Day 1: Perth to Kununurra to El Questro (Saturday May 10)
The Road to El Questro
Meet up with your photo guide at Perth airport for a lunch time flight to begin the adventure. After a two and a half hour flight to the Eastern gateway to the Kimberley, we touch down in the remote town of Kununurra, meaning ‘big water’. Our cultural guide will meet us and accompany us to the nearby El Questro Wilderness Park, a million acre working cattle station like no other place on earth. We’ll be staying at the Station township, the central hub of El Questro, in shared bungalow accommodation. After a relaxing lunch we meet with your guides for an introduction and overview of our upcoming adventure.
David, your photo guide, will give a short talk about his thoughts on making photos and share some of what he’s learned over the last couple of years as a student to world famous photographer Roger Moore.
Brad, your cultural guide, will go over some details of the trip including safety instructions when in crocodile country!
In the afternoon we go for our first photo hike to Champagne Springs. A comfortable walk within a lush, tropical, hidden valley with many opportunities for photo making along the way.
Entertainment at the Swinging Arm Bar
Return to bungalows for a rest before an evening Aussie BBQ dinner followed by real Aussie outback entertainment at the Swinging Arm Bar.
Spend the night in your air-conditioned bungalows.
Day 2: El Questro Wilderness Park (Sunday May 11)
Piper birds in formation - Chamberlain Gorge
This morning we visit Amalia Gorge which offers spectacular views and a deep plunge pool at the end of the trail.After a light lunch we go down to Chamberlain Gorge, a three-kilometre fresh waterhole, with spectacular views and a wide variety of flora and fauna. Here we embark on small electric-powered boats (4 photographers per boat) and slowly explore the banks, keeping our eyes open for crocodiles and other birds and animals.
Saddleback Ridge just before sunset
Relax back at El Questro for a while this afternoon and prepare to view and photograph a magnificent sunset at the lookout at Saddleback Ridge.
At Saddleback we will spend a pleasant evening making photographs and sipping champagne and beer while enjoying a picnic meal as the sun sinks below the horizon, creating a whole range of colours and shadows.
Back to the bungalows for a good night's rest.
Day 3: El Questro Wilderness Park (Monday May 12)
Up for an early breakfast and a short drive to Zebedee Springs. Explore the dense tropical vegetation, discovering beautiful wildflowers and spotting birds amongst the trees. Spend some time making photos and at the end take a soak in Zebedee’s thermal pools which are set in a natural oasis and are warm and most relaxing.
We then head to the Emma Gorge Resort for a light picnic lunch and head along the scenic trail to Emma Gorge falls, the highlight of El Questro. This trail features a wide range of diverse vegetation, and changes dramatically from woodlands to rainforest. Plenty of great photographic opportunities along the way, including stops at the scenic Flagstaff Falls and Turquoise Pools. Photograph the spectacular Emma Gorge Pools at the end of the trail and have a cool dip in the calm waters before heading back. Dinner back at the Station Township.
Day 4: El Questro Wilderness Park (Tuesday May 13)
Today is a free choice day. You can rest and relax, explore the Station Township, or go on one of the many optional excursions available. These include helicopter photographic flights (doors removed), a day trip to the magnificent Bungle Bungle mountain ranges, guided bird watching trips, fishing for the exciting Barramundi and horse riding. Your photo and cultural guides will be available to accompany you on these excursions, or will organise other activities as required.
In the late afternoon we’ll gather together and head to Explosion Gorge and Branco’s Lookout for another Kimberley sunset.
Back to the Station for dinner and bed.
Day 5: El Questro Wilderness Park to Manning Gorge (Wednesday May 14)
Crossing the Pentecost River
We depart El Questro after an early breakfast to begin the journey down the Gibb River Road. We cross the Pentecost and Durack Rivers, stopping for a snack and photo opportunities in the Pentecost Ranges.
Onwards to Manning Gorge, with a stop or two along the way for photo making. Enjoy a relaxing lunch as we take in the beautiful scenery. Take a walk to spectacular Manning Falls and Upper Manning Gorge. Explore and photograph the beautiful scenery and Aboriginal rock art. Relax and enjoy a refreshing swim here before we head back to the Manning River campground, where we spend the night beside the beautiful Manning River.
Day 6: Manning Gorge to Bell Gorge to Silent Grove (Thursday May 15)
Wake up to sunrise over the Manning River and head back out on the tough old Gibb River Road, keeping a keen eye out for Red Tailed Black Cockatoos, Frilled Neck Lizards and other interesting animals, birds and scenery. Arrive at Mt Barnett from where we take a 30-minute hike to Bell’s Gorge where we are rewarded with majestic waterfalls, sheer vertical cliffs and a refreshing swim in the crystal clear pools. After lunch we take a rest stop at Imitji Aboriginal Community before continuing our journey. We stop to watch the sun set amongst the Kimberley’s highest mountain range, the King Leopold Ranges, and enjoy a night at Silent Grove Camp Ground.
Day 7: Silent Grove To Tunnel Creek To Windjana To Biridu (Friday May 16)
Freshwater crocodiles - Windjana Gorge
We depart Silent Grove down the Gibb River Road, turning off to head towards Windjana Gorge National Park. Take an easy stroll along this ancient limestone reef with its spectacular beauty. Reflections in the still water will enable you to create some unique images. Plenty of freshwater crocodiles can be sighted in and on the river banks.
Tunnel Creek - far side entrance
Travel onwards a short distance to Tunnel Creek where we meet up with traditional Aboriginal owner and Bunuba Elder, Dillon Andrews. Tunnel Creek is a 750-metre water-worn tunnel that stretches beneath the limestone of the Napier Range. Dillon will tell the story of ‘Jandamarra’, an Aboriginal freedom fighter who hid out there in 1897, as we wade through the cave system by torch light. Tripods are essential on this walk as there is no artificial light in the tunnel and the natural light that streams in at either end of the tunnel and through a cave in at the centre make for great photography. See stalactites, and an abundance of wildlife.
We then travel on to Biridu Aboriginal Community where we will be welcomed by Dillon, the leader of this remote community. Experience an Aboriginal smoking ceremony to welcome you into this community. Tonight we relax by the campfire at Biridu Community enjoying damper and bushtucker prepared the traditional way and hear dreamtime stories from Dillon. We spend the night here in our tents.
Day 8: Biridu Community To Fitzroy Crossing (Saturday May 17)
Today we spend a fascinating day as Dillon guides us around the Biridu Aboriginal Community. Spend the day hearing about the culture, beliefs, lifestyle and history of the Bunuba people, with plenty of opportunities to make some truly original photographs. See the scenic Top Broking Gorge and view ancient Aboriginal rock art. (Dillon will point out some of the rock art which is sacred and may not be photographed.) In the evening we depart for Fitzroy Crossing, where we enjoy a cold drink at the historic Fitzroy Crossing Inn constructed in 1897 before setting up camp, enjoying a home-cooked campfire meal.
Day 9: Fitzroy Crossing to Geikie Gorge to Broome (Sunday May 18)
Travelling through Fitzroy Crossing we arrive at Geikie Gorge National Park. Enjoy a healthy breakfast and prepare to relax and view some spectacular scenery during a 1-hour boat cruise of the Gorge which was carved by floodwaters of the Fitzroy River. Listen as informative guides give us a fascinating insight into the geology and history of this ancient Devonian reef and keep a close look out for birdlife and freshwater crocodiles. The Gorge is spectacular and there is ample opportunity to photograph its magnificent edges as we explore by boat.
Departing Fitzroy Crossing we head towards Broome, stopping at Willare Roadhouse on the mighty Fitzroy River to stretch our legs and for afternoon tea. Head south through cattle country towards Broome, arriving at Cable Beach in time to to witness and photograph one of the most incredible sunsets on earth. Sip wine and enjoy a snack as the light fades, then head to the magnificent Cable Beach Club Resort where we check in and enjoy a relaxing dinner.
Day 10: Exploring north of Broome (Monday May 19)
After a relaxing breakfast, depart and head North for a wonderful adventure along Manarie Road. First, we stop at Willie Creek Pearl farm for a tour and an opportunity to purchase some Broome pearls. We then head out along bush tracks where we may spy wild brumbies and other animals and birds.
Visit the beaches and a unique petrified forest with its breathtaking coastal views that surround you. Arrive at Barred Creek where lunch is served. Watch as the river level changes before your eyes with the amazing tidal rises and falls that occur. Afterwards, we explore bush tracks as our cultural guide stops and points out different kinds of native plants that can be used for food or medicinal purposes
James Price Point
We then arrive at James Price Point for some magnificent photographic opportunities as the sun sets on the brilliant red pindan cliffs that hug the coast as far as the eye can see. Enjoy a delicious dinner and drinks as we watch the sunset, capturing the changing light and amazing colours.
Day 11: Broome (Tuesday May 20)
After breakfast we head out and about around Broome to explore and photograph the town and surrounds. Our cultural guide will point out the interesting sights and and explain some of the history of this unique town.
First we head to picturesque Ganthueme Point, where the contrast between the red cliffs and the blue waters provide some unique opportunities for making striking images. We then explore the southern beaches and the Port of Broome, stopping for a light picnic lunch along the way.
In the afternoon we head to the Malcolm Douglas Crocodile Park. Here we have an opportunity to see both the placid freshwater crocodiles as well as the ferocious Salties. We’ll also witness and photograph the daily crocodile feeding.
After dinner we’ll get together to spend some time discussing tomorrow’s highlight and how best to photograph it. Your photo guide will also be collecting your favourite seven images from the trip which will be used for a slide show and discussion of the trip the following evening. Your photo guide will be creating a printed book of this trip, featuring the seven images from each photographer. This will be mailed to you after your return home.
Day 12: Broome and the “Staircase to the Moon” (Wednesday May 21)
Head out this morning after breakfast to see more of Broome. Visit the historic Japanese cemetery where you will see the tombstones of the hundreds of Japanese pearl divers who died in the early 1900’s. Enjoy the tranquillity and beauty of Buddha’s sanctuary before heading to a local Broome restaurant for a light lunch. After lunch we head off to Town Beach set up for a rather unique event… the “Staircase to the Moon”. This natural phenomenon occurs when the full moon rises above the exposed mudflats of Roebuck Bay, creating the illusion of a staircase reaching to the moon. The contrast of the moon and the stairway poses an interesting photographic challenge which we’ll discuss beforehand. We arrive early to set up our chairs and tripods at a good spot. Nibble on snacks and sip champagne as we await the rising of the moon. There will also be time to wander around the markets and sample local produce and shop for souvenirs as we wait. Watch as the sun sets creating interesting shadows and light. The moon then rises and we watch and photograph as the staircase appears.
This evening we have a relaxing dinner and meet to wrap up and review the adventure. Before we meet each photographer will have selected their favourite seven images from the trip. We’ll have an enjoyable slide show of these images and discuss what we’ve created and learned during the trip.
Day 13: Depart for Perth and home (Thursday May 22)
After breakfast we say farewell to Brad and head to Broome airport for our flight back to Perth and beyond.