Our Tanami experience is a very unique and special experience for Australian school groups. Billiluna and Balgo are Indigenous communities accessed from the famous Tanami Track, south of Halls Creek and northwest of Alice Springs. Through our community relationships in the Kimberley, Rustic Pathways’ groups have the privilege of being invited to visit Billiluna and Balgo. Spending 3-5 days in the community, students have the opportunity to be completely immersed into local life and culture. Supported by local youth workers and elders, the program is designed to be as organic and natural as possible. Each group’s experience is different and cannot be scripted, with no schedules or time frames. Learn first hand how to hunt and cook traditionally and share in the beauty of Indigenous culture with both elders and young people. Experience a deeper connection to land and the local people through storytelling and songlines. This is a remote immersion that furthers students’ understanding of Aboriginal Australian history and culture.
Fly into the Kimberely today, either via Darwin or Perth. Rustic Pathways will assist you with your flight arrangements. Welcome to the heart of the Kimberley. This afternoon will involve an orientation to the program and a Welcome to Country ceremony from local elders.
Overnight: Camping, Kununurra
This morning we will visit Kelly’s Knob, a rocky outcrop that juts out over the Mirima National Park. Take a short stroll to the top of Kelly’s Knob to witness views over all of Kununurra and the surrounding Ord River region; giving you a great perspective of this rural town. After gaining our bearings, we will visit the Waringarri Aboriginal Art Gallery. Waringarri is the first wholly Indigenous owned art centre in the Kimberley region that supports the economic independence of its artists and the community. View the artists at work and gain an insight into the rich Miriwoong culture through their incredible artwork.
After lunch we will hit the road and travel an hour south to reach Lake Argyle. Enjoy a swim in the campground’s infinity pool before a sunset cruise on the lake. Explore the lake on a wildlife cruise and learn about the Ord River irrigation scheme that led to the creation of 72 islands in one of the hemisphere’s largest man-made lakes. Take a swim in this impressive lake as the sun set glows all around you.
Overnight: Camping, Kununurra
This morning we’ll begin the service-learning portion of our journey. Rustic Pathways has built long term partnerships with a number of local organisations and you will work alongside these organisations to provide support to the community. The projects you will be working on will be dependent on the needs of our partner organisations at the time of your visit. Examples may include cooking meals for an Indigenous women’s shelter, wildlife rehabilitation support, or youth work to provide extra-curricular programs. Your service projects are designed to support ongoing projects that address community needs.
Overnight: Camping, Kununurra
This morning we begin our adventure out to Purnululu National Park, one of Australia’s most unique World Heritage listed areas. Purnululu National Park, or the Bungle Bungles as the locals call it, is well known as one of the most striking geological landmarks in Australia. The 360-million-year-old ranges formed from beehive-like mounds with orange and black stripes will make you question whether you have landed on another planet!
Lace up your hiking boots, grab your camera, we’re off on an adventure! You will spend two days exploring these ancient landforms, narrow trails, creeks and cathedrals. The rock formations are truly out of this world. Hike into a natural amphitheatre and gaze out through nature’s own sky window! Star gazing in this world heritage national park is truly epic with no town or city lights close by.
Overnight: Camping, Purnululu National Park
Depart Purnululu and travel to Halls Creek where we will restock our supplies for the next few days. We will then continue 150kms down the famous Tanami Road to Wolfe Creek Crater. The huge crater averages about 875 metres in diameter, 60 metres from rim to the crater floor and it is estimated that the meteorite that formed it had a mass of about 50,000 tonnes, making for an impressive landmark. The local Djaru Aboriginal people refer to the crater as Kandimalal and there are multiple dreaming stories about the formation of the crater. Learn about these stories and more as you complete the crater rim walk and camp overnight here.
Overnight: Camping, Wolfe Creek Crater
This morning we will travel a couple of hours further down the Tanami Road to the Indigenous community of either Billiluna or Balgo. Upon arrival we will be met by local community members and youth workers that will be working with us for the next few days. Over the next four days we will be spending time with local people learning about life in a remote Indigenous community.
This immersion is a very unique and special experience for groups. Local youth workers support our groups whilst in community. Each group’s time in is different and is an experience that cannot be scripted, with no schedules or time frames. The program is designed to be as organic and natural as possible. Students will have the opportunity to be completely immersed into local life and culture. Learn first-hand how to hunt and cook traditionally and share in the beauty of Indigenous culture with both elders and young people. Experience a deeper connection to land and the local people through storytelling and songlines. Participate in land management activities with the rangers and build connections with the local students.
Overnight: Camping, Billiluna Community
Today we will say goodbye to our new friends and make our way back to Halls Creek. Tonight, we will spend some time reflecting on the last few days and on what has no doubt been an extremely impactful experience.
Overnight: Camping, Halls Creek
If twelve days is the maximum for you, today you’ll return to Kununurra and connect with your flights home. Rustic will take care of the flight arrangements for you. Safe travels and welcome home – we hope you loved your time in the Kimberley!
Day 12: Halls Creek to Tunnel Creek and Windjana Gorge
Road trip west for half a day and pass through Fitzroy Crossing before arriving at Tunnel Creek. Walk through this natural cave through the limestone cliff following the creek line through the darkness! We then continue to Windjana Gorge to see the freshwater crocodiles who reside below the spectacular cliffs.
Overnight: Camping, Windjana Gorge
After packing up camp for the last time, today we hit the Indian Ocean at Broome. Spend the day on the white sands of Cable Beach and wash off the layers of red dust in the turquoise waters. This evening, there’s the option for a camel ride along the beach at sunset (additional cost). Tonight, if our dates align with a full moon and low tide, watch the famous ‘Staircase to the Moon’ as the moon shimmers on the mudflats.
Overnight: Cabins, Cable Beach
Enjoy some free time shopping in the markets and galleries in Broome. Learn about the town’s pearl industry and visit some local art galleries. Fly home this afternoon, subject to airline schedules for your travel dates. Welcome home – we hope you loved your time in the Kimberley!