Crossing the border from Western Australia into Northern Territory
Broome to Darwin
Best Time of the Year
May - August
- Road to Cape Leveque
- El Questro Wilderness Park
- Manning Gorge
- Gunlom Pool
We picked up our Britz Outback 4WD at the Britz branch. We didn't drive very far on the first day and set up our tent at the Cable Beach Campground, which was recommended by the guys at Britz. The tent is super easy to set up and we explored Broome over the next two days. We watched the sunset at Cable Beach on the first day. You can drive with your 4WD down to the beach from the Sunset Café. It is also the right spot to see the camels walking on the beach in the sunset! Just amazing! On the second day we drove to Gantheaume Point and watched the Staircase to the Moon at Town Beach. We were very lucky to be here at the right time of the month to see that spectacular event.
Check out all you need to know on Broome.
We went to the supermarket and camping shop in Broome, stocked up for the next couple of days and headed towards Cape Leveque. The road was mainly unsealed and sometime very deep and sandy. A lot of fun to drive and in the end turned out to be the best road experience – way better than driving on the Gibb (except for the fun at El Questro Wilderness Park).
Our destination for the next two days was the Cygnet Bay Campground. One of the best campgrounds we ever stayed in. You have direct access to the beach and you can watch the sunset and the stars. You are allowed to light up a fire on the beach or at your campground. We booked a pearl farm tour there and it was very interesting. They also offer a lot of great boat trips.
From the top of the Dampier Peninsula we drove halfway back to Broome. We stopped at Cape Leveque. The blue colors of the ocean, the white beaches and the red rocks make this place unforgettable and it is just amazing to walk there on the beach. It is also allowed to swim or snorkel there. After that we set up camp at Whalesong Campground, right on top of the red cliffs with an amazing view over a long deserted beach. We had a campfire and watched the sunset and the milkyway from our campground.
The next day we woke up to a stunning sunrise. We decided to stay one night longer. This place is perfect for a beach walk. You can see locals fishing on the beach. We relaxed a little bit at the restaurant, where we had an excellent pizza and cappuccino so far. It is a beautiful place; you should definitely make a stop there!
Willie Creek and Broome
After another beautiful sunrise at Whalesound Campground, we drove back to Broome and visited the Malcolm Douglas Crocodile Park. They open at 2pm and will feed the crocs one hour later. It was very interesting to see the different crocs, the salties, freshies... and after the tour you know a lot more a bout these dinosaurs.
After the tour we visited the Willie Creek Pearl Farm and spent a night at the beautiful creek with the sandbanks and the turquoise water! The next day we spent one night in Broome to prepare everything for the next nine days on the Gibb River Road.
We stopped around Derby at the Boab Prison Tree and had lunch there. After that we started the Gibb River Road. The way to Windjana Gorge was mostly sealed and the road was in good condition. The campground at Windjana Gorge is very nice and we had a beautiful sunset there. Collect some firewood before you drive to the campground!
We stayed one more night at the Windjana campground. It is a perfect base to explore the gorge and the tunnel creek as well. Make sure you have a torch with you when you drive to the tunnel creek, because you have to walk through a dark cave. We went back to our campsite for lunch and walked the trail into the gorge. You can see a lot of freshies laying on the sandbank and swimming in the river. You are not allowed to swim in the river, because of the crocs, but we can recommend sitting on the sandbank and watching the beautiful sunset.
After a short morning walk in the gorge we started our trip to Bell Gorge. You have to cross some small creeks, but with the Outback 4WD it is no problem at all to drive through. The pools at the end of the trail are perfect for swimming, the view at the waterfalls is great and you don't have to worry about the cro cs as there are none at Bell Gorge. We spent the afternoon there and set up our tent at Bell Creek Campground. The facilities are similar to the one at Windjana Gorge and very nice and clean.
The way to Manning Gorge from the campsite was 2.5km of walking each way. A little bit longer than to Bell Gorge but also worth it. The water is perfect for swimming and the pool with the waterfall is amazing. We spent the whole afternoon there and camped at the Manning campsite. The campground is private and more expensive than the other ones (45AUD for two people).
The facilities are OK but not as nice as the campgrounds before. (Don't set up your tent to close to the toilets, because the generator will run the whole night.) There are also free campgrounds in this area, so you don't have to stay there. But don't forget to get fuel at Mount Barnett Roadhouse!
Stop at Ellenbrae Station and you will find the best scones on the Gibb. It is a great station stay with two different campgrounds and cabins as well. This place is definitely more remote than the other gorges. You have two waterholes where you can swim and the river is perfect for kayaking. If you need to repair a tyre or need a hand for anything else with your car, Logan will help you, but all should be good when you drive a Britz Outback 4WD.
We stayed three nights at the El Questro wilderness camp. Why? It is 4WD paradise. You drive through big, deep rivers, over sand and stones and it is so much fun. You have everything you need there. The food is really good; you can buy WiFi and nearly every evening there is live music at the bar. If you want people around you to chat, choose the campground close to the restaurant. If you want to have your own piece of land, they have pivate bush campsites. You are alone there in the middle of nowhere, you can light your own campfire and enjoy the stars over your tent. If you want to camp on a bush campsite book in advance!
There is so much to see: the gorges, the river, hot springs, beautiful lookouts, you can go horseback riding... if we had more time we would have stayed even longer! It is a popular place, but there are so many tracks in this million-acre wilderness park, that you will not have a lot of people around you. On our last day we drove to Emma Gorge early in the morning. It is a 45-minute walk to this beautiful gorge with a nice waterfall. The water is freezing cold, but there is a warm current on the right side of the pool.
We stayed here for two nights and went to the supermarket in the morning to buy new food for the next few days. In the afternoon, we visited Kangaroo Haven to feed the baby kangaroos. You have to call Mandy before you visit here. Feeding time is at 3.30pm and during the weekends at 2pm.
It is a long day on the road. We had only one stop at a picnic site on the way and bought some stuff in Katherine at the supermarket. We decided to stay in Pine Creek at the Lazy Lizard Tavern and Caravan Park. The campground was OK, but nothing special. But you will find WiFi there. We stayed for only one night to enter the Kakadu National Park early in the morning. When it's holiday time in Australia, you should not arrive too late on the campsites.
We drove to the Gunlom campsite and set up our tent. The facilities are OK, not as good as the ones on the Gibb but still not bad. The weather (end of June) is getting hotter and perfect for a swim in the Gunlom pool. The hike to the pools took us around half an hour. The view is amazing. We stayed there for a few hours and walked back to the campground after sunset. If you wait there long enough, most of the people will go back earlier and you will be the only ones up there.
If you don't want to spend money for one of the river cruises in Kakadu, but you want to see the salties, go to the Cahill Crossing at the East Alligator River. The best time to see the crocs is when the tide is high. You can ask at the visitor centre about the times! We saw two crocs there! On our last night we stayed at the Merl Campground. A good spot to start the Ubirr Walk in the afternoon! It is perfect for sunset and we enjoyed every minute on our last night in the wilderness!
We drove back to Darwin and dropped off the Britz Outback. We loved every minute in the camper and on the road. It was just a perfect time in Australia. During all these days we looked at lots of different campervans and 4WDs, but the Britz Outback with the ground tent is still our favourite! And for the best ending of your trip you can possibly get, plan to be in Darwin on the 1st of July – Territory Day. People go crazy about fireworks and the NT government hosts an amazing beach concert with a huge fireworks display at Mindil Beach. EPIC.
Road trip highlights:
Where was the best view?
Gunlom lookout during sunset.
Where did you stop for a picnic?
Ellenbrae Station – and had the best scones after lunch.
Where was your favourite place/town visited and why?
Dampier Peninsula because of the stunning colours (red sand, blue water, white sandy beaches).
What was your favourite experience/activity and why?
Driving the 4WD tracks at El Questro (best river crossings, sandy tracks, very steep).
To explore the Dampier Peninsula. These are the best campgrounds we have ever stayed at. The landscape is amazing. Great place to sit at the campfire and watch the stars.
Best café for coffee?
Whalesong Campground, Dampier Peninsula.
The restaurant at Cygnet Bay! The fresh oysters are so tasty.
Did you have a favourite holiday park you stayed in and why?
Cygnet Bay, Whalesong, Ellenbrae Station, El Questro Bush campsites.
What would be your top tips for other campervan travellers?
Collect some firewood and drive with your 4WD to a remote campground. Light a fire at your campground or the beach closeby and watch the stars!
Can you share a recipe from something you cooked in the campervan?
Kangaroo patties served with a fresh mixed salad. You definitely can eat healthy on a roadtrip!
What is your greatest memory of the whole campervan holiday?
Everything! Our trip was perfect!