Preparation is the key for a successful trip
The Kimberley Region is one of the last pristine regions in the world. Being pristine entails remoteness. While the region is lively during peak season, this does not mean that a trip should not be carefully planned with the right vehicle. Great organisation prior to departing will lead to a more enjoyable travel experience. This is our top 10 travel tips for the Kimberley region.
There are campsites available nearby the most popular attractions in the Kimberley and along the Gibb River Road. During the Dry peak season, between May and October, it is highly recommended to book your site where it is possible to do so. If you have not booked your site, please note that sites are allocated on a first come, first serve basis.
2. Enough food, water and first aid kit
Traveling in a remote area bears its own risk. Make sure to travel with plenty of water, at least 10L per person and per day. Also make sure to pack enough food to last you for several days. All our vehicles are equipped with a first aid kit, in the event of an injury. The Red Dirt Team would also recommend to travel with insect repellents and to cover your arms and legs with loose clothing particularly at dawn or dusk to avoid mosquito and other insect bites.
3. Road Safety
Australia is a big continent and distances are often misjudged. Many towns, especially in the northern part of Australia and the Red Centre are remote. It is highly recommended to travel with a road map and a GPS. When traveling on dirt road, it is recommended to drive no more than 60 km/h.
Driver fatigue is responsible for many accidents, so make sure to take regular breaks. Enjoy the experience and don’t try to cover too much distance at a time.
4. A safe and reliable vehicle
Many places in the Northern Part of Australia such as the Kimberley Region require a 4WD to experience the best that those regions has to offer. Many natural attractions are only accessible via dirt roads. Motorhomes are not permitted on this type of road, due to the damage which may occur. Make sure to select the right vehicle for your trip!
Keep in mind that roadhouses are not open 24 hours or 7 days a week in the Kimberley region. Carrying enough fuel is highly recommended. The Derby visitor centre produces a guide detailing fuel stops if you would like more information before traveling on the Gibb River Road.
6. Road closures
During the dry season (Approximately May to October), sealed and unsealed roads can be open for travel one day and completely closed the next. The Travel Map from Main Roads in Western Australia is a great tool to keep an eye on the current road status. For the Northern Territory, you can visit the Road Report website.
To help keep Western Australia disease free, there are strict quarantine restrictions in place at the border. No fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, plants, flowers and honey are allowed to cross the Western Australian border. If you are in doubt, the best is to declare it. Heavy penalties apply to non declared items. Please visit www.agric.wa.gov.au for more details.
8. Road trains
Road trains are trucks towing 2 to 3 trailers and they can be over 50 metres in length. Only overtake road trains when it is safe to do so. It can take up to 2.5 kilometres to overtake a road train at 100 km/hr!
9. Bush fires
Bushfires can be frequent during the dry season and can be dangerous. Make sure to abide by any fire warnings. As the Northern Australia is quite a big region, it is possible that a bush fire can go unnoticed for several days.
Up in the North West, fences are practically non existent. Please do exercise extreme cautions on the road as cattle can be wandering on the road. Red Dirt recommends driving during the day and to avoid driving at dawn, night and dusk in order to avoid a collision with a kangaroo or cattle.
Up north, there are two species of crocodile found in the Kimberley being the saltwater crocodile and the freshwater crocodile. They can also be found in the Pilbara coast. Observe warning signs near swimming holes and rivers.