An epic 11 day journey through the National Parks, outback towns and towering gorges of the stunning Kimberley Region in Australia's undiscovered North West.
UNFORGETTABLE SIGHTSEEING EXPERIENCES
- Darwin and Broome
- Katherine Gorge cruise
- El Questro Station
- Ord River Jet Boat
- Hidden Valley National Park
- Lirrgarn Argyle Diamond Mine
- Geikie Gorge cruise
- Hoochery Distillery
- Argyle Downs Homestead
Day 1: Welcome to Darwin
This afternoon enjoy a tour of this tropical city. See the mixture of old and new architectural styles and cultural influences including old Government House and the new Northern Territory Parliament building. You'll also see for yourself some of the damage caused to the town during Cyclone Tracy of 1974. Enjoy a Welcome Reception and dinner this evening with your Travel Director and fellow travellers at Wharf One with its spectacular views overlooking the Darwin Waterfront.
Hotel: Mantra Esplanade, Darwin (D)
Day 2: Darwin - Katherine
Travel south along the Stuart Highway stopping at Adelaide River War Cemetery along the way. During WWII, Adelaide River was the headquarters of a large military base. A large cemetery was created especially for those who gave their lives in the service and defense of their country. This afternoon you continue through Katherine to Nitmiluk National Park. Take a relaxing cruise at Katherine Gorge where you'll really feel the spirituality of the land and marvel at the gorges while you spot wildlife and learn about the history and culture of the local Traditional Owners, the Jawoyn people. Later on you’ll meet Tom Curtain and experience his spectacular Outback show, it will be an experience you’ll never forget. Tonight you'll have dinner at your hotel. Tonight you'll have dinner at your hotel.
Hotel: Paraway Motel, Katherine (BD)
Day 3: Katherine - Kununurra
Watch the landscape transform as you journey across vast pastoral leases and Aboriginal homelands into Western Australia. Visit the historic Durack Homestead Museum. The homestead was originally built in 1895 by the famous pioneering Durack family on Argyle Downs Station. It was faithfully removed brick by brick and reconstructed to become a museum when Lake Argyle, Australia's largest man-made lake was filled. Later, cruise along the Ord River from Lake Argyle to Kununurra. Prior to Lake Argyle being filled, the Ord River only flowed during the wet season between December and March, now the permanent water supply supports an abundance of life including fish, birds, marsupials and amphibians. Experience a magical sunset on the water before you arrive in Kununurra.
Hotel: Kununurra Country Club, Kununurra, 2 nights (BD)
Day 4: Kununurra
Today you can take an optional early morning scenic flight over the spectacular Bungle Bungle beehive domes before a tour of Kununurra, or you may like to forgo your tour of Kununurra for a full day, in depth 4WD tour of the Bungle Bungle. Kununurra is the hub of local industry for agriculture, tourism and mining in the East Kimberley. On your tour of the town today, you'll visit Mirima National Park, which is home to a big variety of wildlife including many species of birds, all manner of reptiles, wallabies, bats, dingoes and echidna.The National Park has great cultural significance to the local Miriwoong people and features intriguing natural rock formations. Afterwards you'll have time to view the town from Kelly’s Knob Lookout before enjoying a free afternoon to relax and unwind. This evening, you’re invited to a privately hosted ‘Be My Guest’ dinner at the Kununurra Sandalwood Factory in the heartland of Kununurra’s Sandalwood plantations. Enjoy a presentation by a local Sandalwood expert and learn about this fascinating industry while you dine on fresh locally grown produce from the Ord Valley, Australia’s next ‘food bowl’. (BD)
Day 5: Kununurra – Emma Gorge
First up visit Hoochery Distillery, makers of Ord River Rum, the only rum made in Western Australia! Take a guided tour and hear how Spike Dessert and his family came to open the distillery, before you sit down and try their famous Ord River Rum Cake for morning tea. Delish! Travel to Parry Lagoons Nature Reserve (weather permitting) to see the birdlife of this region. Marglu Billabong is an important waterbird feeding and breeding area and it's even a stop off point for migratory birds that come from as far away as Siberia! You'll see egrets, herons, ibises, magpie geese and maybe even a few jabirus and lurking crocodiles. Continue to the Gibb River Road and travel to El Questro Wilderness Park for your stay at Emma Gorge Resort. Nestled at the foot of the rusty red Cockburn Ranges, you won't even know the resort is there as you approach down the dusty dirt road, but before you know it, an oasis of native pandanus and palms appear. Staying in safari style tented cabins, you really feel like you're immersed in nature. It's just magic!
Hotel: Emma Gorge Resort, El Questro, 2 nights (BD)
Day 6: El Questro
This morning rise to the calls of native birds and head to the resort's large verandah for a hearty breakfast with views of the surrounding ranges. Next up you'll travel across the Pentecost River to the hub of El Questro Wilderness Park for a cruise on Chamberlain Gorge, a fresh waterhole fringed by tropical vegetation and 60 metre tall escarpments. Afterwards, spend a little time at the station and grab a bite for lunch before it's back to Emma Gorge Resort. This afternoon is free for you to relax and enjoy your surrounds. Maybe take a dip in the resort pool, lay back with a good book on your cabin's verandah or if you're up for it, join your Travel Director for a challenging hike to Emma Gorge for a dip in the crystal clear waterhole. This evening after dinner, sit back with a drink and enjoy local entertainment. (BD)
Day 7: Emma Gorge – Halls Creek
Today visit the Argyle Diamond Mine. Located at the traditional Barramundi Dreaming site at Barramundi Gap, it's the world's largest supplier of natural coloured diamonds. The mine has been operating since 1983 and has produced 800 million carats of rough diamond since! A local Indigenous guide will join you for an extensive behind the scenes look at the diamond mining process and cultural significance of the mine site. Continue south to the historic town of Halls Creek, situated on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert, at the doorstep of the World Heritage listed Purnululu National Park. The town is rich in Aboriginal and European history and culture. It's passed by Aboriginal songlines and trading paths stretching from coast to coast and is nearby a site where prospector, Charlie Hall found a one kilogram gold nugget in 1885.
Hotel: Kimberley Hotel, Halls Creek (BLD)
Day 8: Halls Creek – Fitzroy Crossing
Travel through the Kimberley to the remote township of Fitzroy Crossing. Stop at the Yiyili Indigenous community. Yiyili is home to approximately 250 residents living scattered across Louisa Downs, a cattle property owned and operated by the community. In the late 80’s the station was handed back to the Cox family and then leased by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) from the family on a 99 year lease. The majority of the residents are Cox family members. You'll get the chance to meet some of the family at Laari Gallery, an art gallery located at the community. This afternoon cruise with a local guide through Geikie Gorge, which was formed by the waters of the Fitzroy River tunnelling through the Napier Range. During the wet season, the Fitzroy River rises over 16 metres, staining the limestone walls of the gorge and flooding the national park with seven metres of water. In the dry season, the river transforms itself into a quiet stream strung beneath the towering cliffs of the Devonian Reef. Watch for freshwater crocodiles, fruit bats and wallabies as the 30 metre high walls of the gorge tower above you.
Hotel: Fitzroy River Lodge, Fitzroy Crossing (BLD)
Day 9: Fitzroy Crossing - Broome
Travel to the tropical resort town of Broome on the Indian Ocean. On arrival, enjoy a Broome city sights tour with your Travel Director, before sitting back and relax with a drink to watch the spectacular sunset over the ocean.
Hotel: Cable Beach Resort and Spa, Broome 2 nights (B)
Day 10: Broome
Today you have a full day to explore this tropical hideaway. At some stage you may enjoy a leisurely stroll along the 22 kilometres of pristine sand and swim in the turquoise water that is Cable Beach. Wander through Chinatown or shop for pearls. This evening join your travelling companions for dinner to celebrate your wonderful trip across the Kimberley. (BD)
Day 11: Farewell from Broome
Bid farewell to your travelling companions when your trip comes to an end after breakfast. (B)
Tour available May to September only.
11 Day Guided Tour - from £3625
with flights from £4180
All prices are per person, based on 2 sharing a twin room, and include meals where shown - (B)reakfast, (L)unch (D)inner. Call Freedom Australia for departure dates and availability. Itineraries outlined are for departures from 01 April 2017. Itineraries for 2016/2017 departures may vary. Ask you consultant for details.
First class touring with like minded travellers. Our experienced guides will make sure you don't miss a thing.
Your guided tour includes:
- Sightseeing, walks and activities
- Luxury air conditioned coach travel
- En suite hotel accommodation
- Daily breakfast and meals shown
- Extra night options
- Return airport transfers
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