DATE: APRIL 2019
BEST SHOTS: EPIC AERIALS, RAGING WATERFALLS and SECLUDED COASTAL LANDSCAPES
Secure a place on this once-off, 8 day, unforgettable private helicopter safari exploring the stunning Kimberley wilderness in true style.
Enjoy amazing views of the extraordinary Kimberley from your very own private helicopter with over 10 hours of flying time. As you travel from location to location, you get to photograph through open windows along the way, experiencing parts of the Kimberley barely seen by many.
Photograph sunrise on top of the highest mountain and watch the sunset from a secluded beach while enjoying your favourite cold drink. View galleries of the oldest rock art on earth. Soar through epic gorges and touch down to swim in secret springs and waterfalls. Your accommodation is the region’s best luxury lodges and coastal wilderness retreats - the luxurious Berkeley River Lodge, Kimberley Coastal Camp and El Questro Homestead. All three are unique lodges in exquisite locations offering a diverse range of wilderness experiences.
Some of the many spectacular locations you will visit are: Lake Argyle, the Bungle Bungles, Ord River, El Questro, Cambridge Gulf, Kimberley Coast, Berkeley River, King George Falls, Mitchell Falls, Cockburn Range, Hunter River, Mount Trafalgar, Careening Bay, Naturalist Island, Drysdale River, Kalumburu, Prince Regent River, Kings Cascade, Argyle Diamond Mine and Ragged Range.
Book now as this once-in-a-lifetime experience has very limited places.
SOME OF THE MANY HIGHLIGHTS:
- Travel in luxury aboard your own private helicopter that will take you to all the spectacular photography locations in the Kimberley.
- Over 10 hours flying time where you get to shoot through open windows THE WHOLE TIME.
- Stay at THE BEST luxury accommodation in the Kimberley with all gourmet meals and drinks included.
- Photograph from MANY locations that most people will never get to.
The Ultimate Photography Workshop - The Luxurious Kimberley Heli Safari INCLUDES:
- 8 days/7 nights
- Private, air-conditioned helicopters to take you comfortably to all the photographic locations
- 5+ star luxury hotels
- All gourmet meals and drinks
- Transfers to/from Kununurra WA airport
- Private one-on-one tuition with me, Tom
- Group critique sessions that allow for maximum learning
- Photographic Notes
- National park fees and permits
Please make sure you:
- Book your own flights to Kununurra WA
- Have medical and travel insurance
- Read our Terms and Conditions
Book your own flights to Arrive and Depart Kununurra, Western Australia. A private car collects you from the airport to your hotel in Kununurra (5 mins).
EXPERIENCE / DIFFICULTY
- Beginner, Amateur, Enthusiast, Semi-professional, Professional.
- Easy schedule.
- Travel by private helicopter.
- 4 hotels across 7 nights.
All our workshops require a good sense of balance and a good level of fitness in order to fully enjoy all the experiences. We regularly walk to fantastic locations for up to an hour at any a time but in one day you could be walking up to 3 to 4 hours in total. This may require walking over uneven ground, rocky surfaces, soft sand, deep snow, up and down hills, rock hopping, hiking to lookouts, etc. Some walks are steep and strenuous, others are on uneven surfaces. To get the best photographs you will be carrying your own backpack with your camera gear, tripod, water and lunch. Whilst we do not look to exclude anyone, being fit is essential to participate fully in the workshop.
WEATHER / SUN
- MAY - Temperature 15 to 30C Sunrise 556am | Sunset 544pm
TERMS & CONDITIONS
- Full payment required upon booking to guarantee your place.
Terms & Conditions - CLICK HERE.
Me, Tom Putt, award-winning Master landscape photographer - read my biography here.
Day 1: Arrive in Kununurra
From your home town, fly into the spectacular Kimberley region via the Kununurra Airport where I'll meet you to take you to your luxury hotel room to relax before our welcoming dinner that evening. I'll go through our itinerary for the next week and try not to have you too excited so you get some sleep!
Day 2: Kununurra to Berkeley River Lodge – Far north Kimberley coast
Rise early today to enjoy the fresh Kimberley morning. Your HeliSpirit pilot will meet and transfer you to the airport helipad. Lift off from Kununurra at 6.00am to soar over the Ord River following its path west past the huge farms of the Ord Irrigation area. View the incredible patterns in the mud flats surrounding the town of Wyndham where five huge rivers meet, emptying into the Cambridge Gulf where some of the Kimberley’s biggest estuarine crocodiles live. I've arranged extra time here to photograph the amazing patterns in the landscape.
Crossing the Gulf we pass over ancient traditional lands of the Balangarra people. Flying onwards, the ranges rise ahead with the watercourses of the De Lan Court and Berkeley Rivers beneath us. We land at a location of your choice to enjoy refreshments in a place where few others have ever been before. We fly low through the gorges of the Berkeley River to the Timor Sea and land at the oceanside helipad of the Berkeley River Lodge at 8.00 am.
In one of the last true wilderness areas on Earth, between Timor Sea sunrises and Berkeley River sunsets, the ultimate Kimberley adventure and refined indulgence awaits. Only accessible by air, getting to the Berkeley is half the adventure. Leave modern life far behind and relax into the rhythms of nature in your ocean-view villa floating atop the coastal dunes.
Enjoy breakfast cooked to order at Dunes restaurant and then join a day cruise to take in the ocean and Berkeley River Gorge from the water. Take a cooling dip in the secluded waterholes of Berkeley Creek and spot native flora and fauna, from saltwater crocodiles to rock wallabies and birds of prey. The cruise returns you to the Lodge at around 3pm, where you can enjoy the pool and relax in your luxury villa. All luxury villas feature a lavish king bed or twin beds, an open air bathroom with dual vanities, shower and free-standing bathtub, air conditioning, outdoor deck with occasional furniture and daybed, coffee machine, water chiller and premium amenities.
Executive Chef, Troy Mathews, prepares all your daily meals. The Berkeley River Lodge’s restaurant ‘Dunes’ combines flavours as rich as the scenery with unprecedented views across the expanse of the Timor Sea and the impressive backdrop of the Berkeley River mouth, Reveley Island, and the spectacular Kimberley coastline. The Berkeley River Lodge offers a casual yet decadent dining experience featuring multi course degustation dinner menus teamed with a fine selection of Australian wines.
Fresh breads are baked three times daily to guarantee only the freshest is served. If you prefer you can request your own culinary style with our chef open to recreating your favourite dish (with his own twist of course!). Only the best quality ingredients are used, sourced globally. A select range of soft drinks, beers and wines are provided with meals and on some excursions.
Overnight: Berkeley River Lodge
Day 3: Berkeley River Lodge to Kimberley Coastal Camp
This morning walk along the beach and photograph nature at its best. We lift off after breakfast with the day’s delicious picnic on board, prepared by the Berkely River Lodge chef. Today’s flight takes in the remote Kimberley‘s northern coastline, with craggy cliffs, white coves and plentiful sealife to view from above. Land at Eagle Falls for a swim and further afield to photograph this amazing area. We continue northwest over World War II sites then land atop the twin waterfalls of the King George Falls to photograph these epic falls. Later we visit Kalumburu, an aboriginal community where the mission is still in place with an astonishing museum curated by the Benedictine monks who have spent their lives here.
After visiting Kalumburu we land at a secret place to marvel at hidden galleries of ancient rock art. We select a picnic site for lunch with a creek to swim in. Rounding the top of WA and flying past Steep Head Island we come in to land on the shell beach at our destination for the next two nights, Kimberley Coastal Camp. Kimberley Coastal Camp is an exclusive retreat, a place for the heart and soul, limiting guests to just 12, creating an intimate atmosphere while reducing the impact on this fragile environment. Kimberley Coastal Camp is unpretentious, laid back and set in an exquisite location. The fresh seafood is truly amazing and the photography, wildlife and rock art will take your breath away. The cabins are set apart so are private. The showers and toilets are shared, set into the rocks a short way from the cabins. They are open to the vast Kimberley sky.
These are some elements that you can experience here:
Outstanding Photography: The Admiralty Gulf and its surrounds are recognised as one of the best photography destinations in The Kimberley.
Amazing Wildlife: Wild dingoes, sea eagles, olive pythons, endangered quolls, and many other native animals share this country known to traditional owners as ‘Yalrundair’.
Culturally Rich: The exquisite art forms that adorn caves and rock panels throughout Yalrundair are what make a visit to Kimberley Coastal Camp truly unique.
Creature Comforts: Featuring a level of amenities and service rarely available in such remote destinations, you can enjoy our patch of paradise in comfort. Gourmet meals and your ‘room with a view’ are just a couple of reasons you will always remember and treasure a holiday experience at Kimberley Coastal Camp.
Eco Friendly: From natural Australian made toiletries to solar power and everything in between, the approach to protecting this unique part of the world is evident.
Overnight: Kimberley Coastal Camp
Day 4: Kimberley Coastal Camp
Today we spend all day exploring around the Coastal Camp. We'll photograph yet another gorgeous Kimberley sunrise followed by breakfast and an invaluable critique session to review all of our amazing photographs thus far.
In the afternoon we'll explore this ancient land on foot, or by boat and experience the local birds, wildlife, bush tucker, ancient rock art and bush medicines first hand.
Later in the afternoon we'll get up in the helicopters again with the doors off to photograph aerials and the pristine azure waters the area is famous for.
Overnight: Kimberley Coastal Camp
Day 5: Kimberley Coastal Camp to Mitchell Falls, Prince Regent River and El Questro
Today’s adventure will have us photographing coastal landscapes first and then venture inland. Departing after early breakfast we soar over the Mitchell Plateau to orbit over and land at the top of the mighty four tiered Mitchell Falls. Our pilots will guide us on a walk to get the best of this iconic Australian feature.
When ready we fly to the coast to land at Naturaliste Island where we may see turtles. We continue through Price Frederick Harbour, a natural harbour with bays, coves, spectacular cliffs and mangrove forests. We land at Careening Bay, the sandy cove where Philip Parker King beached his vessel, the Mermaid and the boat’s carpenter carved the inscription; HMC Mermaid 1820 on the famous “Mermaid Tree”. That famous boab tree is now 12 metres wide and is National Heritage listed.
This area is astonishingly beautiful. View pearl farms, the King Cascades flowing into the Prince Regent River, Mt Trafalgar, Mt Waterloo and much more. Your helicopter allows you the flexibility to land and explore as you wish. We continue over rugged inland pastoral leases to Drysdale River Station, a remote fuel and accommodation stop on the Kalumburu Road. Here we refuel our helicopter and our bodies and chat to the locals. Our last leg for the day takes us over the central Kimberley, flying over parts of the Gibb River Road, Home Valley Station and the famous Pentecost River Crossing.
The glow of the afternoon sun on the red rocks of the Cockburn Range makes a stunning backdrop to our entry to El Questro Wilderness Park. We land on the lawn helipad at the Homestead, the secret holiday hideaway of many famous guests including Elton John, Kylie Minogue and Nicole Kidman. It was in this area that Nicole Kidman attributes her success in pregnancy, touting the famous fresh spring waters as the solution.
Over 1 million acres in size, El Questro is located in Western Australia’s untamed Kimberley region and extends for approximately 80 kilometres into its heart, most of which has never been explored. It is one of Australia’s last true frontiers. El Questro Homestead, sits amid a cool oasis shaded by palm trees and tropical greenery, perched atop an escarpment that plummets into the Chamberlain River. El Questro Homestead has become a by-word for absolute luxury within the Australian wilds. Located in the heart of the beautiful, forbidding Kimberley, The Homestead is an exclusive retreat.
Overnight: El Questro Homestead Garden Room
Day 6: El Questro
El Questro tours and activities form an integral part of every visit to this stunning wilderness destination. I've tailored-made today's adventure for the pilots to drop us at remote waterfall to spend hours exploring, photographing and swimming in an outback waterhole. Picnic lunch will be served as we dip our toes
For sunset the helicopters will take us to the top of the Cockburn Ranges where no one else gets to. Suffice to say that will be an experience to be remembered for a lifetime! Here ends another perfect day in the Kimberley.
Overnight: El Questro Homestead Garden Room
Day 7: El Questro to Purnululu National Park (Bungle Bungle), Lake Argyle and Kununurra
Lift off from the El Questro Homestead lawn helipad after a sumptuous breakfast to soar out over the Chamberlain River and fly south passing over the Elgee cliffs bordering the Durack River. Explore vast tracts of cattle station empires and marvel at the tenacity of our early pioneers in settling this rugged land. We pass over the traditional lands of the Kija and Djaru people and their community at Warmun, where many of our famous Aboriginal artists such as Rover Thomas and Queenie McKenzie lived and worked. We can arrange to land and visit the Warmun Art Centre today, if that interests you.
Our destination is Purnululu National Park, a World Heritage Listed area, celebrated for the valuable cultural and natural assets it holds. We fly over the Bungle Bungle Range, a 350million 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.
We land at Bellburn airfield in Purnululu to join an overland tour that comprises a drive to the massif and then a guided walk through the striped sandstone domes and further into Cathedral Gorge, named due to its excellent acoustics. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the Gorge.
In the afternoon we depart Purnululu, flying north over the Argyle Diamond Mine, where the rare pink diamonds are found, then on to a favourite spot of mine (only accessible by helicopter or a rugged hike) the Ragged Range. We will land on a mountain pinnacle where you can drink a toast to the Kimberley and its spectacular landscape.
As a finale, you'll glide love over the waters of Lake Argyle at sunset, the biggest manmade lake in the southern hemisphere. It’s volume is said to be over 21 times the volume of Sydney harbour. Flying in to Kununurra and the Ord Valley is always spectacular, an oasis of lush farms, big waters and colourful ranges and is a fitting end to your unforgettable helicopter adventure.
Our pilots will transfer you to your Kununurra accommodation and say farewell to an epic week in the remote Kimberley region.
Day 8: Leave Kununurra for home
After a final breakfast together, we'll say our goodbyes before boarding the plane home.
Photos courtesy of Ben Kapinski and Helispirit