What’s open for camping on the Dampier Peninsula? Plus what to see and do

Quondong Point
Quondong Point

Whatever you do, book ahead if you want to camp on the Dampier Peninsula. Here’s an update from our trip this week.

CLOSURES

When we visited, 2024 camping closures (hopefully temporary) included:

Chile Creek Community Stay
Gumbanan Wilderness Retreat
Kooljaman at Cape Leveque

Check your CAMPS App for the latest! 

Pender Bay Escape , Dampier Peninsula
Pender Bay Escape, Dampier Peninsula

FAVE

Our favourite camp was Pender Bay Escape – here, our cliff campsite had beach views to die for! There are quite a few campgrounds listed in the Pender Bay or Middle Lagoon Road areas. Check them out in the CAMPS App and guides. 

FREE CAMPS

There are excellent free camps off Manari Road, closer to Broome. Just note, if you plan on visiting the top of the Peninsula, it’s a LONG way! We stopped at Quondong Point – these sites have a three night maximum stay. 

DRIVING

Even though the 200km Cape Leveque Road is sealed now, anytime you veer off it – expect red dirt roads. The simple sounding 30km into Pender Bay, for instance, involved mud holes, narrow sections, significant corrugations and took about an hour each way. Heatley assures, it is still very “do able” – many sections were good.

DAY VISITS

A day exploring can be limited out of your camp, however. Pender Bay does not allow day visits. Other sites nearby have a day visit fee for a “Quick Look, quick drive, quick swim, regardless of any excuse….” 

Disappointingly, Cape Leveque is still closed – you can’t access there at all. 

We finally saw some coastline at Ardyaloon (One Arm Point is right at the tip of the peninsula, and where the bitumen road ends). We walked into the Hatchery around 3pm to find out it was closing up for the day. So, unlike us – do your research. BYO lunch to some lovely picnic areas with views. 

PERMITS

You can purchase your day permit at Ardyaloon office (opposite the store) or at the Hatchery. Lombadina also have a beach access fee for day visitors.

DOGS, ALCOHOL and DUMP POINTS

Except for Manari Road, you’ll need to leave pets in Broome. Dump Points are few and far between (check the Camps App) and alcohol shops are non-existent! There is a bar (and water view restaurant) at Cygnet Bay Pearls. 

HIGHLIGHTS

Beagle Bay Sacred Heart Church

Drop in your $10 donation (no longer a gold coin) and have a wander inside. Just beautiful. There are toilets and a picnic ground, at this welcome stop. Watch out for the corellas in the trees above, Heatley just missed out on being Christened. 

LOMBADINA

What a friendly, interesting community! Although they have offered camping here for a while, they now have a new campground at Lombadina. One of our travellers highly recommend their stay and tours. 

After chatting to the team and paying the $10 day beach permit (Darryl was so helpful), we checked out their lovely campground and chatted to other travellers.

The drive to the beach was excellent (you can walk, too) and the sand is SOOO white. So nice to cool off in the waves. 

On the way out, we parked near the craft shop and walked to the bush church. Another beauty, really worth seeing. 

They also have a bakery here, operating Monday, Wednesday and Fridays. 

DONKEYS

Yep, keep a look out. They were quite different to the donkeys we spotted in SA. 

CYGNET BAY PEARL FARM

It’s always a bit dangerous bringing me near pearls. I LOVE them. Last time we visited Broome we took a Willie Creek Pearl Tour and loved it. So much so, Heatley spoilt me with a token for my finger that I cherish. 

Well, I’m cherishing more after our visit this week, Lorelle really helped with our decision making! However, besides the lovely Cygnet Bay pearl shop of Australia’s oldest Pearl farm, we enjoyed happy hour at the bar, walked to the lookout and watched tours arrive back. Customers are also welcome to swim in their infinity pool. We dallied a little longer and had a “date night” quality dinner. (Book ahead and ask for their waterfront tables.) 

We ordered a few delicious entrees – and certainly recommend the sharing platter. The croc chorizo was scrummy – Heatley liked the kangaroo. Not a ‘seafood lover’,  even I enjoyed the prawn and pearl meat combo. Our fav was the beef satay. The restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch as well. 

Our only regret was we couldn’t book their campground on the preferred days. We now know, they do have an overflow area. 

TIP: Their pearl grading workshop sounded fab.

Horizontal Falls

HORIZONTAL FALLS

Yes! A dream come true was to see what Richard Attenborough describes as one of the wonders of the world. We booked a Horizontal Falls cruise departing from Cygnet Bay, and were wowed by the experience and the team.

Although we couldn’t camp at Cygnet Bay, the tour picked us up at Djarindjin Campground. Much appreciated after our open bar tour! This is another brand new campground next to the roadhouse. Great to be up to date with the laundry and have fresh sheets to sleep on tonight! 

TOURS

There are a LOT of Aboriginal cultural experiences on offer at Ardi, Dampier Peninsula and it’s the  way to really see more of this unique coast. 

Check our CAMPS App for the latest information on MORE camping sites like those on the Dampier Peninsula, and if you have CAMPS 12 please update your listings.

Download the Camps App for iPhone/iPad or Android

  

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