Travel Diary 101 : Darwin to Broome Overland Adventure

While living in Australia for more than 1.5 years, most of the cities and places that I visited are located in the eastern side and southern part of the country. I also got a chance to visit even the middle part of Australia. What does this mean? It means that I never got a chance to be at the northern part and western part of this huge continent country. Therefore, before my visa ended last February 2017, I planned for my last adventure in Down Under last October 2016. The said adventure was not like the first part of my tour. The suppose to be Kakadu National Park day tour became Litchfield National Park day tour. The whole story of what happened in the first part of my adventure were explained in my post here and here. The second part of my adventure started from Darwin at Northern Territory and ended at Broome in Western Australia.

After my tour in Litchfield National Park, the bus tour dropped me off near my hotel accommodation (The Cavenagh Hotel) that I booked for 1-night since the next day was the start of my 4WD Darwin to Broome Overland Adventure in 9 Days. In my travel and adventures, the tour was the longest multiple day tours that I experienced. The tour company also offers longer  days such as 21 Days that will end in Perth, but unfortunately, I cannot afford to be in 21 Days straight travel even I wanted to as I have other personal matters to attend even I was in vacation.

From the hotel, I picked-up my Telstra sim card that I reserved even before I arrived in my accommodation, then setup my phone. I had my dinner at the hotel and tried the steak that it was offering since The Cavenagh Hotel is famous for their steak. I had a great dinner that time inside my room since a lot of people were outside having dinner while drinking on Friday night. It was a typical Aussie ambiance in a pub restaurant. Before I slept that night, I prepared my stuff and my luggage so it will be easy for my early morning checkout.

Here are the 9 Days 4WD Darwin to Broome Overland Adventure itinerary that we had:

Day 1: Darwin to Katherine Region

From Darwin, the group drove towards Nitmiluk National Park in Northern Territory to enjoy Edith Falls and Katherine Gorge.

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Edith Falls and Upper Pool

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Nitmiluk National Park with Katherine River at Baruwei Lookout

Related Travel Post(s) :
Nitmiluk National Park : Sandstone Country Full of Stunning Gorges

Day 2: Victoria River, Judbarra National Park and Lake Argyle

The first stop of the group was a quick look of Victoria River along Victoria Highway. Next, the group had trekking adventure in Judbarra or Gregory National Park which still located in Northern Territory. Here we enjoyed fascinating scenery of the valley and the thousand years of aboriginal drawings and paintings created in rocks, boulders and escarpments.

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“The Vic” or Victoria River

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Trekking Escarpment Walls of Judbarra

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At Judbarra (Gregory) National Park

Related Travel Post(s) :
Judbarra (Gregory) National Park – “One of the Most Prolific Sites in Australia”

Then, we drove to cross the border of Northern Territory and Western Australia where we experienced to adjust time as the two states has different timezone. The second adventure of the group for the day were cruising some part of the 700 square kilometre man-made spectacular Lake Argyle and swimming.

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Sunset at Lake Argyle

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At Lake Argyle

Related Travel Post(s) :
Lake Argyle – Where People, Birds, Fishes, Wallabies and Freshies Meet

Day 3: Purnululu National Park (Bungle Bungle Ranges)

The following adventure we did after we drove towards Purnululu National Park, were quick viewing of Osmond Range from the ground and trekking Echidna Chasm. We also had a sunset viewing at lookout ridge to witness sunset towards some part of Osmond Range and Escarpment Walls of Bungle Bungle Range.

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Osmond Range

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Echidna Chasm

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Sunset with Escarpment Walls (West of Bungle Bungle Range and Osmond Range)

Related Travel Post(s) :
Purnululu National Park – A Park With One of the Most Striking Geological Landmarks in Western Australia

Day 4: The Bungle Bungle and El Questro Station

Since we camped within Purnululu National Park, we trekked “The Bungle Bungles”. The walked includes “The Domes” and “Cathedral Gorge” Walk. After we left Purnululu National Park, we passed Warmun (Turkey Creek) and Durack Range. We took the famous Gibb River Road to continue adventuring Kimberley. Our first stop along Gibb River Road was El Questro. We arrived at El Questro Station before it gets dark that day.

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A Walk in Purnululu Range from Picaninny

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The Domes

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Cathedral Gorge

Related Travel Post(s) :
The Bungle Bungles – One of the Most Spectacular Landmarks in the World

Day 5: El Questro Station and Zebedee Springs (plus Champagne Springs Trail)

The following day was spent in a relaxing bath time in Zebedee Springs. When we returned to El Questro Station, we played around and swam in Pentecost River just beside the group’s camping site inside the station. In the afternoon, I joined few people from the group to walk along Champagne Springs Trail.

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Zebedee Springs

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At Champagne Springs Trail  (unofficial itinerary)

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Thousand Year Old Boab Tree along Champagne Springs Trail

Related Travel Post(s) :
El Questro Station and Surround

Day 6: El Questro Wilderness Park, Gibb River Road and Manning Creek

After leaving El Questro Station that day, we went straight to El Questro Wilderness Park which can be found within Cockburn Range. We trekked towards the waterhole of Emma Gorge and had great time  in the water. It was the same day where we spent longest hours driving in Gibb River Road for the day. We passed Pentecost River which cross each other with Gibb River Road, we enjoyed the scenic view of Cockburn Range from a distance and we took lunch in one of the resting point that located along Gibb River Road. Then, we had been in the same road for hours until we reached Manning Gorge Campsite just near Manning Creek before sunset.

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Emma Gorge

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Cockburn Range

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At Manning Creek

Related Travel Post(s) :
Emma Gorge and Cockburn Range – El Questro Wilderness

Day 7: Manning Gorge

The day’s adventure was focused only in Manning Gorge, as we trekked hours towards and from the gorge and swimming on its waterhole.  Then, a relaxing time again in Manning Creek before ending the day.

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Manning Gorge

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Near at Manning Gorge Campsite

Related Travel Post(s) :
Manning Gorge – A Picturesque Gorge In Gibb River Road

Day 8 : Bell Gorge and Windjana Gorge

A busy time for the group as we visited two gorges in one day which both includes easy to medium walk towards the beautiful gorges. A great time spent in a picturesque Bell Gorge. A great experience in Windjana Gorge to witness sunset, freshwater crocodiles in Lennard River and thousand  fruit-bats flying away from the gorge for feeding time in one seating.

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Bell Gorge

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Windjana Gorge

Related Travel Post(s) :
Bell Gorge and Windjana Gorge – Two More Amazing Gorges in Kimberley

Day 9: Tunnel Creek National Park, Derby and Broome

Before heading to Broome, we had our last adventure in Tunnel Creek National Park in the morning where we explored a historical and ancient cave where the Tunnel Creek flows through it. We had lunch near Derby Wharf, stopped in Prison Boab Tree, Willare Bridge Roadhouse and Willare Bridge before hitting the road again to reached Broome. When we reached Broome, it was the end of the 9 Days Overland Adventure  from Darwin to Broome.

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Tunnel Creek Cave

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Derby

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Prison Boab Tree

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At Willare Bridge, Fitzroy River

Related Travel Post(s) :
Tunnel Creek National Park, Derby and Broome

It’s the end of my adventure tour with the group and the beginning of my solo trip and tour of the rest of my stay in Western Australia.

Until then.

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Nitmiluk National Park : Sandstone Country Full of Stunning Gorges

It was Day 1 of the 9-Days adventure tour that I joined and I felt excited while waiting for my tour that will pick me up in the hotel that I stayed the night before. I was still early on the scheduled time after I checked-out in the hotel.

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The Cavenagh Hotel

And when there was a huge 4WD vehicle stopped at the front of the hotel, I knew that it was my tour but still I waited for the tour guide to get-off the vehicle and waited if he will asked for my name. And that was what happened. He asked if I was the person he is looking for and I responded to him that I was that person. Then, he checked my luggage and asking if that was my only luggage and I confirmed that it was. Then, he introduced himself and his named was Scotty. The look of him was rugged tour guide which definitely fit for adventure tour. He was wearing the typical tour guide uniform that I usually saw in Australia which was colored khaki polo and short.

Then I hopped inside the vehicle and there I found another joiner of the tour. The greetings happened after. The next thing happened was picking up all the tourist that will join the tour and this happened until all of us 20 were complete and all of the seat has been occupied.

Before totally leaving the city, we stopped by in the gas station to fill-up our tank as our preparation for our long journey in remote places called Kimberly Region which located mostly in Western Australia.

Then we hit the road towards our first destination for our first day of adventure. But few minutes that we were on the road, our tour guide introduced himself again to the whole group while he was driving and then he instructed us to play games so that all of us inside the vehicle which still strangers to each other that time and will be together for the next nine days, he said to us to introduce ourselves to the next person in our seat. And then after five minutes, we have to change our designated seats and repeat the same thing, it happened until almost all of us know each other our first names, the country we came from and what we do for the living. It was a fun activity while inside the 4WD vehicle.

Edith Falls (Leliyn Falls)

After few hours that we were on the road, we reached the first destination based on the itinerary plan for that day which located in Katherine Region. It was Edith Falls or Leliyn for the Jawoyn people (Australian aboriginals in the park) that can be found within Nitmiluk National Park.

Everybody prepared themselves for a swimming since its falls that we were targeting to enjoy. I was a bit of nervous because I was not really good in swimming specially if it’s very deep water. From the parking lot of the falls, we took Leliyn Trail towards Upper Pool. But before we move straight to the Upper Pool, we stopped a bit in Leliyn Lookout to see the base pool which accessible few meters from the parking and very popular to all visitors.

At Leliyn Lookout

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Edith Falls base pool or main pool from Leliyn Lookout

After seeing the view of the base pool or lower pool of Edith Falls, we continued our walk towards the Upper Pool, a pool where our group spent hours to enjoy the falls itself and had our first swimming adventure in a natural pool coming from the water falls of Edith River.

When we reached the pool, all of us prepared to get wet in the pool. My group went straight in the hole, but because it was deep, I was not able to come with them. I soaked myself with the water but, I felt that the rock was a bit of slippery. Because of that I stayed just beside the rocks, steadied myself to be in balance and just soaking myself. My group looked at me and calling my name and I told them I was not good in swimming. Then my group move to the other where Edith falls is. And I just stayed where I was. Then, Scotty approached me and asked me to join them at the other side of the pool and I told him, I was not really good in swimming. Therefore, he helped me while I was trying myself to move at the side of the rock. I was able to join the group at the other side and everyone was helping me and assisting me. When I was stable myself and was able to sit with the group, I had a bit of fun even I was not able to be under the falls since that part of the pool was very deep for me to take. We stayed in that part of the pool for a while. While others in the group keep going back and forth enjoying swimming to and from the falls.

After spending time with Upper Pool, the group decided to end our adventure with Edith Falls. I just wore my shoes and then we trekked back to our vehicle.

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Edith Falls in Upper Pool

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Upper Pool

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Looking towards the ground

Katherine Gorge

Before we ended our first day adventure, we drove towards Katherine Gorge which at least an hour drive from Edith Falls. When we reached the parking lot, Scotty, our tour guide, told us just to follow the trail and we will not get lost. We had a bit of trekking to reach Baruwei Lookout. Even the hike was a bit of assault, when we reach the lookout, a wonderful scenery greeted us. We saw how vast the national park is and how amazing the Katherine River  down below which said to be croc-filled waters. We spent time taking photos from the lookout and then we decided to return to the parking lot as it begins to get dark.

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Accommodation

We stayed in a tent village for the night and because the season was almost over, only our group seems to be the visitor in the tent village and some in the group had a chance to have one permanent tent and I am one them who got a chance to slept by myself. I didn’t knew the name of the accommodation where the tent village belong but based on our tour guide, its one of his favorite accommodation because the caretaker of the tent village was one of his favorites.

After we reached the tent village, the group helped to prepare our dinner that night and that night made me remembered my experience in my 3 days adventure tours in Red Centre where our guide was really good in food and menus. And it seems Scotty was the same. And I thought that knowing how to cook is one of the qualifications to become an adventure tour guide.

It rained a bit that night, that’s why after the dinner and cleaning up dishes, everybody immediately chose the tents we have to take. It was a strange night for me. Because the tent village that night was unpowered tents. Meaning, it was totally dark in our surroundings. The funny things was everything will be heard like, individual steps or even the cricket sounds. After I took a bath that night, I returned to my tent and had a good rest.

Until then the next day adventure.

Panoramic View : Katherine Gorge

Panoramic View (Post#35) : Katherine Gorge

After enjoying the Edith Falls, we drove towards Katherine Gorge. When we reach the park, we trekked to Baruwei Lookout where we had a chance to see and appreciate the beauty of Katherine Gorge. According to records, Nitmiluk National Park has 12 stunning gorges and some of its gorges can be seen when cruising the Katherine River which flows even from Kakadu National Park. These photos are part of Day 1 (Darwin to the Katherine Region) of 9 Days Darwin to Broome Overland Adventure Tour October 2016.

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Katherine Gorge with Katherine River

Transportation : Nitmiluk, NT – ARB 4×4 Vehicle

Transportation (Post#11) : Nitmiluk, NT – ARB 4×4 Vehicle

In this photo, the background scenery is awesome looking towards the ground of the park, but at the side of this snapshot was the ARB 4X4 vehicle. Honestly, I love this kind of jeep or wagon because of its ability to go further even with rough road or dirt tracks. The photo is part of Day 1 (Darwin to the Katherine Region) of 9 Days Darwin to Broome Overland Adventure Tour October 2016.

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View At My Window : Edith (Leliyn) Falls Lower Pool

View At My Window (Post#33) : Edith (Leliyn) Falls Lower Pool

Visiting Edith Falls (or Leliyn Falls for Jawoyn People – one of the aboriginals taking care of the park) to enjoy natural pool for swimming adventure, even you don’t like trekking to reach the Upper Pool, the falls also has Lower Pool or Base Pool which just few steps from parking area. The said pool is just one of the holes that the waterfalls is offering. These photos are part of Day 1 (Darwin to the Katherine Region) of 9 Days Darwin to Broome Overland Adventure Tour October 2016.

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