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Darwin to Perth Drive

 


Campervan Touring Information

The Kimberley in 6 days

Distance

Darwin to Broome: 1,870 km | 21 hrs

The stunning and surreal landscapes of the Kimberley region are like nowhere else on earth. Access to the Bungle Bungles and Purnululu National Park is by 4WD due to creek crossings. It's definitely not suited to campervans. But don't let this deter you. You could take a tour ($315 per person) or rent a 4WD from $70 per day out of Kununurra. Kununurra is 4 hr and 45 min from Purnululu, so this option will add a day to this Kimberley tour. All stops are mapped at the bottom of the article.

This is part of the Darwin to Perth Road Trip and you can find the Broome to Perth itinerary here


Darwin to Broome Itinerary

We're adding in some optional days in the Northern Territory at the beginning in case you have not already experienced these places. 

Optional Darwin to Katherine – 4 days

Day 1: Darwin to Litchfield National Park - 116 km | 1 hr 20 m
Day 2: Nitmiluk National Park - Edith Falls - 230 km | 2 hr 35 m
Day 3: Nitmiluk National Park - Katherine Gorge - 90 km | 1 hr 20 m
Day 4: Katherine and Cutta Cutta Caves - 28 km | 30 m

Katherine to Broome – 6 days (Itinerary below)

Day 1: Katherine to Kununurra and Lake Argyle – 515 km | 6 hr 45 m
Day 2: Wyndham and Parry's Lagoon – 112 km | 1 hr 45 min 
Optional day: Purnululu and the Bungle Bungles (if hiring 4WD, add a day)
Day 3 & 4: Wyndham/Kununurra to Purnululu – 300 km | 4 hr 45 min 
Day 5: Fitzroy Crossing –- 438 km | 6 hr
Day 6: Broome – 400 km | 4.5 hr


Broome to Darwin Itinerary

Katherine to Broome – 6 days (Itinerary below)

Day 1: Broome to Fitzroy Crossing – 400 km | 4.5 hr
Day 2: Purnululu –- 438 km | 6 hr 
Day 3 & 4: Wyndham and Parry's Lagoon – 300 km | 4 hr 45 min 
Day 5: Kununurra and Lake Argyle – 112 km | 1 hr 45 min  
Optional 2 days: Purnululu National Park and the Bungle Bungles (if hiring 4WD, add a day)  
Day 6: Kununurra to Katherine  – 515 km | 6 hr 45 m

Optional Katherine to Darwin – 4 days 

Day 7: Nitmiluk National Park - Katherine Gorge – 28 km | 30 m
Day 8: Nitmiluk National Park - Edith Falls – 90 km | 1 hr 20 m
Day 9: Litchfield National Park  – 250 km | 2 hr 45 m  
DAY 10: Darwin – 140 km | 1 hr 40 m

boab parry
Boab trees near Parry Lagoon. Photo: kimberleyspirittours via IG

Kununurra and Lake Argyle

Distances

From Katherine – 515 km | 6 hr 45 m
From Judbarra Gregory National Park – 285 km | 3 hr 45 m
From Wyndham –  100 km | 1 hr 15 m
From Purnululu –  290 km 4 hr 30 m

Kununurra is the first town you’ll come to upon entering Western Australia from the Northern Territory.  It is a green oasis on a river surrounded by the red landscapes of the Kimberley. 

Things to do in Kununurra

Lake Argyle lies an hour south of Kununurra. After so much flat desert you’ll be pleased to know that man-made Lake Argyle has hills (The Carr Boyd Ranges), greenery, and water. Lots of water. Lake Argyle covers 1000 km2, an area 18 times the size of Sydney Harbour. At full flood level that area doubles!
mirima  kununurra
Mirima National Park, Kununurra. Photo: alana.vic via IG
mirima kununurra
Mirima National park, Kununurra. Photo: irishozy via IG
mirima  kununurra
Mirima National Park, Kununurra. Photo: linc_53 via IG
mirima kununurra
Mirima National Park, Kununurra. Photo: nicfrazee

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Things to do in Lake Argyle

  • Visit the museum and learn about the creation of the dam and lake
  • Drive over the dam wall
  • Visit Homestead Falls
  • Take a sunset cruise
  • Swim in the infinity pool ($10 if you are not a guest)

Lake Argyle Camping for Campervans

The Caravan Park at Lake Argyle is also a resort and it has an infinity pool with amazing views over Lake Argyle. There is also a restaurant, bar, shop, bait, tour bookings and fuel.
RATES: $17.50/adult (there are family discounts). $10/adult if you just want to use the infinity pool.

lake argyle
The Infinity Pool. Lake Argyle. Photo: thetravellingnomads via IG

lake argyle
Lake Argyle stormy sunset. Photo: nik taverner via IG

carr boyd ranges
The Carr Boyd Ranges around Lake Argyle. Photo: danproud via IG


Parry Lagoon Nature Reserve

Distances

From Kununurra – 70 km | 1 h 15 mins
From Purnululu – 280 km | 4.5 hr

Parry Lagoon is 30 mins north of the Victorian Highway along the Great Northern Highway on the way to Wyndham. Look for a blue sign. Stop at the information bay on the way in to get your bearings.

This wetland area is best visited just after the wet season (The wet season is Dec – Mar) but there is water here all year on waterlily studded Marglu Billabong. You’ll see a lot of waterbirds such as jabirus, spoonbills, herons, magpie geese, waterfowl, pelicans, egrets, ibis, and more. There are bird hides so you can watch them.

Check out the surreal boab forest at Parry Creek Farm.

Do not swim here and keep away from the waters edge. There are crocodiles.

parry creek farm boabs
Parry Creek Farm field of Boabs

 parrys lagoon
Finch at Parry's Lagoon. Photo: rvtrip via IG

parry lagoon
Lily pond at Parry's Lagoon. Photo: petesflap via IG

The Grotto

A little further north, heading toward Wyndham, is the Grotto. It is 2WD accessible but the water dries up in summer so it’s best to visit it just after the wet season, such as in April. It is croc-free and safe for swimming.

There are a lot of stairs. Maybe that’s what keeps the crocs away. There is a tarzan swing which is fun. Take care of submerged rocks before jumping in from a height.

the grotto
The Grotto: Photo: freshwatereastkimberleyapartments via IG

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Wyndham

Wyndham is in two parts; old Wyndham (or Wyndham Port) and Wyndham three Mile (or Wyndham East). Wyndham is the northern most town in Western Australia and is about as isolated as you can get, surrounded by desert and mudflats.

The arrival of the Overland Telegraph Line in 1889 provided the local Aborigines with an excellent source of spearheads because they climbed up the poles and helped themselves to the ceramic insulators.

Population is now 1200 and is partly sustained by tourism.

Things to do in Wyndham

  • Five Rivers Lookout. It is signposted from Wyndham Three Mile and you couldn’t get a better view unless you actually flew over the region. The  five rivers are the Durack, King, and Pentecost to the south, Forrest to the west and Ord to the north.
  • The Big Crocodile at the entrance to Wyndham Three Mile. This 20 metre long crocodile is hard to miss. It was designed and built by sculptor Andrew Hickson and the students from the Halls Creek TAFE using steel rods, mesh and concrete.
  • Wyndham Port has a few old meatworks buildings and a small display of the trains and cranes which operated on the wharf. The Old Post Office (across the road from the low security prison) is now the Tourist Information Centre and Post Office Museum.
  • Wyndham Three Mile - At Wyndham Three Mile the local Aboriginal population have constructed enormous statues depicting an Aboriginal family with a dingo and kangaroo (It is a block east of the main street). In the same street is a open air cinema with comfortable deck chairs, a small screen and enclosed projector booth.
  • The Prison Tree is on the King River road. It is a hollowed out old baobab tree which was used as a temporary lockup by the local police,

Parry Lagoon Campervan Camping

There is camping at Parry Creek Farm. To get to the campsite, keep driving past the information bay on Parry Creek Road.  Facilities include a pool. BBQs, camp kitchen and nature walks.
RATES: Unpowered sites are $15 for up to 8 people.

wyndham prison tree
Prison Tree, Wyndham. Photo: ruivencampers via IG


Bungle Bungles, Purnululu

Distances

Parry Lagoon – 270 km | 4.5 hr
Kununurra – 290 km | 4.5 hr
Fitzroy Crossing – 440 km | 6 hr

The Purnululu National Park and the Bungle Bungles within the park are accessible only by 4WD due to creek crossings. You have two options:

  1. You can take a full day tour from the Bungle Bungle Caravan Park for $315 per person. 
  2. Or you can hire a 4WD vehicle from Kununurra for around $70 per day. Due to the distance from Kununurra, you’ll need the car for at least 2 days and will have to overnight in a tent.

After turning off the highway to Purnululu National Park, stop at the information bay to get your bearings. Further along, the Purnululu Visitor Center (Ranger Station) has maps to the walks and nearest lookouts.

Camping near Purnululu

  • Free Camping - Between Kununurra and Fitzroy Crossing (650 km) there are 5 rest areas where you can camp overnight for free. Just look for the “24hr” blue sign.
  • Budget Camping - Larrawa Bush Camp isn’t free but it has more facilities including hot showers, flushing toilets, internet, BBQs and campfires.
    RATES: $10 per person

bunble bungles
The Bungle Bungles. Photo: seanscottphotography via IG

bungle bungles
Walking among the Bungle Bungles. Photo: wonderlust.perth via IG

purnululu
Purnululu National Park. Photo: stonycreekcampers


Fitzroy Crossing

Distances

From Purnululu National Park - 400 km | 4 hr 10 m
From Kununurra  - 650 km | 6 h 45 m
From Parry Creek Farm – 650 km | 6 hr 45 m
From Broome – 400 km | 4.5 hr 

Mimbi Caves

96 km before you reach Fitzroy Crossing (and 55km after Larrawa Bush Camp) you will see a sign to Mimbi Caves, a series of cave networks carved through the 400 million year old Devonian reef system which includes active growing limestone formations such as shawls and flowstones, some with sparkling crystals.

Book a 3 hour walking tour with Girloorloo Tours a 100% indigenously owned and operated tour company.
RATES: adults $80, kids $40

Mimbi Caves Campervan Camping

There is a campsite at the caves, if you feel like resting up, with swimming holes that are safe for swimming. Facilities include a camp kitchen, toilets, shower and BBQs.
RATES: $14 per person. 

Fitzroy Crossing

Fitzroy is a small town with a 24 hr fuel station, shops, a visitor centre and a place to camp in your campervan The main attraction here is Geikie Gorge National Park – a river carved through weathered sandstone cliffs - which lies 20 km north of town on a sealed road. 1 hr boat tours run from May – October.

Fitzroy Campervan Camping 

Fitzroy River Lodge has a swimming pool, showers, laundry, tennis, bar and pub food. It has grassy sites under shady trees and friendly staff. The amenities are okay.
RATES: $38 for two people.

geikie gorge
Geikie Gorge, Fitzroy Crossing. Photo: estiezz via IG

geikie gorge
Geikie Gorge at Fitzroy Crossing WA. Photo: louisedavey via IG

geikie gorge
Crocodile and tortoise, Geikie Gorge. Photo: studyabroad biodiversity


Broome

From Fitzroy Crossing it is a 4 and a half hour drive to Broome.

Map of the Kimberley Tour

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Queensland 4814 Phone: 1800 216 223

 

Do you have any questions or need additional information?

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