Epic drive voted one of WA’s best

Broome Advertiser - - News - Jakeb Wad­dell

Tourists and lo­cals have long con­sid­ered the drive be­tween Broome and Ku­nunurra one of the State’s most stun­ning and pic­turesque road trips, and now a re­cent sur­vey has ce­mented this claim.

The 1200km jour­ney be­tween the two towns, via the Gibb River Road, was named one of the top five WA road trips in a pub­lic RAC sur­vey last month and was the only short­listed jour­ney not to in­volve Perth.

The Kim­ber­ley trip fin­ished in fourth spot in the study, which re­ceived al­most 4000 votes from West Aus­tralians.

And a quick look of what is on of­fer through­out the drive is all that any­one needs to jus­tify the high rank­ing.

The first stop for most ad­ven­tur­ers is Wind­jana Gorge Na­tional Park near the Napier Ranges, part of an an­cient reef sys­tem formed about 350 mil­lion years ago, fol­lowed by the nearby Tun­nel Creek, the State’s old­est cave sys­tem.

Road trip­pers also tout Home Val­ley Sta­tion as a high­light of the jour­ney, es­pe­cially to wit­ness the sun­set over the Cock­burn Ranges.

El Que­stro Wilder­ness Park, Bell Gorge, Drys­dale River Sta­tion and Man­ning Gorge are also con­sid­ered to be un­miss­able stops.

And even those only keen for the drive would get the ul­ti­mate out­back ex­pe­ri­ence, with only a to­tal of 100km of the road sealed.

Broome Vis­i­tor Cen­tre man­ager Mel Virgo said the road trip was very pop­u­lar among lo­cals and trav­ellers.

“The amaz­ing scenery and op­por­tu­ni­ties on the Gibb make it one of the most sought-af­ter des­ti­na­tion routes in the Kim­ber­ley,” she said.

“It is a once-in-a-life­time hol­i­day and we often have peo­ple come through who are plan­ning on spend­ing weeks or months do­ing the jour­ney. We re­ceive ques­tions about it non-stop through­out the year and is one of the most pop­u­lar at­trac­tions peo­ple in­quire about.”

Aus­tralia’s North West Tourism chief ex­ec­u­tive Natasha Ma­har said she was not sur­prised the road trip made the top-five list.

“This hearty piece of mostly dirt road epit­o­mises the real Aus­tralia, en­com­pass­ing both out­back sta­tion life and Abo­rig­i­nal cul­ture as well,” she said.

“It’s raw­ness, scale and sheer last-fron­tier rep­u­ta­tion cre­ate a wan­der­lust for vis­i­tors to want to ex­pe­ri­ence the jour­ney.

“The dusty track at­tracts a peo­ple from fam­i­lies to cy­clists, back­pack­ers and busi­ness peo­ple, ad­ven­tur­ous Euro­peans and a fair crowd from over the East spend­ing their kids’ in­her­i­tance.”

The Perth to Mar­garet River via Pem­ber­ton route topped the list, fol­lowed by Perth to Ex­mouth and Perth to Al­bany, with Perth to Esper­ance com­ing in at fifth.

RAC tourism man­ager Tony Pick­worth said the sur­vey showed West Aus­tralians’ in­creased in­spi­ra­tion to en­joy their State.

Pic­tures: Stephen Scour­field

Bell Gorge falls on the Gibb River Road in the Kim­ber­ley.

El Que­stro Gorge in the El Que­stro Wilder­ness Park.

On the re­gion’s fa­mously dusty Gibb River Road.

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