night then drive to the bungle Bungles, spend two nights then head down to Fitzroy Crossing. We had hoped to spend one night there and continue north to the Gibb River Road. From there we would head back to Kununurra, spending a couple of nights along the way. There were no accomodations available near Fitzroy Crossing, or along the western portion of the Gibb River Road, so I have altered the plan.

Our current plan is as follows:

Fly into Kununurra and spend one night

Drive to the Bungle Bungles - Spend two nights at the Wilderness camp in the park.

Drive to either El Questro or Home Valley Station (any opinions on either of these?) - Spend one night

Drive to Mitchell Falls ( is this doable from El Questro??) - Spend one night at Ungolan (Mitchell Falls) Wilderness Camp

Drive to
Marunbabidi Wilderness Camp
Kalumburu Road - Spend one night there

Drive back to to either El Questro or Home Valley Station - spend one night

Drive back to Kununurra for flight back to Darwin/Sydney


My concerns are

1) are the distances reasonable for daily driving with time at each location for hiking and such?

2) Are we missing too much by not seeing the Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek, or are we making up for it by getting up to Mitchell Falls and Plateau


We are experienced in driving 4WD on dirt roads, so I'm not concerned about that aspect of the trip.

Thanks again for your responses and I look forward to hopefully getting some more advice
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Old Jun 15th, 2008, 04:45 AM
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A couple of nights at a bush camp in the Bungles/ Purnululu and a helicopter ride there (in a 3 seater without doors - great for photography) was a highlight of my trip to the area in '91. Also had a refreshing afternoon visit to a farm near Kununurra which served generous helpings of fresh melon and ice cream.
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