2018 Kimberley Trip Plan / Advice

 Hi All, 

Went for broke earlier in the year and got myself into a 26ft Jackman (aptly named "obsession") so that I'd be able to do the trip of lifetime up into the North West exploring the stunning Kimberley without having to fork out $2000 a night for a bunk on true north. Currently planning on departing mid april for approximately 3 weeks in the wilderness. 

Planning is fairly advanced but given my idea of a big tide is the 1.7m tide that caught me out at rottnest in 2013 i'd definitely appreciate any advice, I'll be having four POB with 550L below deck and a further 250L in Jerrys, plan is to tow to Broome in the week before school hols, steam to One Arm & refuel, Refuel @ Dog Leg going on to explory Doubtful Bay and her creeks before heading back to horizontal falls and dogleg for more juice, steaming into Derby for a crew change / refuel / resupply, from Derby to Kuri Bay via. deception Bay and Montgomery Reef, fuel has been organised at Kuri bay which opens up Prince Regent River and Cascade Falls. From Kuri we will be retruning to Broome via. a third stop at dog leg creek fuel barge. Total time on the water is 22 days. Still need to do some more seatrials with an full IBC on deck in sloppy conditions to work out my worst case fuel economy (plan to wait out any need to drive into a tide), current plan has an allowance for 1500nm @ 2.5 L/nm, worse than any numbers i've been getting off perth but not too far off to be carrying around excess fuel.

Mostly the trip has been planned based off what i have seen on some of the Kimberley Post on fishwrecked, as well as the Freo Cruisers Guide and resources available on KCCYC website, i would say that for every starred location on the below map at least 5 hours of planning and a few thousand dollars have gone into this trip, having said that i am very eager to hear from anyone who has been up that part of the state and has any advice for me, i'd definitely be happy to buy beers for anyone willing to listen to my ramblings long enough to depart some wisdom. 

Once completed i'll be be posting up a detailed report including hopefully a GPS log and all of my fuel numbers for anyone else looking to plan something similar. 



Vinesh87's picture

Posts: 2756

Date Joined: 02/04/11

 Sounds good! We have done up

Fri, 2017-12-15 10:24

 Sounds good! We have done up to Sale river and is awesome. Just remember dogleg is very expensivw for fuel and you will need cash!


Be careful where you anchor as you could wake up out of the water and on a rock. Its a very sleepless night haha

What motor do you have? On my 7.5 with 300 yammy i can budget 1kmpl . So your 2.5lpnm is massive 


We have always launched at Derby not Broome. That can be a pretty ugly passage of water!

noords's picture

Posts: 24

Date Joined: 06/09/13

Thanks vinesh, Twin 2006 F200

Fri, 2017-12-15 10:50

Thanks vinesh, Twin 2006 F200 yams, yes it’s high but I’ll have 2t of people / Fuel and gear aboard so want to be conservative.

What was fuel costing at dogleg? I’m expecting to pay north of $3 a litre. 

All in the trip is Looking like $1300 per week per person, not exactly cheap but a lot cheaper than a trip to Europe or the states. 

Vinesh87's picture

Posts: 2756

Date Joined: 02/04/11

 Yeh mate it all adds up i

Fri, 2017-12-15 11:54

 Yeh mate it all adds up i was about 4t when i went to the monties with 800l of fuel haha

I ask the boys what the last price at dogleg was but we have payed 4.50 before haha


Def be conservative for sure. No help around haha. My normal is 1.2-1.3 so i am comfortable with 1 now days

Posts: 226

Date Joined: 08/10/13

I spent a month up there

Fri, 2017-12-15 12:29

I spent a month up there during summer a few years ago.  Everything revolves around tides.  Dont rely solely on GPS maps. There is so many things to hit.  Holiday wreckers as we called some of them.   Go for the adventure and not solely for fishing. It is a whole lot harder than you would think.  There are creek systems that you would think would be crawling with barra but are not as pro netters operate in the area and wipe out whole systems.  Be very wary of  going up creeks and  dont get caught. If you get stuck and your on a bank like we did once ,the boat ended up on a serious  angle which is not good with inbuilt fuel tanks. Some of the bank angles are near vertical. You only get an hour or so to fish up some creeks, the tides are simply amazing how fast they come up and go out. I used to call it happy 10 minutes when the mass of barra would head up a creek on the first of the tide. You would catch four or five then nothing for the rest of the tide.  Then there is the crocs  and the one thing we were told was dont swim in warm water with irukandji jelly fish.  Ive seen first hand someone stung in exy and they ended up in hospital.     So after all that it is a hard arse place to visit as my mate said. I think that is why people pay the big bucks and go on a charter.  Coming back into king sound to derby  can be  a flat run on smooth conditions and incoming tide or your worst nightmare.  Dont plan your trip to the hour because you dont want to have to do the trip when its horrible.  The sound is amazing and when you get closer to derby if the tide is going out you can easily get stuck. The whole thing empties  out to a few small channels.   Take plenty of bushmans or rid.   Have fun it is a real adventure.

Posts: 385

Date Joined: 12/03/10

Few years back

Fri, 2017-12-15 15:06

i did the trip towed boat Perth to derby 3 boats .

koolyn island raft point horizontal falls organised fuel from the barge at koolyn and horizontal falls.

we did the trip in May and were hit with some freak weather only minor problem I had when boat was fully loaded to its max we were under propped when leaving derby the boat struggled as we never trialled it before leaving Perth fortunately we had 2 other boats with us where we off loaded some off the gear. 

Posts: 18

Date Joined: 21/11/15

i was at Dogleg in April

Tue, 2017-12-26 14:44

 Price of fuel was $3.25.


woody's picture

Posts: 573

Date Joined: 27/02/08

You would have to think that

Thu, 2017-12-28 08:15

You would have to think that big cats would be ideal for these types of trip? Can sit upright on a sandy bottom if misjudging the tides and always have 2 motors for safety.

Just too expensive I guess?

Good luck Simon, sounds like the trip of a lifetime.

noords's picture

Posts: 24

Date Joined: 06/09/13

would love an ally cat

Thu, 2017-12-28 09:16

I did have my eye on a couple of sailfish but nothing came up within my budget, i've seen a number of ally monos with tubes fitted above the waterline on the swim platform which you can drop down legs, i like the look of that and think i'll be getting some welded on before the trip. 

I do have twins which will be a nice redundancy, the plan is to do most of the creek bashing with one leg out of the water, just in case, although exploring the creeks first on the plastic tender with a raymarine sounder which updates the charts onto navionics on the ipad over wifi which i will then be able to use on the boat (that's the plan anyway). 


gruntre69's picture

Posts: 509

Date Joined: 15/10/16

 Sounds like an awesome trip

Thu, 2017-12-28 10:18

 Sounds like an awesome trip mate! I can see how the planning for such a venture would be extensive. Can't wait to see the right up. I'm interested to know what percentage of food/meat you are taking and planning on catching....?


 Marine trimmer NOR (available for clears, tops, carpet, upholstery, custom equipment covers)

noords's picture

Posts: 24

Date Joined: 06/09/13

2:1 for now

Thu, 2017-12-28 11:56

There has been some debate about this (mostly due to cost), currently i'm planning 2:1 seafood to meat, I am starting to come around to more like a 5:1 split (unless i can find a cheap source of steaks/roasts and snags before april), here's our current shopping list. 


Posts: 226

Date Joined: 08/10/13

 Fresh veg doesnt last very

Mon, 2018-01-15 13:22

 Fresh veg doesnt last very long depending on your fridge/freezer setup.  Things that are good  sweet potatoes, potatoe, whole pumpkin, carrots. If you can blanch and freeze or just buy 1kg bags of mixd frozen veg.  I know most of these taste like shit but you have to compromise. Canned veg is also an option. Your likely to only get 7-10 days out of fresh.  We ate a lot of fish and rice meals with canned veg sweet potato punkin etc.  Coconut based curries are also good.  Packets of wraps are also good instead of bread.  One thing with your dry stuff,if you are taking any washing powder  Surf/omo etc.  do not put it near food the fragrence can permeate  any plastic and make food inedible. We found out the hard way and surf tasting rice or pancakes are not pleasant.   It is a compromise but if you have a big freezer than frozen veg is the go.  However get yor water from silvergull creek it is by far the best water I have ever drunk.

Bradg10's picture

Posts: 20

Date Joined: 13/07/14

 After doing a few trips up

Sun, 2018-01-14 19:35

 After doing a few trips up that way a couple of things I would consider, especially for your first trip is try and find another boat to go with or at least have someone on board that has been up there before.  Shit can go wrong very easily.  The other really handy info to have is photo overlays on your plotter,  not sure what type of gear you are running but I can give you some image files for Lowrance if you like, just PM me.

you will never regret making the effort to go

Posts: 634

Date Joined: 25/05/12

 Just some food for

Mon, 2018-01-15 08:46

 Just some food for thought 

when I go away on extended trips now I get the Mrs to make up some meals and freeze them in meal portions  things like fajitas,curries, San chow bow ect ect just take out a meal every day and then bung it on the frypan no meal prep all ready to go. I dunno how I used to do it before.

saves a lot of space for things like beer

noords's picture

Posts: 24

Date Joined: 06/09/13

Overlays sounds like a plan

Tue, 2018-01-16 09:16

I was planning to laminate some sattelite photos which i will probably still do as a backup but hadn't thought about the overlay. I've sent you a pm with my email Bradg10. 

I am bringing along a broome local, although he hasn't been as far out as we are going, defintiely be helpful with the tide though.  

Bradg10's picture

Posts: 20

Date Joined: 13/07/14

Hi Simon,sent you and email

Fri, 2018-01-19 14:52

Hi Simon,

sent you and email about the files.  I had forgotten how large they are each area is around 1 Gig so might need to send you a USB, PM your address or give me a call 0429 141 805

I have data for mainly the areas where the charts have limited info like the Sale River, Around Raft Point, Ruby Creek, Montgomery Reef and Glenelg River 

Cheers Brad

Tmac74's picture

Posts: 1

Date Joined: 06/02/18

Boat ramp at Broome

Fri, 2018-02-09 16:36

 Hey Noords we did a 10 dayer and left from Derby. The ramp at Broome is pretty ordinary if there is southerley winds and launching anything below mid tide, especially on bigger tides. Just plan to launch at top of tide and we all know wind is not available to order lol. Other wise think about Derby. Awesome part of the world for sure!! Dont be tempted to tie up for the night on the big moorings. We anchored nearby as they are located in good anchoring positions, a couple of times the big girls pulled up just on dusk to tie up for thye night. Not flash trying to move and anchor up going on dark whilst food is cooking and beer is being sampled.