Dream comes True ****now with pics****

Well where to start......Been dreaming for years about doing a trip in the Kimberley. You know, Malcolm Douglas style. After years of dreaming it became a reality a few weeks back.

Started planning some time last year, a thousand thoughts running through my mind daily but a week out from leaving for our trip the last questions closed out. Now just to shop, pack and go. Packing was interesting as we are going in my boat, a 5.8m Chivers centre console. Once I got all the gear together the realisation that it won't all fit and my mate Adam still hasn't brought his gear over. Time to start culling.

All packed and ready to go, 6am start for the 800km drive to Derby to launch. Had thought about launching from One Arm Point but not keen on towing the boat over 200km of dirt road.

Arrived at Derby Caravan Park with the sun still up. Organised with Ian, the guy who runs the park, for a bay to leave the rig all hooked up and ready to go. Then we head to the pub for a meal.

Launch at 7am and Adam runs the car and trailer back to the caravan park. Ian kindly offers Adam a lift back to the ramp.

Weather Gods on our side for the 2.5hr run with the tide up King Sound heading for Hells Gates!!

As we head up the Sound the water clears up, it about knows that you can't wipe the grin off my face. A saying that starts today and stays for the rest of the trip - 'HOW AWESOME IS THIS WEATHER'.

We get to Hells Gates about 1/2 hour after low tide. Need to negotiate a small channel that's notorious for extreme currents. True to its name we approach slowly, about 8-10 knots of current in 30m of water and up ahead standing waves that are foaming. Thank God it's only 1/2 hour after the turn. As we go through we realise that we're driving up hill, the water is 1m higher on the other side.

(Shows current but nothing compared to Hells Gates)


Our first look at the real Kimberleys


Once through Hells Gates we head for a beach where we spend our first night around the camp fire in our swags.


We head for a look around Cone Bay on the morning of day 2. Go past the barra farm and start exploring. We have a fish on a nice looking lump but just can't beat the sharks. This becomes a common theme for the whole trip.

The landscape up there is amazing.


We head along to Gerald Bay to do a reef walk at low tide and fish some blue holes. Great walk in stunning country. I have no luck fishing but Adam gets a queenie that becomes victim to a shark!!






We move on to Stickland Bay. Whilst doing the research for this trip I was told the real Kimberley start at Strickland Bay. CORRECT!! This place is......Amazing. I'll take the time now to thank Jim who provided so much info for the whole trip, thanks mate!



Slept on the beach again but got bugger all sleep. Spent all night thinking about the boat, from now on I'll sleep on the boat; it's a little cozy but gives me peace of mind. Ah the boat, may as well give some info on that. It's a 5.8m Chivers centre console fitted with a 150hp Yamaha 4 stroke. It has a 20deg deadrise and big reverse chines. I fitted an aluminium prop for the trip just in case I find some rocks but carried the stainless prop for a spare. At least the aluminium prop gives me one life. It carries 180L of fuel under the deck and I have another 150L in jerry cans and another 200L waiting at Dogleg creek.




While in Strickland Bay we head up a small creek that Jim had marked on the chart as a freshwater spring (more like a waterfall). If you get up this way explore everywhere you can. We soon realise that there are heaps of springs in places you wouldn't think to look. It's at this spring that we see the only croc for the trip. I've spent time fishing the Lower Ord, Daley River, etc and was very surprised not to see many crocs. That said I'm sure they are there so we treat them with the respect they deserve.




We spend some more time exploring Strickland Bay but there's heaps more to see next trip. We spend some time on Edeline Island. Interesting place to look around with some graves and bizarre weathered rocks.





We do some fishing in the creeks and get a few small Goldies on plastic. Couple of things that are worth mentioning, the first being that we planned this as a fishing trip but barely fished. I would get to the end of the day and realise that I hadn't even put a line in the water.....bizarre, not really just so much to see that we got caught up in the beauty of this place. Second is that I thought alot about the safety of this trip, we did things like squash the barbs on the hooks so if we were unlucky to get hooked it could be easily removed. You're a long way from home.


Cruised up a fairly long creek on the top of the tide to be greeted by some nice water falls. We only ever swam in the pools that were high up, just in case of crocs.



Was now time to make the run from Stickland Bay to Dogleg Creek to get the drum of fuel I had organised from CMC Barging. From Strickland we went through Whirlpool Pass then on to the top of Yampi Sound. This was the only long run where we hit the howling easterly winds. Slowed down to 8 knots, cranked up the Ipod stereo that seemed to be stuck on Pink again - I think my wife set me up for taking her Ipod away. We punched into the wind and soaked up the amazing view.

Arrived at Dogleg Creek and took on 200L of fuel, had a chat for a while then headed off to Silver Gull creek to take on some fresh water and catch up with Phil and Marion at Squatters Arms. These guys set up camp here about 17 years ago. They have put in some hard yards and now have beautiful gardens with the best view you have ever seen. There is a large freshwater spring that they have flowing into a tank that then cascades out the window and down the hill.

Marion has a jewelery shop, if you call in to see these guys be sure to bring some cash and buy up!!! I did and the wife loved it. Remember if going in to pay them a visit give them a call on the VHF as a curtesy.

It's about now that I should explain that we made the call not to bring the eski with ice to keep the weight down. That meant no beer, well almost until Phil offered Adam some home brew. Home brew in a tank with the best view you've ever seen.....life is tough!




View from Squatters Arms.


We begrudgingly leave Squatters Arms and make camp in the boat further towards the mouth of Silver Gull creek. Wake up at first light and off to Croc creek to try to get in before low tide. We make it in and to our surprise there is a large boat tied up. Must have been a mission to get it in. We jump on the VHF and ask to raft up beside them.

This place once again blows our minds, the amount of fresh water up here is great, good to have a swim and get the salt off. The guys we raft up to are kind enough to drop us to the ladder in the dinghy.






We leave Croc Creek once we get enough water too. Heading for Strickland Bay for our last night before the run home. We also need a fish.

Guess by now you know what I'm going to say 'HOW AWESOME IS THIS WEATHER'.


We hit a lump for a fish with about 2hrs of light left. The fish are on fire with no sharks in sight. Once the light starts to fade we head for Mooring creek to camp up for the night. Laying in my swag I think about this trip and how a dream has come true when the anchor drift alarm goes off, scaring the crap out of me. After fighting with the zips on my swag I get up to find that it was just that the tide had turned. Bunk back in for a good sleep.



We get up at first light and head back to Edeline Island for a couple of hours while we wait for the tide, wanted to get the incoming for the trip to Derby. Trip back is uneventful with great weather once again. Get back to the ramp and there's just enough water to get the boat out. Adam picks the car up, backs it down the ramp and I drive the boat on. Another pub meal on the way then an 800km drive home tomorrow.


We travelled 0.83nm per litre. I had worked out how much fuel we need based on travelling 0.6nm per litre. I normally travel 0.9-1.0nm so have allowed a large safety margin for the 12m tides and the fact that the boat was heavily loaded. We clocked up slightly over 540km using 350L. Meaning that we arrived back with 180L on board. Better more than not enough. I just can't say enough about this boat, if you're considering a new boat do yourself a favour and check them out.

Hope you enjoyed the read!! One hell of a week.



PS some of these pics where taken by Adam

snappermiles's picture

Posts: 2100

Date Joined: 05/11/10

awesome story

Sun, 2011-06-19 10:12

but i cant see the pictures????



the story was good but the pictures are awesome!!!! bet it wont be long before you do that again!



deepwater's picture

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dreams come true

Sun, 2011-06-19 06:50

that sounds like ONE great trip ,i am so looking forward to see the photos


 great stuff  CCC



Gjoe's picture

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That is Malcolm Douglas style

Sun, 2011-06-19 07:53

Brilliant pics man makes me wanna just pack up and head to the Kimberleys and live off the land :)  hehe probs would last about 3 days

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hopefully the pics are now

Sun, 2011-06-19 07:53

hopefully the pics are now working



profish540's picture

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Unreal adventure mate.I hope

Sun, 2011-06-19 08:03

Unreal adventure mate.I hope one day i can experience a trip like that.Pics are bloody awesome.

Frank F's picture

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Awesome write up and cool

Sun, 2011-06-19 08:09

Awesome write up and cool pics. there's no place like the kimberleys

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Awesome report. Thanks. 

Sun, 2011-06-19 08:14

Awesome report. Thanks.


JohnF's picture

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Great report.

Sun, 2011-06-19 08:17

Great report.


Boston Whaler 235 Conquest......getting the flogging it was built for.

cudbfishn's picture

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How awesome is that weather.

Sun, 2011-06-19 08:32

How awesome is that weather. very jealous nice report.

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Sun, 2011-06-19 08:52


PilbaraBrad's picture

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you know i love your work

Sun, 2011-06-19 08:55

you know i love your work Chris

good stuff mate



Seaquest's picture

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Great report mate.Thanks for

Sun, 2011-06-19 09:01

Great report mate.Thanks for taking the time.

I guess most people would love to do that trip at least once in their lifes.

Posts: 9358

Date Joined: 21/02/08

Great trip and pics, glad you

Sun, 2011-06-19 09:07

Great trip and pics, glad you got them up!


roberta's picture

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Love it loved it

Sun, 2011-06-19 09:14

truly eden up there, one day, before I die.  love the photos


Ginger Tablets Rock


dan1's picture

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well done that sounds awesome

Sun, 2011-06-19 09:46

well done that sounds awesome makes alot of us drool with envy great report that has to on the list of things to do


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unbelieveably awesome mate,

Sun, 2011-06-19 10:34

unbelieveably awesome mate, well done, thanks for sharing, looks amazing....


troy fuller's picture

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Amazing Photos, looks like a

Sun, 2011-06-19 10:39

Amazing Photos, looks like a awesome place to visit.


There is only so much i can look out before the line HAS to get wet haha.

joe m's picture

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Pure awesomeness!

Sun, 2011-06-19 10:40

Great read and great pics mate. I was lucky enough to do the same trip about 4 weeks ago and came to the conclusion it really is GODS country. Had the same problem as you though and found that more time was spent exploring than fishing!!! In saying that though the time we spent fishing came with awesome rewards. Cant wait to do it again next year. Helps when ya best mate lives up there and has similar boat.


Joe M

Jacko's picture

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That place is unreal. Awesome

Sun, 2011-06-19 11:10

That place is unreal. Awesome stuff


If you can read this thank a teacher. If you can read it in English thank a Soldier.

STEVE231's picture

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 Excellent, thanks for

Sun, 2011-06-19 11:17

 Excellent, thanks for sharing.

Alan James's picture

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What a great report and pics

Sun, 2011-06-19 11:18

I remember the ladder and pool at the top of it in the pics of Croc Creek.  Magic spot.  There used to be like seats carved out of the stone so you could sit chest deep in the water around the edge of the pool.  Even bits carved out for your stubby holder.   Back in the 80s a WA based ali boat manufacturer did a promo photo shoot there with one of their boats sitting in the top pool. 

Tks for sharing.



Adam Gallash's picture

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Sun, 2011-06-19 11:45

On my to-do list one of these days, just magic.


Site Admin - Just ask if you need assistance

damo6230's picture

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awesome trip CCC

Sun, 2011-06-19 11:51

Just so much country to explore up here.

I'm sure you'll be back again.

A mate from here did the Broome-Wyndham trip last year in a 7m Razoline over three months.

You scored with the weather....now it's blowing its arse off SE

soupster51's picture

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Sun, 2011-06-19 12:10

Thanks for sharing. Great trip by the look and sound of it.


The best reason for doing what's right today is tomorrow.

wazzbat's picture

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Great report.  Great Pics. 

Sun, 2011-06-19 13:18

Great report.  Great Pics.  What an amazing looking trip.  Good on ya for doing it.


I fish for the future - Cause I can't bloody catch anything!

Brucesta's picture

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great report mate thanks for

Sun, 2011-06-19 13:30

great report mate thanks for taking the time to write it, absolutly awesome!


Las Vegas - Rolling the dice and trying your luck. 1M+ Barra summer target. 100kg Black Marlin winter target

DazSamFishing's picture

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what a sensational report

Sun, 2011-06-19 13:37

what a sensational report mate. It really is a dream come true adventure. You're right, the scenery & natural wonder of the place would easily distract you from fishing. Fantastics pics - very jealous!

Lucky Tim's picture

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Beautiful trip Chris. Can't

Sun, 2011-06-19 14:47

Beautiful trip Chris. Can't really blame you for hardly fishing, the Kimberley is a bit like that where everything seems to take a backseat to the scenery and exploring.

Well worth every dollar and kilometre once you sit back and reflect where you've just been. Now you just need to push even further next time. 

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Annual leave now booked!!

Sat, 2011-08-13 16:22


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Sun, 2011-06-19 15:45

Enough said

spanishmackeral's picture

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one word, awsome

Sun, 2011-06-19 16:04

one word, awsome

fishnut's picture

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Great report mate.  Makes my

Sun, 2011-06-19 16:09

Great report mate.  Makes my wait feel like forever - heading up there again this spring.  possibly even some of the same ground.

leighroy's picture

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Living the dream!

Sun, 2011-06-19 16:43

Great report mate, looks like it was truly incredible up there

westline's picture

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great read

Sun, 2011-06-19 21:45

thanks for sharing your adventures mate, 

I  really enjoyed that,  to say im a little envious would be a massive understatement!  haha

Lastchance's picture

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Fantastic mate, absolutely

Sun, 2011-06-19 22:08

Fantastic mate, absolutely awesome. Monties cannot compare to that place. Is the fresh water pool/spa still on the go in Cone bay? Kevin Johnston and the old man used to have a camp set up as well as a fresh water pool in the hills to the right as you eneter? Havent been there for a while....

Is the King Sound Hotel still the go!

mrwinta's picture

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Sun, 2011-06-19 23:17

They are awesome pics and a brilliant report- well done... And the weather looked awesome!



saltydog's picture

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 fantastic report and great

Sun, 2011-06-19 23:40

 fantastic report and great pics to match

certainly one for the bucket list hey!

Pete D's picture

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Mon, 2011-06-20 06:52


Cheers Pete

Ben Derecki's picture

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Epic report and pics guys.

Mon, 2011-06-20 09:06

Epic report and pics guys.

madfisher's picture

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Awesome trip, pics and story

Mon, 2011-06-20 10:37

Awesome trip, pics and story mate. I've been to most of the places you mentioned and in your photos. Phil and Marion are a crack up the bugger even mooned our boat as we left....haha

The_Wanderer's picture

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WOW That is some spectacular

Mon, 2011-06-20 11:15

WOW That is some spectacular country! Hope to get up there one day.

Posts: 538

Date Joined: 29/03/10

Thanks for the kind comments,

Mon, 2011-06-20 21:22

Thanks for the kind comments, this is the first real report I've done. Always been a bit apprehensive about doing one but I think I'll be a regular now




Marky's picture

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Nice report mate, Glad to see

Tue, 2011-06-21 07:42

Nice report mate, Glad to see the weather turned it on for you... Whens ya next trip booked for??

Posts: 538

Date Joined: 29/03/10

Next Year

Tue, 2011-06-21 16:38

Doing the trip again next year this time with the wife!! Will be going around past horiziontal water falls and out to

Montgomery reef. Cant wait.

If all goes to plan I'll get my first monties trip in by then..............



PilbaraBrad's picture

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Date Joined: 16/05/07

im pretty sure we can do that

Sun, 2011-06-26 10:46

im pretty sure we can do that

Faulksy's picture

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Awesome pics and post. Thats

Tue, 2011-06-21 20:16

Awesome pics and post. Thats inspiring stuff.

field's picture

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Date Joined: 06/02/11

great read chris - we just

Wed, 2011-06-29 20:27

great read chris - we just got back 2 days ago, just goes to show how big the spaces are, we didnt go to most of the spots you mentioned, and I bet you didnt go to the ones we visited!  We also got lost in the swashbuckling exploration side of things and hardly did any fishing, we did get 'attacked' by a croc but. Jumped up on the transom and ripped the drain hose from the fishing board. It was full of blood and guts. Swam happily away with it complete with hose clamp!



Dave Hancock


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Date Joined: 29/03/10

Looking forward

Wed, 2011-06-29 20:33

Looking forward to hearing about your trip. amazing place, cant wait to go again.



field's picture

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yeah id love to follow up

Wed, 2011-06-29 20:38

yeah id love to follow up your story with mine but i fear the formatting on this thing!  lzst time i tried took me a whole nite


Dave Hancock


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I learnt a heap of tricks to

Wed, 2011-06-29 20:43

I learnt a few tricks to make it easy after doing this report 3 times. yell out if ya need a hand


field's picture

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Wed, 2011-06-29 21:05



Dave Hancock


crasny1's picture

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What more can I say that hasnt been said above

Thu, 2011-06-30 08:23




"I would like to die on Mars. Just not on impact!!" _ Elon Musk

mcollier_84's picture

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Date Joined: 23/01/10


Thu, 2011-07-07 10:00


Photos are amazing and the trip sure sounds like a dream! hopefully one day I can get up that way...


Carpe Diem "Sieze the Day"

aalfred's picture

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Absolutely awesome 

Sat, 2012-04-14 11:55

Absolutely awesome


mulloway_hunter's picture

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wicked story mate loving the

Sat, 2012-04-14 12:02

wicked story mate loving the pics of derby boat ramp haha and jetty brings me back to my memory of workin there

Jeffree's picture

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 so effing jelly

Sun, 2012-04-15 20:11

 so effing jelly


not all asians keep undersize fish.

bitten's picture

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why the hell cant i see the

Mon, 2012-04-16 22:50

why the hell cant i see the pics its physically hurting not to

Adam Gallash's picture

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Date Joined: 29/11/05

theyre there

Tue, 2012-04-17 07:20

Pics are there mate, just looked at them again.  Soo good.


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bitten's picture

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Date Joined: 07/04/10

cant see them for some reason

Wed, 2012-04-18 12:54

cant see them for some reason they dont load up

had the same problem with a couple more theads but most i dont have a problem seeing pics so dont know what is going on there will try from a different compter when i get a chance

POC's picture

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Date Joined: 05/01/09

Nice one CCC

Thu, 2012-04-19 06:45

Heading that way soon myself can't wait.


Cheers gerat read

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Date Joined: 17/06/10

In a word breathtaking ,

Sat, 2019-07-27 19:46

It certainly is gods country, all it needs now is for some international mining company to find coal or some other type of mineral up there and they would be rubbing their greedy hands together and thinking how good they would be for the country if they put a bloody great open cut mine in the area.

Please god forbid such a thing happening. 

Posts: 2312

Date Joined: 03/05/06

worth bringing back

Tue, 2019-07-30 10:55

 post from 8 years ago but worth seeing again.  God's country all right.