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Kimberley Bird Watching

Author: Carl from Pahrump (More Trip Reviews by Carl from Pahrump)
Date of Trip: May 2007



sunrise derby australiaIn 2006 and 2007 we spent 255 Days driving around Australia. We started in Darwin, drove south to Alice Springs, backtracked to Cairns, went down the East Coast to Rockhampton, cut over to Melbourne, went across the Nullarbor Plain to Perth, drove up the West Coast to Broome, and finished by crossing the Kimberley Region on our way back to Darwin -- 24,000 miles & 6 rental cars. Along the way we stayed in 56 cities and saw 693 bird species/subspecies.
This Trip Report covers the 18-days we spent bird watching in the Kimberley Region of Western Australia during April 2007.

We saw 189 bird species at 24 parks in 5 cities. The parks where we saw the most bird species were:

Broome - Cable Beach = 40, Broome Road = 38, Golf Course & Ponds = 35, Roebuck Beach Mangroves = 27, Habitat Resort = 21, & Jetty Beach = 12.

Derby - MS 20 Wetlands = 57, Derby Ponds = 53, & Boab Tree Prison = 7.

Fitzroy Crossing - Geikie Gorge NP = 46 & Ngumban Cliff = 34.

Wyndham -- Grotto = 34 & Bessie Wiley Reserve = 9.

Kununurra - Discovery Holiday Park = 55, Lake Argyle = 52, Keep River NP = 40, Bell Spring Road = 33, Lillie Lagoon = 21, Hidden Valley NP = 19, Webber Plain Rd = 18, Bungle Bungle NP = 17, Ivanhoe Crossing = 15, Victoria Crossing = 15, & Zebra Rock Gallery = 13.

The destination cities where we saw the most bird species were: 7 days in Broome = 98, 2 days in Derby = 80, 1 day in Fitzroy Crossing = 57, 1 day in Wyndham = 43, & 7 days in Kununurra = 118.

Lodging

Broome -- We got a last minute reservation at the Habitat Resort Broome (http://www.habitatbroom.com/ 17.985S 122.211E) in a nice 1-bed room accommodation with cooking facilities. Originally, we were going to stay in a cabin at the Broome Bird Observatory for a week. When we got to Broome we found that the dirt road to the BBO was still flooded from the Cyclones a few weeks ago. The local visitors Center go us into the Habitat Resort. In retrospect, we're glad we didn't stay at the BBO, but it would have been nice to be able to go there for a day. It all worked out for the best -- good thing we got to Broome early in the afternoon!

If you put these coordinates into Google Earth, you can see the locations I am discussing. Typically, there will be lots of pictures as well.

Derby -- We stayed at the King Sound Resort Hotel (17.310S 123.644). The rooms were fine but expensive. We ate all our meals at the hotel.

Fitzroy Crossing -- We stayed at the Fitzroy Inn (18.186S 125.583E ) on the Fitzroy River. We were going to eat Lu the first day at the Inn, but the chief suggested we would like the Fitzroy Lodge (18.211S 125.582E) a few Km's down the road better (its owned by the same people). The cabin we had was Ok, but the Lodge would probably have been better.

Kununurra -- We stayed at the Discovery Holiday Park outside Kununurra (Pronounced Kun-u-nur-ra

Highlights of the Region:

spirit of the wandjina art center derby australiaThe Spirit of the Wandjina (pronounced Wand-Je-na) Art Center outside Derby on the Gibb Road. Wandjina means God in the local language. The Art Center is a newly constructed and very impressive building. The artist we talked to said the building was constructed in the shape of Wandjina with curved walls inside and out. The Art Center conducts a cultural festival the first part of Jy each year.

Seeing hundreds of White-winged Black-terns on fence rails along the nearly flooded Great Northern Hwy on the way to Broome.

Watching 1100 feet of bright white - nearly flat - sandy beach emerge out of the Indian Ocean during Low Tide at Cable Beach.



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