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West Kimberly Crossing

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Broome 3-5 Day Campervan Itinerary

On this incredible round-trip journey from Broome, you will drive along the iconic Gibb River Road to uncover a truly unique outback adventure. Taking you from Broome, and onto Derby, the route then allows you to venture off the bitumen to explore mesmerising gorges and caves within an ancient Devonian reef system.

Travel

3 - 5 days


Route

Broome to Broome

1125km


Best Time of the Year

May to September

Highlights

  • Derby
  • Windjana Gorge NP
  • Tunnel Creek NP
  • Geikie Gorge NP
  • Fitzroy Crossing
  • Kununurra

The Journey

Days

1 2 3 4

The Kimberley - Credit Tourism Australia

Day 1
Broome to Derby

Distance 222km - Driving Time 3 hours 20 mins

As this route is best travelled by 4WD, opt for a 4WD campervan in Broome, to then head east towards Derby. As a small service town, Derby’s main attraction is the fact that it is the western gateway to the Gibb River Road, making it a great place to stock up on supplies at the start of your journey – or at the end of it. But, that doesn’t mean Derby doesn’t have other charms.

An overnight stay in Derby will allow you to explore many of the attractions surrounding the town. One such is the incredibly remote Buccaneer Archipelago. Best explored on a boat or helicopter tour, this scattering of 1,000 rocky islands offers fantastic fishing, as well as the opportunity to see the only horizontal falls in the world. Described by David Attenborough as “Australia’s most unusual natural wonder”, these falls demonstrate just how powerful the tides in the Kimberley can be.

Aside from having the largest tidal movements in the southern hemisphere, Derby’s other claim to fame is that it is ‘home of the boab tree’. You will find boab trees all over town, but perhaps the most interesting one is the Boab Prison Tree, a 1,500 year old boab tree that was once used as an overnight lockup for prisoners. If you want to get a feel for the history of the town, take the Pigeon Heritage Trail, or pop into Wharfinger’s House Museum or Mowanjum Aboriginal Art & Culture Centre.

Day 2
Derby to Fitzroy Crossing

Distance 237km - Driving Time 3 hours 20 mins

After stocking your campervan with sufficient supplies, it’s time to head out of Derby and into the outback. After the first 70km of sealed road, you will then move onto unsealed road, where the going will be a bit slower. Your overnight destination tonight will be Fitzroy Crossing, but there are other camping options nearby if you prefer. As a true outback town, Fitzroy Crossing is perhaps best known for the access it provides to nearby Devonian National Parks: Tunnel Creek National Park, Windjana Gorge National Park, and Geiki Gorge National Park. 

Today, you will explore Tunnel Creek National Park and Windjana Gorge National Park, leaving Geiki Gorge National Park until tomorrow. Starting at Tunnel Creek, you will find Western Australia’s oldest cave system. Part of the same ancient Devonian reef system as the other two national parks nearby, the caves here were carved out by the waters of Tunnel Creek flowing beneath the Napier Range. Prepare to get wet as you walk 750m into the tunnel, wading through freshwater pools and admiring the many beautiful rock formations. A good torch and old sneakers are a must on this stop!

Over at Windjana Gorge National Park, Windjana Gorge obviously takes centre stage. Impressive in its stature, the gorge features walls that reach up to 300m, and at the base of the gorge, you will find deep freshwater pools surrounded by native fig, cadjeput and liechardt  trees. Here, you can spot fruit bats, freshwater crocodiles and chattering corellas. You can choose from a range of trails to explore the spectacular three-kilometre gorge, where you can learn more about the plant and wildlife found here, as well the gorge’s cultural significance to the local Bunuba people.

While there are a variety of camping options for campervans in Fitzroy Crossing, you may choose to park in the campground here at the national park. Suitable for tents and campervans, the campground is unpowered, but does offer access to basic amenities.

Day 3
Fitzroy Crossing

Today, you will stay another night in Fitzroy Crossing, allowing you to take the time you need to uncover the beauty that lies within Geikie Gorge National Park and Mimbi Caves. Geikie Gorge National Park is first on the agenda, which you can explore on foot through a range of trails and walks, or by boat. Boat tours organised by the Department of Parks and Wildlife run from May to October, or alternatively, you could opt for an indigenous tour to learn more about local indigenous culture, taking in such fascinating subjects as bush tucker and bush medicine. 

Within the imposing gorge runs the Fitzroy River, home to freshwater barramundi, the rare leichardt’s sawfish and the coach whip stingray. Keep an eye out for ancient fossils and native wildlife – including freshwater crocodiles – as you explore the area.

On to Mimbi Caves, which is perhaps one of the Kimberley’s best kept secrets. Situated on Gooniyandi land, this vast subterranean labyrinth sits at the foot of the Emmanuel Ranges, offering visitors a glimpse at an amazing range of fish fossils and a significant collection of Aboriginal rock art. Take a tour of the caves to find out more about their geological and cultural significance, and consider staying overnight at the caves campground instead of returning to Fitzroy Crossing, to enjoy modern amenities, hot showers and a friendly welcome.

 

Day 4
Fitzroy Crossing to Broome

Distance 396km - Driving Time 5 hours

After packing up you will retrace your steps back towards Broome. Broome itself is an awesome place to explore by campervan, so it’s a good idea to set aside a day or two to see the sights before you fly out or continue on your campervan adventure. Built on the pearling trade, the town has a rich and colourful history. Take time out to enjoy its laid-back tropical vibe and sample some local flavours. Hop on a walking tour to uncover the town’s Aboriginal past, or head out on a boat tour to spot rare snubfin dolphins. Whatever you do though, don’t miss the chance to see Cable Beach at sunset. That’s a sight you’ll never forget.