D4L PLANS EPIC KIMBERLEY TOUR

NEED AN EXCUSE TO EXPLORE THE KIMBERLEY? DRIVE 4 LIVE IS GIVING YOU A GOOD ONE – A TOUR THAT WILL RAISE MUCH-NEEDED FUNDS FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES.

NOT-FOR-PROFIT organisation Drive 4 Life is planning a 4x4 trek to the Kimberley in 2016 to raise funds for disability service provider Northcott.

The Kimberley is known for its rugged mountains, dramatic gorges and outback desert and, like the Victorian High Country (where D4L holds its other tours), is regarded as one of Australia’s top 4x4 destinations.

D4L’s Chris Bates says the tour will start and finish in Kununurra, travelling through Lake Argyle, El Questro, Drysdale River Station, Manning Gorge, Bell Gorge, Windjana Gorge, Broome, Fitzroy Crossing and the Bungle Bungles along the way.

If all goes well there will be up to four groups of vehicles participating, with two groups moving west along the Gibb River Road to Broome, and back east along the Great Northern Highway, while the other two groups will do the reverse trip.

“We just didn’t want 24 vehicle convoys,” Bates says.

D4L is well known for its fundraising tours to places like the Victorian High Country, and in the past 10 years has contributed more than $700,000 to Northcott.

It recently held its ‘Wheelies Tour’ [see full coverage on page 120], which saw people with disabilities in 10 brandnew Isuzu 4x4s travel through outback New South Wales.

Gorge cruises and helicopter flights will be available on the Kimberley tour, and there will be opportunities to see ancient Aboriginal art – and all for a good cause.

To participate, you’ll need to donate $1500 – every cent of which goes to Northcott – and meet at Kununurra on May 27, 2016. This will give people a day to equip their 4x4s before the tour starts on May 28.

The Kimberley tour will have additional costs, as the campsites to be used are either privately owned, or operated by National Parks WA.

There will also be other costs – some of them mandatory – like the WA equivalent of the SA desert parks pass and, of course, fuel and food costs.

But, to put those expenses into perspective, an eight-day bus tour through the region can cost around $6000. We know how we would rather see the Kimberley.

To do the trip, 4x4 vehicles will need to be well-maintained and capable of outback travel.

They will also need to be fitted with all-terrain or mud-terrain tyres and a working UHF radio.

D4L is also planning its regular Victorian High Country tour in 2016. However, it will shift from its usual start-date of April to early November. Some new tracks will be covered in the area east of the Dargo High Plains Road.

The tour will also mark 10 years of D4L trips in the High Country, so some special celebrations are expected.

There’s a special discount on offer for intrepid travellers wanting to take on both D4L adventures in 2016.

For more information, expressions of interest and prices for the Kimberley and Victorian High Country tours, check out the revamped Drive4Life website at www. drive4life.com.au.