Photos of the Kimberley can make this region seem isolated and forbidding, but is it really unsuitable for kids? We’ve just come back from the Kimberley, driving from Kununurra to Halls Creek via well-known areas like Windjana Gorge, Cape Leveque and beautiful Broome, and we can safely say that any families thinking about tackling these tracks will have a great time.
While this was a work-related trip with industry partners like Your 4X4, ARB, Hema Maps, Lightforce, Piranha Offroad Products, DP Chip, Kaymar and Brown Davis, wives and children were also invited so it was a great chance to see how family-friendly this region can be. The youngest member of our group was a mere 10 days old and as far as we know she had a blast!
Here’s a few of our favourite spots for families doing the Kimberley in their fourby:
Off the regular tourist track in the Mitchell Plateau area is Little Mertens Falls. Fairly close to the Mitchell Falls, this less well-known spot is still pretty magnificent. Whether you want to dive into the water or just walk under the falls, it’s well worth a visit. There are plenty of tracks here for the kids to have an adventure on, wildlife in abundance and even natural spas for the ladies.
Besides having a name that any school-age child will love saying over and over again, Donkey Pools at Charnley Station is a gorgeous peaceful spot for a cool dip. It’s also a great chance to introduce your kids (and the city slickers in your group!) to Australia’s wildlife: kangaroos, dingos and snakes go about their daily business as usual on this working cattle farm, with wild peacocks adding colour to the scenery.
If you have older children who are happy to do a bit of a hike, Manning Gorge was where we had the most awesome swim of the trip. The long, hot walk might be a bit much for very young kids but the gorge is definitely worth it.
Put Drysdale Station on your list of places to pitch a tent in, because this area is stunning. Miners Pool is about 5km from the homestead and has a safe area to swim in for adults and kids alike. We also hear it’s good for fishing so if you’re a keen angler, don’t forget your gear!
Hit the beach at breathtaking Cape Leveque. The young and young-at-heart will have great fun on a tagalong tour for mud-crabbing, and you can also drop a line on the eastern side for some fishing; we didn’t have much luck with the crabs or the fish but you might do better!
Tunnel Creek in Windjana Gorge is the oldest cave system in Australia; you can tell how ancient it is from the Aboriginal rock art within the site. We know most experienced off-roaders scoff at the idea of a guided tour, but in this case we highly recommend it. We went on a tour with the local Aboriginals and got to listen to fascinating dreamtime stories; it was great for the kids to learn more about Aboriginal culture and really connect to the roots of this land.
If you’re about to head out for a lengthy road trip, don’t forget to check that your tyres are in good shape – nothing worse than having your holiday spoilt by trouble on the trail. When checking how worn your tyres are, take into account how far you’re travelling and the kind of terrain you’re travelling on. Will they last and still be in good enough shape to get you home at the end of the day?
If you need advice on choosing the right tyres, call 1300 COOPER to speak to us or drop us an email.