Australia / Darwin, Top End and Outback
20 Days / 19 Nights

Darwin to Perth 4WD Adventure - Kimberley Adventure Tours

Darwin

4.7 (3 reviews)

Adventure Awaits

The experts in adventure tours, you are in capable hands to explore the beautiful Kimberley region on this Darwin to Perth 4WD tour. We will take you into some of the remotest country and access places which are typically off-limits to the general public, all the while showing you how much there is to be explored in the Northern Territory and Western Australia.


Itinerary

Day 1: Darwin to Victoria River 
The sun rises early in the Kimberley so there’s no point in sleeping in - we’ll pick you up from your Darwin accommodation at 6:00 am and head for the wilderness. Leaving the comfort of the city behind we embark for what many consider to be one of the last great expanses of rugged wilderness areas remaining in the world, the mighty Kimberley Region of northern Western Australia. Our first stop on the Darwin to Broome tour is about two hours south of Darwin - Edith Falls in Katherine Gorge National Park. A short 3 km walk to the upper pools brings us to the first of many beautiful waterfalls which we will see over the next nine days. After lunch, we push west towards the Western Australia / Northern Territory state border and our first bush camp. Bush camping is a great experience whether you are a seasoned outback drover or first time city slicker! We have also been in the Kimberley for such a long time that we have established relationships with the local landholders, both cattle stations and custodians of Aboriginal Land, and we have permission to camp in wild places that are off-limits to the public. These camping spots are normally in pristine wilderness and remote areas, and setting up a campfire, cooking up a feast on the fire and then rolling out the swags in these places is a special experience! Tents are provided for those apprehensive about sleeping in the open under the stars, though we do recommend it.
Meals: Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 2: Victoria River to Lake Argyle
With no roof over our heads, the breaking dawn is our new alarm clock and we rise early. The mobile phones get packed up with the camping gear as they become useless and we head off nice and early for our day's activities. We firstly meet Mr Bill Harney, an aboriginal elder, and then 4WD to the back of his property for a cultural lesson. Here we are shown rock art and told stories while learning about Indigenous culture and early life on the land. Afterwards, we head to Lake Argyle for what is regularly voted as the highlight of the tour. A huge freshwater lake teeming with wildlife, we board a boat with a local guide who shows us the lake and explains the flora and fauna in this area. There is time to swim before we watch the sunset from the water and then camp on one of the remote islands. This is a great experience, knowing you are the only people on a single island in the middle of one of the remotest lakes in the world. We have a campfire, the sky is full of stars and the cool water is inviting to those brave souls who want a midnight swim.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 3: Lake Argyle to Purnululu National Park
After an unforgettable sunrise from camp, we pack up, reboard the boat and head back to our vehicle. From Lake Argyle we head into Kununurra to replenish supplies and rejoin the world momentarily via a brief interlude of phone reception. From Kununurra we head to one of the highlights of this Kimberley trip, Purnululu National Park, more commonly known as the Bungle Bungles. Our time in this region is spent hiking and exploring the gorges and amazing landscapes the area contains. The long and dusty track into the Bungles is spectacular; it winds its way through valleys, over ranges and through creeks before arriving at what must be one of the world’s most unique landscapes. The day ends with a spectacular sunset from a vantage point at camp.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 4: Purnululu National Park to Bush Camp
With an early rise we are able to take advantage of a spectacular Bungle Bungles sunrise. From our vantage point we watch the show with a cup of tea or coffee and breakfast enjoying our remote locale. A short drive from the sunrise area is the trailhead for the Cathedral Gorge hike, a spectacular hike through the beehive formations to Cathedral Gorge. The gorge itself is one of the most impressive geological formations you are likely to see anywhere and if you feel up making the view even more spectacular, opt to take a scenic helicopter flight over the Bungles. From the air, the Bungles take on a completely new perspective and the open chopper is sensational. Scenic flights are at your own expense and organised on the day. We then head off for Echidna Chasm for a hike into the domes, following a creek to its source at a narrow passage buried within the Bungles. After lunch we depart Purnululu and locate our bush camp, this time on a lovely creek with a sandy beach.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 5: Bush Camp to Pentecost River
Today we get onto the famous Gibb River Road, a 700km long outback dirt road which runs between Derby and Kununurra. It’s not the easiest route, the track is often rough, there are a number of deep water crossings and a 4WD vehicle is essential. However, it's an amazing travel route as along the length of the Gibb River Road are vast tracts of wilderness and numerous rivers, gorges and waterfalls to explore. After a short distance, we reach El Questro Station, home of many beautiful landscapes, one of which is Emma Falls. A hike through a spectacular gorge takes us to very high and narrow falls with a deep cool plunge pool where we can swim. From here it’s back on the “The Gibb” where we continue on our westerly trek. Arriving at the Pentecost River we are greeted by an incredible landscape of wide river surrounded by the rugged Cockburn Ranges, a classic Kimberley scene. Another bush camp and surreal sunset ends our day at the base of the Cockburn Ranges.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 6: Pentecost River to Manning Gorge
From camp our first task is to drive the 4WD through the Pentecost River. This is an exhilarating experience as we drive a vehicle across a 60 metre wide outback river, occupied by salt water crocodiles! Once we have made it through the river, we push west, with plenty of exceptional spots to check out throughout the day including secluded waterholes and Ellenbrae Station. We arrive at Manning Gorge in the afternoon and assess whether we camp close to facilities or back into the bush.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 7: Manning Gorge to Bush Camp
Another day of adventure awaits. From our camp we hike along a white sandy beach, lined with Pandanus trees, to a clear waterhole. To reach the next part of the trail we must swim across the river or cross in a tinny boat. Once across, we are at the trail leading to the top of the gorge. The gorge has a waterfall plus a deep wide swimming hole surrounded by granite cliffs and rock outcrops. It is a spectacular setting with hidden examples of Bradshaw Aboriginal Rock Art. The return route from Manning Gorge is a little less conventional as we swim and rock hop along the creek before reaching the main waterhole where it started. Depending on the time available, Galvans Gorge is also visited. On departing Manning we locate our bush camp and set up for another night under the stars. 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 8: Bush Camp to Tunnel Creek
The main stop for the day is Bell Gorge providing another amazing waterfall to explore! After a 15-minute walk, we come to a beautiful creek, which flows through the centre of this impressive gorge and cascades over numerous falls. A deep swimming hole at the base of the main waterfall, surrounded by shady ledges and high cliffs, is an ideal lunch spot. If time permits we also drop into Adcock Gorge today. Our last wilderness bush camp for the tour is another cracker offering a classic Kimberley sunset and camping among the boab trees.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 9: Tunnel Creek to Broome 
By now we are well attuned with rising early and getting on our way, so it's off to our final watering spot for the tour - Tunnel Creek. Tunnel Creek is an amazing natural phenomenon and holds great significance to the local Aboriginal people, and getting there early normally guarantees we have the place for ourselves. It is a 750 metre long stretch of creek, which runs underground through one of the oldest cave systems in Western Australia. Aboriginal rock paintings are present in the cave and it was a hideout of the Aboriginal warrior, Jandamarra in 1897. 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 2- 4km, spotting freshwater crocodiles swimming in the clear waterholes along the way. From Windjana Gorge we check out the Boab Prison Tree near Derby and then make our way into Broome. We normally arrive into Broome at around 6:00 pm and head for Cable beach to soak up the last amazing sunset of the tour, before heading off to our accommodation. 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

 

Day 10: Broome (Free Time)
We take a break from the rugged outback and allow you to relax and explore Broome for two free days off. Please note, accommodation here for three nights is not included and needs to be booked at your own expense. Any activities you may choose to do will be at own expense and meals are also not included on these two days. Options: Relax on Cable Beach, visit the markets (on weekends), shop in town, take a camel ride, visit Gantheaume Point and Town Beach. 
Meals: None

 

Day 11: Broome (Free Time) 
We take a break from the rugged outback and allow you to relax and explore Broome for two free days off. Please note, accommodation here for three nights is not included and needs to be booked at your own expense. Any activities you may choose to do will be at own expense and meals are also not included on these two days. Options: Relax on Cable Beach, visit the markets (on weekends), shop in town, take a camel ride, visit Gantheaume Point and Town Beach. 
Meals: None

 

Day 12: Broome to De Grey River
Departing Broome nice and early we start our adventure. Today’s job is to get some distance under our belt to make the following days easy. We will stop at 80 Mile Beach for a refreshing swim in crystal blue water or for a stroll along the beach. This afternoon we take the back dirt roads and head out to the Pilbara region to take in the beautiful landscapes and scenery unique to this iron-ore mining area. Tonight we spend bush camp in a remote and beautiful area by a river, get to know each other around the campfire and prepare for the next days ahead.
Meals: Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 13: Karijini
We wake up with the birds singing and leave our campsite to continue driving through the Pilbara region to arrive in Marble Bar, known as the hottest town in Australia. After a visit to the small town, we continue our journey to get to the famous Karijini National Park. Spend the afternoon exploring Eastern Karijini, including hiking and swimming in Fortescue Falls, Fern Pool and Dales Gorge. Tonight we camp in the National Park. 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 14: Karijini
Today, we normally head over the Karijini visitor centre and the Weano area where we find Weano Gorge, Hancock Gorge, Knox Gorge and Joffre Gorge. There is so much to explore and some great hiking and swimming to do throughout the day. Tour participants also have the opportunity to join a canyoning tour (at own expense) enabling them to explore some of the areas restricted to rope access only. At the end of the day we return to camp for the night and cook up another feast.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 15: Karijini to Exmouth
After an early morning hike at Hamersley Gorge, we say goodbye to the spectacular inland gorges of Karijini National Park and head for the coast to Exmouth. Arriving here we stop at the Vlaming Head lighthouse to watch the sunset, then we head straight for our bush camp located amongst the Cape Range National Park.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 16: Exmouth
Spend today exploring Exmouth! You have the option to spend the day with your guide or book on a snorkelling/diving tour on the Ningaloo Reef with the whale sharks (season dependant). Your guide will take you out to Turquoise Bay, which is voted one of the best beaches in Australia! You can snorkel here straight off the beach or enjoy some time relaxing on the beach. Exmouth also has some great hiking options you can take advantage of, like a walk out to Yardie Creek.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 17: Coral Bay
Today we visit Coral Bay, a beautiful small beach town on a peninsula, part of the Ningaloo Reef. Today is free time for you to enjoy - relax, take a walk, swim in the beach, snorkel on the beach or join in on a snorkelling tour. Coral Bay is lucky to have whale shark tours, manta ray tours and more, all of which can be optionally booked at your own expense. Later in the afternoon, everyone will regroup together and head to a camp spot for another night under the stars.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 18: Coral Bay to Shark Bay
Today we are leaving the Ningaloo Reef behind as we continue south to our next destination, a world heritage area called Shark Bay. See why Shark Bay is so special by taking a visit to the impressive stromatolites and learn why they are so important to us. Next, visit Shell beach, a beach made entirely of seashells, and spend the afternoon swimming in the clear salt waters. Tonight, we camp near the beach in a private area under the stars and spend the evening around the campfire.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 19: Shark Bay to Kalbarri
This morning we will continue to explore Shark Bay peninsula by visiting Monkey Mia. Monkey Mia is a beautiful resort, well-known for its resident dolphins, many of which have been visiting here for over 50 years now and swim right up to the shore. Join a talk and dolphin experience show run by volunteers as they tell you about the dolphins and select some people to feed a fish to a dolphin. If lucky, you could be the chosen one! This afternoon, we continue down to Kalbarri and do some hiking in the National Park. Walk down to the famous postcard image of Nature’s Window and hike the Z Bend down to the Murchison River. Tonight we will be camping in Kalbarri with views to the Indian Ocean.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 20: Kalbarri to Perth
The beauty of bush camping is that we rise with the sun and get moving early. As we leave Kalbarri we will visit the coastal cliffs and pass by the beautiful pink lake. This afternoon, explore the Pinnacles Desert by stopping by the visitor centre to see the displays and take a walk around the desert. Arriving back in Perth, we will drop you off at your city accommodation.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Your Adventure Includes

  • 9 day Darwin to Broome adventure
  • 9 day Broome to Perth adventure
  • All food on each tour (no meals in Broome, please refer to itinerary)
  • All National Park entry fees
  • All camping fees
  • 4WD vehicle for bush and beach access
  • Dedicated tour guide
  • Pick up and drop off at your accommodation
  • All camping gear except sleeping bags

The Specifics

Departure Days: Please check departure days when booking 

Departure Times: 6:00 am from Darwin city accommodation 

Additional Costs: 

  • Lark Argyle overnight cruise $120 (compulsory fee)
  • Optional extras include whale shark cruise, snorkel hire Exmouth/Coral Bay, helicopter flights at Purnululu National Park
  • Broome accommodation is not included on nights 9, 10 and 11. This needs to be booked at own expense. We recommend Beaches of Broome for accommodation

Extra Information:

  • Please bring own sleeping bag
  • Recommended to bring hiking shoes and shoes that can get wet
  • Moderate to high level of fitness required as there are daily hikes
  • All bookings must reconfirm 24-48 hours in advance

Reviews

4.7 (3 reviews)
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Nate B 05 Oct 2019
This trip took camping to a whole other level. Sleeping beneath the stars and waking to birdsong at sunrise was only the beginning. Niall packed the days with adventure, local stories, delicious fresh food and a genuine love of country. Our girls (aged 10 & 12) especially loved swimming in a different gorge every day and the fire-side sing-a-longs. The ever changing beauty of The Kimberley has deepened our appreciation for Australia and the incredible connections our indigenous people have with its ancient history. We are so lucky to be able to access it and be touched by its spirit. Thank you Kimberley Adventure Tours.
Anonymous 02 Sep 2019
This is the ultimate fabulous 4WD camping trip in the Kimberleys. There is walking up and along rocks - easy pace and the magic watering holes, gorges, rivers and views make every step worth it. Never felt rushed, always time to totally enjoy the moment. Very organised, very professional. The camping gear was all good and swag comfortable - also tent available. We were taken to the most gorgeous places and guided to get the best from every destination. Everyone was looked after. Thank you Sean - you are a legend and a GREAT cook. You certainly made a dream come true. It was the most awesome experience - so love the countryside. I totally recommend this camping trip.
Tony
Everyday gets better and better on this trip. The scenery is breathtakingly beautiful. Thanks Niall for taking such good care of us, showing us wonderful hidden places and sharing your knowledge with us. Great food, great camp sites, great swimming spots, great company. This trip has it all
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Darwin To Perth 4wd Adventure - Kimberley Adventure Tours

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