Unveiling some of the Kimberley’s hidden secrets.
Most 4WD routes through the Kimberley are well worn, but Ron and Viv Moon know a few rarely used gems.
WHEN we first went to the Kimberley in 1976 there were few travellers and the Gibb River Road (GRR) was little more than a rarely graded track which had no fuel or supplies between Derby and Kununurra. Even such wellknown attractions as Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek had no one around for most of the time and we were nearly always on our own. Only once did we come across another traveller, even though we spent time mustering cattle on Mt Barnett Station (the fuel outlet and store were still a year away) and wandering the back tracks with an eccentric diamond prospector – which is a story in itself.
How things have changed. Now the GRR is a major thoroughfare in remarkably good condition for most of the time, with traffic streaming along it in the hundreds per day during the peak of the tourist season.
The Kimberley is an expensive place to visit, and we often have people complaining to us about the cost of camping, the lack of free bush camping places, and the virtual absence of free overnight camps. It’s an issue that’s been around for a long time, but nobody seems keen to address it. With a bit of effort you can find a free overnight campsite, though finding a spot that’s worth staying for a few nights is another question entirely.
On our latest trip collecting info for the next edition of Hema Maps’ Kimberley guide, we poked down little-used tracks trying to find hidden gems known only to a few locals and long-time Kimberley travellers. Here are some we’ve found in recent times.