Northern WA walk suggestions?

SA, WA & NT specific bushwalking discussion.
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Northern WA walk suggestions?

Postby Suz » Fri 21 Jul, 2017 10:00 am

Howdy,

Just finished the Larapinta and now looking for walk suggestions for the Katherine - Broome leg of my trip.

I will do the Jatbula and some other walks around Katherine but going west after that I'm not sure what areas are worth doing and accessible to 2wds with low clearance.

Does anyone have any advice? Day walks or multi days with minimal water carries desired :) TIA
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Re: Northern WA walk suggestions?

Postby north-north-west » Fri 21 Jul, 2017 11:31 am

Stop at Mataranka on the way up to Nitmiluk and have a swim/snorkel at Bitter Springs. There's also Kunjarra on the way up from the Alice - well wroth a visit.

To the west, there are some good short tracks in the more accessible sections of Judbara (Gregory NP), and also areas that can be walked off-track. Ditto with Keep River. Worth going down into Ord River - no tracks that I know of, but it's very open country and plenty of places to walk and camp away from the main tourist area. There's a conservation reserve near Kununurra that's worth visiting, but I can't recall how bad the road in is. Might or might not be suitable . . .
Unfortunately, Purnululu isn't an option - the road in can be rough and I think 2wds are actually banned.

Further west you have Geikie Gorge, Windjana Gorge, Tunnel Creek. Some good daywalk tracks there, and the boat tour at Geikie is worth doing.
Not sure how much you could do on the Dampier - I didn't need 4WD or the extra clearance of my Hilux, but some of the roads up there can still be rough. But there are some really fascinating areas up there, many of which are accessible from the main road, including a track/route (mix of coast walking and 4wds tracks mainly) that runs a long way north of Broome. I've done bits and pieces of it and it's lovely country.
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Re: Northern WA walk suggestions?

Postby Suz » Mon 24 Jul, 2017 10:06 am

Perfect - thanks NNW
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Re: Northern WA walk suggestions?

Postby lseries92 » Fri 28 Jul, 2017 9:49 pm

In NT do not forget the Tabletop Walk in Litchfield plus there are other walk opportunities there. A good portion of the park is accessible via bitumen. A little north of Katherine I know but worth the detour.

I have just finished the Jatbula (after doing the Larapinta as well) and hope to do a trip report when I get back in a couple of weeks. The Jatbula was a very nice walk - I loved all the swimming opportunities. It is heavily booked however there seem to be heaps of cancellations (in case you do not have a booking).

As for Northern WA, I have run into people some years ago that have done extended walks from Mt Hart and Mt Elizabeth stations but I have no idea who organised them plus they are not really accessible to a 2wd (at least if you care about your vehicle).

The western end of the Gibb River Road to Winjana Gorge is normally in good nick but the road down to Tunnel Creek can get badly chopped up sometimes. There is a big water crossing south of Tunnel Creek so approaching there from Fitzroy Crossing would probably not be a good idea. Tunnel Creek is pretty awesome.

A good portion of the eastern Gibb is sealed now so you can access Emma Gorge in a 2wd. Emma Gorge is a wonderful day walk. As well El Questro do transfers from Kununurra (or from Emma Gorge) however the issue will be that all their walking tracks start away from the station so you still have issue of getting to them once you are there. It would be worth talking to them to see what your options are.
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Re: Northern WA walk suggestions?

Postby Osik » Wed 02 Aug, 2017 2:53 pm

Hi Suz
I recently moved to Kununurra. Heading westward from Katherine, there are some good easily accessible walks just off the highway at the north of Judbarra/Gregory national park. The walks at Keep river are worth doing. There's also a few 'local knowledge' spots around Kununurra that are great + EQ/Emma Gorge.
For all of the above it's a case by case of proper 4wd, 2wd/awd with decent clearance/ 2wd with low clearance. Often you can park and walk a bit further to access walks but the Kimberley destroys many cars due to corrugations, sand, water etc. If you end up in Kununurra on a weekend and the timing works out, I'd be happy to catch up and go for a walk to somewhere interesting. I can probably give you a bit more info too on access conditions to some of the walks if you let me know what car you're driving.
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Re: Northern WA walk suggestions?

Postby Suz » Thu 03 Aug, 2017 7:59 pm

Thanks for the extra info lseries and osik. I'm driving a Mazda 2 so it's probably the least capable car type of off roading but it has done many unsealed roads in tassie and coped.

My car is in kununurra right now and I'll be back there in about a week. Could be fun to catch up if it works out but otherwise any advice is helpful :)
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Re: Northern WA walk suggestions?

Postby Osik » Sun 06 Aug, 2017 10:36 pm

A mazda 3 may make things around Kununurra a little difficult. You'd likely make it most of the way into the first campground at Keep River NP but not all the way due to a rutted sandy patch towards the end. Black Rock Falls/Middle Springs etc are also out as is the road into El Questro (not sure about Emma Gorge).
There's a couple of very short walks in Mirima (marked) + a couple of longer ones (unmarked) that you could certainly access + the classic wander up Kelly's knob.
There's plenty of folk in town at the moment & people are often happy for others to join in visiting local waterfalls & gorges, so might be worth posting something on the community noticeboard on facebook if you have fbook & you're going to be in town for a few days. I'm in Halls Creek for work this week but will be back on the weekend and will likely end up with a free day so could possibly catch up then.
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Re: Northern WA walk suggestions?

Postby Suz » Mon 14 Aug, 2017 9:51 pm

Thanks Osik. Very helpful advice. However I ended up meeting someone and travelling together for a week and I missed all those spots :/

Can highly recommend the walk to the top pool in the El Questro Gorge tho...
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