3 week North West Itinerary – Kimberley/Pilbara

West Australia’s North West is a big beautiful place and this 3 week itinerary is definitely not enough time to soak it all in! However, it is enough to give you a taste of the most beautiful sites and destinations this area of Western Australia has to offer.

A few things to note about this itinerary

  • This is a driving itinerary – therefore you will need to either book a campervan or car. A 4WD is preferred for this itinerary, however I have made suggestions, incase this isn’t possible. For campervan comparisons – check out my blog here.
  • Make sure you travel during the dry season, or you want be able to complete half of this itinerary! The dry season is April to September.
  • This itinerary starts in Perth and ends in Broome. You can complete is either way, however if you are returning to the same destination, you will need to add extra driving days.
  • Some places require lots of driving, if you don’t like driving this itinerary is not for you.
  • This itinerary is just a taste and my suggestions; you will need to do your own research into each place (don’t worry I’ve linked more in-depth articles!)
  • You are better off getting a WA holiday pass for this trip, you will save heaps of money instead of buying a park pass at each destination.

DAY 0 – Arrival Day

Today is the day you either arrive in Perth or Broome (if completing this itinerary backwards). Spend this day preparing for your adventure.

DAY 1 – Drive to Karijini

Today is one of the longest driving days in this itinerary – please keep in mind that Western Australia is huge! The distance between places in the North West is quite long, so if you don’t like driving, this itinerary might not be for you.

This day your main focus is getting to your first destination on this North West itinerary, Karijini National Park. This is going to be at least a 14 hr drive, so if you are not comfortable driving that distance, you can split it up into two days and stay at caravan park or rest stop half way. I recommend either the Karalundi Caravan park (9hr drive) or Gascoyne River Sth Branch rest stop (10hrs).

If you are going to drive the whole 14hr drive, please remember to take adequate breaks, swap drivers if possible and stop if you are feeling fatigued. If you have never driven long distances before, I do not recommend completely this drive in one day.


DAY 2 – Karijini National Park

Today you will be exploring the western side of the National Park. Today is going to be a full on day as there is lots to see! If you are staying at Dales campground, be prepared for a 1.5hr drive to your first destination, Hamersley Gorge.

It is best to visit Hamersley Gorge in the morning, to try and beat the crowds. Hamersley Gorge has so much to do, and to be honest you could easily spend a whole day here exploring. There are several pools at this gorge, to access them you will need to walk down a few hundred steps. The main pool, where you can swim out into the gorges. There is also the ‘spa pool’ which I’m sure you’ve seen all over social media. This does require a bit of rock scrambling/climbing to get too or a swim. I would not recommend doing this without the appropriate footwear as the rocks can be slippery.

If you are feeling adventurous you can venture higher than the spa pool, as there are multiple other pools at the top of this waterfall.

After you’ve had a few swims and are feeling refreshed, head to the Weano Recreation area (about 1.5hr drive). From here check out Handrail Pool, Kermits Pool and the two lookouts. Keep in mind some of these hikes are grade 5 (difficult), so make sure you read the hike description prior to starting. Also make sure you are wearing the right shoes!

For more in depth look into Karijini National Park, you can read my guide here.

Make your way back to camp after a full day of exploring.


DAY 3 – Karijini National Park

Today is the second day exploring Karijini National Park. Today we will explore the eastern side of the national park or the Dales Recreation Area.

If you are staying at Dales Campground, there is no need to drive today as you can access all of these places via walking! The best way to see everything this area has to offer is to walk the Dales Gorge Trail and make stops along the way. By doing this you will start off with views of circular pool (if walked clockwise), then descend into Dales Gorge. You will be treated with beautiful views of the gorges and swimming holes along the way.

The trail passes Fortescue Falls, which is a great place to cool off after your hike. Make sure to venture upwards from these falls to Fern Pool on 300m detour. This pool is beautiful and you can swim right up to the waterfall, even sit behind it! Fern Pool is a sacred area, so please don’t dive or jump into the water.

The whole circuit is about 3km from the campsite, so take your time today to explore these areas.


DAY 4 – Karijini National Park

Today you are going to be hiking the second tallest mountain in Western Australia, Mt Bruce. If hiking isn’t your thing, don’t worry you can just skip this and complete the second half of this day.

The Mt Bruce summit trail is a 9km return hike, which is rated as difficult – mainly because of its steep climbs and drop offs. If you don’t like heights I wouldn’t complete this hike. Start this hike early in the morning and make sure you bring plenty of water with you. You will be rewarded with spectacular views from the top.

After you’ve completed this hike, no doubt you will be tired. So you can either head back to camp or head over to Joffre Falls and Knox lookout for a bit more exploring. If you aren’t a hiker, spend the whole day exploring this area of the national park.


DAY 5 – Millstream National Park

Your second location on this North West Itinerary is Millstream National Park! This national park is known as a mini Karijini and is usually missed by travellers. I think its a great little spot to spend a few days on this itinerary.

The drive from Karijini to Millstream is only about 3.5hrs. So you can spend the morning sleeping in or relaxing. On the way to your campgrounds stop off at Deep Reach pool for a dip.


  • Stargazers Campground (seasonal)
  • Miliyanha Campground

DAY 6 – Millstream National Park

Today you will explore another area of Millstream National Park, you will have about an hours drive to this area. Don’t worry all the roads are sealed!

Here you will explore Python Pool, a stunning swimming spot with a spectacular backdrop. If you like hiking, take a walk along the Camel Trail (8km one way). This trail runs up rugged cliff escarpments of the of the Chichester Range. After, make sure to visit Mt Herbert for stunning views over the country side. This walk is only 45min from the car park.

If you have time and a 4WD, have a look at completing the 20km scenic loop drive.


  • Stargazers Campground (seasonal)
  • Miliyanha Campground

DAY 7 – Drive to Broome

Another long drive today. Only thing to worry about today is driving (again). To get to Broome from Millstream National Park is going to take you roughly 10-10.5hrs. On this route you will pass through Port Headland, Pardoo and Eighty Mile Beach.

Port Headland is a great place to stop and stock up on groceries – although this can also be done in Broome. If you are wanting to split this driving into two days (if you also have the time), I recommend staying at either Cape Keraudren or Eighty Mile Beach.


  • RAC Cable Beach: Walking distance to get pubs and Cable Beach. Accommodation includes cabins and camping.

Search for others places to stay in Broome below.


DAY 8 – Broome

Let’s explore the third place on this WA North West Itinerary. Spend today exploring what’s around Broome. A couple places I recommend are:

  • Gantheaume point and dinosaur footprints: Only 10 mins from Broomes town centre a good little day trip. You can only see the dinosaur footprints at very low tide, preserved in reef rock. Just after high tide, go for an explore around the point and you might be lucky enough to find some secret rock pools. TIP: look for the chimney and follow it down to the ocean.
  • Reddell beachUnusual rock formations along a white sand beach, great spot to relax for the day.
  • Coconut wells: Another one to visit just after low tide for some drone shots. This is one of those spots you’re going to have to go to and do a little wondering to find. Google maps will take you to a car park via a sealed road, from here you will need to take the 4WD tracks to the beach. I can’t give you an exact point where you’ll find them so you’ll just have to go do a little exploring!
  • Town beach: Another good spot to fly the drone and get some instagram shots. The different colours of the mangroves, sand and ocean make for a unique colour palette.

Spend the afternoon watching the sunset on Cable Beach and make sure you stop off at the Divers Tavern for a yummy feed!


  • RAC Cable Beach: Walking distance to get pubs and Cable Beach. Accommodation includes cabins and camping.

DAY 9 – Broome

Today I recommend doing something which is costly but will be worth it – Horizontal Falls half day tour. This tour is about 6hrs and will cost you $950 AUD per person.

This tour includes:

  • Seaplane flight from Broome
  • Boat ride through Horizontal Falls
  • Cooked breakfast or Lunch onboard
  • Cruise through the spectacular bays and untouched creek systems of Talbot Bay.
  • Return transfers to your accommodation in Broome

If you don’t want to do this tour, spend the day exploring Broome Town, or any other places you’ve missed.


  • RAC Cable Beach: Walking distance to get pubs and Cable Beach. Accommodation includes cabins and camping.

DAY 10 – Broome

If you have a 4WD, spend today heading out to James Price Point and Willie Creek. James Price Point is incredible, and has rich red cliffs which meet the blue ocean. It is truely spectacular.

Wille Creek is beautiful too, and at low tie is makes for beautiful drone pictures. You can also visit the Pearl Farm today, and learn how pearls are harvested or buy yourself some jewellery. However, if you don’t have a 4WD you can visit Willie Creek Pearl Farm on a tour.

The roads are only suitable for 4WD’s, they are sandy and corrugated.

Additionally, if you don’t have a 4WD want to see some red cliffs, you can drive out to the Dampier Peninsula to Cape Leveque!


  • RAC Cable Beach: Walking distance to get pubs and Cable Beach. Accommodation includes cabins and camping.

DAY 11 – Drive to Purnululu National Park (Bungle Bungles)

Don’t trust google maps ‘time’ for this day! Google maps say it will take you about 9.5hrs to get here from Broome, but due to the 4WD track which you will have to take to access Purnululu National park, it will take you about 10.5-11 hrs.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a 4WD, I’ll suggest some options below!

While driving this route, there isn’t anywhere I’d recommend that you spot, even for an overnighter. This is one of those drives you are going to have to do. Fitzroy Crossing is the best place to fuel up along this route, just make sure you only fuel up and move on.

Once you have arrived and set up camp, head over to the Kungkalanayi Lookout to watch the sunset over the national park.


  • Camping: Kungkalangyi or Walardi – $13 AUD per person/night
    Kungkalangyi is closer to Echidna Chasm and Mini Palms Gorge.
    Walardi is closer to the Beehive Domes
  • Bungle Bungle Savannah Lodge: from $350 AUD per person

For this itinerary I recommend you stay at Kungkalangyi campsite for the first night and Walardi for the second night. This will give you the best access to the activities on this itinerary.

No 4WD?

If you are not travelling this itinerary in a 4WD, you will not be able to access the national park. However, I can recommend a few options as this is somewhere I believe needs to be seen on this itinerary.

  • Option 1: Bungle Bungle Savannah Lodge offers tours from Kunnunura (1 or 2 nights). Miss day 11 & 12 on this itinerary and spend a few extra days in Kununurra to complete this tour.
  • Option 2: Bungle Bungle Caravan Park (outside national park), offers day trips into the park via a 4WD tour. This costs $339 AUD pp for the day. You can stay/access this caravan park with a 2WD.
  • Option 3: Bungle Bungle Guided tours offer day tours (including flights). This is great option if you are short on time. These leave from Kununurra.
  • Option 4: Kingfisher Tours offer day or multi night tours. These tours are either luxury, include flights, tour guides and 4WD tours. These tours leave from Kununurra.

DAY 12 – Purnululu National Park

The first activity on the agenda today is the Mini Palms walk! This 4.4km return hike will take you through the gorges, following a creek bed and scrambling around huge boulders. It is best to complete this hike early in the morning before the heat sets in.

After you have completed the Mini Palms walk, head over to the Echidna Chasm trail. This walk is best completed when the sun is directly above the chasm, as the sunlight hits the chasms walls, creating a bright red glow. You can find out the best time to visit this chasm from the visitor centre. This walk is 2km return and gets incredibly hot, so make sure you pack plenty of water!

If you want a more in-depth look into activities in the Purnululu National Park, you can read my blog here.

After you’ve completed both of these hikes, make your way back to camp and relax for the rest of the day. If you are feeling adventurous and have the money, I highly recommend a helicopter tour for sunset!


  • Walardi Campsite: If you don’t want to change campsites tonight, you can stay at Kungkalangyi campsite. You will just need to drive a little extra and wake up earlier tomorrow.

DAY 13 – Drive to El Questro

Pack up, head out bright and early from camp today to see the marvellous Bungle Bungles for sunrise – this is a must do! There are multiple places to stop and admire the beehive domes from the road, make sure to have your camera handy!

After sunrise, head to Piccaninny Creek car park and start the Cathedral Gorge Hike. This 2km hike will lead you to a beautiful natural amphitheatre and through the beehive domes. There is plenty to see along this walk, and is best completed in the morning when there is shade.

Once you’ve returned from the Cathedral Gorge Hike, complete the short 700m walk around the domes. From here you will head on out and drive to El Questro. This drive will take you roughly 4-5hrs to complete. You shouldn’t have a problem entering the roads into El Questro during the dry season. However, if there has been rain in the area, the roads are prone to flooding – there is also a creek crossing at the El Questro Station entrance.

If you can’t enter the roads with a 2WD, you won’t be able to access a lot of what El Questro has to offer or stay at the station. You will be able to stay at Emma Gorge Resort, and access some attractions – more on that later.


DAY 14 – El Questro

Today we start exploring the fourth destination on this North West Itinerary, El Questro. El Questro is absolutely beautiful and is worth spending a few days exploring the area. What can you expect during your time here? Watering holes, swimming, 4WD tracks and all round good vibes.

Start your day off by heading down to Zebedee Springs at opening time, 7am. This place fills up quickly so its best to either visit early morning or late after noon (it is only open to the public from 7-12pm). This natural oasis is a short walk along a trail, which leads you through dense Livistona Palms to a series of rocky thermal pools. The perfect place to relax for a few hours.

After you’ve relaxed, head to the trail head for the Amalia Gorge Trail. This is best seen right after the wet season, where along the trail you will be treated to heaps of waterfalls. There are a few parts of this hike that are a little bit hairy, but its nothing major if you have a good level of fitness! Cool off in the waterfall at the end and make your way back to camp.

Both Amalia Gorge and Zebedee Springs can be visited with a 2WD.


DAY 15 – El Questro

The second day in El Questro can only be accessed via a 4WD unfortunately (unless the rivers aren’t running). Today you hike the El Questro gorge trail: A 7.2 km return hike.

Walk along a narrow spring-fed creek through palm and fern clad escarpments to a small, clear swimming hole, where you can relax. From this half way point, if you are feeling adventurous you can continue on, this increases in difficulty. You will continue for another 1.5hrs to reach the top where another crystal clear pool and waterfall await you.

In the afternoon make your way to Pigeon Hole look out, the watch the sunset over the breathtaking landscapes (make sure you get here early to get a good spot!). This 4WD track is a moderate difficulty.


DAY 16 – El Questro

Today you have a few options; 4WD, helicopter flights or more hiking. These activities can only be accessed via a 4WD unfortunately (unless the rivers aren’t running).

Feel like going 4WD’ing ? Check out these trails.

  • Saddle Back Ridge Lookout: Do not attempt this if you do not have any 4WD experience as it is steep and has heaps of switch backs.
  • Brankos Lookout

Feel like hiking?

  • Champange Springs: 4.8km return hike
  • Moonshine Gorge Circuit walk: a 5km return hike

Lastly, if you feel like going on bit of an adventure and you have the money you can go on a helicopter tour from El Questro. There are a few tours to choose from starting at $479 AUD per person.

Spend the rest of your day relaxing and go try a meal at the restaurant, they have some unique options like a camel or buffalo burger!


DAY 17 – Kununurra

Today you have a short drive to your next destination on this North West itinerary, Kununurra. But first you will make a stop at the beautiful Emma Gorge. This walk starts at the Emma Gorge Resort, so It’s perfect for completing going out or in to El Questro.

A very picturesque 3.2 km return walk. You will walk by crystal clear watering holes into the rugged cockburn ranges, to be rewarded with a fresh waterfall at the end. Suitable footwear is recommend, as you will need to scramble over some rocks which may be slippery.

Afterwards make your way to Kununurra, which is only a short 1 hr drive. You can completely miss Kununurra and drive straight to Lake Argyle if there isn’t anything here that interests you. I have included Kununurra as their are few interesting things to do.

  • Mirima National Park: This National Park is only 2 km outside Kununurra. It is locally known as the mini Bungle Bungles. It has some impressive walks with great views, and I do recommended visiting for an hour or so if you are up there. 
  • Ivanhoe Crossing: This is the old crossing over the Ord River, you will need a 4WD. This is a great place to fly the drone for some impressive shots. There are crocs in this area so beware when getting out of your car/crossing. Unfortunately I could not cross when I was up in Kununurra as it was too deep, and I currently don’t have a snorkel on my car. Next time! 
  • Black Rock Falls: Only a short 35min drive (32 km) from Kununurra, you will find this beautiful waterfall and swimming hole. You will need a 4WD to access this falls.
  • Helispirit Scenic Flight: This is a great way to see the Kimberley’s from above! From Kununurra you have a variety of flight options from, waterfalls, Lake Argyle, Bungle Bungles and croc spotting.


DAY 18 – Lake Argyle

Today you have a short drive to your final destination on this 3 week North West itinerary, Lake Argyle. Lake Argyle is WA’s largest freshwater reservoir, part of the Ord River Irrigation System. There are plenty of things you can do in Lake Argyle from boat cruises, helicopter flights, scuba diving, water sports, hiking, mountain biking, the list goes on!

Make sure you visit the famous infinity pool! Beware, even if summer it is absolutely freezing. However, its worth getting in for those incredible views.


Lake Argyle, North West itinerary

DAY 19 – Lake Argyle

Choose one of the options mentioned above to spend your day. I highly recommend spending the day out on the lake and renting a BBQ Pontoon (no skippers ticket required). You can also rent a canoe, paddle board or kayak.

Make sure to go to the pub for a meal and listen to some live entertainment. Lake Argyle caravan park has had some of the best vibes out of all the places I’ve visited in Australia.


DAY 20 – Drive back to Broome

Today is the last long drive of this itinerary, the drive back to Broome. Here is where you will drop off your campervan, if you have rented one and rest up to fly out tomorrow.

If you are driving back to Perth you will need to give yourself at least 2 more days for travel time!

DAY 21 – Fly out/end

That concludes this itinerary. I hope you enjoyed your time in this beautiful part of Western Australia!

If you have extra time to explore, check out the options below.

  • Wolfe Creek Crater
  • Gibb River Road – You will need latest another week to do this, and have a very well prepared 4WD! I doubt you can do this road in a rental campervan.
  • Extend your trip into the Northern Territory!

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