Darwin to broome via kakadu

Darwin to Broome this has to be one of our favourite stretches of travel experiencing a city, waterfalls gorges, hot springs, red dirt, crocodiles and the coastline all in the one stretch is incredible and completely unforgettable. This trip was packed full of adventure and we are already wanting to head back to experience some more!

 

We did this trip over 6 weeks but it can be done in less as we had 2 long stays in Darwin and Broome. We are sharing our route including what we saw where we stayed and what we would do differently if we were to go again, we have put the trip summary at the end of the post with all the details on places we stayed, how long for and our highlights. The diversity of this road trip is one not to miss and will leave you wanting more!

Darwin- Days 1 to 12

We originally booked for 5 but met a few other travelling families and extended our stay to 12 nights staying at Howards Springs Caravan Park which was ideal for kids with 2 pools and a jumping pillow we really got into relax mode here. Our time in Darwin was spent with a visit to Crocodylus Park, where the kids were able to hold a baby crocodile, Berry Springs, playing at some of the incredible free waterparks and play areas that Darwin offers like Howards Spring Nature Park and Palmerston Waterpark even the Casuarina Square had a great play area and water play area for the kids to splash in. We couldn’t miss a chance to visit the famous Mindil Markets and see the beautiful sunset and explore around the CBD and foreshore.

Kakadu Days 13 to 18

Kakadu was next on our list and this is one we were really excited for and it did not disappoint! We spent 7 days exploring Kakadu splitting our stay between 2 caravan parks Cooinda Lodge and Kakadu Lodge. We were able to watch crocodiles at Cahills Crossing, experience a sunset at Ubirr, see Maguk Falls and take the steep climb to Gunlom Falls and enjoyed a relaxing sunset and sunrise boat cruise along the Yellow Water Billabong. For a more detailed post on our time in Kakadu we have written a blog post on it 7 Days in Kakadu with Kids. 

Kakadu to Kununurra – Days 19 to 23

Starting to make our way to Western Australia we had a stop in Katherine staying at Boab Caravan Park it was a nice park with large grassy sites and ideal to stop for 2 nights to refresh and catch up on washing after spending a week in Kakadu. This was our second time staying here and just up the road from this caravan park is the Katherine Hot Springs which are great for kids, 3 different pool areas, a nice current that floats you down and a temperature of 25 – 30c we loved it there!

A second stop before hitting the Western Australia border was a night spent at the Victoria Roadhouse it was a really great simple stop off, large area to park up your van no power, powered sites are available and a nice walk to an old bridge which has gorgeous views of the Victoria River.

The next day it was time to cross the border into Western Australia  for our first stop Kununurra, we had Lake Argyle on our list but decided that we wanted to get to Kununurra first and stop for a couple of  nights and then we would make our way back to Lake Argyle. We rested in Kununurra for 2 nights at the Ivanhoe Village Caravan Park with 1 day exploring the area which we were able to see Ivanhoe crossing, Molly Springs a nice little secluded spot with a short easy walk for the kids and a look out over at Kelly’s Knob.

Kununurra to Lake Argyle – Day 24

Heading over to Lake Argyle we decided on free camping just down the road at the Look Out Bridge Area and spend the day with a day pass at Lake Argyle the next day then we would make our way back to Kununurra. The free camp was a beautiful spot, not much shade, but right on the banks of a river a really relaxing spot. Visiting Lake Argyle Resort was a must on our list and it was a lot of fun exploring the largest man made lake, it was such a beautiful sight and of course we had to have a dip in the freezing cold infinity pool, which really once your in for a while you get use to quite quickly!

Lake Argyle to Kununurra – Days 25 to 27

Heading back to Kununurra this was going to be our base to explore El Questro over 2 days we stayed at a different caravan park as they had a stay 3 pay for 2 deal on at the Kimberleyland Waterfront Holiday Park. After speaking with others about the condition of the Gibb River Road we decided this was the best option for us and our van. It took us just over an hour to make the drive there and the first day we spent doing Emma Gorge a 3.2km return walk and well worth it in our eyes if you would like to see more of what this walk is about we created a video on the Emma Gorge walk. This took up most our day as we enjoyed stopping and swimming at the gorge we called it a day and headed back ready to tackle day 2 in El Questro.

On our second day we explored Zebedee Springs, drove around on the 4wd tracks of El Questro Station and enjoyed lunch there at the restaurant, it was a full day but such a highlight of our trip next time we wouldn’t hesitate to take our van in and stay at the campgrounds instead of going back and fourth but it all depends on how the road in is at the time, but this first part of the Gibb River Road for us was not too hard.

Kununurra to Purnurnulu National Park, Bungle Bungles National Park – Days 28 – 29

Leaving Kununurra we started making our way to Bungle Bungle Caravan Park, at this stage we were still undecided if we were going to tackle the road in to the Bungle Bungle National Park, we already knew we weren’t taking our van in and made our way to the Bungle Bungle Caravan Park to park our van and find out a bit more information about the road in. We got there paid for our 2 night stay and got told to test out the first 5km as we had heard the first 10km in was the toughest. We did it and decided that we were happy to take our car in the next day to see the National Park. The next day putting our tyres down we made the track in to the Bungle Bungle Range and it was something like we have never experienced before and we loved the drive in, yes it was rough but the World Heritage National Park is incredible and one we are glad we got to see. We were able to see the Bungle Bungle Domes and Cathedral Gorge unfortunately we ran out of time and missed out on Echidna Chasm as we needed to leave to avoid driving back in the dark. The caravan park was a nice spot to stay, they had a communal fire on each night to enjoy with others. 

Purnurnulu National Park to Fitzroy Crossing – Days 30 to 32

Now making our way to Fitzroy Crossing to see Tunnel Creek and Windjana Gorge we had a stop to break up the trip in Halls Creek, there is only 1 caravan park in Halls creek but it was very hot and we needed water and power so we stayed there. Unfortunately for us we didn’t have a very safe experience and had someone try to break into our van, we also heard the next day others had the same, lucky for us they didn’t get in but we left with a very uneasy feel about the place, this has been the only time on our travels that we have felt unsafe and we were ready to move on straight away. We arrived at our next camp for the night and it is one our top favourite free camps of the trip Froth Dingo Boab Point near Fitzroy Crossing it was incredible and felt like we were on another planet! Staying parked for 2 nights the next day we left our van to explore Tunnel Creek and Windjana Gorge, then relaxing back at our free camp with a nice fire and beautiful surrounds, we actually did not want to leave this place. If you are looking for more free camps in the Top End of Western Australia we have more information on them here. 5 free camps in the top end of Western Australia

Fitzroy Crossing to Broome – Days 33 to 42

Our last leg of this part of our trip ended with 10 nights relaxing in Broome with camel rides on the famous Cable Beach, catching many stunning sunsets, looking for dinosaur footprints at the beautiful Gatheume Point, exploring Roebuck Bay and enjoying the seclusion of Redell Beach we are one of the ones that fell in love with Broome and had us wanting to stay. If you would like to know some more ideas on things to do in Broome with kids we have written a post on it. Broome with Kids

Trip Summary

Darwin Days 1 to 12

Where we stayed

  • Howards Springs Caravan Park, 12 nights – Great park for the kids

Highlights

  • Mindil Market
  • Berry Springs
  • Free Waterparks for kids

 Kakadu Days 13 to 18

Where we stayed

  • Cooinda Lodge 3 nights
  • Kakadu Lodge 3 nights

Highlights – All of it!

  • Gunlom Falls
  • Yellow Water River Cruise
  • Sunset at Ubirr
  • Cahill Crossing
  • Maguk Falls

 Kakadu to Kununurra Days 19 to 23

Where we stayed

  • Katherine Boab Caravan Park – 2 nights large grassy sites with a pool for the kids
  • Victoria Roadhouse – 1 night, great open space cheap for unpowered
  • Ivanhoe Village Caravan Resort – 2 nights, good spot for the kids

Highlights

  • Katherine Hot Springs
  • Molly Springs – Easy walk in for the kids and we were the only ones there
  • Ivanhoe Crossing – Fun for the kids to watch the cars cross the river

Kununurra to Lake Argyle Day 24

Where we stayed

  • Look out bridge area – Free camp found on Wiki Camps next to the bridge, we really liked this spot

Highlights

  • Lake Argyle
  • Lake Argyle Infinity Pool

 

Lake Argyle back to Kununurra Days 25 to 27

Where we stayed

  • KimberleyLand Waterfront Holiday Park – 3 nights, good deal pay 2 stay for 3, you can see crocs at night in the water, playground and pool for the kids. Good base to explore El Questro if you are not keen on taking van on to the Gibb River Road

Highlights

  • El Questro Homestead
  • Emma Gorge
  • Zebeedee Springs
  • 4wd tracks at El Questro Homestead

 Kununurra to Purnurnulu National Park Days 28 to 29

Where we stayed

  • Bungle Bungle Caravan Park – Only Caravan park in area, good base for Bungle Bungles, communal fire pit on each night

Highlights

  • Bungle Bungle National Park
  • Cathedral Gorge

Purnurnulu National Park to Fitzroy Crossing Days 30 to 32

Where we stayed

  • Halls Creek Caravan Park- Only caravan park in Halls Creek, we had a bad experience and won’t be back it was also very pricey for what it was
  • Froth Dingo Boab Point – Free camp, incredible such an experience one we hope to get to again!

Highlights

  • Windjana Gorge – Lots of freshwater crocs to see, nice walk into the beautiful gorge
  • Tunnel Creek – Need a decent torch and you will get wet!

Fitzroy Crossing to Broome Days 33 to 42

Where we stayed

  • Palm Grove Holiday Park – Nice park with a great pool and great location close to everything

Highlights

  • Cable Beach, driving onto the beach at all different times of the day but must see a sunset!
  • Gatheume Point
  • Roebuck Bay
  • Redell Beach
  • World oldest open air cinema

Things we would do differently

  • Stay at El Questro Station
  • Stayed at Lake Argyle Resort spending 2 nights in the area – Beautiful resort
  • Packed a tent and spent 1 night in the Bungle Bungle Ranges to fully experience it and also have that extra time to see the whole place
  • Spent longer in Kakadu so much to see and such an incredible place
  • Visited Litchfield National Park on our stay in Darwin as we have heard how good it is

 

We have put together a short video highlighting our time in the Kimberley’s if you would like to see more of the incredible places you can visit. We loved our time exploring the Top End and it has taken us in that much that we already are missing it!

 

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