The Kimberley is perfect for a camping holiday and travellers with off-road caravans or campers trailers. Both managed and unmanaged sites widely available.
Important: Never assume that your camper is designed for rugged conditions simply because it has an ‘off-road’ tag attached to it. Some makes shouldn’t be taken off the bitumen and have no hope of surviving the corrugations. Suspension failure is commonplace. Caravanners who don’t want to risk their expensive rig on the Gibb River Rd can arrange for it to be trucked to Derby or Kununurra via the highway.
Camping fees also apply in national parks and state forests. Camp only in designated areas.
Here are some caravan parks and camping spots in The Kimberley:
- Hidden Valley Tourist Park – close to Mirima National Park Ph (08) 9168 1790, www.hiddenvalleyholidaypark.com.au
- Ivanhoe Village Caravan Resort – close to town centre Ph (08) 9169 1995, www.ivanhoevillageresort.com
- Kimberleyland Holiday Park – waterfront setting Ph (08) 9168 1280, www.kimberleyland.com.au
- Travelfresh Tourist Park – close to town centre Ph 1800 500 830, www.townpark.com.au
- Kununurra Lakeside Resort Ph 1800 786 692, 08 9169 1092, www.lakeside.com.au
Resort Lake Argyle includes a caravan park and is within walking distance of the dam wall Ph (08) 9168 7777, www.lakeargyle.com
Keep River National Park
Keep River has two excellent remote campgrounds, both with pit toilets, barbecue facilities and picnic furniture. The Jarnem Campground, near the park’s northern boundary 31km from the park entrance, has drinking water. Generators are permitted at the centrally located Gurrandalng Campground, but not at Jarnem.
Wyndham & Surrounds
- Wyndham Caravan Park Ph (08) 9161 1064, Baker St, Wyndham, www.wyndhamcaravanpark.com
- Parry Creek Farm Tourist Park – cabins, rooms and a grassed campground beside a pretty lagoon, off Parry Creek Rd 7km east of the Great Northern Hwy. Ph (08) 9161 1139, www.parrycreekfarm.com.au
- Diggers Rest Station – a range of options from bush camping to bunkhouse accommodation Ph (08) 9161 1029, www.diggersreststation.com.au
Gibb River Road
You’ll find basic campgrounds at Manning and Windjana gorges, and camping and accommodation facilities at El Questro, Home Valley, Ellenbrae, Mount Elizabeth, Mount Hart, Charnley River, Mornington and Birdwood Downs. The camping areas tend to become crowded at the height of the tourist season, when it pays to get there early to secure a site.
Emma Gorge Resort, offers tented cabins with private ensuites, a restaurant and pool. It takes about an hour to walk through the gorge to Emma Falls (one way) over rugged Kimberley country.
The El Questro Station is a further 10km down the road and 16km in on the left – keep well over to the left when driving through the hills. The Station is central to most of the main attractions and has bungalows, Black Cockatoo Campground and a range of services, including fuel sales, restaurant and bar. For information and bookings, contact El Questro’s town office on Ph 1300 233 432 (www.elquestro.com.au/stay/camping) – it’s next door to the Kununurra Visitor Centre. All visitors are required to have a Wilderness Park Permit. El Questro opens from April 1 to October 31.
The Mornington Wilderness Camp has a pleasant campground and elevated, safari-style, tented cabins along Annie Creek. The cabins are sited such that their balconies are within the riparian strip.
Silent Grove has a pleasant camping area with basic facilities and good shade. Generators may be used at Silent Grove.
Camping is permitted from mid-April to mid-November, when a DPaW ranger is based on site (Derby office Ph (08) 9193 1411).
Kalumburu Road & North Coast
You’ll find camping and accommodation facilities at Drysdale River Station, the Mitchell Plateau and Kalumburu, and basic camping at the King Edward River and beaches north of Kalumburu.
Drysdale River Station (Ph (08) 9161 4326, www.drysdaleriver.com.au) provides camping with facilities is available at the homestead, or you can bush camp at picturesque Miners Pool on the nearby Drysdale River. As a bonus you can swim without the fear of being eaten by hungry reptiles.
Permission to camp at Honeymoon Bay can be obtained from Les French on Ph (08) 9161 4378. Honeymoon Bay is also very scenic, with a white sand beach lapped by clear blue water.
To camp at Pago, contact the Waina family on Ph (08) 9161 4394 (ask for Gertrude Morgan).
Roads in the area tend to be narrow and sandy. Campers should be self-sufficient in everything, including drinking water and shade. If you’re lucky, the beach shelter at Honeymoon Bay will be vacant. It provides the best shade along this stretch of coast.
- Kimberley Entrance Caravan Park Ph (08) 9193 1055, kimberleyentrancecaravanpark.com.au
- West Kimberley Lodge & Caravan Park Ph (08) 9191 1031, www.westkimberleylodge.com.au
- Bachsten Creek Bush Camp, near Bachsten Falls: 143km from the homestead road. There is accommodation in a log cabin as well as camping and they also offer guided walks. (Ph (08) 9191 1547, www.bushtracksafaris.com.au)
Finding a bed or a campsite in any decent budget place can be a futile exercise from mid-June to late August.
All the town’s caravan parks have tent and caravan sites, and most have self-contained cabins:
- Broome Caravan Park Ph (08) 9192 1776, www.broomecaravanpark.com
- Broome Vacation Village Caravan Park Ph (08) 9192 1057, www.broomevillage.com.au
- Cable Beach Caravan Park Ph (08) 9192 2066, 8 Millington Rd, Cable Beacj
- Palm Grove Holiday Resort Ph (08) 9192 3336, www.palmgrove.com.au
- Roebuck Bay Caravan Park & Mango Camping Ground Ph (08) 9192 1366, www.roebuckbaycp.com.au
- Tarangau Caravan Park Ph (08) 9193 5084, www.tarangaucaravanpark.com
If you can’t find a place to stay in town, try the Broome Bird Observatory (Ph (08) 9193 5600), which has a bush campground and basic rooms beside Roebuck Bay.
Otherwise try the Roebuck Plains Roadhouse (Ph (08) 9192 1880), 34km out at the junction of the Broome and Great Northern highways. It has a caravan park and basic rooms.
If all else fails, camping (no facilities) is permitted at Willie Creek and Barred Creek, both on the coast 36km and 39km respectively by road north of town. Three-night limits apply and you mustn’t forget the insect repellent. Access is off the Cape Leveque and Manari roads, and 4WD vehicles are recommended.
Port Smith Lagoon
Hire tent and van sites are available from the Port Smith Caravan Park (Ph (08) 9192 4983, www.portsmithcaravanpark.com.au), about 1km before the lagoon.
Chile Creek, Kooljaman, Middle Lagoon, Gnylmarung, and Lombadina have accommodation and camping facilities. Mercedes Cove has accommodation only, and Djoodoon, Mudnunn, Gudum Bunj, Gumbarnun and Bulgin have camping only. Caravans are not permitted at Kooljaman, but are welcome at Middle Lagoon where there are powered and unpowered sites. La-Djardarr Bay may also have camping, but that’s not guaranteed and you’ll have to check locally. There are no roadside campsites along the Cape Leveque Road.
At the northern end of the Dampier Peninsula, Kooljaman is an Aboriginal-owned wilderness camp below the lighthouse at Cape Leveque. It ‘s open throughout the year, road conditions permitting. For information, contact the office on Ph (08) 9192 4970 or visit www.kooljaman.com.au
Accommodation at Kooljaman is in the form of beach shelters, cabins, safari tents (all with sea views) and an attractive campground – note that caravans are not permitted. Book well in advance because this place is very popular, particularly mid- June to mid-September.
If Kooljaman is full, you might be able to find a campsite at Gumbarnun, a small community near One Arm Point. Try them on Ph (08) 9192 4220.
There is nowhere to stay at Geikie Gorge, but Fitzroy Crossing has a few places:
- Crossing Inn Ph (08) 9191 5080, www.crossinginn.com.au
- Fitzroy River Lodge (& Caravan Park) Ph (08) 9191 5141, www.fitzroyriverlodge.com.au
Halls Creek Caravan Park Ph (08) 9168 6169
Purnululu National Park
Large bush camping areas at Kurrajong and Walardi have pit toilets, tap water and generator-free zones. Fire bans are in force from 1 April to 15 May, and 15 September to 31 December.
The Bungle Bungle Caravan Park (www.bunglebunglecaravanpark.com.au) is just 1km from the turn off the Great Northern Highway, along the road to Purnululu National Park. As well as powered and unpowered caravan sites the park has a campground and Safari Tents.