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Birds & Wildlife of the Kimberley - Kununurra to Broome

Join us on an iconic Australian Outback adventure

Birds & Wildlife of the Kimberley - Kununurra to Broome
Kimberley scenery - Alfred Schulte
Tour name
Birds & Wildlife of the Kimberley - Kununurra to Broome
Date
-
Price
From $11,750.00 AUD per person, twin share
Single supplement
$1710.00 AUD
Duration
11 days
Group size
4-8 people

Journey along the remote Gibb River Road for an iconic Australian Outback birding and wildlife tour including the Mitchell Plateau and Mitchell Falls.

Overview

The Gibb River Road is an iconic Australian Outback experience that has gained popularity particularly with Australians who wish to adventure into more ‘out of the way’ Australian areas.  We have run this tour as a private tour option over many years, but due to popular demand, are now offering a small group tour option on scheduled dates to make it more available to our guests. This tour visits areas that are only accessible by 4WD or air, and provides a unique chance to stay in roadhouses and on vast cattle stations en route and we have also included a rarely-offered chance to stay for two nights and a full day on the Mitchell Plateau. Here we will have the chance to explore the spinifex-clad rocky escarpments and Livistonia palm monsoon thickets of the Mitchell Falls area, where we’ll have our only chance of the rare and range-restricted Black Grasswren, as well as Kimberley Honeyeater, Partridge Pigeon, Rainbow Pitta and Green-backed Gerygone. Two overnight stays in the Mitchell Falls area also enable us to explore at night for a unique range of reptile and mammal species, most of which are only found in this area.

Inclusions

10 nights’ accommodation, specialist guide and transport, flights in and out of Mitchell Falls (fixed wing and helicopter), meals, entrance fees and activities as mentioned in the itinerary and GST.

Exclusions

Airfares other than flights to/from Mitchell Falls, gratuities, alcoholic beverages, snacks, internet, laundry, or other items of a personal nature.

Additional information

The itinerary: Whilst we aim to follow the itinerary as planned, please note that the itinerary provided should only be used as a guideline.  Depending on individual trip circumstances, weather, and local information, the exact itinerary may not be strictly adhered to.  The guides reserve the right to make changes to the itinerary as they see fit.

Remoteness: Please note that for much of this tour we will be birding in a wonderful yet remote part of Australia. Some of the roads are unsealed and rough and travel will be in 4WD vehicles. If you have medical conditions or health concerns, it is important you make us aware of these in advance of this tour. This doesn’t necessarily preclude you. We just need to be well-informed.

Luggage: We won’t have a huge amount of room for lots of luggage on the trip and will need to restrict the luggage to one soft sided duffle bag 2-3 ft long or similar per person plus a day pack/camera/binoculars etc that can be carried in the vehicle with you. We are trying to avoid hard sided suitcases which don’t pack well in the back of 4WDS. We’ll need to carry other essentials like water which we think is more important than too many clothes.

Small Group Tours - FAQ

Itinerary download

Download the itinerary brochure for the Birds & Wildlife of the Kimberley - Kununurra to Broome tour.

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Terms & Conditions

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Learn more

Here's what you'll see and do on the Birds & Wildlife of the Kimberley - Kununurra to Broome tour.

Day 1: Sunday 4 August 2024 - Arrive Kununurra

Today has been set aside as an arrival day so you are free to arrive at any time that suits your travel plans. Please make your own way to the hotel. For those continuing from the Darwin to Kununurra tour you will also arrive in Kununurra this afternoon. The group will meet for a welcome dinner this evening.
 

Accommodation: Kununurra (en suite rooms)

Meals included: D

Day 2: Monday 5 August 2024 - Kununurra to Wyndham

After an early breakfast we will leave Kununurra and head north-west towards Wyndham, birding along the way at a lagoon for birds like Yellow Chat, Zitting Cisticola, Yellow-rumped Mannikin, Red-chested Buttonquail and Horsfield’s Bushlark, plus hundreds of different waterbirds. We will stop at Wyndham for lunch and check out any leaky taps or sprinklers around town for a good chance of Gouldian Finch, as well as Pictorella Mannikin and Masked Finch.

If time permits later in the day, we can check out the mangroves on the edge of town; we may see Saltwater Crocodile here, and at dusk we can look for Short-eared Rock Wallabies at a nearby lookout.

Accommodation: Wyndham (en suite rooms)

Meals included: B L D

Day 3: Tuesday 6 August 2024 - Wyndham area

Today we will have a look in the extensive mangroves along the Wyndham wharf area for birds like Broad-billed Flycatcher, Yellow White-eye, White-breasted & Mangrove Golden Whistlers, Red-headed Honeyeater, Lemon-bellied Flyrobin (endemic Kimberley ssp tormenti), Black Butcherbird (western edge of range here) and Mangrove Grey Fantail. Great-billed Heron and Chestnut Rail are sometimes recorded on the muddy banks at low tide.

We’ll bird en route as we start to head west, stopping at a rocky gorge just south of Wyndham, which may hold White-quilled Rock Pigeon (Kimberley ssp albipennis), Spinifex Pigeon(ssp plumifera), Sandstone Shrike-thrush, Black-chinned Honeyeater (Golden-backed ssp laetior), and Varied Sittella. 

Accommodation: Wyndham (en suite rooms)

Meals included: B L D

Day 4: Wednesday 7 August 2024 - Wyndham to Drysdale River Station

We will have a look around pre-breakfast here for tropical woodland birds like Square-tailed Kite, Silver-crowned Friarbird, Varied Lorikeet, Buff-sided Robin, Paperbark Flycatcher and Bar-breasted Honeyeater, before we travel west along the Gibb River Road, crossing the Durack River and the Gibb Range; this route requires a 4WD. We’ll be on the lookout for various raptors including Black-breasted Buzzard, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Spotted Harrier and Australian Hobby, as well as iconic outback species like Budgerigar, Cockatiel and Australian Bustard. Mammal possibilities include Antilopine Wallaroo and Northern Nailtail Wallaby. Our accommodation tonight is based on a 1,000,000 acre (404,686 ha) Pastoral lease that runs about 7,000 head of cattle.

Accommodation: Drysdale River Station (en suite rooms)

Meals included: B (continental) L D

Days 5 & 6: Thursday 8 & Friday 9 August 2024 - Drysdale River Station to Mitchell Plateau

Today we will fly to the spectacular Mitchell Plateau, where we will stay two nights.  Here we will look for the highly range-restricted Black Grasswren, as well as Kimberley Honeyeater, Purple-backed Fairywren (Lavender-flanked ssp rogersi), the “Yellow eyed” Partridge Pigeon (Kimberley ssp blaauwi), White-quilled Rock Pigeon and Sandstone Shrike-thrush. Also here in the monsoon thickets, are Rainbow Pitta, Green-backed Gerygone, Little Woodswallow, Silver-backed Butcherbird (Kimberley ssp colletti) and Rufous Owl, as well as a chance of Red Goshawk overhead. Like the other grasswrens, the Black Grasswren can be elusive at times and may take a bit of searching for although we have also visited when they have been quite obliging. The additional time we have allowed in this area will certainly be a huge benefit.

After dark we will explore the area again in search of the unique range of mammals and reptiles that occur on the plateau. These include Scaly-tailed Possum, Rock Ringtail Possum, Monjon, Golden Bandicoot, Northern Quoll, Golden-backed Tree Rat, Black-footed Tree Rat, Brush-tailed Rabbit Rat, Ghost Bat, Gracile Velvet Gecko, Superb Dragon and Rough-scaled Python.
 

Accommodation: Lodge on Mitchell Plateau (tented cabins) for 2 nights

Meals included: B (continental) L D each day

Day 7: Saturday 10 August 2024 - Mitchell Plateau to Drysdale River Station

After a final look around the area we will fly back to Mt Elizabeth Station where we can explore the environs of this huge property. Birds we can look out for include Crested Shrike-tit (the very scarce northern subspecies whitei), Buff-sided Robin, Purple-crowned Fairywren, Black Bittern, Banded Honeyeater, Azure Kingfisher, and as always. the chance of Red Goshawk. Tonight, we can spotlight around the property to search for Barking Owl, Tawny Frogmouth or Australian Owlet-nightjar.

Accommodation: Drysdale River Station as for night 4

Meals included: B (continental) L D

Day 8: Sunday 11 August 2024 - Gibb River Road: Drysdale River to Mt Hart Station

Around Drysdale Station we will look for the star attractions of the area - Purple-crowned Fairywren and Crested (Northern) Shrike-tit (ssp whitei). The fairywrens live in the pandanus-lined waterways where we can also see Azure Kingfisher, Buff-sided Robin, Crimson Finch, White-gaped & Rufous-throated Honeyeaters and Black Bittern. The shrike-tit is a likely future taxonomic split and is found in the tropical eucalypt woodlands on the station.

We will then travel from Drysdale River to Mt Hart Station, heading further west along the Gibb River Road. Along the way we will have lunch at a Roadhouse, visit a nearby Gorge and traverse the King Leopold Range. Along the way we’ll have further chances of Kimberley Honeyeater and White-quilled Rock-Pigeon, as well as woodland species like Black-tailed Treecreeper, Red-browed Pardalote, Northern Rosella and Purple-backed Fairywren. Reptiles include the possibility of the localised Storr’s Monitor, Kimberley Rock Monitor and Black-headed Python.

Our accommodation for this evening is based on a former pastoral lease that once operated as a cattle station. The lands are now part of a large conservation area.

Accommodation: Mt Hart Wilderness Lodge (en suite rooms or tented camps TBA)

Meals included: B (continental) L D (3 course)

Day 9: Monday 12 August 2024 - Exploring Mt Hart Station

Today we have a full day to explore Mount Hart Station. Once a working cattle station, Mount Hart now sits in the heart of the 3,700 square kilometre Wunaamin Miliwundi Ranges Conservation Park. There are plenty of opportunities here to explore gorges, waterfalls and shady billabongs for those keen for a dip as well as spectacular landscapes and wildlife. While we are exploring we will be on the lookout for Pheasant Coucal, Green-backed Gerygone, Mertens Water Monitors and Dingos. This is also the western limit for some of the top end specialties such as Spangled Drongo and Yellow Oriole. Around the homestead there are plenty of Agile Wallabies, finches and honeyeaters around the well-watered lawns. At night there is the opportunity to explore one of the gorges in search of elusive mammals such as Northern Quoll, Kimberley Rock Rats, and Golden-backed Tree Rat. The march of the Cane Toad across northern Australia means that some of these species, particularly Quolls, have become difficult to see. However, night-time also presents the opportunity to look for frogs, owls and Tawny Frogmouths (northern sub sp.). There is a grove of Batwing Coral Trees (Erythrina vespertilio) that should be flowering at this time of year and attracts nectar loving birds during the day and gliders at night. Also recommended is a walk up to this station’s Sunset Hill which is across the airstrip from the Homestead.

Accommodation: Mt Hart Wilderness Lodge (en suite rooms or tented camps TBA)

Meals included: B (continental) L D (3 course)

 

Day 10: Tuesday 13 August 2024 - Mt Hart Station to Broome via Bandilngan

Today is our final day on the Gibb River Road, with a worthy diversion to Bandilngan (Windjana Gorge) National Park and Tunnel Creek National Park. Birds here include more chances of Gouldian Finch and the northern subspecies of Jacky Winter, as well as Diamond Dove, Pictorella Mannikin, Star Finch and Red-winged Parrot. We will then head to the welcomed sealed road back to Derby and then on to Broome and our accommodation for the night. We will arrive in Broome in time for a quick town tour and view the sunset over the ocean and meet with any new participants who are joining the group for the Broome-Dampier Peninsula tour.

Accommodation: Broome (en suite rooms)

Meals included: B L D

Day 11: Wednesday 14 August 2024 - Depart Broome or continue to the Broome-Dampier Peninsula tour

Those participants who are not continuing onto the Inala Broome-Dampier Peninsula tour will make their own arrangements to depart from Broome airport. Please see separate Broome-Dampier Peninsula Tour itinerary for those who are continuing to explore with us.

Please complete the following details to make a booking enquiry about the Birds & Wildlife of the Kimberley - Kununurra to Broome tour.

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The Birds & Wildlife of the Kimberley - Kununurra to Broome tour is available on the following dates:
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