Monday, February 15, 2010

The Kimberley Region's Wet Season

The remote and rugged Kimberley region occupies the north-west corner of the Australian continent. It covers an area of 421,451 square kilometres but inhabited by a population of only 35,000. Because of its remote location, some areas are virtually untouched by humans and those that are accessible, only have limited numbers of visitors each year. This is in part due to the distinct "wet" and "dry" seasons of the region. The "wet season" from November to March sees regular tropical thunderstorms throughout the region that turn dry river beds into mighty, raging torrents and the dry season golden brown grasses into lush green meadows. Many of the mighty rivers that flow at this time criss-cross the only main road that traverses the region and at these times the highway can become impassable, sometimes for weeks at a time. The national and state parks which are the sites of many spectacular gorges and waterfalls are also closed during "the wet" because of their inaccessibility.

The famous adventure road, the Gibb River Road, is also closed during the months of December to March, trapping pastoralists on their stations with their only access for food, mail and emergency health services via light aircraft or helicopter.

Although it is hot and humid at this time of year, residents eagerly await the sound of rain pounding on their rooftops and the cooling breezes that the thunderstorms and rains bring. The smell of rain after nearly eight months without any is so sweet! Gigantic thunderheads can form late in the day, offering amazing cloud formations that reflect the setting sun and making the whole world seem to glow in sunset colours. When the storms do eventuate, the lightening shows are worth taking time out to watch. Professional and amateur photographers venture out to try and capture those special moments of lightening bolts across the dark purple skies.

To wander along the 22kms long Cable Beach, Broome, late in the afternoon with a thunderstorm building and developing in the distance is an amazing sight. The distant clouds can be dark and threatening and the sound of thunder rumbling in the distance sends a message of promising relief, but the skies above can be clear and sunny and as quickly as the storm builds, it can also disappear......someone else may have been the lucky recipient of this afternoon's refreshing rains!

Many travellers avoid the region in the 'wet season' but they are missing a spectacular time of year. There is a definite unhurried pace around the towns as the warmer weather slows activities but is really is a great time to relax and enjoy what the season does present....particularly the thousands of mango trees throughout the region whose fruit ripens in late November and is the cause for celebration in a festival!

Whatever the time of year, one of the world's last great wildernesses is truly blessed with Mother Nature's gifts of spectacular coastal and inland landscapes, wildlife, marine life, flora and fauna. The Indigenous inhabitants have left a legacy of unique rock art and history... but that's another story.

Interest in Kimberley Travel? The Best of the Kimberley specialises in organising your Kimberley dream holiday. If you are interested in Travel & Tourism in Western Australia, or you would like to organise an Australian Vacation Package, look no further!

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Rove and Tasma chose Broome, Western Australia as their wedding destination.

Their wedding took place on Tuesday 16 June 2009 in a private beach ceremony surrounded only by a small group of their close family and friends.

It was amazing that they were able to keep their wedding a secret from the media and the locals alike. Being a small town, it is difficult to keep a secret in Broome and quite often “Broomours” start and take off like wild fire. However, in this instance it seems no one knows anything – or at least those that do are not saying.

Rove & Tasma certainly chose a great location to celebrate their special day. Broome offers a relaxed and romantic setting for weddings. Beautiful Cable Beach and its lovely sunsets is a perfect location for a casual beach wedding – with many couples getting married in bare feet.

The weather between May and October is perfect to plan an outdoor wedding and reception, with the days about 25-30degrees and the nights about 15 – 18 degrees and with little chance of rain during this these months.

There is a good choice of venues to hold a reception and also a range of accommodation for couples and guests. When couples choose to get married in Broome the wedding celebrations tend to extend for 3-4 days as family and friends are also on holidays and many other events are planned – fishing trips, visits to the day spas, cruises, champagne breakfasts. So the couple get a chance to really have some quality time with their wedding guests and everyone has a really good “catch up”. If they got married in their home town, then everyone gets together only for a few hours at the wedding reception, then back to normal the next day.

For more information on getting married in Broome, visit Broome Weddings. Broome Weddings provide a wedding coordination service to people from all over Australia and all over the world who choose to marry in Broome and experience something a little different for their special day.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Crossing Australia in style. Do it by train!

The great train journey across the vast wilderness of the Australian continent would be on the “bucket list” of most people. Travelling on the Indian-Pacific train is a journey to savour!

In mid 2008, we decided it was time to start crossing off some items on our “list” and booked a Gold Class cabin on the Indian-Pacific train for the journey all the way from Perth to Sydney – from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean – a journey of 4,352 kilometres.

In November, when the moment of departure finally arrived, we were welcomed by our carriage attendant followed by our first experience aboard; a 3 course lunch in the plush Gold Restaurant carriage. The style of decor evoked a feeling of days gone by when train travel was a sophisticated experience. Move over Monsieur Poirot!

It did not take long to settle into our new abode and ‘lifestyle’ for the next 3 nights of our journey. The Gold Lounge, with its bar and saloon style seating was a hub for meeting and swapping stories with fellow travellers, many of whom had travelled on the Indian-Pacific more than once!

Waking up on the first morning was filled with expectation as we neared the Nullabor Plain whilst tucking into a hearty breakfast. It is not too hard to know when you arrive at the great treeless plain – in the early light it was like a moonscape and so desolate, but somehow, from the comfort of our train, it was surreal! A couple of emus were seen running alongside as the train gently eased us across the plain.

At the tiny Transcontinental Railway siding at Forrest – 600kms east of Kalgoorlie and 88kms from the WA/SA border - we had the chance to disembark. Forrest is on the longest stretch of straight railway in the world, at 479 km from Rawlinna in Western Australia to Ooldea in South Australia. When our 750metre long train pulled into the siding to replenish water supplies, like ants, the visitors swarmed around the town taking photographs, buying an ice cream from the little shop or walking the length of the train. The few old, green peppercorn trees at the siding were full of bright red berries, which were such a contrast to the dry and dusty surrounding plains. Afterwards, the train continued its meanderings through the changing scrubby countryside that was occasionally littered with the wreckage of freight carriages that had been involved in railway incidents long ago and, due to the remoteness, had been discarded and left to the elements.

The next morning we stopped in Adelaide for a change of crew and the choice of a brief tour of the city or a lazy read of the city’s morning’s newspaper in the station cafe whilst the train was readied for the next leg of its journey. Once reboarded, the train gently made its way out of Adelaide and we were soon in open country again; country that was evidently suffering the long drought with the sun-bleached landscaped stretched out before us.

Broken Hill was our next destination and provided another opportunity to disembark and walk through the historic township or join a coach tour. Although the weather was dry and sunny, it was cooler than the first 2 days of our journey. That evening there was a distinct change of scenery as we travelled towards the Great Dividing Range and brought on a range of mixed emotion; that our journey was coming to an end.

We awoke as our train approached the Blue Mountains early next morning. The sky was dark, it was raining and there was lightning and thunder! Then the unbelievable happened was snowing! This caused great excitement and chatter amongst the passengers and crew in the restaurant, but we felt snug and cosy and justified in the hearty breakfast being consumed. But, at the same time, gasping in delight, taking videos and trying to capture photos of the snow drifts alongside the railway track.

Sliding our way through the suburbs of Sydney onto our final destination at Central Station brought us back to reality and our private, relaxed world of the past 3 days quickly faded behind us.

The Indian-Pacific train trip is truly one of the great journeys of the world. It is an adventure in its own way, although you could not call the experience ‘doing it tough’ when you are faced with menu choices at each meal, a nightly bed turndown service and a cup of tea delivered when you awake in the morning!

Taking 3 days to traverse the continent puts into perspective the magnitude of the vastness of Australia and travelling by train offers an opportunity to meet and spend time with travellers from all over the world, something the crew also ensures by arranging guests to have different dining partners at each meal sitting.

Travelling Gold Class gave us a private ensuite in our cabin, large picture window to watch the scenery slide past and comfy beds to sleep in, but there are a range of travel classes on both the Indian-Pacific and The Ghan to suit your budget.

Our next train journey will now have to be the famous Ghan that travels right through the centre of Australia from Adelaide to Alice Spring and onto Darwin.

Best Of The Kimberley can arrange your Indian-Pacific or The Ghan train holiday package. For details, schedules and prices contact Best Of The Kimberley 1800 450 850 or

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

New 3 Day Bungle Bungle, Mitchell Plateau & Argyle Mine Guided Tour

New for 2009 is the 3 Day Bungle Bungle, Mitchell Plateau & Argyle Diamond Mine Guided Tour.

The vastness of the Kimberley is truly appreciated via a scenic flight and more so on an extended flight/tour that takes in the major iconic attractions plus comfortable accommodation!

This 3 day package takes you deep into the remote Kimberley from Kununurra to the Mitchell Plateau and Mitchell Falls, Lake Argyle, Ord River, Argyle Diamond Mine and the mysterious Bungle Bungle Range.

Spend 1 night in a safari tented cabin on the Mitchell Plateau. 3 Day package $2635 per person. Excl airfaires to/from Kununurra). Kununurra to Kununurra tour departs Sunday, Wednesday & Friday - May to September. Min 2 max 8 passengers.

Contact Best Of The Kimberley 1800 450 850 for full details and availability.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Meet the Famous Dolphins of Monkey Mia - Self Drive Tour

Shark Bay is testimony to the wonders of the natural world. So significent is its natural beauty that it earned a prestigious World Heritage listing in 1991.

Shark Bay is well known for its beaches, turquoise waters and rust-red sand dunes. It is also renowned for its marine life, in particular the dolphins at Monkey Mia, where these amazing dolphins swim in the shallows of the beach where they come to be fed. Their visits to the beach are extremely reliable with an attendance record of 99.6%.

Four adult females dolphins and their offspring are fed up to 3 times daily (between 8am and 1pm). Be part of this amazing experience and stay at the Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort just metres from the beach and spend time exploring what makes Shark Bay so special.

Accommodation choices suit families or couples - self-contained or motel style, from $222 per night (based on Garden Villa 1-3 persons). For more information contact Best Of The Kimberley on Freecall 1800 450 840.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Kimberley Gorges Escape - 2 Day Guided Tour

Venture onto the famous Gibb River Road for this 2 day exploration of Windjana Gorge, Tunnel Creek, Fitzroy River and Geikie Gorge.

In the Napier Range, Geikie Gorge has been carved by nature over 350 million years and the best way to experience this natural wonder is on a 2 hour heritage cruise.

Explore the secret caves of Tunnel Creek and learn of the legendary Jandamarra, an Aboriginal freedom fighter who used the caves as a hideout in the 1880s.

Search for freshwater crocodiles at Windjana Gorge. Travel back to Broome through cattle country and enjoy a sunset over the Kimberley savannah.

Tour from $459 per Adult/twin share/camping option or $595 per Adult/twin share/motel room. Tour departs Broome Thursdays April-October. Call or visit the Best Of The Kimberley 1800 450 850 for details and availability.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Alice, Kings Canyon & Uluru - 4 Day Guided Tour

In this 4 day package, spend time exploring Alice Springs (overnight stay), Kings Canyon guided walk, overnight at Kings Canyon Wilderness Lodge, dine around the campfire and tour of Kings Creek cattle station.

Kings Canyon is a huge formation of ancient rocks. Its sheer walls rise 170m from Kings Creek, providing breathtaking views, across the canyon and down into its lush depths.

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in Central Australia offers visitors a truly unique cultural experience. World Heritage-listed not only for its natural significance, the park is also recognised for its Aboriginal heritage.

Visit Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre, join a guided walk of Mutitjulu waterhole and Mala Walk. Enjoy a glass of wine while watching an Uluru Sunset. Take a guided walk into Walpa (Olga) Gorge.

Tour operates all year. From $1320 per person, twin share/standard. Call 1800 450 850 or visit the Best of the Kimberley for further information about this tour or other Central Australian tour packages.