Broome to Kununurra#savannahway
The Kimberley | The Savannah Way
Overview Broome to Kununurra
AUSTRALIA’S NORTH WEST
Travel from the Western Australia coast to the Northern Territory border through the Kimberley.
Begin or end your journey along The Savannah Way in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. The Kimberley is Australia’s last frontier and you need to take time to explore this incredibily diverse area.
7 Day Itinerary: Broome to Kununurra – 1,064 klms
Day 1 – Broome to Derby
In Broome the traveller will find a unique and multicultural town. Originally known for its pearling history, Broome is fast becoming a cosmopoltian town. With its many Kimberley characters and Asian influences, Broome is an outback town with a difference.
Start the journey with a visit to the Broome Visitor Centre to collect maps and advice from the locals for your travel across The Savanah Way. Spend time wandering around Chinatown with its many art galleries, cafes and historical buildings. Broome is known for its famous Cable Beach – white sand stretching for more than 20 kilometres.
Avoid driving the 203 klms stretch to Derby at dawn or dusk due to live stock that may be on the side of the road.
Originally the main town of the Kimberley, Derby is known for its huge tidal movements which can peak at over 11 metres and is the gateway to the unseald Gibb River Road. The unique Prison Boab Tree, just outside of Derby, is a fascinating piece of frontier history.
Early evening, head to the Derby Jetty to experience beautiful sunsets and try your hand at fishing with the locals. The outlying mangroves attract over 210 bird species and you can explore the surrounding natural bushland.
Day 2 – Derby to Windjana Gorge National Park
154.9 klms via Derby-Gibb River Road
Windjana Gorge National Park covers over 2000 hectares and is situated 145 klms east of Derby. There are 2 campsites which include toilets and water.
The 7klm (return) Gorge Walk takes you along the full length of the gorge and back. It runs along the course of the Lennard River where you can get a close look at the gorges resident fruit bats, corellas and freshwater crocodiles.
Day 3 – Windjana Gorge to Fitzroy Crossing
From Windjana Gorge travel to Tunnel Creek to walk through the underground cave. Tunnel Creek National Park is home to Western Australia’s oldest cave system. At least five species of bat are known to use the cave. These include the Western Cave Bat, the common Bentwing bat and the rare Ghost Bat, Australias only carnivorous bat, which preys on frogs, lizards, small birds and mammals including other bats.
Tunnel Creek is 2 hours from Fitzroy Crossing.
Along the Fitzroy River, just out of Fitzroy Crossing, you will have the chance to catch the elusive barramundi. Fitzroy Crossing has a varied past and a stop at the old settlement, which dates back to 1897 is a must.
Day 4 – Fitzroy Crossing to Halls Creek
From Fitzroy Crossing you can take a trip out to see the mult-coloured cliffs of Geike Gorge whre you can learn about bush tucker and traditional customs from local indeenous guides.
Halls Creek is the first recorded place in Western Australia where gold was discovered. In 1885 the gold rush began and Halls Creek was a bustling town. It is now a little quieter but well worth spending time in to visit the old historical sites.
Travel out to the China Wall, a natural white wall and a perfect picnic spot before taking a dip at Caroline Pool.
Day 5 – Halls Creek to Purnululu National Park
North of Halls Creek is the world heritage site of Purnululu National Park. Start your journey early to get into your campsite for sunset at the Bungle Bungle massif. The orange and black stripes across the behive-like mounds, encased in a skin of silica and algae, are clearly visible as you approach from the south.
The access road is for high clearance 4WD vehicles only and is not suitable for caravans.
Dogs and pets are not allowed into Purnululu National Park.
Day 6 – Purnululu National Park to Wyndham
Further north you will come to a junction in the highway, west to Wyndham and east to Kununurra.
The journey to Wyndham is one of the most scenic drives in Western Australia. On the edge of the Cockburn Ranges, the road provides travellers with stunning views and some of the most stunning rugged scenery in this part of the Kimberley.
Day 7 – Wyndham to Kununurra & Lake Argyle
Kununurra, situated on the banks of the Ord River, is the centre for the industries of agriculture, mining and tourism in the East Kimberley. Take the time to explore the Ord River, walk up Kelly’s Knob for panoramic views over Kununurra and wander through Mirima National Park: a valley with rugged cliffs forming amphitheatres, gullies and ridges.
Kununurra is well known as the gateway town to the East Kimberley and home to lakes, rivers, waterfalls and barramundi.
Lake Argyle is located 79.7 klms from Kununurra.
From the Lake Argyle Road, the 35km drive along a sealed road enables you to view the majestic scenery before arriving at the Lake Argyle Village. Here you will find the information centre, small shop, camping and caravan park and accommodation check in.
From Lake Argyle Village it is a short 3km return scenic drive or walk along a sealed road taking you to various lookouts, the boat ramps, across the dam wall, a view of the Hydro Electric power station and the magnificent Picnic Area below the Dam (day use only 7.00am to 5.00pm).
Alternative itinerary route:
Broome to Kununurra via The Gibb River Road from Derby
This iconic unsealed route includes many of The Kimberley’s natural highlights and frontier experiences. Plan your accommodation and fuel stops as there are long remote sections and drive carefully. Note that the road to Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek allows you to mix some Gibb River Road experiences with those on the highway if time is limited.
The story of Jandamarra, the Aboriginal outlaw, is a poignant piece of local history.
The gorges of the Gibb River Road provide idyllic swimming and walking opportunities. Allow yourself some time to relax at your own selection and meet some locals at the variety of camping and accommodation along the route.