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SPECIAL INTEREST TOURS

10 DAY KIMBERLEY ABORIGINAL ART TOUR

Included Highlights:    

  • Aboriginal Community Centres & Art Galleries: Broome / Mowanjam / Imintji / Warmun / Waringarri
  • Aboriginal Rock Art Sites: (Wandjina / Gwion): Gibb River / King Edward River/ Mitchell Falls
  • Natural Sights: Windjana Gorge, Tunnel Creek, Galvins Gorge, Mitchell Falls Walk, El Questro Station, Bungle Bungles – Echidna Chasm / Cathedral Gorge

Details:

  • Price: From $8950.00pp
  • Stay: Spinifex Hotel (1N), Bell Gorge Wilderness Lodge (1N), Drysdale River Station (1N), Mitchell Falls Wilderness Lodge (2N), Home Valley Station (1N), El Questro (1N), Bungle Bungle Wilderness Lodge (2N)
  • Commence: Broome – Conclude: Kununurra
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Day 1 Short Street Gallery, Boab Prison Tree

In Broome this morning we will visit the Short Street Gallery which show cases the finest Aboriginal art in the region. Subject to gallery exhibitions. We’ll then travel through the remote and beautiful landscape of the Western Kimberley, learning of local history, people and the environment crossing the Fitzroy River and visiting the famous Boab Prison Tree. We arrive in the township of Derby located on the tidal mud flats on the edge of the King Sound known for having the highest tidal range of any port in Australia. We visit the wharf area, which is a great place to view a sunset enjoying a drink & nibbles.

Accommodation: Spinifex Hotel, Derby
Meals: Lunch

Day 2 Tunnel Creek, Windjana Gorge

This morning we hit the famous cattle track, the Gibb River Road, with our first stop at Mowanjam Arts Centre for an insight into the local community of Indigenous artists prior to travelling towards the Napier Range. Once a Devonian reef, these escarpments are over 350 million years old and home to a diverse array of animals and plants. The perfect place to experience the stunning natural beauty of an outback oasis is the 3.5km geological wonder of Windjana Gorge and then exploring Tunnel Creek, a 750-metre cave system carved through the Range, in which we discover stalactites, secret caves and a variety of wildlife. It is here we also learn the legend of Jandamarra, an Aboriginal freedom fighter who used the tunnel as a hide out in the late 1800’s. This afternoon we re-join the Gibb and traverse through the scenic King Leopold Ranges arriving at our overnight Wilderness Lodge.

Accommodation: APT Bell Gorge Wilderness Lodge
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3 Imintji Gallery, Galvin’s Gorge – Wandjina Paintings

We visit the adjoining small community Imintji Art Centre morning and re-join our journey along the Gibb River Road. More stunning Kimberley gorges await us as we travel through cattle country. A morning swim at the picture perfect Galvin’s Gorge, with our first introduction to the Wandjina  precedes a refreshment stop at the outback Mt Barnett Roadhouse,  check out the road signs to see how remote we really are! A side trip to Barnett River will provide the perfect setting for our picnic lunch.

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Leaving the Gibb River Road we venture into the remote Northern Kimberley where a warm welcome awaits our arrival at the characteristic Drysdale River Station. Completely cut off from the outside world by road in the wet season the working cattle station has been owned and run by the Koeyer family for many years and ticks all the boxes for an outback setting. Don’t be surprised to hear a local strumming on a guitar singing one of your favourites around the fire as we settle into the outdoor bar for the evening – you may even like to join in.

Accommodation: Drysdale River Station
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4 King Edward River, Aboriginal Art

This morning we hit the rough & ready Pt Warrender Road as we head into the inspiring country of the Wununbal people – the traditional owners of the region north of the King Edward River. We will explore incredible rock art sites, including Gwion Gwion dated over 17 000 years old have the opportunity to swim and be awed by the stunning beauty of the natural environment.  After a picnic lunch on the banks of the pristine river, shaded by giant paperbarks we continue our journey through livistonia forests arriving at our spectacular wilderness accommodation, replete with it’s own swimming hole.

Accommodation: APT Mitchell Falls Wilderness Lodge
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, DInner

Day 5 Mitchell Falls, Scenic Helicopter Flight

Today you have a full day to discover the beauty of Mitchell Falls, with its magnificent waterfalls and Indigenous art. Begin with a guided hike to Little Mertens Falls to view rarely seen Aboriginal art, including Wandjina, Gwion and Irregular Infill considered to be some of the oldest known paintings in the Kimberley region. Continue on to Big Mertens Falls before arriving at Mitchell Falls. With superb scenery and rich culture, you can swim in the pools above the falls and spot the region’s abundant wildlife.

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We have also included a helicopter flight over Mitchell Falls and the surrounding wilderness back to the vehicle (Hike & flight may operate in reverse order). Longer helicopter flights over this captivating and remote coastline are available at additional expense. Then, it’s time to meander back to our wilderness lodge to relax around the fire, knowing you have just experienced a day most people can only dream of. (Note: if guests chose not to take the inward or outward helicopter flight it can mean a challenging walk of 5 – 6 hours round trip duration – guests will need a high degree of fitness)

Accommodation: APT Mitchell Falls Wilderness Lodge
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6 Durack River, Rock Art Gallery

Retracing our way along the Kalumbaru Road we once again join the Gibb, where we enter Durack country, cattle pioneers of this tough country. Travelling East we get an appreciation of the harsh, but inspiring, country that these early cattle men and their families set through in the hope of improving their lives. Many came and went, some perished, however others were the backbone of opening up Northern Australia and their legacy lives on. En-route today we detour off the Gibb River Road to view an extensive gallery of Wandjina paintings rarely seen by travellers. Afterwards a surprise awaits as we call into an outback oasis for a ‘devonshire tea’ break. This evening we arrive at Home Valley Station where the modern out back facilities are eagerly appreciated.

Accommodation: Home Valley Station
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7 El Questro Station, Emma Gorge

Our adventure continues today as we cross the mighty Pentecost River and journey through the iconic El Questro Wilderness Park, where you may recognise the landscape from the Baz Luhmann movie ‘Australia’. The most famous station and tourism resort along the Gibb River Road will not disappoint. The spectacular landscape, dotted with boab trees and spectacular gorges is the perfect environment to appreciate the captivating beauty of this remote region. We have ample time to traverse the gorges and enjoy a refreshing dip in the warm spring waters of Zebedee Springs prior to arriving at stunning Emma Gorge Resort, your home for the evening. The afternoon is the perfect time to tackle the challenging Emma Gorge walk prior to enjoying a cocktail and a delicious meal under the evening sky.

Accommodation: El Questro – Emma Gorge
Meals: Breakfast

Day 8 Warmun Art Centre, Echidna Chasm

Departing El Questro and the Gibb River Road, we travel via Highway 1 to the Aboriginal Community of Warmun (aka Turkey Creek). Famous for its unique ochre painting the Art Centre artists and staff support Gija cultural practices through a dynamic program of local, national and international exhibitions, cultural events and digital media productions. Continuing we journey deep into what is sure to be a highlight of our journey, the World Heritage protected Purnululu National Park, a spectacular wilderness region that is home to some of the country’s most striking geological formations.

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Travel the Spring Creek Track and discover the magnitude of Purnululu as we hike to Echidna Chasm, a spectacular natural cleft in the rock. Narrow in width, with walls reaching 100-metres high, the chasm is a must-see in the Kimberley as the afternoon light sees it at it’s most glorious. This evening we arrive at the private Bungle Bungle Wilderness Lodge, our home for the next 2 nights.

Accommodation: APT Bungle Bungle Wilderness Lodge
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9 Cathedral Gorge

We have a full day to continue our exploration of this extraordinary natural wonder, including the famous Bungle Bungle domes. Rivers created this landscape of unique orange and black striped ‘beehive’ geological formations over a period of 20 million years. Unbelievably, only the locals knew it existed until the early 1980’s; once discovered by others, the area was made a national park in 1987. We take a short walk (2-3km) into stunning Cathedral Gorge, where towering rocks create a natural amphitheatre and will have time in the afternoon to take a highly recommended optional helicopter flight that puts the whole area into a spectacular perspective. (Approximate cost $395pp – own expense). This evening view a sensational sunset enjoying drinks & nibbles.

Accommodation: APT Bungle Bungle Wilderness Lodge
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10 Waringarri Aboriginal Arts, Kununurra

Departing the Bungles this morning we make our way to the lush oasis town of Kununurra where we visit the Warringarri Aboriginal Art & Cultural Centre. Established in the 1970’s by senior cultural leaders of the East Kimberley it is one of the oldest Indigenous Art Centres in Australia. Located in the heart of Miriwoong Country the artist’s studio showcase ochre paintings, wood carvings and the traditional art form of engraving Boab pods. Subject to availability we will experience a Welcome to Country and meet the artists whose work is showcased. Your tour concludes with a transfer to your Kununurra hotel or to the airport for your onward flight. (An optional scenic transfer flight from the Bungles to Kununurra is available at additional cost).

Concludes: Kununurra
Meals: Breakfast