Many people may have only heard of Kununurra as part of a country music song by Slim Dusty, but intrepid caravanners and tourists will be more familiar with this part of Western Australia. Whether you are a grey nomad or a tourist heading to Western Australia, you will be pleased to know that there are many National Parks in the Kimberley region – of which Kununurra is a main commercial centre – some of which allow camping.
But before you start out, be sure that you are going during the dry season – that is, in winter time.
Don’t get Bogged!
Travel over some of the roads is impossible during the wet season and you might get bogged if you try. As well, the National Parks are closed during this time. That said, it is good to go during the first few months of the dry season, before all those amazing waterfalls subside to just a trickle.
So where can you camp in your Goldstream RV?
Purnululu National Park in the Bungle Bungle Ranges is a great place to visit and camp for a few days. It is reasonably easy to access for 4WD vehicles and single trailers with high clearance due to the poor road quality. Sounds like the Goldstream Storm would make it here when conditions allow, but just check with the Visitors Centre in Kununurra first. Ancient sandstone domes striped with grey and orange are a feature of this park, which covers around 240,000 hectares. There are two non-powered campsites with bush toilets, water and firewood, but you are advised to boil the water before drinking.
Kununurra has more than one great caravan park with excellent facilities for those who don’t want to rough it too much, including one on the lake front, complete with the red eyes of freshwater crocodiles at night! And there are caravan parks in other must-see areas within a day or two’s drive – like Litchfield, Wyndham and Derby.
For those who want to avoid towing on the rough roads it is sometimes better to set up your caravan elsewhere and then visit the National Parks on a day trip. Mirima National Park at Hidden Valley, only minutes away from Kununurra is well worth a visit, but overnight camping is not allowed. You still have to pay an entry fee, but it is well worth it to see some of the ancient landscapes and spectacular views available by following short walking tracks. Many people regard this as a miniature Bungle Bungles – such is the shape and colour of the rocky outcrops.
Parry Lagoon Nature Reserve is another interesting area to look at as a day trip. It is 15 km south of Wyndham and the road in is gravel and badly corrugated, but once you get there you may see birds that have flown in from as far away as Siberia, as well as rarer Australian species.
The revolutionary designs of the Goldstream RV makes them especially suited to unsealed roads and places that may be difficult for other caravans to access.