Kalumburu is a mission community located in the seriously remote far northern Kimberley region. The only way there is in a high clearance four-wheel drive via Kalumburu Road (263km) which runs off the Gibb River Road
. The road is quite rough in some areas and its general condition will depend on when it was graded last, how much traffic has been through and the rainfall levels during the wet season.
This is a dry community and no alcohol is allowed in under any circumstances. If you are carrying alcoholic beverages for your outback adventure you are required to hand them in to the local police station until you leave the community.
A permit and local map needs to be obtained at the Kalumburu Aboriginal Corporation, located next to the Uraro Store in town. The store sells a good selection of groceries, takeaway food, fishing and camping gear, and ice. Note that all business operation hours in town vary and most are closed for lunch. The service station stocks all types of fuel and motor oils, however is closed on weekends so plan ahead.
The historic Kalumburu Mission in the centre of town is worth visiting. The grounds are beautiful and green with giant mango trees and coconut palms. There is a museum, church, school, a water feature resembling a goanna, aboriginal paintings and an old bakery there with much historic significance. Spend some time reading the plaques and learning about the community’s history. Grassy camp sites and motel units are also available at the mission.
North of town is access to the coast and there are many side tracks along route leading to the King Edward River. These are some great spots to fish the river.
There is a boat ramp at Marra Garra Beach, the turnoff is about 11km from town. Follow the track alongside the beach to other secluded coastal areas and good spots to bait a crab net.
There are two places to camp on the coast, McGowan Island and Honeymoon Bay.
McGowan Island turnoff is 15km from town and a few km into the camp. The facilities are basic with a couple of unisex showers and toilets and a washing machine at the caretaker house. The ideal place to camp is by the beach amongst the pandanus trees with a stunning ocean view.
Honeymoon Bay is about 25km from Kalumburu and offers camping on the beach and also up on the hill near the unisex toilets and showers. There is an old beach shack and shelter which are available to campers on a basis of first come first served. We camped under the beach shelter and thoroughly enjoyed being so close to the ocean, the views are magnificent. The seafood is also magnificent! We managed to catch plenty of fish and mud crabs and also pried Blacklip Oysters off the rocks for a seafood feast.
As far as fabulous fishing goes we caught Fingermark Bream, Giant Trevally, Saddletail Perch, Black Jew Fish, Estuarine Cod, Javelin Fish, Red Emperor and Shark. Local laws state you can catch and eat as many fish and oysters you can consume whilst in the reserve, however you are not allowed to take any when you leave. This is to maintain fish and oyster stocks to meet the needs of the community. By all means if you catch a few extra share them with the locals.
Kalumburu’s remoteness is the ultimate outback experience. The peaceful atmosphere, spectacular scenery and fantastic fishing make you want to settle in for a while. If you do get up this way make sure you explore the famous Mitchell Falls on the Mitchell Plateau. The best time to visit is during the dry season between May and August when the heat is bearable and the humidity is at a minimum. Note the access road is closed during the wet season due to flooding.
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Destinations in Western Australia
Cape Le Grand
Cape Range National Park
Eighty Mile Beach
Fitzgerald River National Park
Gibb River Road
Kalbarri National Park
Kennedy Range National Park
Porongurup National Park
Port Denison Dongara
Torndirrup National Park
Wellington National Park
William Bay National Park
Return from Kalumburu to Western Australia