Perth to Darwin via Broome

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Jan 1st, 2004, 11:09 AM
  #1
DJE
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Perth to Darwin via Broome


Has anybody driven this stretch of highway in the month of May and could you advise of road and weather conditions that time of year and any outstanding natural attractions or other points of interest. Many Thanks.
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Jan 1st, 2004, 11:48 AM
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Janese
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Hi
I have driven part way from both ends of that drive and at least I can say you are doing it at the best time of year and the roads should be fine.
There are areas that have absolutely nothing going for them and there are areas that are packed with interesting sights.
Broome is a lovely place to stay for a while and you can do as much as you want or as little as you want.
Some of the north western coast of W.A has some of the most interesting country in Australia and if you have the time then exploring the Bungle Bungles is wonderful. Try and search the site for El Questro Station which has a lot about that area on it and if you have the time and money then try and stay at El Questro as that would be a terrific experience. It is situated above one of the main rivers in the area and is a very, very large cattle station with a particularly interesting Homestead. They run a lot of tours of the area around and can tell you much more than most of us here could about the scenic spots. They also have cheaper accommodation on the station if your budget does not run to its 5 star stuff.
The Ord River scheme area should hold some interest to you too and closer to Darwin the Daly River has some great areas but again the locals are the best people to get any information about the places to see.
Nearer to Perth of course you have Monkey Mia and try not to miss Marble Bar if you can where the water runs over what looks like marble - it is Australia's hottest place.
It is years since I was in any of those places and I am sure that things have changed with access now to many areas that were closed off to the public then. Quite a bit of the NW coast has hardly seen a human and the rivers which flow from there have some real treasures but this would require tours and about those I know nothing.
I am sure that there will be plenty on this forum who can fill in the gaps for you though but at least start off searching the El Questro site.
 
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Jan 1st, 2004, 12:26 PM
  #3
DJE
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Hello Janese,

Thank you for taking the time to post such an informative response. We will start to research out some of the areas of interest that you have suggested. DJE
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Jan 1st, 2004, 08:03 PM
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We've done that trip and are currently planning to do it again this year. In May the conditions should be ideal - the wet season will be over and it will be before the peak tourist season.
Geraldton has a maritime museum worth visiting. Kalbarri (on the coast) is a very pleasant coastal town. Pinnacles National Park (near Cervantes) is unusual and worth visiting. You can visit Ningaloo Reef (believed to be just as good as the Barrier Reef)from either Coral Bay or Exmouth. If you have time to go inland, Karijini National Park is spectacular. Cossack (near Karratha) intrigued us - when we were there last, the population was advertised as one man and one dog. From Karratha, you can also do a trip to Millstream-Chichester National Park. From Derby you can take a trip to Winjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek. At Fitzroy Crossing, take a cruise on Geikie Gorge.
Be aware that you cannot drive into the Bungle Bungles in a 2WD vehicle. Friends drove in with a 4WD and it took almost 3 hours to travel 50 km. If you want to go there (and it is worth visiting) take a tour from Turkey Creek or Kununnarra. You can do a day trip or stay overnight in tented accommodation. Another alternative is to fly over in either light plane or helicopter. The road into El Questro is also unmade dirt road and not recommended for 2WD vehicles.
Once you get into Northern Territory, you should visit Katherine Gorge and take a boat trip along the gorge - you can do either a two or four hour cruise, or hire a canoe.
If you have time to detour to Mataranka, there are two good thermal springs areas - the Homestead (which is in a caravan park/motel complex) or Bitter Springs.
Naturally Litchfield and Kakadu National Parks are well worth visiting. Hope all this helps you plan your trip.
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Jan 2nd, 2004, 03:47 PM
  #5
DJE
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Thank you Marg for such wonderful detailed information. It will be most helpful to us with our continued planning for that leg of our trip. I will defintely make note of the places you suggest we visit. DJE
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Jan 8th, 2004, 08:50 PM
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Glad to help. You could try www.travelmate.com.au - very helpful Australian travel site.
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Jan 14th, 2004, 02:54 PM
  #7
DJE
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One more question... Would it be necessary to make reservations ahead of time for motels, etc. in some of the smaller towns that we stop at along our route from Perth to Darwin? The only places we have confirmed accomm. are in Perth, Broome, Kakadu and Darwin.
Don't know how busy it gets for travellers in the month of May. Thanks.
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Jan 14th, 2004, 03:33 PM
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May is the start of the winter tourist season so getting accommodation shouldn't be too difficult. If you stay with any of the motel chains (Best Western, Flag, Golden Chain etc) they will book ahead for you and it certainly wouldn't hurt to do this day by day so you are certain of a bed for the night. Which towns are you thinking of staying in?
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Jan 14th, 2004, 05:53 PM
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DJE
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Thank you Marg,
Some of the towns we will probably stop in are Carnarvon & Port Hedland on the way to Broome and then Halls Creek, Kununurra and Katherine on our way to Kakadu. Are these good places to stop for an overnight? DJE
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Jan 14th, 2004, 09:32 PM
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You'll certainly find plenty of accommodation at Kununurra and Katherine. Carnarvon is a big town with several motels. Port Hedland is a big port/industrial town with several motels/hotels.
Personally I'd prefer to stay overnight at Fitzroy Crossing than at Halls Creek - there is a very nice motel there called Fitzroy River Lodge (email [email protected] or telephone 08 9191 5141. While you are in Fitzroy Crossing you could also do the boat trip on Geikie Gorge - I think it only goes for about 90 minutes - whilst there is really nothing to do at Halls Creek. If you more information, email me direct, here's the address - [email protected]
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Jan 14th, 2004, 10:06 PM
  #11
DJE
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Marg,
I will look into Fitzroy Crossing as a possible stopover point and check out the Lodge you recommend. Thank you again for your help.
DJE
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