Bridge over the River Kwai

The story of the Bridge over the River Kwai was made famous by the 1957 World War II movie. This movie is a work of fiction, but is based on stories of the construction on the Burma -Siam Railway. The story has close parallels with the construction of a bridge over the Mae Klong near the town of Kanchanaburi in Thailand. The construction of this bridge was a Japanese project which utilised forced labour of allied prisoners of war in notoriously horrific conditions.

This tour visits the real sites along the railway including the Hellfire Pass and Konyu cutting to explain and remember those whose gave the ultimate sacrifice in this region during the second World War.

Tour Highlights

  • Kanchanaburi War Cemetery
  • Hellfire Pass
  • Jeath War Museum
  • Changai Cemetery
  • Bridge over the River Kwai

 

Departure Time
on arrangement
Duration
4 Days
Physical Rating
Moderate Fitness. Some walking, stairs, walking on uneven ground.

Brochure Downloads

Day 1 HOME - DARWIN                                                      Fri 31 Jul 20 (D)
Welcome to our tour to the magnificent Kimberley’s, featuring some of the most amazing and unusual landscapes in the country. Arrive in Darwin and transfer to the city centre to purchase lunch, then re-board the coach and take in the sights. Many people aren’t aware of the importance of Darwin during World War II so we’ll look at the city as it is today and also learn about the involvement and history of the bombings of Darwin. We see the new Parliament House built on the site of the Darwin Post Office bombed during the war, the port area plus the many other fascinating sights of Australia’s northern gateway. Our welcome dinner is aboard the Spirit of Darwin as we watch the sunset on the harbour, the perfect start to your holiday and listed as one of the top ten things to do whilst in Darwin.  
Travelodge Resort Darwin (PH: 08 8946 0111)
 
Day 2 DARWIN - KATHERINE Sat 1 Aug 20 (BLD)
We farewell our hosts and head to Adelaide River where we visit the Adelaide River War Cemetery. It’s a sobering reminder of the impact of World War II and is the only Australian war cemetery on Australian soil. There are 434 military burials and 63 civilians who died as a result of the Japanese bombing raid and a Memorial to the Missing, where 292 service personnel are remembered. From here, we visit the scenic Leliyn/Edith Falls, an idyllic spot to relax for lunch, take a bush walk or swim in the natural pool at the base of the falls.  Tonight, we are in for a real treat as Golden Guitar winner and horseman extraordinaire, Tom Curtain, delights and entertains us with his Katherine Outback Experience. The dinner and show celebrate the life in the outback through real horse-starting, working dog demonstrations, live music and humour bush tales.
Best Western Pine Tree Motel (PH: 08 8972 2533)
 
Day 3 KATHERINE - KUNUNURRA Sun 2 Aug 20 (BD)
Today after departing Katherine, travel to Victoria River Roadhouse in the Gregory National Park for our morning tea stop. Here you get a feel for the diversity of the Territory’s landscapes as it showcases the transition zone between the topical and semi-arid regions. Continue to Timber Creek to purchase lunch before crossing the border into Western Australia. The state of Western Australia is the largest in the country and covers approximately one third of the whole of Australia. Arrive in Kununurra where we check in to our hotel before travelling to Kelly’s Knob to watch the glorious sunset with 360-degree views of Kununurra.
Lakeside Resort, Kununurra (PH: 08 9169 1092)
 
Day 4 KUNUNURRA Mon 3 Aug 20 (BLD)
This morning there is time for a remarkable early morning optional flight over the Bungle Bungles (additional expense - must be pre-booked and pre-paid).  Later, take a tour of the town which was originally established as the residential and administrative centre of the Ord River Scheme that was developed in the 1970s. Our sightseeing will include a visit to the town centre, Diversion Dam and Ivanhoe Crossing. We visit the magnificent Argyle Homestead Museum, which was originally built in 1895 by the Durack family on Argyle Downs Station (now mostly submerged by the lake). The famous pioneering Durack family home became known far and wide as one of the social gathering places of the East Kimberley. One of the many highlights of our tour to the Kimberley Ranges will be our cruise below the massive wall of Lake Argyle into Lake Kununurra while the sun sets. Take in the untamed landscape of the magnificent Carr Boyd Ranges along the inaccessible North Western shoreline as we cruise through some of the lakes and inlets. Hopefully we’ll see some locals – Rock Wallabies, Crocodiles and the amazing spitting Archer Fish are all found in this area.
Lakeside Resort, Kununurra (PH: 08 9169 1092)
 
Day 5 ARYGLE DIAMOND MINE Tue 4 Aug 20 (BLD)
Departing Kununurra, travel south to the Argyle Diamond Mine where we’ll meet our guide for a comprehensive tour of the mine. This is Australia’s only major diamond manufacturer, and this may be your last chance to tour the mine, as operations are expected to cease during 2020.  Your tour includes, the designated area; a high security zone accommodating the original open cut mine, and the current underground operations, mine tailings, processing plant and associated infrastructure. Your guide will describe all aspects of the diamond mining operation. Then take you to the viewing platform high on the ridge where you will begin to appreciate the enormous toil and effort that has been invested in the extraction of these highly valued stones.  Next, visit the Argyle Mine diamond gallery, with over $2million of Argyle Diamonds and jewellery on display. Here you can truly appreciate the beauty of the rare and coveted pink diamond, found only in this place where two cultures combine; where white and coloured diamonds came to be.  Finish with a drive through the mine site to the Workers Village where you will enjoy a delicious buffet lunch and an opportunity to browse and purchase a diamond from the Village shop. Continue south to Bungle Bungle where you might like to see the breathtaking area by air on a scenic flight (additional expense - must be pre-booked and pre-paid). Tonight, we rest our heads in the unique and custom-made outback ensuited safari tents. 
Bungle Bungle Caravan Park, cabins or ensuited safari tents (PH: 08 9168 7220)
 
Day 6 BUNGLE BUNGLE Wed 5 Aug 20 (BLD)
We uncover the maze of curious orange and black striped beehive shared domes in Purnululu National Park. This is without doubt one of the most fascinating and unusual landforms.  An earlier start today for a full day in Purnululu National Park and the Bungle Bungle Range.  Travel through Mabel Downs Station, keeping an eye out for the king of the Kimberley Cattle Industry, Brahman Cattle, to the Park Visitor Centre.  Next, discover Cathedral Gorge, an astonishing natural amphitheatre of red rock. The walk winds its way through the iconic beehives, heading down between two walls of rock before opening into Cathedral Gorge.  Water pounding through here in the wet season has created a huge amphitheatre of red rock with a pool of water in the middle.  The acoustics are so good that music has been played within the gorge.  Enjoy a picnic lunch before heading to the northern end of the park and Echidna Chasm which is one of the Parks Highlights. Hundreds of Livistona Palms line the Chasm and cling to the sheer sides of the cliffs. At times you can reach out and touch both sides of the Chasm.  This afternoon return to our accommodation after a great day exploring.
Bungle Bungle Caravan Park, cabins or ensuited safari tents (PH: 08 9168 7220)
 
Day 7 BUNGLE BUNGLE – FITZROY CROSSING Thu 6 Aug 20 (BLD)
Today we travel to Halls Creek, on the northern edge of the Great Sandy Desert and the site of Western Australia's first gold rush. The town is full of gold rush stories and relics. One of the more famous stories is of Russian Jack, a man who carried his injured mate in a wheelbarrow for over 300 kms to get medical attention. A statue is dedicated to his amazing feat outside the Shire Office. Just outside of town is the China Wall. The amazing natural white stone formations rise high out of the ground and then disappear back into the earth again making it look like a miniature ‘Great Wall of China’. We continue through the magnificent red mountain scenery of the Kimberley to Fitzroy Crossing for our overnight stay.
Fitzroy River Lodge, motel rooms (PH: 08 9191 5141)
 
Day 8 FITZROY CROSSING - BROOME Fri 7 Aug 20 (BD)
This morning we enjoy the panoramic views and interesting commentary by a Parks and Wildlife Service Ranger while cruising the stunning Danggu Geikie Gorge. It has been carved by the Fitzroy River through part of an ancient limestone barrier reef which snakes its way across the Kimberley, creating mountainous cliffs and breathtaking scenery. From Geikie Gorge continue through the West Kimberley region and on to the West Coast of Australia and Broome.  Check in to our Cable Beach accommodation then head out to watch the sun setting over the Indian Ocean, a magical experience.
Oaks Cable Beach Resort, Broome (PH: 08 9192 8088)
 
Day 9 BROOME Sat 8 Aug 20 (BD)
Today you can discover Broome at leisure with a free day. You may like to book a cruise, visit the Malcolm Douglas Crocodile Park ride a camel or shop for pearls. Of course, some may just like to lay around the pool and relax – the choices are yours. Alternatively, you have the option of a full day tour to Cape Leveque with a scenic flight over the majestic Horizontal Waterfalls.  Stonestreets Travel will assist with any bookings and inquiries.  Please note, tours should be booked in advance especially Horizontal Waterfalls and Camel rides.
Oaks Cable Beach Resort, Broome (PH: 08 9192 8088)
 
Day 10 BROOME Sun 9 Aug 20 (B)
Broome’s rich and colourful history began with the mass migration of Japanese, Filipino and Malay pearl divers seeking their fortune and creating a melting pot of cultures that makes this the multicultural town that it is today. We enjoy a town tour which will showcase the very best of Broome, including, Gantheaume Point, Japanese Cemetery & Chinatown. We also visit Pearl Luggers to discover the history of pearling, fascinating memorabilia and then immerse ourselves in the first-hand experiences from divers. We have a free afternoon where you may like to explore the Broome Markets, dine at the award-winning Matsos’s Brewery or discover the rare and beautiful Australian South Sea Cultured Pearl at Willie Creek Pear Farm. We meet up again at dinner to share our stories from the day.
Oaks Cable Beach Resort, Broome (PH: 08 9192 8088)
 
Day 11 BROOME – BELLS GORGE Mon 10 Aug 20 (BLD)
Our morning journey takes us into Derby; where we can see the Boab Prison Tree. This tree which could hold several prisoners was used in the early days as an overnight lock before the final trek into Derby.  Next we meet our local guide in Derby who will board the coach for a town tour, including the port area where the giant northern tides rush in to meet the town. Continue to Windjana Gorge National Park, which is part of an ancient reef system that formed around 350 million years ago. Carved by the Lennard River, Windjana Gorge is over three kilometres long with 300-metre-high walls. At the base of the gorge, deep freshwater pools surrounded by native fig, Cajeput and Leichardt trees attract flocks of noisy corellas, fruit bats and freshwater crocodiles. The area has great cultural importance and has fascinating walks in the area.  From Windjana we head to Silent Grove Campground near Bells Gorge and set up camp for the night.  Your tour crew will show you all how easy it is to pitch the 2-person tent and then set about cooking a delicious bush dinner.
Silent Grove Campground – Bells Gorge 
 
Day 12 BELLS GORGE – DRYSDALE STATION Tue 11 Aug 20 (BLD)
After breakfast we start with a walk to Bells Gorge, a spectacular gorge created by water flowing west from the King Leopold Range cutting through the ancient rock.  This is one of the most popular gorges in this region with a waterfall cascading down the U-shaped cliffs, into a deep pool with large flat rocks along the side, perfect to sit down or sunbathe – no wonder Bell Gorge is so popular.  After our walk we rejoin the Gibb River Road and travel to Galvan Gorge for lunch.   This long, deep water hole at the base of steep cliffs with a cascading waterfall and is easily accessed via the flat walking track through the bushland and past the rocky granite outcrops.  This afternoon we visit Mt Barnett Gorge, a deep, wide river surrounded by spectacular pillared sandstone cliffs, and lush vegetation such as Pandanus Palms and Paperbark Trees. At the top of the river there are some cascading waterfalls, and rock pools.  From here we head to our overnight stop at Drysdale River Station.
Drysdale River Station (PH: 08 9161 4326)
 
Day 13 DRYSDALE STATION – MITCHELL PLATEAU Wed 12 Aug 20 (BLD)
Today we uncover the amazing Kimberley rock art traditions as we travel to Mitchell Plateau. We explore the rugged landscape of King Edward River that has been more than 1,800 million years in the making, a land that has been home to the Kwini, Gambra and Walmbi people for many thousands of years. The story of their ancestry is told in the ancient Gyorn Gyorn rock art (Bradshaw painting) and is believed to be the oldest figurative paintings on earth. We arrive at Mitchell Plateau to set up camp before a day of exploring tomorrow.  Tonight, we will be camping in 2 person tents with camp stretcher and/or airbed, meals will be pre-pared by your coach crew.
Mitchell Plateau Campground
 
Day 14 MITCHELL PLATEAU – DRYSDALE STATION Thu 13 Aug 20 (BLD)
We have a spectacular day ahead as we embark on a hike to see the amazing four-tiered Mitchell Falls. Also known as Punamii-unpuu to the local Wunambal people, the falls were carved through sandstone by the waters of the Mitchell River, producing layers of mesmerising emerald water pools from which the waters tumble from one to the next. The moderate to difficult walk also includes Little Mertens Falls and Big Mertens Falls before reaching one of Australia’s most spectacular waterfalls, Mitchell Falls. We return to camp by helicopter where we can see the impressive falls from the air. After lunch and a well eared break, we travel back to Drysdale River Station for our overnight’s accommodation.
Drysdale River Station (PH: 08 9161 4326)
 
Day 15 DRYSDALE STATION – HOME VALLEY STATION Fri 14 Aug 20 (BLD)
This morning we travel along the Gibb River Road to Ellenbae Station, a cattle station covering 1 million acres. We stop to stretch our legs in the gardens and wander through the rustic homestead while enjoying our delicious scones. We continue to Home Valley Station where we enjoy lunch at the iconic pub “The Dusty”. This is also our home tonight and have a chance to freshen up before our sunset surprise. As the dust settles on another day in the Kimberley’s, the evening colours are brought to life at the Cockburn Range lookout. Shades of red, pinks and purple are the perfect backdrop to enjoy with a sparkling wine, local beer and cheese platter.
Voyages Home Valley Station (PH: 08 9196 4322)
 
Day 16 HOME VALLEY – EL QUESTO – KUNUNURRA - DARWIN Sat 15 Aug 20 (BLD)
After breakfast we make our way to the Pentecost River which passes through El Questro Wilderness Park which is where we’ll be heading later today. It can be a fascinating mission for the coach to cross the river so make sure you have your camera ready. We arrive at El Questro Station – a million-acre cattle station and wilderness park. On arrival we cruise through Chamberlain Gorge. The 3km waterhole is surrounded by diverse wildlife and eclipsed by towering escarpments. We enjoy lunch at the station before heading to Kununurra Airport for our flight to Darwin. 
Mercure Darwin Airport (PH: 08 8920 3333)
 
Day 17 DARWIN - HOME Sun 16 Aug 20 (B)
What a fantastic time we’ve had. Lots of laughs between new friends and amazing experiences had by all. With our suitcase full of memories, we bid farewell to the North of Australia and board our flight home.
 
Guided walks and level of fitness
Walk 1: The walks within Purnululu (Bungle Bungle) National Park can be more difficult and require some level of fitness – some deep sand areas and river stones to negotiate.  For guests not wanting to do these walks shorter and easier are available – your crew will assist with directions
 
Walk 2: The walk to (or from) Mitchell Falls will require a reasonably good level of fitness, the walk will take up to 3 hours and is over uneven ground with several rocks to climb down (or up) and it is necessary to cross through the Mitchell River to reach the falls and the return helicopter flight.  For guests not wanting to do the guided walk into the Mitchell Falls you can upgrade to a return helicopter flight from the campground.  Please advise Stonestreets at time of booking if you like this option.

Meals: 3 Breakfasts

Transport: Tour Bus

Flights: No flights included

Accommodation: 3 Nights Hotel Accommodation

Activities:

  • Battlefield Tour with English Speaking Guide
Departure Time
on arrangement
Duration
4 Days
Physical Rating
Moderate Fitness. Some walking, stairs, walking on uneven ground.
Price
AUD $1,930
Bridge over the River Kwai
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