Spectacular Outback Gorge

7 TIPS FOR CAMPING IN THE KIMBERLEY

The Kimberley in Western Australia is the best destination if you want an authentic camping experience in the Australian outback. As the country’s last wilderness frontier, you’ll be greeted by ancient landscapes. Since the natural attractions in the region are very remote, campers have to travel long distances between destinations. Also, most campsites have basic or no amenities, so campers have to be self-sufficient. For a safer and more comfortable journey, here are seven tips for camping in the Kimberley.

COMPLETE CAMPING GEAR

Since camping in the Kimberley offers little to zero amenities, campers have to be self-sufficient. This means having complete and proper camping gear. Your tent and sleeping bag must be suitable for the weather. You should also have a camping stove if fires aren’t permitted at your campsite.

APPROPRIATE CLOTHES

It’s always best to pack light when camping. If you’re smart about your clothing choices, you can be well-protected without having to bring too much. Pick clothes that are made from moisture-wicking materials. Have enough long-sleeved or loose-fitting tops, shorts, trousers and thick socks. Wear sturdy walking or hiking boots and have all-terrain sandals as an alternative.

Even in the Kimberley region, temperatures can drop at night. Bring a beanie, gloves, thermals and a fleece jacket to stay warm while sleeping outdoors.

BRING THE ESSENTIALS

Aside from your gear and clothes, make sure you have all the essentials when it comes to toiletries and supplies. Some things you might want to bring include sunscreen, moisturiser, after sun gel, alcohol, baby wipes, lip balm with SPF, insect repellant, a comprehensive first aid kit and don’t forget prescription medication.

HAVE ENOUGH FOOD AND WATER

Hiking and bushwalking are the most common ways to explore the Kimberley. Since you’ll be out in the sun all day and the climate tends to be warm and dry, you have to avoid getting dehydrated. Make sure to have at least two litres of drinking water per hour of activity. When it comes to food, make sure that your meals are non-perishable and pre-prepared. Also, pack extra food in case of emergencies.

CHECK YOUR VEHICLE

When you’re not exploring the natural beauty of the Kimberley, you’re most likely in your vehicle. Since you have to travel long distances, your vehicle must be in top condition. It pays to have your vehicle checked before departing for the Kimberley. Also have a complete toolkit, at least two spare tyres and extra fuel. The Gibb River Road is very rugged, so only certain campervans and four-wheel-drives can handle this kind of terrain. Make sure your vehicle is up to the task.

When it comes to driving, as much as possible, avoid travelling at night. With poor visibility so you might not see animals on the road. Driving at night can get dangerous if you’re already exhausted from driving all day.

PLAN YOUR ACTIVITIES

Some attractions in the Kimberley are much more impressive when seen early in the morning or during sunset. For example, the light makes the Echidna Chasm in Purnululu National Park even more spectacular. The iconic red cliffs in Cape Leveque, on the other hand, become golden as the sun sets.

Meanwhile, if you plan to bushwalk, it’s best to do it early in the morning or later in the afternoon. Avoid doing strenuous activities at high noon as the temperature can be too unbearable.

MONITOR THE WEATHER

Just like any other camping trip, monitor the weather in the days leading up to your trip to the Kimberley. Also, check the weather forecast for the duration of your trip. Avoid making the long journey if conditions are less than ideal.

Camping in the Kimberley means having to deal with the remoteness and ruggedness of the region. Your experience can be horrible if you’re not adequately prepared. If you keep in mind these seven helpful tips, though, your camping trip to the Kimberley can quickly become one of the best experiences of your life. If you have the proper gear and sufficient supplies, you have more time to devote to exploring the ancient landscapes of the region.

 


 

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Jake Taylor
jake.taylor@dinga.com.au

Jake is a global traveller who has recently called Australia his home again. If he's not travelling, he is writing about it and his experience.