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All about the 20 Day Perth to Darwin Camping Adventure Tour
Our Perth to Darwin camping adventure runs from May to September. Travel the entire West Coast in 3 weeks off the beaten track as you discover the raw desert landscapes and stunning coastline of Western Australia and the Kimberley on this ultimate overland tour. Explore the major highlights between Perth and Darwin at a slower pace, allowing you to really get to know the wild west coast.
Experience the local knowledge of a passionate guide and the magic of camping under the great southern sky, Australian-style. The Pinnacles, Kalbarri National Park, Monkey Mia and Coral Bay are total highlights on the first 5 days of the tour. The cattle stations, red earth and mining communities of the Pilbara is reminiscent of the sun-baked Australia much of the world imagines. Hike and swim in the ancient gorges and waterholes of Karijini National Park. You will do many great things and see plenty of great places, includes lots of coastal stuff but we also head inland to visit Karijini National Park and the Kimberley.
Travelling the full length of the West Coast of Western Australia, this tour is a classic expedition style of trip. means small groups, bush camping in wild places and heaps of adventure.
20 Day Perth to Darwin Camping Adventure Tour Itinerary - 20 days
Perth to Murchison House Station Bush Camp
We pick up in Perth City at 6 am and Northbridge at 6.20am, getting out of the city nice and early our first stop is Nambung National Park, home of the Pinnacles.
From here we continue our trek north to Kalbarri National Park, we explore some of the coastal areas of Kalbarri in the afternoon which can include sections of the Bigurda Trail & Eagle Gorge. After a few outdoor activities, we’ll head for our first bush camp of the tour.
Our bush camping is something which sets us apart and one of the great experiences that we will have on tour. We seek out camping spots which are located in beautiful wilderness areas and immerse ourselves in the landscape. Where possible we have a campfire and we use swags and tents, swags can be used under the stars or in the tents.
Our first campsite is located on private property along the Murchison River.
Highlights of today are Nambung National Park, Pinnacles Desert, Kalbarri Coast. Camp: Private Wilderness Camp on Station Country – River Side. Activities: Hiking approx 3km
Murchison House Station Bush Camp to Shell Beach Bush Camp
The beauty of bush camping is that we rise with the sun and get moving early. From our river camp, we head back to Kalbarri National Park where we explore the inland gorges of the park including Murchison Gorge & Nature's Window.
From Kalbarri we head north towards Shark Bay and Monkey Mia, we visit Hemelin Pool, Shell beach before settling down to another night around the campfire
Highlights of day 2 are Kalbarri National Park, Murchison Gorge and Z Bend, Nature's Window, Hemelin Pool, Shell Beach. Camp: Private Wilderness Camp on Station Country – Coastal. Activities: Hiking approx 3 - 6km
Monkey Mia to Coral Bay
We rise nice and early and head for Monkey Mia to meet the dolphins.
Arriving at Monkey Mia we spend some quality time with the Dolphins and participate in a feeding session. Wild dolphins have been visiting the shoreline at Monkey Mia virtually every day for over 40 years, making this spot in the Shark Bay World Heritage Area one of the best and most reliable places for dolphin interaction in the world.
The dolphin interactions are regulated by rangers and a few lucky visitors are selected to hand-feed the Dolphins a small amount of fish.
From Monkey Mia we wave goodbye to our aquatic friends and head for Coral Bay
We have a few camping options at Coral Bay including bush camps or the comfy campground.
Highlights of day 3 Shark Bay and Monkey Mia. Camp: Bush Camp or Campground. Activities: Short Walks, total approx 2km.
Coral Bay to Exmouth
We spend all day at Coral Bay where there is a variety of activities to suit all tastes and budgets, including; Relaxing and swimming on the beach, Hiring snorkels and exploring the bay, Joining a Manta Ray Snorkeling Boat Cruise, Joining a Whale Shark Snorkeling Boat Cruise (in season).
In the afternoon we head back to our camp on the Exmouth Peninsula
Highlights of today are Coral Bay – Free day relaxing or optional snorkel hire and boat cruises. Camp: Private Wilderness Camp on Station Country – Coastal. Activities: Swimming, Snorkeling, and Boat Cruises
Today you have the chance to jump on a boat cruise of your own choice to go snorkeling, diving, search for whale sharks (in season) or Manta Rays, boat cruises are at your own expense.
For those not cruising we explore the peninsula including special places lie Turquoise Bay, where the coral reef comes right up to the beach, we spend quality time here exploring the reef where we see tropical fish and if lucky turtles and dolphins.
In addition to Turquoise Bay, the Cape Range National Park is home to Yardie Creek, a coastal gorge where there are a great hike and more swimming opportunities.
We access another private wilderness camp right on the Exmouth Bay and enjoy some time under the stars and around the campfire.
Highlights of today Turquoise Bay, Yardie Creek. Camp: Yardie Creek Station. Activities: Swimming, Snorkeling and Hiking approx 3km
Yardie Creek Station to Karijini National Park
Today we say goodbye to the West Coast for a few days and head inland to the spectacular Karijini National Park.
Karijini is regularly voted as a highlight of the trip and we spend the final days of the tour exploring the spectacular gorges and waterfalls of this highly rated destination.
We spend 2 nights in the National Park Campground which gives us easy access to the plethora of amazing places to swim, hike and explore.
Due to our small group size, we don’t muck around and are normally able to get to Karijini, set up camp and still have time to do some exploring and swimming at Circular Pool on day 6.
Explore Karijini National Park
We have the next 2 days to explore what many people rate as their favorite Australian destination, Karijini National Park.
Slot canyons, deep gorges, and waterfalls abound in this outback oasis.
Tour participants also have the opportunity to join a canyoning tour (at own expense) for 1 of these days, enabling them to explore some of the areas restricted to rope access only.
Day 7 we normally head over the Weano area where we find; Weano Gorge, Hancock Gorge, Red Gorge, Handrail Pool
There is so much to explore and some great hiking and swimming for the whole day
At the end of Day 7, we return to camp and cook up another feast.
Highlights of today are Karijini National Park, Weano Gorge, Hancock Gorge, Red Gorge, Handrail Pool.
Camp: Bush Camp, National Park Facility
Activities: Swimming, Hiking up to 10km
Karijini National Park to Boney Downs Station
On day 8 we normally check out the East Karijini delights of Fortescue Falls, Fern Pool & Dales Gorge. Again an action packed day exploring, hiking and swimming.
In the afternoon we head off a short distance to our final wilderness camp for the tour, some beautiful and rugged Pilbara country just to the east of Karijini National Park, again we have a private spot located on a cattle station where we can crank up the campfire and cook up a feast.
Highlights Fortescue Falls, Fern Pool, Dales Gorge
Camp: Private Wilderness Camp on Station Country – Pilbara Ranges
Activities: Swimming, Hiking up to 6km
Bush camp to Broome
Today we push through the Pilbara region via Marble Bar, home to the famous Iron Clad Hotel where we can stop for a refreshment and good Aussie hospitality.
Marble Bar is a unique outback town with a strong history, it also claims the title of Australia’s hottest town, summers are always up there in the high 40’s however back in 1922, long before anyone had invented air conditioning it got to a whopping 49.2C!
We gradually leave the rugged Pilbara behind us on a network or dirt roads and emerge back to the west coast near 80-mile beach south of Broome. After a refreshing swim, we push on to Broome where we finish our expedition with a swim and classic Cable Beach Sunset.
Highlights 80 Mile Beach, 4WD is required today to access 80 Mile Beach, Bush Camp Bore Line.
Day 10 and 11
Free time in Broome. Relax at your accommodation (dorm accommodation included) around the pool or head to Cable Beach to work on the tan.
Broome to Tunnel Creek
Leaving the comfort of the coastal community behind we head East for what many consider to be one of the last great expanses of rugged wilderness areas remaining in the world, the mighty Kimberley Region of Northern Western Australia.
Our first stop is the famous prison tree near Derby, a huge hollowed out Boab tree which was used as a prison in the early pioneering days, this is not only an amazing natural wonder but also gives us an insight into to challenging the relationship between the early settlers and Aboriginal people of the Kimberley.
Next, we head to Windjana Gorge, a huge gorge cut into the ranges over the millennium to reveal beautiful scenery of high vertical cliffs, sandy beaches and meandering creek. We head off on a hike at Windjana of about 2km and often see freshwater crocodiles swimming in the clear waterholes.
From Windjana it’s off to our first wilderness bush camp.
Bush camping is a great experience whether you are an experienced outback driver or first time city slicker, we have been in the Kimberley for such a long time that we have established relationships with the local landholders, both Cattle Stations and Custodians of Aboriginal Land, and we have permission to camp in wild places that are off limits to the public. These camping spots are normally in pristine wilderness and remote areas, setting up a campfire, cooking up a feast on the fire and then rolling out the swags in these places is a special experience, and our first camp is a cracker! Tents are provided for those a little nervous about the under the stars experience.
Highlights of today are Windjana Gorge, Derby. Camp: Private Wilderness Camp - 4WD required to access
Tunnel Creek to Bush Camp
With no roof over our heads, the breaking dawn is our new alarm clock and we rise early. The mobile phones get packed up with the camping gear as they become useless and we head off nice and early for our first activity, exploring Tunnel Creek.
Tunnel Creek is an amazing natural phenomenon and holds great significance to the local Aboriginal people, and getting there early normally guarantees we have the place for ourselves. It is a 750 metre long stretch of creek, which runs underground through one of the oldest cave systems in Western Australia. Many Aboriginal rock paintings are present in the cave and it was a hideout of the Aboriginal warrior, Jandamarra in 1897.
From Tunnel Creek we get on the Gibb River Road, a 700km long outback dirt road which runs between Derby and Kununurra, it’s not the easiest route, the track is often rough, there are a number or deep water crossings and a 4WD vehicle is essential. However it’s an amazing travel route as along the length of the Gibb River Road are vast tracts of wilderness and numerous rivers, gorges and waterfalls to explore.
The first waterfall is Bell Gorge. After a short 15 minute walk, we come to a beautiful creek, which flows through the centre of this impressive gorge and cascades over numerous falls. A deep swimming hole at the base of the main waterfall, surrounded by shady ledges and high cliffs, is an ideal lunch spot.
From Bell Gorge we push on along the Gibb for a little before finding our 2nd bush Camp for the night, another remote wilderness location where we collect firewood, set up camp and settle in for the night.
Highlights of today are Tunnel Creek, Bell Gorge. Camp: Private Wilderness Camp - 4WD required to access.
Bush Camp to Manning Gorge
Another day of adventure awaits. Emerging from camp it’s back on the Gibb River Road and onto Manning Gorge where we spend most of the day. White sandy beaches with a Pandanus tree-lined waterway opening into a wide clear waterhole greet us only minutes after starting the walk. We must swim across the river before following a trail leading to the top of the gorge. The gorge has a waterfall plus a deep wide swimming hole surrounded by granite cliffs & rock outcrops. It is a spectacular setting with hidden examples of Bradshaw Aboriginal Rock Art.
The return route from Manning Gorge is a little less conventional as we swim and rock hop along the creek before reaching the main waterhole where it started.
Depending on the time available, Galvan’s and/or Adcock Gorge’s are also visited.
Camp tonight is either at Manning Gorge, where toilets and showers are available or back into the bush depending on the preference of your guide.
Highlights of day 14 are Adcock Gorge, Galvan’s Gorge, Manning Gorge
Camp: Manning Gorge - 4WD required to access
Manning Gorge to Pentacost River
An early morning swim at Manning Gorge is a great way to wake up. From here it’s back on “The Gibb” where we continue on our Easterly trek
There is a variety great spots to stop and check out, including secluded waterholes and Ellenbrae Cattle Station.
Arriving at the Pentecost River we are presented with an incredible landscape of a wide river surrounded by rugged Cockburn Ranges, a classic Kimberley scene.
Here we need to drive the 4WD through the Pentecost River, driving a vehicle across a 60 metre wide outback river which is occupied by Salt Water Crocodiles is not something you do every day, but it’s only way through so across we go. Another bush camp under the stars awaits us.
Highlights of day 15 are Barnet River Gorge, Ellenbrae Station, Cockburn Range, Pentacost River.
Camp: Private Wilderness Camp - 4WD required to access
Pentacost River to Purnululu National Park
A short distance from the Pentecost is El Questro Station, home of more beautiful landscapes, one of which is Emma Falls. A hike through a spectacular gorge takes us to very high and narrow falls with a deep cool plunge pool where we can swim.
From El Questro, we head to one of the highlights of this Kimberley trip, Purnululu National Park, more commonly known as the Bungle Bungles.
Our time in this region is spent hiking and exploring the Gorges and amazing landscapes the area contains. The long and dusty track into the Bungles is spectacular; it winds its way through valleys, over ranges, and through creeks before arriving at what must be one of the world’s most unique landscapes.
The day ends with a spectacular sunset from a vantage point at camp.
Highlights of day 16 are Purnululu National Park. Camp: National Park Bush Camp – 4WD required to access.
Purnululu National Park to Bush Camp
With an early rise we are able to take advantage of a spectacular Bungle Bungles sunrise, from our vantage point we watch the show with a cup of tea or coffee and breakfast from a remote location.
A short drive from the sunrise area is the trailhead for the Cathedral Gorge hike, a spectacular hike through the beehive formations to Cathedral Gorge. The gorge itself is one of the most impressive geological formations you are likely to see anywhere.
From here there is the opportunity to take a scenic flight over the Bungles, helicopter rides from 18 minutes are available. From the air, the Bungles take on a completely new perspective and the open chopper is sensational. Scenic flights are at your own expense and organized on the day.
We then head off for Echidna Chasm for a hike into the domes, following a creek to its source at a narrow passage buried within the Bungles.
After lunch, we depart Purnululu and locate our bush camp, this time on a lovely creek with a sandy beach.
Highlights are Purnululu National Park
Camp: Private Wilderness Camp - 4WD required to access
Bush Camp to Lake Argyle
From our bush camp, we head for Kununurra, the first sign of civilization we have seen for a week. As we approach town the mobile phones start beeping and we take the opportunity to catch up on the world with some free time in this classic outback town while your guide replenishes supplies.
From Kununurra, we head to Lake Argyle for what is regularly voted as the highlight of the tour. Lake Argyle is a huge freshwater lake teeming with wildlife, from wallabies in the rocky shores, to freshwater crocodiles to birdlife. We board a boat where a local guide shows us the lake, there is time to swim before we watch the sunset from the water and then camp on one of the remote islands.
This is a great experience, knowing you are the only people on a single island in the middle of one of the most remote lakes in the world is unforgettable.
We have a campfire, the sky is full of stars and the cool water is inviting to those brave souls who want a midnight swim.
Highlights on day 18 Kununurra, Lake Argyle
Camp: Private Island Camp – Boat required to access
Lake Argyle to Victoria River
The sunrise from our island camp is again unforgettable. We pack up camp, re-board the boat and head back to our vehicle. From Lake Argyle, we push East towards the Northern Territory border and Keep River National Park. Keep River is another amazing location where there are a number of hikes we can take before settling down for another bush camp.
Highlights on day 19 Lake Argyle, Victoria River
Camp: Private Wilderness Camp - 4WD required to access
Victoria River to Darwin
On the final day of our big adventure, we arrive in Katherine. We explore or Edith Falls within Nitmiluk National Park, which offers more adventure, hiking, swimming and spectacular landscapes.
We normally arrive into Darwin at around 6 pm, your guide will conclude the tour by dropping you off at your accommodation.
Highlights on this day are Edith Falls, Katherine.
|Tour code: TW20PD|
Pay on board fee for Lake Argyle cruise
2018 May: 18. Jun: 09, 30. Jul: 23. Aug: 14, Sep: 05, 26.
Important NotesThings you need to know about this tour
This package is a combination of 2 tours + accommodation. Tour 1: 9 Day Darwin to Broome 4WD Adventure. Accommodation: 3 nights dorm accommodation in Broome at the Kimberley Klub YHA. Tour 2: 9 Day Broome to Perth Adventure.
Travel Insurance is highly recommended. Problems requiring insurance are rare, however, situations can arise when you will be glad you have it, eg injuries, medical evacuations, loss or damage of personal items etc. Get a quote here.
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