Blog Popular Broome Tours - October to March <p>The busy Kimberley tourist season is winding down as many travellers head south for a milder climate after enjoying months of warm, Kimberley sunshine over the winter.  </p> <p>It is true that the Kimberley starts heading into the very warm and more humid summer months and inland travel is not recommended due to the heat, high humidity and possible early wet season storms. Consequently many tour operators who convey travellers to more remote locations, reduce or close operations and give staff a break.</p> <p>Because of the ocean influences, Broome has a much milder summer season than inland. Sure, it gets humid and from late November to March there will be rains, but Broome’s rain usually arrives in short, heavy falls, rather than days of drizzle. The <a href="">sunsets</a> from Cable Beach following an afternoon thunderstorm are stunning and an early morning or late afternoon walk on Cable Beach is a must! </p> <div align="center"><img class="center" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Broome Sunset Best Of The Kimberley" src="" alt="Broome Sunset Best Of The Kimberley" width="550" height="412"><p class="caption center" style="text-align: center;">Broome sunset</p> </div> <p>A relaxed stay in Broome in the summer months, with cool air-conditioned accommodation and a swimming pool onsite, can be just the escape you need after a busy year – or for charging up your batteries for a busy year ahead, but there are still tours to enjoy.  Here are our favourites:</p> <h2>Fly the Falls</h2> <p>Fly from Broome to the <a href="">Horizontal Waterfalls</a> and view this world-famous location form the air, before landing at Cape Leveque where you will enjoy breakfast or lunch.  Enroute back to Broome, fly over the coastline of the Dampier Peninsula with its numerous remote sandy beaches, bays and small communities.</p> <p>Operates daily (except Christmas Day and weather permitting). </p> <div align="center"><img class="center" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="title=" src="" alt="Talbot Bay Scenic Flight Best Of The Kimberley" width="550" height="413"><p class="caption leftAlone" style="text-align: center;">An aerial view of Talbot Bay which is the home of the Horizontal Waterfalls</p> </div> <p class="h2">Sunset camel ride</p> <p>No visit to Broome is complete without a sensational, <a href="">sunset camel ride on Cable Beach</a>.  Operates daily, except Sunday.</p> <div align="center"><img class="center" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Cable Beach Sunset Camel Ride Best Of The Kimberley" src="" alt="Cable Beach Sunset Camel Ride Best Of The Kimberley" width="550" height="310"><p class="caption leftAlone" style="text-align: center;">Saunter along Cable Beach at sunset.</p> </div> <p class="h2">Willie Creek Pearl Farm</p> <p>This 4-hour tour takes you by air-conditioned coach from <a href="">Broome to the Willie Creek Pearl Farm</a>, located 38kms out of town.  Your tour at the farm starts with the collection and spawning of oysters in a state-of-the-art hatchery, then moves on to the delicate operations of seeding and harvesting oysters, and finally the valuing of pearls and the creation of stunning jewellery.  Includes morning or afternoon tea.</p> <p>Tour operates 4 days a week from November to March.  Daily April to October.  Seniors tour rate available. </p> <div align="center"><img class="center" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Willie Creek Pearls Best Of The Kimberley" src="" alt="Willie Creek Pearls Best Of The Kimberley" width="550" height="413"><p class="caption leftAlone" style="text-align: center;">Discover how these gems of the sea are created.</p> </div> <p class="h2">Discover Broome</p> <p>A 4.5 hour <a href="">Discover Broome tour</a> in an air-conditioned coach is the perfect way to start off your Broome holiday and get to know Broome and its major landmarks and local attractions.</p> <div align="center"><img class="center" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Broome Japanese Cemetery Best Of The Kimberley" src="" alt="Broome Japanese Cemetery Best Of The Kimberley" width="550" height="273"><p class="caption center">Broome’s Japanese Cemetery is the resting place of over 900 Japanese pearlers.</p> </div> <p>The last stop of the tour is Pearl Luggers in the heart of Chinatown, where you’ll be treated to a Pearling Master’s high tea and a fascinating Pearl Luggers tour that delves into the history of pearl diving in Broome.</p> <p>Tour operates 3 days a week from November to March. Daily April to October. <a href="">Seniors tour rate available</a>.</p> <p class="h2">Broome Trike Tour </p> <p>Take a ride on the wild side with a guided Harley or <a href="">Custom Trike Tour.</a>  Take a town tour or add something special such as a ‘champagne sunset’. </p> <p>Operates daily (except Christmas Day and all of February).</p> <p><img class="center" title="Broome Trike Tour Best Of The Kimberley" src="" alt="Broome Trike Tour Best Of The Kimberley" width="550" height="414"></p> <p><span class="h2">Mitchell Falls Explorer</span></p> <p>The <a href="">Mitchell Falls</a> in the wet season, it when the falls are at their very best.  The stunning 4-tiered waterfalls are only accessible by air for many months each year. Fly over Walcott Inlet estuary, the rarely seen Harding Range and the impressive King Cascade on the Price Regent River, before landing on Mitchell Plateau for a comfort stop and morning tea. Overfly Mitchell Falls* before venturing over Montgomery Reef.  Witness the Horizontal Waterfalls before lunch and a swim at Kooljaman <a href="">Cape Leveque</a> and coastal return flight to Broome.</p> <p>Operates daily (except Christmas Day) and subject to minimum passenger numbers.</p> <p>*Landing at Mitchell Plateau subject to suitable conditions.</p> <div align="center"><img class="center" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Mitchell Falls During Dry Season Best Of The Kimberley" src="" alt="Mitchell Falls During Dry Season Best Of The Kimberley" width="550" height="413"><p class="caption center">The Mitchell Falls in the dry season – imagine what it looks like in the wet season! (If you search for images on the internet, you will see some awesome wet season images of the Mitchell Falls </p> </div> <p class="h2">Scenic helicopter flight</p> <p>For visitors who enjoy the thrill of a helicopter flight, there is a range of <a href="">scenic helicopter flights in Broome</a> available from a 30-minute scenic flight to a full day outing.</p> <p>Operates daily (except Christmas Day) and subject to weather conditions.  Minimum 2 passengers.</p> <div align="center"><img class="center" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Scenic Flight Red Cliffs Best Of The Kimberley" src="" alt="Scenic Flight Red Cliffs Best Of The Kimberley" width="550" height="364"><p class="caption center">View the red cliffs of the Kimberley coastline up close.</p> </div> <p>For help with planning and booking your next Kimberley and Broome holiday, <a href="">contact us today</a> or take a look at our special <a href="">Summer in Broome holiday package.</a></p> Tue, 09 Oct 2018 14:46:31 +0800 Kimberley Tours For Seniors <h3><strong>Do you have a Seniors Card?</strong></h3> <p>Travelling around Australia is not just the domain of young backpackers, in fact the so called ‘grey nomads’ are hitting the road in increasing numbers.  Some are fully equipped with the latest 4WD high-tech vehicle and luxury caravan every conceivable gadget (with all the comforts of home)  to those who prefer a simpler and more affordable style of travelling such as a sedan and campervan, or a tent and camping equipment to get away from it all.</p> <p><img class="leftAlone" title="" src="" alt="camping at windjana gorge" width="600" height="407"></p> <p>Whatever the style of travel they have invested in or prefer, our experience is that ‘grey nomads’ are on the lookout for a bargain!   Some tour operators recognise the value of the ‘Seniors dollar’ and offer discounted tours for valid Seniors Card holders.</p> <p>Those offering Seniors discounts accept valid Seniors Cards issued in Australia and some extend the discount to our Kiwi cousins and accept New Zealand Senior Card (Gold Cards) too.  When you are booking a tour, we recommend you check if there is a Seniors’ rate available for Australian or New Zealand Seniors Cardholders  – and make sure you have your valid seniors card to hand when making a booking.</p> <p>If you don’t have an Australian Seniors Card, and don’t know if you are eligible - each state and territory issues its own “Seniors” card in recognition of the contribution seniors have made and continue to make to our communities and to keep older people active and engaged in the community, by making it more affordable to get out and about.  We suggest you check out the website of your state program for eligibility.</p> <p>There are a number of popular <a href="">Kimberley tours</a> offering Seniors’ tour rates.</p> <h6><img class="leftAlone" title="" src="" alt="Bungle Bungles travellers" width="600" height="157"></h6> <h6>(Image: Kimberley Wild Expeditions) </h6> <p>Some tour operators also offer discounts to Pensioner Concession Card holders – when you make a tour booking, ask if the Pensioner Concession Card is also accepted.</p> <p>Check out some of the most popular Kimberley tours where Seniors or Concession Rates are offered - click on the link before for further information:</p> <ul><li><a href="[sitetree_link,id=]">Bungle Bungles</a> day tour</li> <li><a href="">Lake Argyle/Ord River</a> tour/cruise</li> <li><a href="">Barramundi</a> fishing tour</li> <li><a href="">Cape Leveque</a> day tour</li> <li><a href="">Windjana Gorge/Tunnel Creek</a> day tour</li> <li><a href="">Willie Creek Pearl Farm</a> half day tour</li> </ul><p> </p> Tue, 28 Aug 2018 14:48:15 +0800 5 Tips & More For Your Next Kimberley Fishing Adventure <p><span style="color: #000000;">If you’re looking for some of the best fishing in the world, the Kimberley region of Western Australia is the place to be.</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">Whether you want to hook a barramundi or are interested in sports fishing, there is something for everyone.  With many options for fishing including a charter, fishing tidal creeks, river systems or beaches, you’re sure to have the thrill of a lifetime when you fish in Western Australia.</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">Below you can find more information about your next big fishing adventure.</span></p> <div class="captionImage left" style="width: 300px;"><img class="left" title="" src="" alt="Kimberley Fishing Charter" width="300" height="449"><p class="caption left">(Image: T. Coate)</p> </div> <h2><span style="color: #000000; font-size: x-large;">5 Tips for those who love to fish</span></h2> <p><span style="color: #000000;">Fishing takes some know-how; especially if you’re looking to catch some of the best Australian waters have to offer.  Here are our top five tips for catching your ‘trophy fish’ while on holiday.</span></p> <h4><span style="color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: medium;">1.</span>    <strong><span style="font-size: medium;">Use the correct gear</span></strong></span></h4> <p><span style="color: #000000;">When you’re looking to land the big one, it’s important to have the right equipment. While fishing tours like those booked on the </span><a href=""><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0000ff;">Best of the Kimberley website</span></span></a><span style="color: #000000;">, typically provide equipment, if you’re looking to bring your own, you should know what to bring.</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">You’ll have the best chance of bringing in a monster fish if you use the right line for bottom fishing or trolling, high-quality hooks, leaders and a high-quality reel like a Shimano.</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">Your rod also matters since you want one with a mix of flex and strength. Penn rods are some of the best available.</span></p> <h4><span style="color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: medium;">2.</span>    <strong><span style="font-size: medium;">Use the right bait</span></strong></span></h4> <p><span style="color: #000000;">Using the right bait is crucial to pulling in your dream fish. Whether you opt to use live bait or lures, the bait matters and it can be the difference between catching a fish that you release and a fish that you keep.   Taking an organised fishing charter will ensure you have the right bait.</span></p> <h4><span style="color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: medium;">3.</span>    <strong><span style="font-size: medium;">Go to the correct location for what you’re trying to catch</span></strong></span></h4> <p><span style="color: #000000;">You’ll only catch the fish you’re hunting if you’re in the right place.</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">For example, if you’re looking to catch coral trout, blue bone, golden snapper, or cod, you’ll want to select a reef fishing trip.</span></p> <div class="captionImage right" style="width: 600px;"><img class="right" title="" src="" alt="Broome Fishing Charter" width="600" height="337"><p class="caption right" style="text-align: left;">(Image: Absolute Ocean Charters)</p> </div> <p><span style="color: #000000;">If you’re looking to hook the thrilling barramundi, you’ll want to fish the Ord river system or take a heli-fishing adventure to more remote locations!</span></p> <div class="captionImage left" style="width: 400px;"> <div class="captionImage center" style="width: 600px;"><img class="center" title="" src="" alt="Helicopter Fishing Charter in the Kimberley" width="600" height="338"><p class="caption center" style="text-align: left;">(Image: HeliSpirit)</p> </div> </div> <h4><span style="color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: medium;">4.</span>    <strong><span style="font-size: medium;">Stay hydrated </span></strong></span></h4> <p><span style="color: #000000;">When you have a huge fish on the line, it takes some energy to reel it in. In the hot Australian sun, you’ll want to be sure that you stay hydrated so that you have the energy necessary to reel in your prized catch.   Always take a reusable water bottle with you.  Tour operators also carry water so that you can regularly refill your bottle.</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">5.    <strong><span style="font-size: medium;">Sun protection</span></strong></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">The fierce Kimberley sun can burn in a short time, so good sun protection is vital.  Check out eco-friendly sunscreens that do not contaminate the pristine waterways (a simple Google search will bring up plenty of options), wear a broad rimmed hat, a long-sleeved shirt.</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">If you forget to bring a suitable hat, there are choices available in numerous stores in Broome and Kununurra.    If possible, choose one that has a rear flap to protect your neck and ears.</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="center" title="" src="" alt="Kimberley Fishing Boat Adventure" width="500" height="375"></p> <div class="captionImage center" style="width: 500px;"> <p class="caption center" style="text-align: center;">(Image: Ultimate Adventures)</p> </div> <h2><span style="color: #000000; font-size: x-large;">Best tours to book</span></h2> <p><span style="color: #000000;">The best tours to book fully depend on the kind of fish you want to catch and how long you want to fish and how much time you have.</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">For example, choose from half day, full day and extended tours.  Most Kimberley fishing tours do not operate during the wet season months of December to March.</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">Be sure to consider these things when booking your tour.</span></p> <h2><span style="color: #000000; font-size: x-large;">What should I look for in a tour operator?</span></h2> <p><span style="color: #000000;">Before booking a fishing tour, be sure to find one that is known for being knowledgeable, helpful and safe.  When you choose a tour operator that knows what they’re doing, you’ll have a much higher chance of reeling in the fish of your dreams.</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">In selecting the right charter operator look for accreditation and certification, such as  as those businesses have undergone close scrutiny of their operations and achieved accreditation.</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">Consider the following when choosing your tour leader:</span></p> <ul><li><em>They’re knowledgeable.</em> They know where to take you for the highest likelihood that you’ll catch a fish.</li> <li><em>They’re helpful</em>. If you’re a beginner especially, you’ll want a tour operator that supplies fishing gear, offers help tying hooks, hooking bait and best of all, filleting your catch so that you can bring it to shore to enjoy on the BBQ!</li> <li><em>They’re safe.</em> Check if they are an Accredited Tourism Business (which means they have had to meet rigorous criteria) and ask questions about safety, such as life jackets on board (if you’re going on a boat) and emergency equipment carried. </li> </ul><p style="text-align: center;"><span style="color: #000000;"><em><strong>Look for these logos:</strong> <img class="center" title="" src="" alt="Eco Certified Tourism Logo" width="104" height="53"></em></span></p> <h2><span style="color: #000000; font-size: x-large;">Best of the Kimberley Fishing Tours</span></h2> <p><span style="color: #000000;">Best of the Kimberley offers fishing tours including a </span><a href=""><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0000ff;">full day of reef fishing</span></span></a><span style="color: #000000;">, the </span><a href=""><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0000ff;">Ord experience fishing safari,</span></span></a><span style="color: #000000;"> (both a full day tour) and the </span><a href=""><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0000ff;">Ord venture</span></span></a><span style="color: #000000;">, which is a half day fishing tour.  Or for a remote adventure – Heli-fishing!  Some Kimberley cruises also have a strong focus on fishing.</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">Whatever your fishing adventure dreams, whether it is fishing the mighty Ord River seeking barramundi, or tackling a variety of fish on the reef trip off the Kimberley coast there is a fishing trip to suit.</span></p> <h2><span style="color: #000000; font-size: x-large;">Want to book your fishing adventure?</span></h2> <p><span style="color: #000000;">If you’re interested in a Kimberley fishing adventure, we can help.</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">Visit </span><a href=""><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0000ff;">our website</span></span></a><span style="color: #000000;"> today for more information about our fishing tours!</span></p> Thu, 05 Jul 2018 11:27:38 +0800 Tips for Self Drive Touring in Australia <p>Australia is one of the most beautiful countries on the planet. From its waterfalls and rivers to its rugged gorges, sunsets and brilliant starry skies, you'll always find yourself stopping to appreciate the scenery in the Kimberley.</p> <p>One of the best ways to see it all is on a self-driving tour.  But what is the best way to arrange a self-drive tour and how can you ensure your safety?</p> <p>You've come to the right place - we have just the info you're looking for.</p> <h2>What should I know about self-driving tours?</h2> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="leftAlone" title="" src="" alt="Gibb River Road Self Drive Tour" width="600" height="297"></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>The Gibb River Road is one of Australia’s best known adventure roads.</em></p> <p> </p> <p>If you're interested in a self-driving tour of the beautiful Kimberley region, there are a few things you should know:</p> <ul><li>You can create a personalised self-drive package. We want you to enjoy your tour of Kimberley stress-free! That means creating a package that works to suit your interests and schedule.</li> <li>If you're looking to visit Mitchell Plateau, you'll need each traveller to have an Uunguu Visitor Pass. This pass is required along with the WA Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, and Parks and Wildlife Service Park pass.</li> <li>There are many location options to suit your specific interests.</li> <li>There is a range of time-frame options to best accommodate your desired driving schedule.</li> <li>Driving in the Kimberley is not as scary as you think!   So long as you take your time, drive to the conditions and not be in a rush to get from one place to another, you too can have an adventure of a lifetime.</li> </ul><h2>Choosing your package</h2> <p>The first step in planning your Kimberley self-driving tour is to choose your adventure. As we mentioned, each adventure tour provides something unique, and is designed to fit your interests and schedule.</p> <p>You can find a full list of the many driving tour options for 2018 <a href="">here</a>.</p> <p>Some of the choices include the ‘<a href="">Kimberley Circuit</a>’ which is 18 days and 17 nights; the ‘<a href="">Best of the West Kimberley Gorges</a>’, which is 8 nights; or the ‘<a href="">Staircase to the Moon</a>’, which is a holiday package of 5 nights and coincides with Broome’s Staircase to the Moon natural phenomenon.  And that's just the beginning of the many options you'll find.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="leftAlone" title="" src="" alt="Galvans Gorge Kimberley Tours" width="600" height="450"></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>Take a swim in Galvans Gorge</em></p> <h2>Three tips for staying safe on your travels</h2> <p>Before you book your travels, it's important to understand what you'll encounter and how to be safe along the way.  Let's talk about three key things to keep in mind:</p> <p><strong>Road conditions -</strong> In an ever-changing climate like the one in the Kimberley, especially the Gibb River Road, it's important to be aware of the road conditions at all times to ensure your safety. Although the roads are only open when they're safe for travelers, you still need to pay close attention to any road condition signage and warnings.</p> <p><strong>Wildlife - </strong>It's critical to remember that throughout your adventures you are driving through the habitat of small and large animals in mostly unfenced country. That being said, while you're driving, it's likely that you may see different forms of wildlife including birds, goannas, snakes, wallabies and cattle - all of which can wander into the roadway, creating a hazard. You're certain to encounter wildlife if you travel between dusk and dawn, so be sure to stay extra alert if you must travel during these times.  However, we highly recommend not travelling after dark. </p> <p><strong>Mobile phone reception - </strong> The main town centres of the Kimberly region have mobile phone service as does most of the Great Northern Highway. However, there is no reception along the Gibb River Road or in the Bungle Bungles.  You may want to consider bringing a satellite phone for your excursion, particularly if you are planning to travel to the more remote areas.</p> <p> </p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="leftAlone" title="" src="" alt="Cattle on Kimberley Station" width="600" height="450"></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>Most of the Kimberley stations are unfenced, so you will come across animals along the way</em></p> <p> </p> <h2>Ready to book your self-driving tour?</h2> <p>Does all this talk about adventure have you ready to book your tour? If so, visit <a href="">our website</a>, call us at 1800-450-850, or email us at today!</p> <p>If you want to hear about other visitors' experiences, check out <a href="">our testimonials</a>! We're sure they'll help you gain the insight you need to decide on the perfect tour for you and all of your travel companions.</p> Wed, 23 May 2018 11:35:35 +0800 Self-Guided or Guided Tours – Which Is Right for You? <p>So, after a long wait, you’ve finally got a holiday coming up. It is time to explore and have some fun! But, where will you go, and will it be a self-guided or a guided tour?</p> <p>On self-guided tours, you have a route, the information and some amenities arranged by a <a href="">travel company</a>. However, you’re responsible for planning and executing the trip.</p> <p>With guided tours, the touring company takes the lead. It is an all-inclusive group travel experience (led by a guide) that follows a specific itinerary.</p> <p>Here’s a look at the pros and cons of both…</p> <h2>Why Self-Guided Tours?</h2> <p><img class="leftAlone" title="" src="" alt="Kimberley Gorge Landscape" width="600" height="450"></p> <p><strong><em>On a self-guided tour, you can take extra time to enjoy locations such as Bell Gorge in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.</em></strong></p> <h2>Pros:</h2> <ul><li>There's more planning flexibility – you choose the travel dates, the departure times and how many people you will be taking with you.</li> <li>Travellers aren’t limited to any particular hotel, city or town that they may not like, or an itinerary that does not include suitable attractions.</li> <li>One has the option of being impulsive and spontaneous. You can go where you like when you want to and do whatever you feel like doing, which can be fun.</li> </ul><h3>Cons:</h3> <ul><li>Self-guided tours can offer a great personalised experience. However, planning every site, stop, meal and activity can be labourious.</li> <li>While the attractions and activities that you decide to include may seem exciting, without the experience of professionals, you may discover that they are less suited to you than anticipated.</li> <li>No tour guide. A tour guide with specialised knowledge of your activities and destination can provide expert advice and experience-based suggestions and ideas.</li> <li>Working out a self-guided tour budget can be tricky. Even if you’ve researched the costs of everything, it’s still just an estimate. The trip can end up <a href="">costing a lot more</a>.</li> </ul><h2>Why Guided Tours?</h2> <p><img class="leftAlone" title="" src="" alt="Kimberley Caves Tour" width="600" height="450"></p> <p><strong><em>In some locations, it can be helpful to have a guide, such as Tunnel Creek, which is a 750m cave, in the Kimberley region of Western Australia</em></strong></p> <h2>Pros:</h2> <ul><li>All the planning is done for you, so you can just relax. There’s no decision making and you don’t need to stress about how to make the most of your time.</li> <li>The best sites and activities are picked for you. Many times, tour company managers are able to arrange for their group members to jump the queues at attractions.</li> <li>Guided tours offer a professional tour guide. Tour guides can be an invaluable resource if you’re new to the area, don’t speak the local language or just want good advice.</li> <li>You get the peace of mind that comes with knowing how much everything is going to cost upfront. Plus, tour companies book in bulk, so they can negotiate better rates.</li> <li>If you will be travelling alone, a guided tour can help you meet new people and make the journey more enjoyable. Solo travel is also safer when guided.</li> </ul><h3>Cons:</h3> <ul><li>On a guided tour, you may travel to a location that you would prefer not to visit or have visited before. Also, if you’re travelling with a large group, it can feel overwhelming.</li> <li>Travelling as part of a group often enhances the experience. But, if you don’t click with other tourists, you’ll still have to spend the entire trip with them.</li> <li>Because you have a pre-planned itinerary, there is less room for spontaneity. However, some tour operators and packages do work in your own exploration time.</li> </ul><h2>Guided or Self-Guided?</h2> <p><img class="leftAlone" title="" src="" alt="Self Drive Kimberley Tour" width="600" height="450"><img class="leftAlone" title="" src="" alt="Kimberley Bus Tour" width="600" height="400"></p> <p>Whether you travel independently or travel as part of a group on a guided tour, there are benefits and drawbacks that will affect the trip experience.</p> <p>That being said, professionally guided tours typically offer some advantages and may be more convenient. </p> <p>Ultimately, the travel option that is right for you depends on your goals and your personal preferences, as well as your time and your budget.</p> <h4>Need help deciding on the right trip for you? Visit the Best of The Kimberley <a style="font-size: 1em; display: inline !important;" href="">Tours page here</a> or <a style="font-size: 1em; display: inline !important;" href="">contact us</a> for expert help planning your dream holiday.</h4> Fri, 04 May 2018 15:41:09 +0800 Direct Flights to Broome from the East Coast <p>Are you planning to visit the Kimberley this year, flying from the east coast of Australia?</p> <p>Travelling on a direct flight from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane is possible via Qantas.  Whilst direct flights do not operate every day, the following direct flight schedule has been advised:</p> <h4>Melbourne to Broome</h4> <table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"><tbody><tr><td width="205" valign="top"> <p>Day</p> </td> <td width="205" valign="top"> <p>Commences</p> </td> <td width="205" valign="top"> <p>Terminates</p> </td> </tr><tr><td width="205" valign="top"> <p>Wednesday</p> </td> <td width="205" valign="top"> <p> 2 May 2018</p> </td> <td width="205" valign="top"> <p>3 October 2018</p> </td> </tr><tr><td width="205" valign="top"> <p>Friday</p> </td> <td width="205" valign="top"> <p>1 June 2018</p> </td> <td width="205" valign="top"> <p>31 August 2018</p> </td> </tr><tr><td width="205" valign="top"> <p>Saturday</p> </td> <td width="205" valign="top"> <p>15 June 2018</p> </td> <td width="205" valign="top"> <p>14 July 2018</p> </td> </tr><tr><td width="205" valign="top"> <p>Sunday</p> </td> <td width="205" valign="top"> <p>18 March 2018</p> </td> <td width="205" valign="top"> <p>16 December 2018</p> </td> </tr></tbody></table><p> </p> <h4>Sydney to Broome </h4> <table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"><tbody><tr><td width="205" valign="top"> <p>Day</p> </td> <td width="205" valign="top"> <p>Commences</p> </td> <td width="205" valign="top"> <p>Terminates</p> </td> </tr><tr><td width="205" valign="top"> <p>Saturday</p> </td> <td width="205" valign="top"> <p>7 April 2018</p> </td> <td width="205" valign="top"> <p>13 October 2018</p> </td> </tr><tr><td width="205" valign="top"> <p>Tuesday</p> </td> <td width="205" valign="top"> <p>1 May 2018</p> </td> <td width="205" valign="top"> <p>9 October 2018</p> </td> </tr></tbody></table><p> </p> <h4>Brisbane to Broome </h4> <table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"><tbody><tr><td width="205" valign="top"> <p>Day</p> </td> <td width="205" valign="top"> <p>Commences</p> </td> <td width="205" valign="top"> <p>Terminates</p> </td> </tr><tr><td width="205" valign="top"> <p>Sunday</p> </td> <td width="205" valign="top"> <p>3 June 2018</p> </td> <td width="205" valign="top"> <p>26 August 2018</p> </td> </tr></tbody></table><p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 19 Feb 2018 12:37:47 +0800 Travel Blogs to Follow in 2018 (Itchy Feet Guaranteed) <p>It has never been so easy to plan a holiday or a trip to somewhere in the world. We literally have travel inspiration and advice at the touch of a button thanks to the internet.</p> <p>Which is a good and bad thing. Good as it makes it so easy to plan an adventure, bad because it makes us all want to throw in our jobs and travel 365 days a year (which is not necessarily a bad thing if the bank account is happy)!</p> <p>Whether you’re searching for travel inspo via Google or on social media, there are plenty of awesome travellers who are sharing their experiences and advice when it comes to all things travel related.</p> <p>Which is why we wanted to put this post together for you - to share some of our favourite travel bloggers. But beware, you will have a serious case of itchy feet after checking out these blogs!</p> <p><img class="center" title="Travel Blogs To Follow in 2018 Best Of The Kimberley" src="" alt="Travel Blogs To Follow in 2018 Best Of The Kimberley" width="600" height="600"></p> <h2><strong>1. WA Explorer</strong></h2> <p>We are massive fans of Nina who writes <a href="">WA Explorer – The Outdoor Guide to Western Australia</a>. Nina and BOTK connected a number of years ago and we have enjoyed sharing content and travel ideas with her. Nina is based in Perth and travels around the great state of WA with her family a lot (not to forget her pup who has inspired her to write a number of dog-friendly travel pieces!). She loves camping, kitesurfing and anything to do with the outdoors.</p> <p>Alongside the blog, you can also find her on <a href="">Twitter</a>, <a href="">Facebook</a> and <a href="">Instagram</a>.</p> <h2><strong>2. Let Me Be Free</strong></h2> <p align="center">“I write about travel and camping in order to help others have the confidence to see the world or their own backyard”</p> <p>If you love to travel, then you need to follow Anne over on <a href="">Let Me Be Free</a>! Together with her husband and two kids, Anne shares with us plenty of travel adventures and tips. She is also a qualified personal trainer so you’ll spot some fitness related blog posts in her ‘Travel Fit’ category.</p> <p>Whether it’s Australian travel or you’re looking at other destinations like Asia, Europe or New Zealand -  Anne has posted about a number of destinations and has some great resources on the site.</p> <p>Anne also posts on <a href="">Facebook</a>, <a href="">Instagram</a> and <a href="">Pinterest</a>.</p> <h2><strong>3. A Taste of Travel</strong></h2> <p>Are you a bit of a Travel Foodie? I.e. does your stomach typically choose your next travel destination? If it does, then <a href="">A Taste of Travel</a> is the travel blog for you! Jenny is a serial traveller who has blogged about over 15 different countries, and numerous destinations within each of these countries.</p> <p>We may be a little bias, but we particularly like the Broome travel category!</p> <p>You can also follow Jenny on <a href="">Facebook</a>, <a href="">Twitter</a>, <a href="">Instagram</a> and <a href="">Pinterest</a>.</p> <h2><strong>4. Y Travel Blog</strong></h2> <p>We’ve mentioned Caz &amp; Craig’s <a href="">Y Travel Blog</a> a number of times over the years. We simply can’t get enough of this adventure family! From Australia to the Middle East, to Africa and the Caribbean – these guys have travelled far and wide.</p> <p>Caz and Craig Makepeace travel with their two daughters, Kalyra and Savannah. So, if you’re looking for family travel ideas and tips, these guys have you covered.</p> <p>We’d highly recommend subscribing to their e-newsletter too!</p> <p>On social media, you can find them on <a href="">YouTube</a>, <a href="">Pinterest</a>, <a href="">Instagram</a>, <a href="">Twitter</a> and <a href="">Facebook</a>.</p> <h2><strong>5. Borders of Adventure</strong></h2> <p>We’ve recently come across Becki’s <a href="">Borders of Adventure</a> travel blog when we spotted a piece she wrote a few weeks ago on Broome. Her blog is very interactive with lots of fun widgets like where she is travelling right now (she’s travelled to over 53 countries). There’s plenty of wanderlust worthy-content to keep you entertained whether you’re planning from home or already on the road to your next destination.</p> <p>You can also find Becki on <a href="">Instagram</a>, <a href="">Twitter</a> and <a href="">Facebook</a>.</p> <p>Our list could honestly go on forever, I mean who doesn’t love scrolling through travel blog after travel blog! After checking out the above, we have no doubt you’ll have a serious case of the travel bug.</p> <p>Just make sure you add our <a href="">beautiful Kimberley region</a> onto your travel bucket list for 2018 too!</p> Fri, 16 Feb 2018 12:13:50 +0800 5 Things You Need to Consider When Planning Your Travels in the Kimberley <p>The Kimberley region of Western Australia covers an area of almost 420,000 square kilometres and a population of just 39,000 persons. </p> <p>Most of the population lives in the main towns of Broome, Derby, Fitzroy Crossing, Halls Creek, Kununurra &amp; Wyndham and with the exception of Aboriginal communities, cattle stations and a few remote accommodations, this leaves most of the region unpopulated and isolated! </p> <p>The rugged, ancient landscape is the major drawcard for visitors who travel from all corners of the world to see one of the last wilderness areas.</p> <p>With the majority of services centres in and around the main townsites, being well prepared makes sense if you are planning to travel far from services.</p> <p>Many visitors to the Kimberley are self-drivers who spend their time exploring in a myriad of vehicle combinations, whilst others are fly in/fly out visitors, so whatever your mode of  travel in the Kimberley there are a number of ‘challenges’ to consider to ensure you have a safe and memorable stay – for all the right reasons!</p> <p class="h2">1. ALCOHOL RESTRICTIONS</p> <p>Travellers to the Kimberley need to be aware that alcohol and alcohol purchasing restrictions are in force in some communities and in the towns.  If you wish to purchase alcohol on your travels, we recommend that you seek information locally as to what restrictions may currently apply as they can change from time to time without notice.  You may wish to purchase some supplies in Broome or Kununurra before departing on your travels.</p> <p><img class="center" title="" src="" alt="Taking in the view at Home Valley Station Tourism Western Australia" width="600" height="400"></p> <p class="caption center">Taking in the view at Home Valley Station (Photo credit: Tourism Western Australia)</p> <p class="h3" style="text-align: left;">2. MOBILE PHONE &amp; INTERNET RECEPTION</p> <p>Whilst mobile phone and internet reception is available in the major towns there is no mobile or internet reception along the Gibb River Road or in the Bungle Bungles. </p> <p>Not all mobile phone providers have services in the major towns so we recommend that you check out the coverage information with your provider before travelling, or view the coverage maps on their respective website.</p> <p>Telstra mobile phone coverage is generally available along the Great Northern Highway but there are some black spots.</p> <p>If you must have phone access at all times, we suggest hiring a satellite phone for your travels.</p> <blockquote> <p>Travel tip: We have discovered one isolated location for mobile phone reception at the Cockburn Range Lookout on the Gibb River Road, which is about 13km east Home Valley Station!   But do not rely upon it.</p> </blockquote> <p><img class="center" title="" src="" alt="Cockburn Range Lookout R. McGuigan" width="600" height="337"></p> <div class="captionImage center" style="width: 600px;"> <p class="caption center">Cockburn Range Lookout (Photo credit: R. McGuigan)</p> </div> <p class="h2"> 3. QUARANTINE RESTRICTIONS</p> <p>When travelling into Western Australia by road or by air, quarantine restrictions apply.  You may be surprised at what you can and cannot bring into Western Australia and many travellers lose fruit and vegetables, honey and other materials that they have unwittingly brought to the border.</p> <p>Western Australia's (DAFWA) Quarantine WA service operates border checkpoints as the first line of defence against incursions of unwanted pests, weeds and diseases, which could arrive on freight, cargo and other items brought in from interstate.  Road checkpoints at Kununurra and Eucla operate 24 hours a day throughout the year.  </p> <p>We recommend that you view the interesting FAQ’s<a href="" target="_blank"> on the Department’s website</a>.</p> <p><img class="center" title="" src="" alt="Quarantine check point at the WA NT Border Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development" width="600" height="274"></p> <p class="caption center">Quarantine checkpoint at the WA/NT Border (Photo credit: Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development)</p> <p class="h2" style="text-align: left;">4. ACCESS TO ABORIGINAL COMMUNITIES &amp; PASTORAL STATIONS</p> <p>Many Aboriginal communities are closed to visitors, so if you see signage indicating ‘no access’ please respect the privacy of the residents.</p> <p>Many communities do welcome visitors as they embrace and develop their tourism activities.  We recommend that you call ahead to ensure that the community is open to visitors as communities may be unexpectedly closed for cultural reasons.  There may also be permit fees to pay upon entry</p> <p>Transit Permits are designed to protect the privacy of Indigenous communities, preserve Indigenous heritage and culture, and safeguard the natural environment.  Importantly, they also assist in ensuring visitor safety.  You can <a href="" target="_blank">apply for a permit online</a>. </p> <p>Some pastoral stations, such as <a href="[sitetree_link,id=]" target="_blank">Mt Elizabeth Station </a>embrace tourism as part of their business activities and due to limited facilities, booking ahead is highly recommended.     Station access is a privilege and you can find further information in the free booklet “<strong>Travelling in Outback Western Australia”</strong> prepared by the Department of Regional Development and Lands.  If you would like a PDF copy to be emailed to you, please send an email to us at <a class="obfuscatedEmail email" href="">Click here to email</a></p> <p><img class="center" title="" src="" alt="The pearl shell altar at the Church of the Sacred Heart Beagle Bay Community R. McGuigan" width="600" height="449"></p> <p class="caption center">The pearl shell altar at the Church of the Sacred Heart, Beagle Bay Community (Photo credit: R. McGuigan)</p> <p class="h2" style="text-align: left;">5. ROAD CONDITIONS</p> <p>The <a href="">Gibb River Road is an ‘adventure road’</a> on the bucket list of many travellers and being aware of current road conditions can make or break the enjoyment of your journey.</p> <p>Whilst the ‘dry’ season months of April/May to October/November rarely bring road closures due to weather events, the ‘wet’ season months of November to April can bring ad-hoc road closures.  </p> <p>Generally, the Gibb River Road is closed from November/December until April/May because of flooding and the high-water levels at the river and creek crossings and watercourses. </p> <p>Authorities will not open the Gibb River Road until it is safe to traverse.  Every year the road opens on a different date.   The WA Department of Main Roads has a new <a href="" target="_blank">“Travel Map” on their website</a> that shows current road conditions. </p> <p>Some Kimberley roads are the responsibility of the 4 local Kimberley shires and their websites include road condition reports.   The shires are:</p> <ul><li>Shire of Broome</li> <li>Shire of Derby-West Kimberley</li> <li>Shire of Halls Creek</li> <li>Shire of Wyndham-East Kimberley</li> </ul><p>Many cattle stations are unfenced and it is not uncommon to encounter wandering stock and wildlife.  Serious accidents can occur due to collisions with kangaroos, cattle and various other animals and birds.  If possible, avoid driving at dawn and dusk as these are the most dangerous times.  </p> <div> <blockquote> <p>Travel tip: Hire car companies in the Kimberley void insurance coverage on hire vehicles that are damaged when driven between dusk and dawn outside of the town sites.  We recommend you check the terms and conditions when you collect your hire vehicle.</p> </blockquote> </div> <p><img class="center" title="" src="" alt="Always check the road conditions before travelling the Gibb River Road R. McGuigan" width="600" height="337"></p> <p class="caption center">Always check the road conditions before travelling the Gibb River Road (Photo credit: R. McGuigan)</p> Thu, 08 Feb 2018 08:26:19 +0800 Bungle Bungles Walking Trails <p>The World Heritage Listed Purnululu National Park in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia is where you will find the famous Bungle Bungle Range – a highly prized ‘bucket list’ destination for many travellers.  </p> <p>The 239,723-hectare (592,370-acre) national park is located approximately 300 kilometres (190 mi) south of Kununurra and was declared a World Heritage Site in 2003.</p> <p>Famous for the striking “beehive” sandstone domes with their alternating orange and grey bands, visitors can walk on designated trails to explore this wondrous area.</p> <p>Some of the walks are quite easy and others more challenging but you can decide what is the most suitable for you and below are our observations of the most popular walks in the Bungle Bungles:</p> <p><img class="center" title="Bungle Bungle Ranges Purnululu National Park" src="" alt="Bungle Bungle Ranges Purnululu National Park" width="600" height="399"></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Walking along Piccaninny Creek (Photo credit: Bungle Bungle Guided Tours)</em></p> <p><span style="color: #831b1d; font-size: 17px;">Cathedral Gorge (Allow approx. 2-3 hours)</span></p> <p>The most popular walk in the Bungle Bungles, located in the southern section of the park, is an easy to moderate 3km return walk. </p> <p>Beginning easily in the Piccainny Creek car park, the Cathedral Gorge walk is shared with Piccaninny Creek, until the trail splits with one trail leading to Cathedral Gorge where the walk is more moderate. </p> <p>Visitors will pass over rock ledges, some with steps and handrails, sandy tracks, eroded potholes and negotiating a large step ladder before arriving at the stunning, natural amphitheatre that is Cathedral Gorge.   Returning to the car park is on the same trail.</p> <p>On warmer Kimberley days, early morning or late afternoon walks provide more shade.</p> <p><img class="center" title="Cathedral Gorge" src="" alt="Cathedral Gorge" width="600" height="400"></p> <p class="caption center"><em>Stunning Cathedral Gorge (Photo credit: Bungle Bungle Guided Tours)</em></p> <h2>Piccaninny Creek Lookout:</h2> <p>You can walk to this lookout, 1.4km from the Piccaninny Creek car park to gain great views of the Bungle Bungle Range as  Piccaninny Creek winds its way down to the Ord River.</p> <p>It is enjoyable at any time of the day.</p> <p>Piccaninny Creek car park has toilets, shade shelters and picnic tables.</p> <p><img class="center" title="Cathedral Gorge Piccaninny Creek R McGuigan" src="" alt="Cathedral Gorge Piccaninny Creek R McGuigan" width="600" height="273"></p> <p class="caption center"><em>The trails splits into two - Cathedral Gorge &amp; Piccaninny Creek (Photo credit: R McGuigan)</em></p> <h2>Domes Trail (Approx. 1 hour)</h2> <p>This 1km easy walk commences at the Piccaninny Creek car park and is perfect for visitors who perhaps do not have the stamina or mobility for the more moderate walks, as this walk trails amongst the “beehives domes”.</p> <p><img class="center" title="Wander through the Beehive Domes at the Bungle Bungle Ranges R McGuigan" src="" alt="Wander through the Beehive Domes at the Bungle Bungle Ranges R McGuigan" width="600" height="449"></p> <p class="caption leftAlone" style="text-align: center;"><em>Wander through the “Beehive Domes” (Photo credit: R McGuigan)</em></p> <h2>Echidna Chasm (Approx 2 hours)</h2> <p>Located in the northern section of the park, this moderately difficult 2km return walk, begins at the base of a sandstone dome and wanders along a rocky creek bed into the long, narrow chasm that is almost 200 metres high.    A high level of mobility is required for  1.5-hour walk as it includes walking up ladders to viewing platforms at the end of the chasm.</p> <p>Because of the striking colour variations with the angle of the sun beaming into the chasm, this walk is popular with photographers, especially in the early morning or late afternoon light.</p> <div> <p>Osmand Lookout:  You can walk to this lookout from the Echidna Chasm Car park to gain fantastic views of the dry, wild and rugged Osmand Range.  It is enjoyable at any time of day but spectacular in the early morning or late afternoon light</p> </div> <p>Echidna Gorge car park has shaded picnic areas and toilets.</p> <p><img class="center" title="Walking into Echidna Chasm Landi Bradshaw" src="" alt="Walking into Echidna Chasm Landi Bradshaw" width="390" height="585"></p> <p class="caption leftAlone" style="text-align: center;"><em>Walking into Echidna Chasm (Photo credit: Landi Bradshaw)</em></p> <h2>Mini Palms (approx 4 hours)</h2> <p>A 5km moderate to difficult walk which starts out easy in the heart of the main Bungle Bungle Range.  </p> <p>Commencing in a wide, open are, the walk becomes more difficult as the walk narrows and visitors must slide between and over some boulders.  At the end of the walk, visitors are rewarded with a natural amphitheatre and a viewing platform dwarfed by Livistona Palms.</p> <p><img class="center" title="The towering Livistona Palms Tourism Western Australia" src="" alt="The towering Livistona Palms Tourism Western Australia" width="600" height="216"></p> <p class="caption leftAlone" style="text-align: center;"><em>The towering Livistona Palms (Photo credit: Tourism Western Australia)</em></p> <h2>What to take when walking in the Bungle Bungles: </h2> <p>Even in the cooler, dry season months in the Kimberley, you should always take a water bottle on any walk or guided tour.   We recommend you wear comfortable/sturdy walking shoes (no leather soles) and bring a small daypack with snacks, sunscreen, camera and 1-litre water bottle.  We suggest you wear light clothing that offers sun protection.   Some visitors may choose to use a walking pole to assist in stability of uneven surfaces.</p> <p>Visitor &amp; camping fees apply to Purnululu National Park and are payable at the Purnululu Visitor Centre which provides information on the other walks in the park and recreational activities, cool drinks and souvenirs.  The Visitor Centre is located at the end of the Spring Creek Track. </p> <p>If all this self-guided walking seems a bit too much, then perhaps you might wish to consider a <a href="">guided Bungle Bungles scenic air safari from Kununurra or Broome or a low-level helicopter flight</a>! There is a range of guided tours available ranging from 2 hours to 3 days!</p> Tue, 06 Feb 2018 09:47:51 +0800 Broome Cyclone Season: What You Need to Know <p>During the many years living in Broome, we cannot recall having 2 cyclones pass by within two weeks of each other.  Whilst the memory fades with age, we can recall some the more memorable ones and near misses, or the 'big one' Cyclone Rosita in 2000, which was at the end of a very good wet season.  We have seen dozens of them pass close by without much effect on the town other some welcome, soaking rains and a few leaves and small branches down around the gardens.</p> <p>Each cyclone is a different beast and even though there are Categories form 1-5 to identify the strength and assist in personal preparations, you never really know what Mother Nature is going to throw at you.</p> <p>Broome's modern architecture is designed and built with cyclone ratings, so the fear of major building damage has not crossed our minds on too many occasions and we generally can safely shelter indoors away from danger.  With many travellers having pre-booked their Broome holiday in the coming dry season months, they can rest fairly well assured that their accommodation will be still standing - although some minor repairs may be required in coming weeks.</p> <p>From the usual blue skies and calm, blue seas, Cable Beach takes on a new persona.  With an imminent cyclone, the local surfers take their boards to Cable Beach to enjoy the few waves that are brought in on the higher tides.  Cable Beach is not known for its surf, so any suggestion of a wave brings out the surfboards!</p> <p><img class="center" title="" src="" alt="Cable Beach Best Of The Kimberley" width="600" height="450"></p> <p style="text-align: center;">A normal day at Cable Beach.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="center" title="" src="" alt="Cyclone at Cable Beach in Broome Best Of The Kimberley" width="600" height="450"></p> <p style="text-align: center;">After the cyclone has passed.</p> <p>Watching the clouds build up to a cyclone gets people talking – from those who are sceptical that the clouds don’t ‘look right’ and suggest the storm might not occur, to those who can’t wait for authorities to declare a ‘yellow alert’ when businesses and schools close in readiness for ‘red alert’ meaning a day or two off work.</p> <p>Once the drama of a cyclone has passed, calm is restored and the evening skies usually turn on a few magnificent sunsets.</p> <p>The glorious sunsets after the storms have passed.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="center" title="" src="" alt="Broome Sunset after Cyclone Best Of The Kimberley" width="600" height="450"></p> <p>For those who are interested, or are travelling in the north of Australia during the summer months, the following are the alerts issued by the authorities when a cyclone is expected to form.</p> <h2>Community Alerts Issued for cyclones:</h2> <ul><li>Blue Alert:  Get Ready for a cyclone. You need to start preparing for cyclone weather.</li> <li>Yellow Alert:  Take action and get ready to shelter from a cyclone. You need to prepare for the arrival of a cyclone.</li> <li>Red Alert: Take shelter from the cyclone. You need to go shelter immediately.</li> <li>All Clear: The Cyclone has passed but take care. Wind and Storm surge dangers have passed but you need to take care to avoid the dangers caused by damage.</li> <li>Cyclone Watch:  Is used when damaging winds or gales are expected to affect communities within 48 hours.</li> <li>Cyclone Warning:  Are issued when damaging winds or gales are likely to affect communities within 24 hours.</li> </ul><p>Also, check out the <a href="" target="_blank">Bureau of Meteorology website</a> for regular updates of the path of the weather systems</p> <p><img class="center" title="" src="" alt="Broome Cyclone Map" width="600" height="450"></p> Thu, 11 Jan 2018 14:57:50 +0800 New Visitor Pass Required for Mitchell Plateau <p>From 1 January 2018, if you are planning to visit the Mitchell Plateau in the far north west of the Kimberley, each traveller will now need an Uunguu Visitor Pass (UVP). </p> <ul><li>If you are an independent traveller and visiting by 4WD or aircraft, you need a Ngauwudu Road Zone pass.  </li> <li>If you are an independent traveller coming by boat, sea plane or helicopter you need an Onshore Access pass for the Uunguu Coast Zone.</li> <li>If you are an independent bush walker you need a Bush walker pass.    Please also check the approved Bush walking Corridors<strong>.</strong></li> </ul><div>The pass will enable the Wunambal Gaambera people to manage the land and sea Country for future generations.     </div> <div><span>When visitors buy a UVP, they will be helping Wunambal Gaambera people to:</span><br><ul><li>Build leadership in the tourism industry on Country.</li> <li>Establish managed visitor sites at key locations, with Uunguu Rangers and Traditional Owners welcoming, guiding and sharing culture.</li> <li>Grow the Uunguu Ranger program with a tourism focus.</li> <li>Provide cultural expertise and support for tour operators.</li> <li>Develop authentic “Uunguu Experience” tourism ventures.</li> </ul><p>This pass is in addition to the WA Department of Biodiversity, Conservation &amp; Attractions, <a href="">Parks &amp; Wildlife Service Park Pass</a>.  <a href=""> </a></p> </div> <div><em><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">PLEASE NOTE:</span> There is no public internet/phone access on Wunambal Gaambera Country.  It is important that you download/print all relevant passes, maps, guides and information <span style="text-decoration-line: underline;">BEFORE travel<span style="text-decoration: underline;">.</span></span></strong></em><strong><span style="text-decoration-line: underline;"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"> </span></span></strong></div> <div> <ul><li><strong><a href="">Click here</a> to purchase your independent visitor pass.</strong></li> <li><strong><a href="">Click here</a> to view approved visitor locations.</strong></li> </ul></div> Tue, 19 Dec 2017 04:29:55 +0800 Kimberley National Parks - seasonal closures <h4><strong>Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek national parks seasonal closures </strong></h4> <p>The Western Australian Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions wishes to advise that Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek national parks will close for the wet season on Monday 27 November 2017 and will remain closed for the remainder of the season. We anticipate the parks reopening towards the end of April 2018 (access conditions allowing). </p> <p>For further information please contact the Broome office on 08 9195 5500.</p> <p> </p> <h4><strong>Purnululu National Park (Bungle Bungle) seasonal closure </strong></h4> <p>The Western Australian Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions wishes to advise that Purnululu National Park will close for the wet season on Sunday 26 November 2017 and will remain closed for the remainder of the season. We anticipate the park reopening at the start of April 2018 (access conditions allowing). </p> <p>For further information please contact the Kununurra office on 08 9168 4200.</p> Wed, 22 Nov 2017 12:22:15 +0800 It's All About Broome Pearls at Willie Creek Pearl Farm <p>Broome has been known for the quality of the pearls it has produced for decades. Broome pearls are highly sought after due to their quality.   The late Princess Diana was one who embraced pearls and she was often photographed wearing jewellery that included these wonders of the sea.   Take a minute to <a href=";newwindow=1&amp;source=lnms&amp;tbm=isch&amp;sa=X&amp;ved=0ahUKEwiLtvb-pq7XAhULnpQKHapjAdsQ_AUICigB&amp;biw=1680&amp;bih=959" target="_blank">Google’ images of her wearing a stunning array of jewellery featuring pearls</a>. </p> <p>The range of shapes, colours and sizes of cultured pearls is vast. Finding out how cultured pearls are produced, is the focus of a <a href="">half day tour from Broome to visit Willie Creek Pearl Farm</a>.</p> <p>Located 38kms north of Broome, the best way to visit Willie Creek Pearl Farm is via a guided tour.  You can self-drive drive, but the last 10kms can be tricky.   The first 28kms from Broome are on a bitumen road, but from the Manari Road turnoff the next 5kms of the rich, red ‘pindan’ road can be bone-jarring corrugations. </p> <p>The access road into Willie Creek is less so, but there you have salt flats to traverse.   Negotiating the track that can be wet due to the extreme tides is not for inexperienced drivers.   Although there are markers on the two tracks, some self-drive visitors have had their vehicles come to grief when they veered from the tracks to take a shortcut.   We recommend that it is easier to leave it to the experts and <a href="">join a tour</a>!</p> <p><img class="center" title="" src="" alt="Red Pindan Road Broome" width="600" height="400"></p> <p>With a range of tour times and operating daily during the dry season months, a half day, award-winning Willie Creek Pearl Farm tour is a must when visiting Broome.  During the wet season months and lesser visitor numbers, the tour remains operating but with reduced days and tour times. Feel free to give us a call on 1800 450 850 for further details or <a href="">contact us online</a>.</p> <p>At the ‘farm’ the tour begins in earnest with the tour group gathered in a shady gazebo for a 45 minute interesting and fascinating ‘lesson’ about how these beautiful gems are produced on a modern pearl farm; and with the chance to harvest a pearl at each demonstration.  <br><br><img class="center" title="" src="" alt="Broome Pearl Demonstration at Wille Creek Pearl Farm" width="600" height="450"></p> <p>After the demonstration, the Willie Creek staff reward their visitors with a delightful morning or afternoon tea.</p> <p>The next part of the pearl farm experience was to get on the water to view how the pearl shells are grown by being suspended in water and how the massive tidal changes enhance the growth.  We learned how the shells are maintained and kept healthy so that they, in turn, produce beautiful pearls.  </p> <p>The tide was very high on the day of my visit so we only had a short walk along a track before boarding our shaded vessel. There is a jetty with steps close by, but because of the high water, these were completely immersed.</p> <p><img class="center" title="" src="" alt="Boat Pearl Demonsatration at Willie Creek Pearl Farm Broome" width="600" height="799"></p> <blockquote> <p><strong>Travel Tip:</strong> One of the first things that strikes you about Willie Creek is the stunning colour of the water.  A <a href="">scenic flight</a> over the area really highlights the beauty of the coastline.</p> </blockquote> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="center" title="" src="" alt="Willie Creek Pearl Farm Broome" width="600" height="381"><em>(Image: Willie Creek Pearl Farm)</em></p> <p>After the on-water demonstration, there was time to cruise the creek and one of its tributaries.  There are a couple of resident saltwater crocodiles living around the creek area so we had our eyes peeled just in case one of them made an appearance.   Sure enough, we were lucky to see one just cruising past, much to the delight of the visitors. </p> <p><img class="center" title="" src="" alt="Saltwater Crocodile Willie Creek Pearl Farm Broome" width="600" height="450"></p> <p>Back on land, we visited the onsite showroom where we indulged our fantasies of owning one of the beautiful strands of pearls, rings, pendants and earrings on display and learnt how to care for the gems.   We put to the test what we had learned earlier on the tour - the 5 virtues of a pearl, being: size, shape, colour, lustre &amp; complexion.</p> <p>As we bumped along the road back to Broome, there was no doubt some quiet scheming of how to drop some significant hints to partners about forthcoming Christmas presents in the shape of pearls!</p> <p>Visiting a pearl farm in Broome is a must on any visit to the area, for help booking your tour, please <a href="">contact us today</a>.</p> Thu, 09 Nov 2017 10:31:16 +0800 5 of the Best Broome Sunset Views (that are not on a camel) <p>With broad skies and few man-made structures to block the view, Broome offers several sensational ‘big sky’ viewing locations to take in a stunning sunset.   With most travellers owning a smartphone with a camera, capturing a memorable sunset image is child’s play these days.</p> <p>Broome’s iconic image of a <a href="">sunset camel ride</a> goes without saying as THE top place to view a Broome sunset, but if you are not keen to climb aboard, then here are our 5 favourite alternative sunset viewing locations around Broome.</p> <h2>1. Cable Beach</h2> <p>Looking out over the Indian Ocean and 22kms of sand, Cable Beach provides the most awesome uninterrupted view.  The foreshore park is a popular place for visitors as the grassy area is perfect to lay a picnic blanket or set up some picnic chairs whilst enjoy an icy beverage as the sun goes down.   Alternatively, take a long stroll on the beach and dip your toes in the warm ocean waters whilst the daylight fades.</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>Travel Tip:</strong> Stay until well after the sun has disappeared over the horizon as the best colours are displayed then and most visitors seem to leave the area as soon as the sun sets!</p> </blockquote> <p><img class="center" title="" src="" alt="Cable Beach Sunset in Broome" width="600" height="450"></p> <h2>2. Entrance Beach</h2> <p> Located at the tip of the Broome peninsula is Entrance Point and Entrance Beach.  This is a beach not often visited by visitors and is a locals’ favourite.  At low tide, you can stroll the almost deserted beach which is fringed with a rugged, red coastline.</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>Travel tip:</strong> Park in the bitumenised car park and walk down to the sand via the boat launching ramp.</p> </blockquote> <p><img class="center" title="" src="" alt="Entrance Beach Sunset in Broome" width="600" height="450"></p> <h2>3. Gantheaume Point</h2> <p> Just a few minutes’ drive from Cable Beach is Gantheaume Point which is the southern end of Cable Beach.  Here you can drive onto the beach from the access road opposite the Broome racetrack and park in the designated parking area.  Take the dog for a walk, throw a Frisbee, kick a footy, or choose to move just a few paces from the vehicle to set up a chair, pull out the esky and pour a beverage.   During the dry season, the fishing charter vessels return from their daily excursions and anchor offshore so you can just watch the procession of returning tourists.</p> <p>Gantheaume Point is a popular location for the locals and visitors because of the vehicular access.  On any day or night of the week you will be sharing the beach with others.</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>Travel tip:</strong> When driving onto the beach be aware of the tides as parking in the wrong spot at the tide changes can be hazardous with vehicles getting bogged or caught in a rapid, incoming tide.</p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p><strong>Travel tip:</strong> Most hire vehicle companies <span style="text-decoration: underline;">exclude</span> beach driving.  Make sure you check with your supplier before driving a hire vehicle on the beach.</p> </blockquote> <p><img class="center" title="" src="" alt="Gantheaume Point Sunset in Broome" width="600" height="339"></p> <h2>4. Sunset hovercraft tour on Roebuck Bay</h2> <p>For something a little different, take a <a href="">hovercraft tour on Roebuck Bay</a>.  Skim across the waters at very low tide, view and learn about the fascinating dinosaur footprints on the far foreshore of the bay.   Afterwards, your guide will stop the hovercraft on a mudflat in Roebuck Bay where passengers alight,enjoy some nibbles and a drink and watch the sun set over the Broome township.</p> <p><img class="center" title="" src="" alt="Broome Sunset hovercraft tour on Roebuck Bay" width="600" height="450"></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>(Image credit: Broome Hovercraft)</em></p> <blockquote> <p><strong>Travel tip:</strong> The sunset hovercraft tour is tidal dependent and does not operate every day.</p> </blockquote> <h2> 5. Sunset at Coconut Well</h2> <p>Coconut Well is a small residential village located 20 minutes’ drive northeast of the Broome township on the shores of the Indian Ocean.   The homes here are in an off-the-grid enclave and most boast views of the ocean.  However, there is also access to the remote northern Cable Beach.   This location is tucked away so <a href="">taking a guided Broome Trike sunset tour</a> you are almost guaranteed not to bump into any other tourists.  This situation lends itself to special occasions, such as ‘popping the question’.  And let’s face it, a sunset proposal has to be high on the memorable moment's list.</p> <p><img class="center" title="" src="" alt="Sunset at Coconut Well from Broome" width="600" height="337"></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>(Image credit: Broome Trike Tours)</em></p> <p>For help planning your next Broome holiday, please don’t hesitate to <a href="">get in touch today</a>.</p> Thu, 09 Nov 2017 10:00:46 +0800 Sample the Gorges of the Gibb River Road from Broome in a Day <p>The <a href="">Gibb River Road</a> stretches for 669kms from Derby in the west to almost Kununurra in the east, of the Kimberley region of Western Australia.  Although there are some stretches of bitumen enroute, the mostly gravel Gibb River Road is known to adventurous travellers as one of the great drives in Australia.  The remoteness and lack of communication can be daunting for less experienced travellers, so a guided day tour from Broome provides a chance to visit two of the major natural attractions.</p> <p>I had driven the Gibb River Road in 2016, but because of unusual rains in late August 2016, Windjana Gorge National Park and Tunnel Creek National Park roads were scoured and damaged, and closed by authorities for repairs, so we had to drive right past.  This year I decided to join a day tour from Broome to visit these ancient landscapes on the – <a href="">1 Day Windjana Gorge &amp; Tunnel Creek Tour</a>.</p> <p>With a pick up at our accommodation just after 6.30am, me and my 20 fellow travellers soon settled into the very comfortable, purpose-built, air-conditioned 4WD coach and travelling the 200kms along the Great Northern Highway towards Derby, and the commencement of the Gibb River Road – where our destinations are located.</p> <p><img class="leftAlone" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="" src="" alt="4wd Coach Broome Gibb River Road Day Trip" width="600" height="400"></p> <p>A comfort and morning tea stop at Willare Bridge Roadhouse, 160kms from Broome was welcome.  Later that evening we will revisit Roadhouse for dinner on our return to Broome, so this break gave each traveller the chance to select a dinner meal to be served promptly at that time.</p> <h2>The Boab Tree</h2> <p>Our next step off the coach was not too far down the road, where we visited the <a href="" target="_blank">Boab ‘prison’ tree</a>.  The Kimberley is known for its amazing Boab trees which dot the landscape and have formed the subject matter of photographers.  The well-known Boab ‘prison’ tree is thought to be around 1,500 years old, although our guide advised that due to the lack of rings in the trunks of these trees, it is hard to estimate its age.  This Boab tree’s purported ‘history’ as a prison for Aboriginal prisoners is unclear but there is interpretative signage in the gazebo that makes interesting reading.</p> <p><img class="leftAlone" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="" src="" alt="Boab Tree Gibb River Road Day Trip from Broome" width="600" height="337"></p> <h2>Windjana Gorge</h2> <p>Just a few kilometres, further along, we turned onto the iconic Gibb River Road and a further 150kms to Windjana Gorge.  The first 80+kms is a single lane bitumen road that made travel easy as our guide narrated the story of Jandamarra, who was an Aboriginal resistance fighter and whose story is embedded in the King Leopold Conservation Park, where the gorges are located.  To learn more of the story of Jandamarra, we recommend reading “<a href="">Jandamarra &amp; The Bunuba Resistance</a>” by Howard Pedersen &amp; Banjo Woorunmurra and published by Broome’s Indigenous Publisher, Magabala Books.</p> <h2>Windjana Gorge National Park</h2> <p>21kms down the Fairfield-Leopold Downs Road we arrived at Windjana Gorge National Park.  The day was starting to warm up considerably, so with hats on and water bottles in hand we embarked on the easy walk from the coach parking area along the short, sandy access track to the Gorge.  We were soon on the banks alongside the dry season pools of Lennard River and looking for freshwater crocodiles.</p> <p><img class="leftAlone" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="" src="" alt="Windjana Gorge National Park Gibb River Road Day Trip from Broome" width="600" height="338"></p> <p>Standing in the middle of the river beds and surrounded by the stunning 100m high cliffs of the gorge you cannot help but be in awe of the landscape.   The 3.5km long gorge cuts through Napier Range which is part of the ancient Devonian limestone reef that can also be seen at Geikie Gorge and Tunnel Creek.</p> <p><img class="leftAlone" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="" src="" alt="Windjana Gorges Gibb River Road Day Trip from Broome" width="600" height="337"></p> <p>Our guide warned us not to approach the freshwater crocodiles sunning themselves on the banks or relaxing in the shallow waters.  Although I have seen hundreds of fresh and saltwater crocodiles over many years, they still draw your attention and you cannot help but be fascinated.  The gorge being 3.5kms long takes time to fully explore, but on a day tour, there is not enough time.</p> <p><img class="leftAlone" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="" src="" alt="Freshwater Crocodile Gibb River Road Day Trip from Broome" width="600" height="450"></p> <p>After exploring the gorge, we tucked into a delightful chicken and salad lunch surrounded by the bush and imposing faces of the gorge.</p> <p><img class="leftAlone" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="" src="" alt="View at the Gorges Gibb River Road Day Trip from Broome" width="600" height="337"></p> <p>The surprising aspect of being in such a remote location is to find flushing toilet facilities in the car park….you have to love that!</p> <h2>Tunnel Creek National Park</h2> <p>Refreshed we were soon travelling 37kms to Tunnel Creek National Park and before alighting the coach, we were changing our shoes to those suitable for getting wet as we are to wade through some water in the in 750m long cave system. I opted for a pair of slip-on canvas shoes, whilst others had reef boots or water shoes.</p> <h3>Tunnel Creek Cave</h3> <p>Entering the Tunnel Creek cave requires negotiating some large boulders, but our guide helped everyone to get safely through.  “Use your bum” (to sit on the boulders before sliding down to the next step) he repeatedly advised, “that’s what it’s for”.   Upon entry we were amazed at the size of the cave as it disappeared into the darkness, we were grateful for the head torches provided by the tour guide; they are must and if you visit independently you just cannot visit the cave without some sort of torch.</p> <p><img class="leftAlone" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="" src="" alt="Tunnel Creek Cave Gibb River Road Day Trip from Broome" width="600" height="450"></p> <p>As the cave narrowed and darkened, we deftly made our way carefully and occasionally wading through shallow water and over sandy and rocky surfaces with stops to view fascinating formations.  At the end of the cave, we were greeted with a shady, rock pool oasis where other travellers were just soaking up the experience.</p> <p><img class="leftAlone" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="" src="" alt="Tunnel Creek Cave Entry Gibb River Road Day Trip from Broome" width="600" height="450"></p> <p>Back at the coach, we enjoyed a fresh fruit snack before reboarding the coach and travelling back to Broome.  Soon the sun was lowering and cattle were wandering the unfenced rangelands; a real danger in the Kimberley at dusk and dawn.  </p> <blockquote> <p>Travel Tip: Hire car companies in the Kimberley do not permit their vehicles to be driven outside of townsites before dawn or after dusk.</p> </blockquote> <p><img class="leftAlone" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="" src="" alt="Cattle at Dusk Gibb River Road Day Trip from Broome" width="600" height="265"></p> <p>As night descended some passengers drifted off to snooze whilst others quietly watched the nightfall and others were occupied with handheld games.   As the coach does have cabin lighting you can easily read a book and I do recommend that you take something to occupy the few hours it takes to get back to Willare Bridge Roadhouse and the much-awaited dinner that we requested 12 hours earlier.  The break at Willare is welcome along with the hearty meals! </p> <p><img class="leftAlone" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="" src="" alt="Willare Bridge Roadhouse Gibb River Road Day Trip from Broome" width="600" height="338"></p> <p>Refreshed and reboarded, we were ready for the last 180kms journey back to Broome, arriving just before 10.00pm.</p> <p>It is obviously a long day’s touring, but the anticipation of the gorges, the air-conditioning and comfortable coach and a driver/guide who seems to relish in the activity makes it a worthwhile endeavour.  The total journey of over 800kms gives an insight into the enormity of the Kimberley region and the single day’s ‘taste of the Gibb’ may entice some travellers back to tackle the rest of the Gibb River Road and the wonders that await to be explored.  </p> <p>Day tours operate from Broome between May &amp; October.</p> <p>If you’re interested in sampling the gorges of the Gibb River Road on this <a href="">1 Day Windjana Gorge &amp; Tunnel Creek day tour from Broome</a> or you want to find out about other Broome and the Kimberley tours please <a href="">contact us online today</a></p> Fri, 06 Oct 2017 14:56:49 +0800 Broome's Staircase to the Moon dates & times for 2018 <p>Are you planning to visit the Kimberley region in 2018?</p> <p>Many travellers like to coincide their visit to Broome with the famous <a href="[sitetree_link,id=]">"Staircase to the Moon"</a> event.  This natural phenomenon is created when the full moon rises of Roebuck Bay at extremely low tide and reflecting on the exposes rivulets on the mudflats, thus creating the illusion of a golden staircase to the Moon.</p> <p>This natural event occurs on just a few days each Month from April to October.</p> <p>The Broome market community also operate their Staircase Markets at Town Beach reserve on 2 nights of the 'Staircase".  Town Beach is one of just a few locations on the shores of Roebuck Bay where you can view the event and the markets stalls add a vibrant atmosphere.  With a range of local foods to savour and stalls offering a range of goods, you can immerse yourself in the event.</p> <p>Town Beach is an easy, short walk from a number of Broome's accommodation locations and there is a special Town Bus service from the Cable Beach precinct on the 'moon nights' so that you will avoid the inevitable traffic such an event creates and for a small fee, you can leave the car behind.   Bus timetables are available from your accommodation.</p> <p>If you are wanting to take photos of the Moonrise, we recommend you purchase an image from one of the photography stalls at the market.  It is a difficult image to take.  We know, we have tried and have seen so many disappointing images of others that have also tried.  One mistake people make is to leave the flash on their device which only highlights the other people watching or washes out the scenery!  And a tripod is almost essential.  Some people are so busy trying to take the perfect image that they actually do not really see the moon rise.</p> <p>We are often asked how much it costs to see the "Staircase to the Moon" and we are delighted to advise that it is free!</p> <p>Just sit back, relax and enjoy the view!</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 07 Jul 2017 07:04:01 +0800 My Day on the Cape Leveque Tour – Culture, Pearls, Beauty & More! <p>The long, dusty road from Broome to Cape Leveque on the tip of the Dampier Peninsula is well travelled by locals, tour companies, freight transporters, mail contractors and visitors.  No matter how often the road is graded, the regular traffic creates ruts and corrugations in the 90kms unmade section which can be difficult to negotiate for those used to the black top.  <br><br> Travellers who are traversing Australia with their cars and caravans may decide to forgo the joy of bouncing their way along the ‘track’ and take a guided tour instead.</p> <p>For visitors to the Kimberley a visit to Cape Leveque (Kooljaman) on the Dampier Peninsula (Ardi) is a must.  The rich red of the Cape Leveque cliffs, the intense blue sky and the inviting Indian Ocean are a photographer’s delight. </p> <p><img class="center" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="" src="" alt="Cape Leveque Road Indsutry Sourced" width="600" height="400"></p> <p class="caption center" style="text-align: center;"><em>Cape Leveque Road (Industry Sourced)</em></p> <h2>A Cape Leveque Tour Experience</h2> <p>This traveller opted for a small group, guided 4WD <a href="">Cape Leveque tour</a> rather than self-driving the more than 400kms round journey.  </p> <p>Leaving Broome at a respectable 7am in the tour company’s comfortable 4WD Sedan and with just another 2 passengers on board, we were soon out of the Broome town site and hitting the red dirt section of the Cape Leveque Road which starts just after the turn off to the <a href="">Willie Creek Pearl Farm</a>.   Our guide Kerry from InStyle Adventures is very familiar with this road as she drives it several times a week during the busy Kimberley tourist season.</p> <h2>Beagle Bay Community &amp; Sacred Heart Church</h2> <p>Knowing the road so well, Kerry managed to minimise the impact of the worst of the corrugations at the same time as imparting her knowledge of some of the local flora, fauna and history of the area.  Soon enough we arrived at the Beagle Bay Community where we found the historic Catholic Sacred Heart Church with its renowned pearl shell altar.  Whilst Kerry set up morning tea under the shade of an old Mango tree, we browsed through the church, marvelling at the beauty of the altar and other artefacts.  </p> <p><img class="center" title="" src="" alt="Pearl Shell Altar at the Sacred Heart Church Beach Bay R McGuigan" width="600" height="450"></p> <p class="caption center"><em>Pearl Shell Altar at the Sacred Heart Church, Beach Bay: R McGuigan</em></p> <h3>One Arm Point Community &amp; Hatchery Tour</h3> <p>Refreshments taken, we were soon back onto the road and after a little over an hour’s travelling we arrived at the One Arm Point community where we visited the community’s aquaculture hatchery with a short, guided tour.  The hatchery sits on the very tip of the Dampier Peninsula where the high tides of King Sound rush and swirl past.  It is quite mesmerising to watch the eddies. At the hatchery there is a selection of beautiful polished trochus shells and shell jewellery pieces for sale that have been created by community members.</p> <p><img class="center" title="" src="" alt="Clown fish at the One Arm Point Communitys aquaculture hatchery R McGuigan" width="600" height="451"></p> <p class="caption center"><em>Clown fish at the One Arm Point Community’s aquaculture hatchery: R McGuigan</em></p> <h2>Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm</h2> <p>Our next stop was the<a href=""> Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm</a> where we joined a 2-hour guided talk and tour of the pearl farm’s land-based operations.  We were joined on the tour by other visitors who arrived at the farm either by self-driving or scenic air tour from Broome.   We learned that Cygnet Bay is reputed to be the one of oldest operating pearl farms in Australia with a history going back to 1946.  We also viewed a short, black and white film produced by the ABC back in the 1970’s from which we learned the farm’s humble beginnings.</p> <p>Part of the tour involves a demonstration of the removal of the pearl from a live pearl shellwith the chance to buy the pearl afterwards.  I was not quick enough to put my hand up and our travelling companions promptly snapped up the pearl.  On site there is a pearl jewellery gallery where you can browse or buy!</p> <p><img class="center" title="" src="" alt="The guide as Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm explains farming of pearl shells R. McGuigan" width="600" height="450"></p> <p class="caption center"><em>The guide as Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm explains farming of pearl shells: R. McGuigan</em></p> <h2>Lunch</h2> <p>We were ready for lunch after this and our guide, Kerry, escorted us to the Farm’s restaurant where we enjoyed a freshly prepared lunch sitting on the decking overlooking the swimming pool and Cygnet Bay.  </p> <h2>Giant Tides Tour</h2> <p>We could have stayed there on the shady verandah all afternoon but the next part of our journey was to join a fast boat trip from Cygnet Bay to witness up close, the giant whirlpools of waters on the farm’s <a href="">“Giant Tides” tour</a>. This 2 hour boat trip took us around the beautiful coastline on sparkling waters, where to our amazement we arrived where the tide is changing so rapidly it creates gigantic whirlpools and walls of water.  It was an amazing sight.</p> <p><img class="center" title="" src="" alt="The huge tidal movements create giant whirlpools R. McGuigan" width="600" height="450"></p> <p class="caption center"><em>The huge tidal movements create giant whirlpools: R. McGuigan</em></p> <h3>Kooljaman at Cape Leveque</h3> <p>Back on dry land it was time to board the 4WD again for a brief journey to <a href="">Kooljaman at Cape Leveque</a> which is on the western tip of the Dampier Peninsula.  One of our fellow travellers decided on a quick dip whilst Kerry brought out afternoon tea on the beach.   We were not really hungry but the freshly sliced melons were refreshing on a warm day. Western Beach at Kooljaman</p> <p>Our final stop for the day was a visit to the beautiful Western Beach at Kooljaman.  Known for its brilliant red cliffs and white sand, we were not disappointed in the scenery.  The sun was lowering and the colours all the more brilliant for it. </p> <p><img class="center" title="" src="" alt="Late afternoon on Western Beach at Cape Leveque R. McGuigan" width="600" height="450"></p> <p class="caption center"><em>Late afternoon on Western Beach at Cape Leveque: R. McGuigan</em></p> <p>Our day was coming to an end and we still had to travel the 220kms back to Broome.  Armed with a few lollies for the journey home we relaxed whilst Kerry took care in driving us back to Broome as the sun was setting to the west of us.  The glimpses of the setting sun through the bush of the peninsula was a delight.  The Kimberley does not have a long twilight so it was dark quickly and we kept our eyes peeled in case of roaming animals, which are a hazard in the Kimberley.</p> <p>We arrived back at our accommodation in Broome around 7.30pm after an enjoyable day with delightful fellow tourists and a guide who was friendly, warm and obviously enjoys her work.</p> <p><img class="center" title="" src="" alt="Visit remote and deserted beaches R McGuigan" width="600" height="450"></p> <p class="caption center"><em>Visit remote and deserted beaches: R McGuigan</em></p> <p>There was plenty to eat all day and regular water bottle refills, juice or soft drink were available as required.   Our tour vehicle was very comfortable and with just 3 passengers and a guide, we were a bit spoiled with attention which is not always possible on a larger group tour.  The tour cost was a great investment! </p> <p>So what are you waiting for? Check out the <a href="">full Day 4WD Cygnet Bay with Giant Tides Sea Safari and Cape Leveque tours</a><a href=""> </a> so you too can experience this beautiful part of The Kimberley, Western Australia!</p> <p> </p> Tue, 14 Mar 2017 09:06:11 +0800 10 Aussie Travel Instagram Accounts You Need to Follow in 2017 <p>Nowadays when it comes to researching a holiday or trip, the internet is an imperative tool for information, pictures and making travel bookings. Everything is literally at your fingertips!</p> <p>Social media is one of those tools that many travellers use to research holiday options and travel destinations. At the moment the Best of the Kimberley team are loving Instagram. Whether it’s following your favourite travel-related Instagram account, looking through travel hashtags for inspiration or purely procrastinating because who doesn’t love to dream about their next trip.<br><br> So what we have done is spent countless hours trawling through Instagram (it’s been hard work, but we did it for you!) to bring you, what we think about some of the best travel Instagram accounts in Australia! We think Australia is the perfect travel destination in 2017 so hopefully the below accounts get those feet itching with some new ideas.</p> <h2><a href="" target="_blank">1. Australian Geographic</a></h2> <p>If you’re a traveller who loves all things to do with nature, animals and culture, then you must follow the Australian Geographic – their pictures are simply amazing! <br><a href="" target="_blank"><img class="center" title="" src="" alt="Australian Geographic Instagram" width="417" height="631"></a></p> <h2><a href="" target="_blank">2. West Australian Explorer</a></h2> <p>If you’re looking to travel in Western Australian in 2017 then you must follow local blogger Nina as she shares all the best bits about WA!<br><a href="" target="_blank"><img class="center" title="" src="" alt="West Australian Explorer Instagram" width="411" height="665"></a></p> <h2><a href="" target="_blank">3. Explore Outback</a></h2> <p>If the Aussie outback is on your travel bucket list in 2017, then make sure you’re following Australian Outback Photographer - Explore Outback. You’ll be craving a new adventure in no time<a href="" target="_blank">.</a><br><a href="" target="_blank"><img class="center" title="" src="" alt="Explore Outback Instagram" width="413" height="631"></a></p> <h2><a href="" target="_blank">4. Y Travel Blog</a></h2> <p>Caz, Craig and the kids travel extensively – a lot around Aussie but also to international destinations. They are also heavily focused on family travel so if you have young ones then this travel Instagram account is a must follow.<br><a href="" target="_blank"><img class="center" title="" src="" alt="Y Travel Blog Instagram" width="419" height="567"></a></p> <h2><a href="" target="_blank">5. Aussie Bush Camping</a></h2> <p>If you love the outdoors and camping then this is the account to follow! From camp cooking to fishing and more – you’ll be inspired to grab your swag and hit the road.<br><a href="" target="_blank"><img class="center" title="" src="" alt="Aussie Bush Camping Instagram" width="414" height="424"></a></p> <h2><a href="" target="_blank">6. Wanderlust Aussies</a></h2> <p>If you’re a Sydneysider or planning a trip to Sydney in 2017 then these guys will provide you all those fantastic tips and tricks from a local. Yes, there are amazing things to see and do in Sydney for a traveller but this account takes Sydney travel one step further.<br><a href="" target="_blank"><img class="center" title="" src="" alt="Wanderlust Aussies Travel Instagram" width="413" height="413"></a></p> <h2><a href="" target="_blank">7. Travel Outback Australia</a></h2> <p>This popular outback travel Instagram account is from a local’s point of view so you’re sure to get plenty of insider outback travel hints and tips.<br><a href="" target="_blank"><img class="center" title="" src="" alt="Travel Outback Australia Instagram" width="413" height="568"></a></p> <h2><a href="" target="_blank">8. The Blonde Nomads</a></h2> <p>Join Rob and Tracy and their two super cute kids as they travel around Australia and abroad (every now and then). There’s a good dose of beaches, sunsets, wildlife and family travel moments on this fab Insta travel account.<br><a href="" target="_blank"><img class="center" title="" src="" alt="The Blonde Nomads Instagram" width="409" height="568"></a></p> <h2><a href="" target="_blank">9. Life in the Slow Lane</a></h2> <p>Aussie travel writer and serial Instagrammer, Lisa takes some absolutely beautiful shots – you’ll be jumping in the car or on a plane asap. We especially love her as she really captures the beauty of the Kimberley region so well.<br><a href="" target="_blank"><img class="center" title="" src="" alt="Life in the Slow Lane Instagram" width="414" height="584"></a></p> <h2><a href="" target="_blank">10. Australian Traveller Magazine</a></h2> <p>We can’t get enough of this oh so aesthetically pleasing travel Instagram account from Australia’s bestselling travel magazine. You’ll get lost in this account for hours and no doubt have an Aussie travel bucket list a mile long by the end of it too.<br><a href="" target="_blank"><img class="center" title="" src="" alt="Australian Traveller Magazine Instagram" width="410" height="525"></a>And lastly, we have recently jumped on board the Instagram train so we’d <a href="" target="_blank">love for you to follow @bestofthekimberley</a> too!</p> Thu, 22 Dec 2016 11:14:38 +0800 Best Of The Kimberley team on annual Kimberley travels <p><strong>The Best Of The Kimberley team are on annual travels through the Kimberley!</strong></p> <p>The Best Of The Kimberley staff are travelling through the Kimberley over the next couple of weeks on their annual travels to update products knowledge - and get out of the office for a while!</p> <p>Over the last 12 months we have been hard at work arranging holidays for our clients, but now it is time for us to enjoy all the spoils of the Kimberley again.</p> <p>By travelling around the Kimberley each year, we can catch up with long established suppliers; find out what is new and what may be changing so that we can adapt our self drive packages and know what may be the 'best fit' to suit our clients.</p> <p>We love to explore the gorges, swim in the waterholes and refresh under waterfalls and chat to travellers along the way and find out and share their experiences.</p> <p>The Kimberley is not just our business, we love to get out amongst it and when you ask us questions, we know the answers!  </p> <p>Whilst we are travelling, there will be days when the internet or phone coverage is not possible, so if we do not respond promptly to your enquiries, please forgive us!  We will get back to you as soon as we have communications again!</p> <p> </p> Tue, 30 Aug 2016 13:21:06 +0800 Cruising the Ord River - A Scenic Afternoon Feast <p>Visitors to Kununurra in the far north east Kimberley can choose from a number of scenic tour experiences to view some of the region’s rugged scenery. On this occasion our choice was a tour that took us to both Lake Argyle and the Ord River in a coach/cruise combination. </p> <p>With the tour commencing at 11.30am, we were able to enjoy a lazy morning before we were picked up by coach at our <a href="">Kununurra accommodation</a> and travelled the 70kms (1 hour) journey to Lake Argyle.  Our first stop was a visit to the Durack Homestead Museum, which was relocated from its original position in the 1970s.  This was done before it was inundated by the damming of the Ord River that consumed most of the Argyle Downs Station to create Lake Argyle.  </p> <p>Visiting the homestead provided an insight into how the family lived in the tough Kimberley climate and in the grounds you will find some gravestones of members of the famous Durack family.  (You can read more about this fascinating family’s history in Mary Durack’s book “<a href="">Kings in Grass Castles</a>”).   Our guide also pointed out a bowerbird which had set up home in the gardens of the museum and seemingly tolerant of the daily tourist invasion.</p> <p><img class="leftAlone" title="Durack Museum Kununurra Best Of The Kimberley" src="" alt="Durack Museum Kununurra Best Of The Kimberley" width="400" height="300"></p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center"><em>Image: R. McGuigan - Durack Homestead Museum</em></p> <p>A short drive later we arrived Lake Argyle Resort, which is perched high on the banks of the Lake.  The resort accommodation includes cabins and villas, caravan park and campground, camp kitchen, BBQ’s and a cafe.  They are justly proud of their infinity swimming pool from which you have one of the best views in Australia.   </p> <p>Our coach took us slowly across the broad, but surprisingly small, Dam Wall that holds back up to a staggering 10,700,000,000 cubic metres of water (at full capacity).</p> <p style="text-align: center;" align="center"> <img class="leftAlone" title="Dam Wall Kununurra Best Of The Kimberley" src="" alt="Dam Wall Kununurra Best Of The Kimberley" width="400" height="300"></p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center"><em>Image: R McGuigan - Lake Argyle dam wall</em></p> <p>At the base of the dam wall is a delightful park area that offers picnic facilities and from there we boarded our Triple J Tours boat for the 55kms cruise back to Kununurra.  Triple J Tours boasts that the 55kms journey is the longest river cruise in Australia, and from the moment you step onto the shaded vessel the visual feast continues being surrounded by stunning, rugged cliffs.   (It is a comfort to find there is an onboard toilet and chilled water and soft drinks were also provided during the cruise.)</p> <p style="text-align: center;" align="center"> <em><img class="leftAlone" title="Triple J Tours" src="" alt="Triple J Tours" width="400" height="188"></em></p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center"><em>Image: Triple J Tours</em></p> <p>Our cruise guide, Grant, was watchful for flora or fauna that us not-so-wide-eyed tourists might not spot.  Viewing crocodiles in the wild is what we wanted and we did see a few.  The little ones that blend into logs or basking on a muddy riverbank can be deceptive to spot.  Grant deftly manoeuvred the vessel to points of interest, spent time explaining what we were looking at and provided fascinating facts about the development of Lake Argyle and the Ord Irrigation Scheme.</p> <p>The spectacular Carlton Gorge is a highlight of this tour.  With its soaring, craggy faces, the afternoon sun highlighted the intense colours, and with reflections on an almost still waterway, this cruise is one of my favourite tours in the Kimberley.</p> <p style="text-align: center;" align="center"> <em><img class="leftAlone" title="Kununurra Riverbank Best Of The Kimberley" src="" alt="Kununurra Riverbank Best Of The Kimberley" width="400" height="400"></em></p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center"><em>Image: R. McGuigan - Ord River gorges</em></p> <p>Downstream we drew up to a small jetty on the riverbank where we alighted to find a camp set up with shaded picnic tables, seating and toilet facilities.  Grant was swift in arranging our afternoon tea (he’s obviously done this before!) of fresh scones, cake, sliced fruit, tea and coffee.</p> <p>Refreshed, we were soon cruising through more stunning gorges back to Kununurra.  As we entered Lake Kununurra we cruised past the rocky formation known locally as Sleeping Buddha and then deviated into some of the creeks and lagoons to view birds and lush river bank vegetation.</p> <p>As the sun set over the surrounding hills, we arrived back at the Triple J Tours marina on the shores of the lake, where our coach was awaiting to return us to our accommodation in the township.</p> <p style="text-align: center;" align="center"> <br><img class="leftAlone" title="Sunset Lake Kununurra Best Of The Kimberley" src="" alt="Sunset Lake Kununurra Best Of The Kimberley" width="400" height="400"></p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center"><em>Image R McGuigan  - sunset Lake Kununurra </em></p> <p>This <a href="">tour and cruise departs Kununurra</a> at 11.30am and returns at approximately 5.30pm.   Lunch is not included, so we recommend that you either have a late breakfast or an early lunch before the tour.  Some of our fellow passengers had packed a sandwich to eat whilst on the coach journey. </p> <p>There is plenty to eat at afternoon tea!   Triple J Tours are an award-winning, Kununurra based tour operator and they pick up and drop off at Kununurra accommodation, so you can sit back, relax, let someone else guide you – just enjoy the ride!</p> <p>We suggest taking a warm jacket in the cooler months as the early evening can be quite cool on the water. </p> <p>Tours operate during the Kimberley’s dry season months of April to October.  </p> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 10:39:43 +0800