Adventurous Women are extremely excited to be working with former Special Air Service Regiment trooper and owner of Adventure Out, Terry Hewett as we embark on a journey of a lifetime through the unspoilt Kimberley wilderness in far north Western Australia.
We are venturing to the East Kimberley, in the upper watershed area of the Dunham River, surrounded by the Durack Range. This isolated pocket remains a raw frontier, remote, wild and trackless. Yes ... trackless ... we are not following any man-made walking tracks. Apart from rugged 4X4 tracks, we will be trekking along the river and creek systems, whilst navigating our way over the landscape using local knowledge, combined with a map and compass.
The area is known as "Speewah" by the local Woolah people, the Traditional Owners who live in the Doon Doon community on this pastoral lease of 800,000 hectares. Public access to this land is not permitted and our partners at Adventure Out have special permission from the Woolah people to explore this amazing area and are adequately insured for these adventures. No other tour operators can work in this area.
We are not travelling to your standard tourism hot spots ... This is isolated and we are self-sufficient. Our leadership team is quality, youâ€™ll be surrounded by the best â€¦.and learn so much while on this journey.
The regional history of this area is extensive. There are numerous sites of cultural fusion as we examine the local indigenous history interfacing with the early European pioneers such as Jeremiah Durack and the early pastoral activities from the 1880's. Remnants are everywhere ... from old axle wheels stamped "Sheffield England 1882", to old fencing, homestead foundations and pioneer grave sites.
● Too Many to List!!
Make your way to Kununurra from wherever you may be around Australia. You'll be met by our team and taken to our local accommodation.
Dinner at the local hotel.
Meals: None included
7.00AM group briefing.
Departure preparation and final purchase of stores prior to leaving for Doon Doon.
Arrive Doon Doon community, 100km south of Kununurra where we are met by members of the Martin family. Welcome to Country with a "Smoking" ceremony and Spiritual Blessing to ensure our safe and protected journey through Country.
Drive 60km (3 hrs) on a 4X4 track to Speewah, where we establish our frontier camp. Should we have time it's into the river to catch a barramundi for dinner, or "Dawal", in Woolah language.
Following our campfire meal, we discuss and shape our plan for the next 5 days by studying a map of the area and learning our options. The beauty of this trip is our itinerary is fluid and we can alter it to suit the group.
Retire to your open tent and swag, enjoying your first night under the Kimberley stars.
Meals: Lunch, Dinner
A symphony of nature will wake you early this morning as you welcome the day with fresh billy tea, and the changing colours of the landscape as the sun rises.
Our day of exploration commences with a visit to the old Speewah Homestead where there are many relics from the early pioneer settlement such as wagon wheels, axle dated from 1883, pottery, cattle yards and a water point.
We then continue a cross country hike back to camp in the early afternoon.
When back in camp take your time to relax, read a book and absorb your surroundings. Today we will cover around 8km of cross-country walking.
After we have cooked dinner on the open fire coals, we will enjoy some fireside yarns, sharing our day's personal journey and experiences, delve into regional topics of natural history, indigenous culture, pastoral activities and more!
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Today, you will carry your own overnight camping gear as we will be camping away from our base camp.l We venture into the stunning Letter Box Gorge which is located about 2km from our bush camp.
On entering the gorge, you will note a densely populated sub-tropical environment with a wonderland of different plants, birds, reptiles, insects and butterflies. The gorge widens enough to allow a magnificent forest of ancient Melaleuca Cajuputs to adorn the river banks. The powerful flowering blossoms create a strong perfume, encouraging dozens of small birds into tree canopy, cavorting and in search of food.
Following our day of exploration, we will find the most suitable place to set up our overnight camp on the waters edge, deep within the gorge. Be prepared for a challenging day as the group may need to work together in order to cross the gently flowing waterways!
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Rise up early to enjoy our morning cup of billy tea and the emerging daylight from within this Letterbox Gorge paradise.
After some further exploring and swimming up the gorge, we then navigate our way back down toward our base camp on the Dunham River. As we are carrying all own gear back again, you will appreciate the time you took in learning how to pack light and take just the basics!
What an amazing debrief will be had tonight as we discuss the challenges we faced in reaching our remote camping location!
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Another day totally remote from anything ... The feeling of empowerment from being on the edge of a rugged frontier.
This morning's adventure sees us head off in 4x4 vehicles as we search for a potential track that will take us further into the Speewah Region. Back in the 1950's, cattle drovers on the Bedford Stock Route constructed dirt roads in this area to help with their stock movement. Large cattle musters saw mobs driven from Halls Creek 250km south to Wyndham 100km north.
We will disembark from our vehicles and trek 3km over desolate grassland as we locate a remote watering hole that is highlighted by a fast flowing 75ft waterfall cascading down upon us as we cool off with a refreshing swim.
Our challenge is to trek back to our vehicles and then navigate back over the trackless terrain to ensure we arrive back at base camp before sundown!
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Our final day in the great wilderness has us breaking camp, packing the trailer and heading into Doon Doon, a 2 hour drive along cattle station tracks.
We bid our farewells to the "Woolah" Mob at their community and we are back on the bitumen for a 25km drive to visit the graves of pioneer Jeremiah Durack, his daughters and other stockmen.
Arriving back in Kununurra around midday, we have a long awaited shower and head off to the local for celebratory drinks !
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Today is our final day, as we bid each other farewell and head off on the next stage of our respective journey's. How can one describe the feeling of accomplishment, having visited and navigated our way over wilderness that hardly anyone has visited before? Plus the satisfaction of experiencing nothing you would have encountered previously in this life changing adventure.
Meals: None included
Expert Guide - Terry Hewett from Adventure Out
Experienced Adventurous Women Tour Guide - Janette Philp
4X4 support vehicles
Twin-share accommodation in Kununurra for night of arrival & final night
Use of private tent, swag and sleeping bag
Groundsheet & Fly
Crockery and utensils
All food whilst in the field
Assistance with physical preparation prior to departure
Opportunity to learn many aspects of bushcraft & wilderness survival skills
Photo of your experience
Flights to and from Kununurra
Meals in Kununurra
Personal snacks purchased prior to departure
In Kununurra you will twin-share a room with another lady in the group staying at comfortable hotel accommodation. (Single Supplement may be available should you wish to have your own room, however will be subject to availability at the time of your booking)
During your bush camp experience, you will be provided with your own Tent & Swag, so you'll have your own space (no sharing).
- Gear List will be provided well in advance of this departure
This is a unique opportunity to live remotely in a wilderness setting, as we set up our base camp on the bank of the free flowing waters of the Dunham River. The backdrop to this setting is 200,000 hectares of the Australian outback with not another soul in sight.
Former SAS member, Terry Hewett has over 40 years of bushcraft experience and along with our Adventurous Women Leader, they will assist you in broadening your range of bush-craft skills including:
- Negotiating difficult and potentially dangerous remote country; snakes, wild cattle, freshwater crocodiles, water crossings.
- Learn basic navigation with a map and compass, route planning, reading contour lines, vegetation types, animal tracks, hydrology, geology.
- Improvised fire lighting, camp-fire cooking options. Acquiring safe drinking water, erecting shelters, living off the land, knife sharpening, learning how to travel light with minimal equipment.
- Greater understanding of local indigenous customs and history.
During this tour you will be taught about many aspects of bushcraft and wilderness survival skills. You will learn about navigating with a map and compass as well as learning how to "read" the ground. By no means do you need knowledge of these skills prior to the trip, but please come prepared and open to learning, we are heading into remote wilderness.
On occasion our support vehicle will not be able to assist, so the only method of evacuation if required may be helicopter, depending on the situation. We are moving away from an urban environment that many trekkers will not be used to. It is important you are comfortable with this scenario and accept the associated risks of stepping outside your urban comfort zone. At times you will be required to carry a backpack weighing around 10kg for up to 12km during a day's activities. It is vital you have trained to an adequate level to complete this task.
This is a tour where everyone contributes and works together. Although you will be guided and well looked after, we are not there to hold your hand. If you sign up for this it is because you are truly an Adventurous Woman and welcome the opportunity to step out of your comfort zone ... it will be EPIC!!
This tour by it's very nature is not designed for the 5 Star Traveller. It is for the girl who has an 'adventurous spirit' and is looking for a unique and rewarding 'experience' (Once in a Lifetime)!
You should be able to adopt a "Go With The Flow" attitude as our itinerary is not set in stone, things can change according to the requirements of the group and the setting at the time. If you can maintain this attitude, you'll adapt, overcome, take everything as it comes and enjoy the ride!
You will also need to be mobile without assistance - some of the areas visited require you to be on your feet, navigating bush tracks, waterways, rocky and uneven surfaces at times. These walks can be achieved by anyone with a general level of fitness, however the more physically prepared you are, the more you'll enjoy the experience.
We are moving away from an urban environment that many trekkers will not be used to. It is important you are comfortable with this scenario and accept the associated risks of stepping outside your urban comfort zone. At times you will be required to carry a backpack weighing around 10kg for up to 12km during a day's activities.
Notice of cancellation must be in writing, with an email as an acceptable form of communication, directly to Adventurous Women with the following conditions:
61 days + prior to trip departure - Deposit refunded minus $100 booking fee
60 days and under the following will apply:
1. If you cancel within 8 weeks of tour commencement date, deposit is non refundable
2. If you cancel within 6 weeks of tour commencement date, 50% of the Tour Cost is non-refundable
3. If you cancel within 4 weeks of the commencement date, a refund will not be given.
No refund is available after departure of a walk or tour has commenced.