Your unforgettable private helicopter safari exploring the stunning East Kimberley, pushes remote luxury to a new level. Soak in the extraordinary landscape, embracing life on an outback cattle station, viewing galleries of the oldest Indigenous rock art on earth, soaring through gorges and touching down to swim in secret springs and waterfalls. Follow trails to billabongs, water holes and river pools where you can watch (and listen) to the wildlife. Take in breathtaking views as you traverse through gorges, along ridgelines and explore Aboriginal rock art sites. Explore technicolour caves and crevices, towering red rock gorges and striped sandstone Bungle Bungle domes. Soar in your private helicopter over stunning sunburnt ranges and learn about the history of the spectacular man-made reservoir, Lake Argyle. The ultimate explorers luxury adventure by air and foot.
Day 1 – Fly to Bullo River Station
This morning you will depart Kununurra and fly into Bullo River Station via our private light winged plane. The breathtaking scenery is on a scale difficult to comprehend and is truly bought to life from the air. Arriving at Bullo via air, provides a stunning panorama that sets up your visit in the most memorable way.
Situated on the edge of the remote Kimberley in the northwest corner of Australia’s Northern Territory, Bullo River Station is a working cattle station that strives to balance best practice pastoral work with a commitment to environmental and indigenous conservation. The prime pastoral land is managed with equal care and respect for the pristine and extraordinary beauty of the outback bush. Conservation projects are managed by Australian Wildlife Conservancy, in an Australian-first conservation and pastoral partnership. Bullo River Station invites you to live and breathe life on a cattle station. With legendary outback hospitality, you will be involved in unique and authentic experiences that will create life-long memories.
You will be met on arrival and receive a welcome to the homestead before setting off for a Station tour. The Station tour is the best orientation for what can be expected during your stay. Visit the workshop, cattle yards and closer Homestead paddocks to hear more about what happens at Bullo and how Bullo keeps the lights on. The cattle station is at its busiest managing the 4,000 strong Brahman-cross herd at this time of year. An abundance of water remains in the Victoria and Bullo rivers and secluded waterholes making it a great time for wildlife spotting and swimming.
Freshen up before you are taken to your surprise dinner location in time for sunset drinks. Sit under an impressive boab tree for a camp-over dinner, before spending the night in a swag under a blanket of stars. (L,D)
3 nights Bullo River Station – 1 night Swag Under the Stars, 2 nights Homestead
Day 2 – Billabong Walk and Birding
This morning you will set off for a hike to the Homestead billabong which has flourishing birdlife thanks to efforts to restrict the area from heavy-hooved animals. The birds are now nesting undisturbed and can be seen from a bird hide. Learn about fencing to restrict large animals to protect nesting birds before returning to the homestead for showers and breakfast.
After your belly is full, venture to the far reaches of the property where you will travel through the outer paddocks stopping at places of interest along the way as you learn about regenerative work to return degraded land to viable pastures again.
Pause for morning tea at the Lakeview Lookout which sits above Lake Lesley. While here, there is a chance to hike down to the Lake Lesley bird hide. Lunch will be packed and eaten in the Paperbarks, with options to explore more of this beautiful property.
This afternoon, you have free time to do as much or as little as you like. Some of our suggestions include:
- Stockhorse experience: Learn more about the history and importance of the Australian Stockhorse in a short talk and lunging demonstration at the horse yards. Keen riders can complete the experience with a trail ride (4 maximum)
- Fishing: Bullo operates a catch & release policy but really, the thrill is just landing the ‘Barra.
This evening, head to the Bullo Homestead for your 6pm sundowner drinks before dinner at 7pm. (B,L,D)
Day 3 – Scenic Helicopter, Rock Art & Waterhole
There is no better way than to start your day with a scenic helicopter journey as the sun rises. Enjoy your flight over the homestead, as you get your bearings in relation to the rivers, paddocks and other nearby areas of interest. The helicopter takes three guests at a time, and the first scenic flight leaves as soon as the sun shows itself.
Breakfast will be ready for you on your return before you set off on your next adventure to explore incredible Indigenous Rock Art. Numerous Aboriginal rock art sites have been found hidden in the station’s rugged red cliffs and ridge lines. They are thought to be the work from the Ngarinman people who lived on and managed the land before white people came. The rock art site has a short but steep rocky ascent.
From here, continue on to Marlee’s Bath which is a picturesque and safe waterhole. Enjoy a refreshing swim, while your guide boils the billy and prepares morning tea. Soak in the wild nature that surrounds you.
Jump into the small electric motorboat on the Bullo River with the opportunity to cast a line for a Barramundi as you cruise. The Bullo River Gorge is a stunning location that can only be taken in from a boat. The riverbanks are lined with mangroves, fig trees and pandanus, while the red cliffs tower over the water. Keep your eyes peeled for the one resident crocodile, as well as smaller ‘freshies’ sunning themselves on the riverbank.
Return to the Homestead for a late lunch, with some time to relax afterwards in the pool to escape the heat of the day.
As the temperature starts to drop, visit the imaginatively named, ‘Big Boab’ – like its name suggests, it is big. It is likely the oldest tree found on the property to date based on its size. A visit to Big Boab takes in the closer paddocks and further designated bird breeding areas. Return to the Homestead for sundowners and dinner. (B,L,D)
Day 4 – Departure form Bullo, Heli to Kununurra
Awaken to the sounds of nature. Breakfast is served at 8am before heading off to ‘beat around the bush’. Designed to showcase the many bush foods and medicines around the property, your guide will pass on the knowledge of the bush. Utilising a combination of ATV and hiking, the best way to connect
with nature is by foot! A packed lunch will be provided for you to enjoy on your helicopter flight to Kununurra where you will be met on arrival and transferred to your accommodation. As you take off from Bullo River Station enjoy your final views of the spectacular pastoral land and grazing cattle below as you head towards the Keep River National Park. If you are lucky, you may spot a large estuarine saltwater crocodile lazing on the muddy banks of the Bullo or Keep Rivers. Fly low across the NT / WA border as you enter back into Western Australia, so wind your watch back 90 minutes for the time zone change. On approaching Kununurra you will view Mirima National Park – Hidden Valley best known as the “Mini Bungle Bungle”. A range of orange & black rocky outcrops that change colour throughout the day.
You will also soar over Lake Kununurra and view ‘Sleeping Buddha’ a large rock formation located on the banks of the Ord River also known as Elephant Rock on the southern end of the formation for its distinctive look. Last but not least, view the Kununurra Diversion Dam wall that was completed in 1967 to contain the flow of water from Lake Argyle.The remainder of the day is at leisure. (B,L)
Overnight Freshwater Apartments – One Bedroom or similar
Day 5 – Piccaninny Gorge Heli-Hike
An early start this morning as you depart at 6.30am to catch the morning light in your helicopter. Flying south from Kununurra toward Lake Argyle via helicopter, view the biggest man-made lake in the southern hemisphere. Its volume is said to be over 21 times that of Sydney harbour. Continue over the Ord & Bow rivers, cattle stations and the Osmand Ranges before landing at Purnululu National Park home of the Bungle Bungle. A World Heritage Listed area, celebrated for the valuable cultural and natural assets it holds. Fly over the Bungle Bungle Range, a 350 million year old sandstone massif that rises up to 578 metres above sea level. The range stands 200 to 300 metres above a woodland and grass-covered plain, with steep cliffs on the western face. Elsewhere, particularly where Piccaninny Creek has formed Piccaninny Gorge, the range is cut by deep gullies and breaks up into complex areas of ridges and domes, with prominent orange and black or grey bands.
Landing near the mouth of Piccaninny Gorge, your guide will lead your hike into the gorge and share stories of the area’s significance to the Aboriginal people and its unique history, which led to the World Heritage listing of Purnululu National Park. This 10 km return hike is classed as a level 5 walk and requires a high level of fitness and mobility. A picnic lunch and morning/afternoon tea is included.
Your return helicopter flight continues along the southern face, following Piccaninny Creek where you can view the mouth of Cathedral Gorge and soar amongst the famous orange and black striped sandstone beehive-shaped domes. Fly to your lodge for night, Bungle Bungle Savannah Lodge where you will have time refresh before replenishing with a chef-prepared dinner.
Here in Purnululu, you will find one of the best stargazing spots in Australia with some of the most sparkling night skies in the world. Discover the beauty of the Milky Way Galaxy and the Southern Cross from your own private balcony. There are few life experiences that can match exploring the Bungle Bungle by day and staying overnight in Purnululu National Park. (B,L,D)
Overnight Bungle Bungle Savannah Lodge or similar
Day 6 – Cathedral Gorge & Lake Argyle
This morning you will have time to walk into Cathedral Gorge. Walk amongst the famous eroded towers and black and orange banded beehive structures on the Domes Walk. Cathedral Gorge is where the towering cliffs open up to form a space with awe-inspiring natural acoustics. Walk along the sandy bed of Piccaninny Creek, which flows only in the monsoon waterfall season. Learn about the Kimberley climate, the six seasons and unique flora and fauna so important to the traditional custodians of the land. This walk is a level 2 walk, 3km in total, moderate to easy. Walking is along a creek bed through sand, stones and loose rocks. There is some climbing with small ladders and hand rails.
Return to your lodge where you will take off in your helicopter and make your way to Lake Argyle for lunch and swim in the Infinity pool at Lake Argyle Resort.
This afternoon, fly north over the remainder of the Bungles massive, viewing incredible gorges that have spent millions of years carving through the range from natural weather patterns and time. Argyle Diamond Mine, where rare pink diamonds are found will also be in your view, and your pilot will orbit around to get a clear vision of the size of the open cut mine.
Fly along the western shoreline of Lake Argyle, the biggest manmade lake in the southern hemisphere. Its volume is said to be anywhere from 17 – 40 times that of Sydney harbour depending on the wet season rainfall before coming into land at the Lake Argyle Resort.
After lunch and a swim, re-board the helicopter for your return flight to Kununurra. Approaching Kununurra and the Ord Valley is always a spectacular site with an oasis of lush farms, big waters and rugged ranges that create a patchwork quilt of colour. The Ord Irrigation Scheme has many plantations of Sandalwood, Mango, Lime, Watermelon and much, much more. (B,L)
3 nights Freshwater Apartments – One Bedroom or similar
Day 7 – Lost City and Miri Miri at El Questro
Depart this morning in your helicopter to El Questro. Your destination today is El Questro Station after taking off from Kununurra over the Diversion Dam Wall and Lower Ord River. Get a glimpse of the Ord Irrigation Scheme and Packsaddle Plains as you marvel at the vast Kimberley landscape of patch work colours below you. Pass by the Deception Range that is a very close resemblance of the Bungles massive with ever changing colours throughout the day.
A perfect photo opportunity awaits as we fly toward and past the majestic Cockburn Range that is shaped like a vast round fortress and rises more than 600 metres above the plains. The range is dissected with hundreds of gorges and orange glowing cliffs. You will also view one of El Questro’s many attractions and accommodation places, Emma Gorge. When flying into this 700,000 acre station, think about where you are and how untouched this last frontier is. View where the Pentecost & Chamberlain Rivers meet before coming into land at El Questro Station.
Spend two hours exploring the Lost City with your guide. Cool off while experiencing the spring-fed waterfalls of Miri Miri Falls, hidden in a remote corner of El Questro Wilderness Park. Visit the ancient cave formations and unique terrain in this fully guided tour of the Lost City. Recommended for the fit and adventurous, this fantastic scenic helicopter tour includes scaling around crevices, crawling through openings and navigating through the darkness of caves.
Hidden in a remote corner of El Questro station is Miri Miri Falls. Spring-fed water cascades over a 50m fall from the plateau into a deep pool, then into a dense alley of Livistona palms and paperbark trees. Take a dip in the refreshing pool surrounded by nature then enjoy a picnic lunch, all while revelling in one of El Questro’s most secluded attractions.
Lift off from El Questro and soar out over the Chamberlain River on takeoff. View the Pentecost River that flows all the way through El Questro Station and into the Timor Sea. Leave this striking 700,000 acre station behind as you fly to your next destination. Along the way, marvel at the incredible site in front of you as you fly along the edge of the Cockburn Range that is shaped like a vast round fortress and rises more than 600 metres above the plains. The range is dissected with hundreds of gorges and orange glowing cliffs. Pass by the Tier Range and Deception Range that is a very close resemblance to the Bungles massive with ever-changing colours throughout the day. Fly toward the Ord Irrigation Scheme that Kununurra has been built around and be rewarded with great photographic opportunities as you fly over the patchwork quilt of plantations, lagoons, rock formations and the Ord River – Lake Kununurra. View the Diversion Dam wall, a famous Kununurra landmark that was completed in 1967 to contain the flow of water from Lake Argyle. Return to Kununurra in the afternoon. (B,L)
Day 8 – At Leisure
Today is yours at leisure. Grab yourself a local Visitor Centre Glove Box Guide with maps and information that will guide you today. Kununurra is surrounded by breathtaking scenery, rock formations, farmland, and waterways which is the perfect recipe for photographers, artists, hikers and travellers from all over the world.
Optional Excursion to Mitchell Falls by Air – Pricing Available On Request
Experience everything the Mitchell Falls has to offer. 4WD, hike, see aboriginal rock art, swim and step aboard your exciting helicopter scenic transfer over the Mitchell Falls… all in one action packed day!
Take off in our fixed wing aircraft flying along the lower Ord River in search of massive salt water crocodiles. Weave above the high red cliffs of the Berkeley River Gorge and the exclusive Berkeley River Lodge. Marvel at the sight of the rugged Kimberley coastline in search of sea turtles, crocodiles and dugongs.
Be amazed by the pristine Kimberley coast, learning about the pearling industry, the WWII Truscott Airbase and the Kalumburu Aboriginal Community. Touch down at the remote Mitchell Plateau Airstrip. Experience driving along one of the most renowned and remote Kimberley tracks in our comfortable 4wd vehicle. Get a small taste of the rugged terrain and see the amazing endangered livistona palms up close.
Be guided by your Pilot/Tour Guide for a 4km hike travelling past waterfalls and ancient Bradshaw rock art before arriving at the unforgettable Mitchell Falls. Be rejuvenated after a refreshing swim in one of the waterholes.
(Please note: The hike has a Class 5 rating and requires a high level of fitness. The trail is mainly in the direct sun with minimal shade. Parts of the trail involve climbing over rocks, uneven ground and a water crossing. We allow 2 hours to complete the 4km hike. A waiver form will need to be signed on the morning of tour by all passengers prior to departing.)
Enjoy your gourmet picnic lunch with a complimentary Matso’s Ginger Beer whilst being mesmerised by the view. Capture the perfect postcard picture here! Get excited as you board your helicopter for your scenic flight over the falls back to where you started your hike. This is the ultimate way to get up close to see this unique natural icon!
Top off a great day with a spectacular view of the Cockburn Ranges and the unique tidal flats surrounding Wyndham. (B)
Day 9 – Departure
This morning is at leisure until it is time to transfer you to the airport for your onward flight. (B)
- Private plane from Kununurra to Bullo River Station
- 1 night in a swag at Bullo River Station
- 2 nights Homestead accommodation at Bullo River Station
- Services of a local expert guide
- All meals and beverages at Bullo River Station
- 4 nights at Freshwater Apartments (one-bedroom apartments)
- 1 night at Bungle Bungle Savannah Lodge (Dinner, Bed and Breakfast included)
- Piccaninny Heli-hike at the Bungle Bungle with picnic Lunch
- Lost city and Miri Miri tour at El Questro with picnic lunch
- Lunch and Swim at Lake Argyle Resort
- Helicopter charter as per the itinerary
- Sightseeing and entrance fees as per the itinerary
- National Park fees
- Private transportation
- Local taxes and levies
- International and domestic airfares
- Optional excursions
- Travel and medical insurance
- All services, meals other than those indicated above
- Any changes to the proposed and confirmed program.
- All items of a personal nature e.g. drinks, laundry, telephone calls, tips etc.
**Please note that this tour can be organised on request for private departures.
* Pricing is subject to change at anytime until full payment has been received.
* A minimum of 4 adults is required to guarantee this departure.
A non-refundable deposit of 30% per person is required to secure your place. Final payment is due no later than 60 days prior to departure. Travel insurance is mandatory for travelling with Crooked Compass. For full terms and conditions, please click here.