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Four wheel driving provides travellers with the opportunity to explore rarely discovered and remote areas of Western Australia.

The northern regions of the state are a treasure trove of spectacular landscapes, remote wilderness, isolated lakes, lazy rivers and white, sandy beaches that may never have seen a footprint on them.


Duration: 14 days

Distance: 1,531 kilometres

Day 1: Broome to Cape Leveque

Enjoy breakfast overlooking Broome's famous Cable Beach before heading to the historic town of Derby via Cape Leveque.

Cape Leveque is a stunning coastal area offering authentic Aboriginal cultural experiences and tours. It's also well off the beaten track, taking four hours to drive there from Broome on dirt roads.

Accommodation includes rustic cabins and boutique lodges however it is limited, so book ahead.

Camping is permitted in designated areas, and some services are available at properties scattered across the cape.

Here, the white sand and red cliffs define where the outback meets the ocean.

Overnight: Cape Leveque

Day 2: Cape Leveque to Derby

The journey out of Cape Leveque is four hours on a dirt road and then another two to three hours to Derby. Make sure you take plenty of supplies for the trek!

Once in Derby, stock up for the drive across the top, along the legendary Gibb River Road.

Derby is a small town, famous for its history, friendly hospitality, fishing and massive tides.

If you have time, spend another day and enjoy the great fishing - it's superb all the way along the Buccaneer Archipelago.

It's also worth taking a flight over the islands which include the amazing Horizontal Waterfall and King Sound.

Overnight: Derby

Day 3: Derby to Windjana National Park - Gibb River Road

Gibb River Road is one of Australia's classic outback drives.

The 660 kilometre journey is accessible only between May and October.

The rest of year is often rained out or rivers are too swollen to cross.

The region is steeped in frontier history with tales of cattle drives, hardship and Aboriginal culture at points along the journey.

First stop today is the Windjana Gorge camp site, which will be home for the night.

The area is rich in natural wonders and the day on the road provides a relatively soft entry into the sometimes challenging conditions ahead, and a taste of what's in store.

The 2134 hectare Windjana Gorge National Park offers a stunning natural retreat and encompasses a three and a half kilometre section of the Lennard River, which flows in the wet season, but evaporates into a series of pools in the dry.

The campsite houses the only facilities in the area and is well serviced with toilets, showers and firewood.

The river pools attract a rich selection of bird life and fresh water crocodiles, which are often seen sunning themselves near the water holes.

From your camp, take a day trip out to the spectacular natural wonder of Tunnel Creek.

Tunnel Creek was formed when lava tubes receded millions of years ago, creating a 750 metre tunnel through which the permanent fresh water creek flows.

The cool, dark tunnel creates a stunning contrast to the surrounding landscape and can be explored on foot or by swimming. Take a waterproof torch and sandshoes.

The park is for day use only, so visitors will need to return to the Windjana Gorge campsite, where they can set up a protected campfire and settle in for their first night under the stars.

The remote location guarantees clear air, while the lack of artificial light makes the skies appear even darker. Stars absolutely blaze from the night, creating an inspiring sky show.

Overnight: Windjana Gorge National Park

Day 4: Windjana National Park to Bell Gorge

After an early morning breakfast, break camp and follow the road deeper into the Kimberley highlands heading towards Bell Gorge, which is considered by many to be one of the Kimberley's finest attractions.

A short stop at Lennard Gorge is highly recommended, and the large swimming hole is a welcome sight.

The gorge is lined with a steep cliff face on one side, and flanked by a waterfall that flows early in the dry season.

Camping is not permitted, so visitors will need to continue a little further on to beautiful Bell Gorge.

Bell Gorge is a postcard of cascading waterfalls dropping more than 100 metres through a series of swimming pools, with breathtaking views from the cliff top over the falls.

The area makes a fabulous overnight stop where campers can relax to the sound of bubbling waters, before waking for a soothing early morning swim.

Those looking for home comforts can travel a little further to Mount Hart Homestead, which offers dinner, and bed and breakfast accommodation.

Bookings are essential and camping is not permitted at the homestead.

Overnight: Bell Gorge

Day 5: Bell Gorge / Mount Hart Homestead

Mount Hart Homestead is a good starting point for trips into the King Leopold Range National Park.

The park offers visitors the chance to explore untouched nature with short bush walks and the chance to meet some curious dingoes, or canoe down cool, pandanus-lined waterways.

Late afternoon sees the shadows strike spectacular patterns on the rocky outcrops - so plan a photo stop here.

Check into the homestead for the night to relax and enjoy some Kimberley hospitality at the licensed bar, or simply take time out to wander throughout the tranquil, homestead grounds.

Alternatively, you can head back to Bell Gorge for another beautiful night under the stars.

Overnight: King Leopold Range National ParkBell Gorge

Day 6: Bell Gorge to Manning Gorge

Return to the Gibb River Road for the short drive to Galvans Gorge and its spectacular waterhole.

Take a walk around the trails before stopping for an early lunch and morning swim.

Next stop is Mount Barnett roadhouse, which is about an hours drive from the Bell Gorge turnoff.

The roadhouse is a central base for exploring the region. There's a store selling groceries, fuel and takeaway food. Roadhouse staff also manage the camping ground at Manning Gorge (fees payable), and provide information on walk trails up the river to Upper Manning Gorge and to local indigenous rock art sites.

Overnight: Manning Gorge

Day 7: Manning Gorge to Drysdale River Station

Farewell the beauty of Manning Gorge and make your way slowly down the Gibb River Road towards Drysdale River Station, enjoying the changing colours of the rocky outcrops and the abundant wildlife.

The first swimming stop is at the Gibb River crossing about 3-4 kilometres up Kalumburu Road. Here travellers will find plenty of shaded spots along the river edge to take a morning tea break and wash off the dust.

The peaceful river is alive with birdlife and other native animals including wallabies and dingoes.

About 40 minutes further along the Kalumburu Road lies Drysdale River Station - your stop for the night.

The station offers cabin-style accommodation as well as camping facilities. Travellers have the option to leave their camping gear packed and dine at the licensed dining room, while enjoying a few sundowners at the bar and chat to the locals.

Despite the remoteness, the station attracts visitors from all over the world, so most will be surprised at who they meet over a cold drink.

Drysdale River Station is the gateway to the Mitchell Plateau, which is one of the most biologically important areas in Western Australia. The region hosts the spectacular escarpments of the Mitchell Plateau, the Mitchell and Merton Falls, Surveyors Pool, Mitchell and King Edward rivers and is also a significant Aboriginal heritage site, so there is no shortage of things to experience.

Overnight: Drysdale River Station

Day 8: Drysdale River Station

Wake to the sound of farm animals before taking off on a morning charter flight over the spectacular coastal canyons lining the Prince Regent River, to circle the Mitchell Falls and fly low along the dramatic Kimberley coastline.

The country surrounding the station is a stunning mix of rainforests, open woodlands, and stands of white gum trees, laced with rivers and creeks, which beckon to the explorer.

Station staff will point out the best trails and offer directions and tips on some of the favourite attractions.

Overnight: Drysdale River Station

Day 9: Drysdale River Station to Ellenbrae Station Homestead

Wave goodbye to Drysdale River Station as you head towards tonight's accommodation at Ellenbrae Station Homestead Bush Resort.

Nestled between two billabongs and surrounded by trees and wildlife, the homestead offers accommodation, by prior arrangement.

Visitors can enjoy dinner, bed and breakfast accommodation, or use the camping facilities, which include hot and cold showers, toilets, undercover kitchen with gas stove, fridge and barbecue.

The owners also run a small craft shop selling original bush arts and crafts.

The locals are passionate about the region's history and attractions and will have some tips you won't find in a brochure.

Overnight: Ellenbrae Station Homestead

Day 10: Ellenbrae Station Homestead to El Questro Wilderness Park

Today's journey takes you through river and creek crossings, past isolated water holes and to the top of scenic lookouts, as you make your way to the spectacular El Questro Wilderness Park.

A short drive from Ellenbrae, visitors will cross the Durack River. The crossing is an ideal spot to stop for a 'cuppa' and rest under the trees.

Continue on your journey past Bindoola Creek crossing before stopping to marvel at the expansive views of the Cockburn Ranges from the lookout.

Ten minutes east lies the stunning riverscape of the Pentecost River. The fishing is great and saltwater crocodiles are common in the area, making for some exciting photographs.

Back on the road, it's a short drive to the one million acre El Questro Wilderness Park. Arriving in the late afternoon, visitors will find a range of nature-experiences waiting.

Accommodation varies from self-camping and tented accommodation to self-contained cabins overlooking the Pentecost River and the incredible five-star 'El Questro Homestead' complete with butler service and every luxury.

El Questro is a truly Australian wilderness experience, with rangers on hand to guide guests along dozens of well-marked four wheel drive trails, showcasing the best of the Kimberley's awe-inspiring scenery.

Set up camp, or hire one of the cabins or tents for the night.

The park has a store stocking basic items as well as a steakhouse restaurant that serves three meals a day.

Overnight: El Questro Wilderness Park

Day 11: El Questro Wilderness Park - Day 1

Spend the day exploring any one of the major attractions within the park.

Take a walk through the dense Livingstonia Palms to the thermal ponds, which make up Zebedee Springs. The springs are an amazing place to soak and relax and are a highlight of any visit to El Questro.

Pack plenty of film because the landscape here is stunning.

In the afternoon, try boating down the Chamberlain Gorge. This three-kilometre gorge is bounded by lush vegetation set beneath towering sheer walled cliffs.

The gorge can only be travelled by boat and visitors are rewarded with excellent examples of Windjana Aboriginal rock art.

Try your hand at barramundi fishing while there.

Overnight: El Questro Wilderness Park

Day 12: El Questro Wilderness Park - Day 2

El Questro is so diverse you could spend weeks exploring the park and only scratch the surface.

Ranger-guided horse treks are a great way to sneak up on the wildlife and provide an insight into life in the outback, as well as the tough conditions endured by settlers and cattlemen.

The region is alive with animals. Brumbies, wild donkeys, bustards, frilled necked lizards, goannas, dingoes, emus, sea eagles, brolgas, jabirus, wallabies, and technicolour parrots, too numerous to name.

You may even get the chance to see a saltwater crocodile or two.

Overnight: El Questro Wilderness Park

Day 13: El Questro Wilderness Park - Day 3

Spend another day exploring the trails and attractions of El Questro.

Travellers should spend at least one night in one of the bungalows or tented cabins, to celebrate the end of their four wheel drive journey.

The rest of the trip is on graded or tar-sealed roads, where four wheel drive vehicles are not essential.

Overnight: El Questro Wilderness Park

Day 14: El Questro Wilderness Park to Kununurra

Arrive in the East Kimberley town of Kununurra, set against Lake Kununurra and neighbouring the Ord River Dam.

Take a flight over the area crossing over Lake Argyle and south over the incredible striped domes of the spectacular Bungle Bungle ranges.

The world-heritage listed Purnululu area is unique - experience it by air to get a sense of expanse of the Bungle Bungle formations and by land to move among the vast mounds and observe their size and texture.

From Kununurra, visitors can head east to Darwin, or follow the highway back to Broome - about a 12 hour trek. Take time to stop off at Fitzroy Crossing on the return journey, and take a guided tour along the canyons of Geike Gorge.

Direct flights to Perth are available from Broome or spend a week there to enjoy the stunning beaches and golden sunshine.

Take a look at the Broome Beach and Sun itinerary for more details.

*Important Travel Information

An adventure such as this requires drivers to take necessary precautions to ensure a safe journey.

The vehicle should be properly equipped with a comprehensive tool, puncture repair and first aid kit, as well as sufficient water and food.

In the event of a breakdown stay with your vehicle - it is easier to find than an individual.

And always inform someone of your travel plans - especially if you intend to go off the beaten track.

There is also the option of hiring a vehicle and travelling in the safety of a small convoy led by an expert guide.

There are several reputable operators conducting tag-along tours in remote areas of Western Australia.

For more information on the Gibb River Road, including suggested itineraries go to the Gibb River Road section of the Derby Tourism website.

Our website also has additional information on four wheel driving in Western Australia.