The Kimberley Region has always been one of our favourite family holiday destinations. However, since we set up RedSands Campers we haven’t had a chance to really indulge in its rugged beauty, until this week.
So, we swapped the chaos of city life for the slow pace of the bush; the brisk Perth weather for the Kimberley heat; and the rush hour of traffic for the rush hour of birds chittering and calling. Bliss.
We have only trekked along the Gibb River Road from east to west. Starting in Broome gave us a whole new experience. We have always been obsessed with the eastern Kimberley, but this time we made sure we ventured further through the western Kimberley. Result? Equally obsessed!
If you are doing the Gibb River Road, make sure you check out Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek. Great for a night stopover, which will give you enough time to do the walks and marvel at the 375-million year old Devonian Reef. Hard to imagine this area was completely submerged under water once upon a time.
The next stop for us was Mornington Wildlife Sanctuary. It is a decent drive off the Gibb (88km one way), but the majority of the track (for us) was better than the Gibb. The camping facilities were clean with hot showers, gas BBQs and drinking water. Sure, it is a bit dusty at the campsites but we did visit at the end of September.
Mornington is owned and operated by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy and conducts conservation programs across this 3,000km2 property. We ventured out to Dimond Gorge and canoed along the Fitzroy River with the dramatic cliffs shadowing us on either side. There are lots of places to stop and hop out of the canoe for a swim. A necessity when temperatures are pushing 37 degrees!
If you don’t feel like cooking at the end of a busy day, Mornington has its own licensed restaurant and bar. It also offers guided tours and presentations. These can be pricey, but it is worth remembering where you are and what the money is going to.
The next day, we woke at the crack of dawn and went on a bird watching tour. Adam made a passing comment that searching for birds with binoculars made him feel old. However…..Adam and our teenage sons really got into the spirit and had a great time! It was so peaceful and we really got to appreciate the beauty and fragility of Kimberley life. Time stood still for those few brief hours as the sun rose across the majestic Kimberley.