One of the hardest decisions you will need to make when planning your Kimberley Adventure tours or Kimberley Expeditions or Kimberley Exploration (What ever you wish to call it) is how long you will need to allocate to see all your target attractions or how long will you need to explore this magical region in some sort of depth to give it credit it deserves.
The Kimberley is spread over a large and remote area between Broome and Kununurra so to make your travel plans you will need to decide if you will start your journey in Broome or Kununurra or Darwin and where do you want to finish your tour or journey?
The most important thing to understand and be aware of is this region is mainly explored and travelled on unsealed roads and 4WD tracks, which means the distance you will cover will greatly depend on the condition of the roads or tracks. These roads can be corrugated to an extend kayaking kota kinabalu that you have not seen anywhere else in the world, your speed may vary from 5 – 15km an hour an unable to ride the corrugation and take the cautious approach rather than destroying or damaging the vehicle.
Also taking into account River or Creek crossing early in the season they can reach upto 850mm in some Rivers, bush fires, live stock and wild animals, this is the real Wild West and the Real outback Wilderness.
Most of the people that explore the Kimberley either start from Darwin and finish in Broome or vice versa, the best approach is to allow ample time to explore all your target attractions, but also don’t be taken in by these attractions there are many other attractions of the same calibre through the Kimberley but they haven’t made it into the major publications like the lonely planet, so talk to the locals, talk to the visitors centres, tour operators and fellow travellers we all want to make your experience and holiday as enjoyable as possible.
The time you allocate to this expedition will also depend if you are exploring the region in your own transport or with a Adventure tour operators or Adventure Safari Operators. There are pro’s and con’s for travelling in your own transport or on a Outback Adventure tour.
Own Transport Pro’s: Cheaper, can stop and explore more, run at your own pace.
Own Transport Con’s: Need a fully prepared vehicle (spares/equipment), research the region, unfamiliar with region/flora/fauna/wildlife, time management.
Tours Pro: See all attractions, guide at hand 24/7, all inclusive, meet fellow travellers, get to all the good sites, get to all the major attractions at best times, squeeze most amount of sightseeing in the tour duration.
Tours Con’s: Cost more upfront, tour isn’t flexible, faster paced itinerary
I believe a Kimberley adventure tour or Outback Kimberley safari is still the best value for money they are all inclusive you get someone to drive you around that know the area; they know the wildlife, Flora and Fauna, history, Aboriginal culture and they cook and cater for you. So once you work out the daily rate for all this the price isn’t bad.
What I would suggest for people wanting to see the Kimberley in depth on an Adventure tour is between 12 – 17 days, normally the 12 day tours will still see all the attractions that are available in the region but they will do them at a more brisk pace then the 15 or 17 day tours. Also remember to allow yourself 2-3 days before the tour to relax and explore your starting point and maybe allow 1-3 days to unwind and relax after the tour.
If you wish to see the Kimberley at a glance and you have reduced your things you MUST see then the Gibb River, gorges, Tunnel creek and El Questro and finish in Kununurra or Broome (depending where you started)then 5 days is sufficient on a Adventure tour.
The issue arises if you wish to go deep in the last frontier and explore far north Kimberley the Mitchell Plateau and the famous Mitchell Falls and still see all the major attractions on Gibb River road and most of the Gorges and El Questro then the tour length will extend to 7 days and that will finish in Kununurra.
Because of the major advertising and exposure of the east Kimberley and people wanting to see the sites of the Australia the movie people are now starting to base themselves in Kununurra and take a 14 day Kununurra to Kununurra Adventure tour which also allows for 2 days in Broome at leisure and then they can see the attractions around Kununurra at their own pace by hiring a car and enjoying a cruise and trying their luck at some famous BARA fishing.
The major attraction which is out of the way of all the other Kimberley attractions is the heritage listed Bungle Bungles which site east towards the Tanimi Desert. To see the Magic jewels of the Bungles you either have to take a longer tour or just to the bungles and miss the other attractions which is a very, very hard call to make!
The options currently available for Bungles tours and to see the Bungles is to take an 8 day tour from Broome to Broome which visits Tunnel Creek, Geikie, Bungles only, or a 5 Adventure tour from Kununurra to Broome which visits Bungles, Wolfe Creek crater, Geikie Gorge. The other option is to do a 10 day adventure tour from Broome which explores the whole Kimberley and the Bungle and finishes in Kununurra which is starting to be a popular option for many travelers. If the budget stretches and stretches a LOT then you can do the Bungles in less time but you will need to fly into the Bungles and pickup a tour that has permanent camps in the Bungles for a day or two and then you will fly out again.