Kimberley Travel Tips – Do’s and Don’ts of The Kimberley

By definition, a jewel is a precious stone that is often difficult to locate. That not need be the case when it comes to Lake Argyle, the destination that sparkles above all others in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia. But travel to one of the most remote regions of the country needs to be treated with respect, so consider this list of Kimberley travel tips before travelling to this unique part of Australia.

Kimberley Travel Tips:

  • The majority of travelers will arrive in Lake Argyle by road – either via the sealed Victoria/Great Northern highways or cross-country on the Gibb River Road through Kununurra.
  • Regardless of your choice, never forget that you’re travelling through an outback region with few amenities so carry plenty of food, water and spares.
  • It’s theoretically possible for a 2WD car to traverse the Gibb River route in the dry season, but your car will likely never recover from the experience.
  • Even think twice about towing a trailer or caravan over hundreds of kilometres of corrugated dirt road unless they’re specifically designed for the rigours of such trips.
  • Permits aren’t required to travel the Gibb River Road, but any side trips will be across either Aboriginal or private land so either a permit or permission is required.
  • Road trains (trucks with three or more trailers) are common on both routes, and they take a long time to stop! Provide these vehicles with plenty of space and respect.
  • Driving at night isn’t ideal – not only will you encounter some of the local wildlife, the bulk of this region is cattle farming country and not always fenced.
  • Water crossings are numerous along the Gibb River Road – learn the capabilities of your vehicle and (where possible) check the crossing on foot before your vehicle enters the water.
  • Pack some maps. All that technology is great but electronic equipment can always fail. A map and a compass will always triumph over a poor wireless signal or a flat battery.
  • Camping is only allowed in designated areas along the Gibb River Road. Some cattle farms welcome visitors and provide camping facilities but others are closed to the public.
  • The dry months of July-August are peak season in the Kimberley so ensure you have plans and bookings in place for your trip – it gets surprisingly busy at this time of year!
  • Water in these parts means crocodiles. Saltwater crocodiles frequent these parts, and their name is misleading. ‘Salties’ happily live in freshwater many hundred kilometres inland from the sea. But not in Lake Argyle
  • Always observe crocodile warning signs, and don’t assume the water is safe if it is not signposted. Small creeks, waterfalls and rock pools are generally the safest options for a dip.
  • Barramundi and crocodiles occupy the same waterways so don’t clean fish on the banks, or throw fish scraps in the water.
  • Take care when launching boats (avoid entering the water if possible) and don’t dangle your arms or legs over the side of the boat.

We hope these Kimberley travel tips help smooth your path on the road to Lake Argyle – your first stop in Western Australia when travelling from the Northern Territory and the last of the Kimberley’s amazing attractions when leaving WA.

Who should I call for more information about The Kimberley?

For local knowledge, holiday planning tips, regional advice and accommodation and tour information  contact us or call (08) 9168 7777.