5 Reasons to Park the Car & Caravan and Take a Guided Tour
We often hear of travellers in the Kimberley taking their caravans along the Kimberley’s famous Gibb River Road, only for their much loved caravan or camper to come to grief along the way. Whilst there are ‘off road’ caravans and camper trailers, the Gibb River Road can, at times, be a challenge for even the best touring equipment.
Should the worst happen, the inconvenience, time taken out of your journey and cost of repairs and perhaps alternative accommodation for a lengthy period, could put a serious dampener on the time and budget for your ‘lap around Australia’.
Risk of damaging your vehicle or caravan
With the cost of new a 4WD vehicle around $85,000 and an ensuited caravan costing anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000+, many travellers have some serious money invested in their vehicles. For those lucky travellers with time on their side and who want to ‘see it all’, but don’t want to risk damaging their vehicle or ‘home on wheels’, there are options to still see the most remote parts of the Kimberley with little fuss or stress.
The condition of the roads
A guided Kimberley tour takes the worry and hassle out of visiting rugged and remote locations, such as the Mitchell Plateau, Mitchell Falls and the Bungle Bungles. The condition of the roads into these iconic landmarks can vary significantly from week to week during the tourist season.
We have personal experience of travelling together with another vehicle on the Bungle Bungles access road where our travelling companions turned around after just 13kms of serious corrugations, as they did not want to risk damage to their vehicle. They still had a long way to go on their travels and were a long way from home. Because of this decision they missed visiting the World Heritage-Listed Bungle Bungles, which is highlight of any travel in the Kimberley!
High water levels
Further, there are numerous creek crossings along the Gibb River Road and into the Bungle Bungles The depth of water varies hugely during the season. After the wet season, these can be quite deep, and you may not wish to tow your caravan through water depths that can damage your van. Further, the muddy water could be hiding hazards that could cause damage.
There can be numerous watercourses to cross on the access road to the Bungle Bungles (Image: Australia’s North West Tourism)
You can sit back and relax on a guided tour – let someone else do the driving
All you need to take is a bag of clothing and your personal toiletries as all equipment is supplied. Enjoy plenty of hearty, healthy, meals that someone else has prepared, and travel in air-conditioned, extremely comfortable tour vehicles that include charging points for mobile phone and cameras.
Experienced guides will take you into places you may have otherwise have zoomed past or missed, or perhaps a little hesitant to explore because the access, and parking may not be suitable for towing a caravan into.
The high clearance tour vehicles are purpose-built for the terrain and because most of the major tour operators are Broome-based, they know the Kimberley and hazards and they are well equipped, prepared, and have the resources should anything go awry, whereas independent travellers who come unstuck, may not.
With caravan and vehicle storage available in Broome, a guided tour takes the stress and hassle out of exploring the more remote and hard to get to locations. Afterwards, you can resume your travels in your own vehicle and caravan, knowing that you have still explored the tough terrain whilst preserving the longevity of your own vehicles.