Australian tour company APT has launched a new Kimberley adventure that caters to experienced bushwalkers looking to venture off the beaten track.
THE KIMBERLEY REGION in northern Western Australia is one of the most remote and stunning places on the planet. At almost half a million square kilometres, it’s roughly the size of the US state of California, but with just one sealed road and about 0.001 per cent of the population.
The world’s last remaining pristine savannah environment, the Kimberley is also an outdoor adventurer’s paradise – but the logistics of exploring this enormous, unspoilt remote wilderness and all it has to offer can seem intimidating, even to the most experienced trailblazers.
Enter APT, which has launched the Kimberley Challenge, a new 15-day 4WD adventure program based on the tour company’s most popular existing offering, the Kimberley Complete. The Challenge is packed with longer, more extreme hikes aimed at experienced bushwalkers who can handle a faster pace that will allow them to explore even further away from the beaten track.
The tour is rated ‘Difficult’, which APT defines as requiring participants who are fit enough to hike
up to 10km at a time, including scrambling over large boulders and uneven terrain. “It is a much more physically demanding adventure than any of our other tours, and it is advised that you are a regular bushwalker,” the company states.
If that sounds like you, then you’ll be in for a treat. Over the same 15-day time period as the Kimberley Complete, APT’s new Challenge alternative adds four extended hikes taking you into the depths of the best the region has to offer – to Bell Gorge Lookout (6 hours, 9km return); Manning Gorge Waterfall (4 hours, 9km return); El Questro Gorge (6 hours, 7km return); and Piccaninny Gorge in the World Heritage-listed Bungle Bungle range (6 hours, 9km return).
As for the logistics, APT has it sorted – this Aussie-owned touring company first started escorting travellers around the Kimberley region more than 40 years ago and has hosted more people in this region than any other operator, so it knows what it’s doing. Your small group – with a maximum 20 travellers – will be transported in one of APT’s bespoke 4WD vehicles, designed and equipped for the rough Kimberley terrain, and you’ll be guided by one of APT’s 70 Kimberley team members, each with specialist local knowledge, including Indigenous guides, naturalists and historians.
As well as a few satisfyingly gruelling days hoofing it in some of the most spectacular, remote wilderness on the planet (think scrambling over giant boulders, wading through crystal clear waterholes, and long days hiking through gorges flanked by towering ochre walls) there’s also the same opportunities for more chilled sight-seeing that the Kimberley Complete offers. A few less physically demanding but no less awesome trip highlights include a helicopter flight over Mitchell Falls, visiting outback townships and iconic pubs, seeing the famous boab prison tree, plus top-notch accommodation and dining to fuel the next day’s adventure.
To find out more about APT’s newest, toughest adventure program, visit kimberleywilderness.com. au/challenge or phone 1300 334 872.
Clockwise from left Exploring the Bell Gorge area; a guide explains the significance of the Wanjini rock art; taking the plunge at Galvans Gorge.
Clockwise from left The incredible rock formations at Cathedral Gorge have to be seen up close to believe; APT’s 4WD vehicles will take you to another world of outback adventure; following Piccaninny Creek in the Bungle Bungles; spotting freshwater crocs in Windjana Gorge.