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“Kimberley Coast gem”
Review of The Berkeley River

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The Berkeley River
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 9 July 2017

Like many guests recently we booked our holiday at Berkeley River Lodge on a LuxuryEscapes deal, and because the price was so good, we added on two more nights. We are glad we did, because this place is meant to be explored, and only a few days are like the canapes served up at dinner - just a tantalizing taste!

We flew in from Darwin - if you don't like small planes, you're going to have a problem, but the pilots from Kimberley Air were friendly, professional, and gave us a smooth ride up and back. The size of the plane will depend on how many guests are flying in/out.

Berkeley River Lodge is perched on a huge sand dune, the only ones of its kind in the area. You get a great view of the main lodge and your villa accommodation on the flight in. The water looks inviting, but don't be tempted. The risk from crocodiles is real. We saw a few!

You'll be transported around the lodge and for outbound activities on custom Land Cruisers - great fun!

I won't spoil the experience by giving a blow by blow on the activities we did, but my advice is to soak it all up. Every day there is something interesting to do and see. This really isn't a place to lay about, although having a nap on 1-2 afternoons might be in order! If you can, sign up for a helicopter flight. Talk to other guests and team up, as you can share the cost.

The villas are comfortable - air conditioned (great in the afternoon), nice bed, but I found the pillows a little uncomfortable. The outdoor shower is fun - especially at night. Don't forget to look up! Toilets are very clean - Ecotoilets, so not long drops, of which I'm not a fan, but be aware you can hear everything next door haha. You'll save on your luggage weight if you just use the toiletries provided.

If you're in an ocean view villa be prepared for the sunrise. It's beautiful, it's early and there are no blockout curtains. Bring an eye mask if you want to sleep in and miss out on the show.

Make sure you bring hats, sunglasses, bathers, good hiking boots, sunscreen and insect repellent. Don't bother with fancy clothes - it's all casual and comfortable, and it will get red dirt on it anyway.

We found the food tasty, and plentiful. I read a review about "small portions" not being enough - either things have changed, or that person needs to go on a diet. The chefs were very helpful for those guests with food intolerances. Wines and beers were plentiful. I'm not a coffee fiend, but I expect one complaint would be the lack of freshly ground coffee. I think most people who come to this level of accommodation would expect this (especially from down south), so my suggestion would be at a minimum to bring in beans and get a commercial automatic machine. I was very happy with my T2 tea.

Above all the staff are fabulous. Apart from Bruce, who has spent 5 years at Berkeley River Lodge, everyone else is new, with the changeover from the family owners to the new resort owners. However, I think they have assembled a good team with Jacqui at the helm - incredibly organized and good humoured. Special mentions to Grant (guide, fishing guide - thanks for taking us out, and laughing so hard at the ones that got away!), Bruce for our great creek walk (we LOVED your DVD of your trips in the wet), Matt and Matze for your great humour and informative commentary on the river cruise, and bush drive, and the rest of the staff for their lovely service - Emma, Bec, Rosie, Caleb, Epp. Also a big thanks to Newman, True North helicopter pilot for flying us so safely and to some amazing spots for fishing.

Thank you for making our honeymoon a special holiday to remember. It not only met, but exceeded our expectations.

Room Tip: If you can get an ocean view villa, they are great.
  • Stayed: July 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank kittycat888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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19 - 23 of 128 reviews

Reviewed 9 July 2017

A once in lifetime experience which should be shared by more Australians.

Amazing setting, pristine wilderness, wonderful accommodation and fabulous staff - what more can one ask for,

We travel the World to places like Machu Picchu and find it a spiritual experience - but here in Australia, we have something in our own back yard which is just as deep and meaningful.

  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Thank Sam Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 June 2017

A very special and memorable experience that lived up to all our expectations. Rare opportunity to see part of Australia that is rarely seen by Australians or overseas visitors. Compare to overseas trips this stay represented tremendous value for money considering it included flights over Northern Australia, accomodation, all meals and activities.
Activities were scheduled but there was no obligation to participate. they were well run and very enjoyable, while the staff were very knowledgable.
Be prepared though for the open air bathrooms, although lying in a hot bath under the stars has pleasant memories.
Many thanks to the chefs! nothing was too much trouble, including the preparation of our freshly caught Dew Fish which was a huge hit with all the guests.
Despite previous comments the variety of Australian wines was excellent, the sunscreen was plentiful, and the Australian made toiletries were well received.
Thank you to all staff for a very memorable holiday, we wish you all the best.

Room Tip: Rooms with views over the Berkerley River mouth were stunning combination of cliffs and ocean.
  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
4  Thank Robin G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 June 2017

Well, I've read through a few reviews & agree with most of the comments. We found the staff did a great job to satisfy every whim, especially being in an extremely remote location. Nothing beats the scenery & what nature dishes up on the Kimberley Coast. The rooms were great with views to the ocean or the cliff faces, both as equally beautiful, plus comfy beds. The outdoor bathroom was divine. To stand under the shower looking at the Milky Way, Southern Cross & billions of stars ... even topped Uluru for us. Be prepared for some rugged walks & climbing in & out of a safari trucks, on & off boats, in & out of helicopters. Climbing up the face of cliffs to reach pristine pools to swim in away from the salt water crocs. Or maybe fishing or bushwalking with one of Australia's living legends, 'Bruce'. I doubt there's anything flying, crawling or swimming he doesn't know about the place. What a nice bloke! As for the food, I know previous reviews sing its praises BUT it was soooo below par. I totally understand how remote Berkeley is & did hear mention of a few chefs coming & going over the past season. No excuse for the cost. Yes, there was alcohol flowing anytime of the day but that's not a cloak for under par food & portion size (especially after the physical activity during the day). Really, really, disappointing to the point of frustration. AND, George Clooney has a lot to answer for with bloody POD coffee. It is not, nor will not ever be coffee. Just get an espresso machine & learn how to use it. On the up again, the Ultimate Helicopter activity with True North Airlines was AMAZING. Peter the pilot was great, informative & a gentleman. We will remember the King George Falls forever, the sunset on Mount Casuarina, the coastline & turtles. Too much to take in & absolutely fabulous. We loved the fishing, hiking, boat day cruise & camp itself. Thank you for a lovely, though hungry, holiday.

Room Tip: Do you want the morning sun or the afternoon sun? Some guests were particular.
  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank AustraliaSummer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2017

We have traveled around and through this amazing Country three times. The opportunity to spend 5 days/4 nights at the Berkeley River Lodge was a standout from all of the regions we havespent time in.This remote Kimberly location brings with it a set of logistical challenges for the staff, accommodation and Restaurant. If you expect the same exotic pampered accommodation of 5 star hotels in a City or resort destination, then lower your expectation, where Berkeley River more than excels is in the unique, isolated and pristine environment, The staff are exceptional and really make the experience special. They multi task and work extremely hard. Should a guest make a request it is attended to immediately, not in the fullness of time or when they get around to it, they do it immediately. The activities are brilliant. the food is great and the beverage selection (including quality wine) is exceptional. I must mention by name some of the guides and staff. Matt, you are a wonder, so considerate of the people you lead in the walks and in your Boats and vehicles, you are very informed about the Aboriginal 1st Nation people and the Geography and History of the Region. Your sensitivity and passion for this amazing environment is to be honored. Ben the Maintenance Manager also does multiple hospitality tasks. The fishing trip he took us on was a brilliant day, many varieties of the regions fish were caught and mostly released, including a 73 cm Baramundi. Jacki (the Manager) was working hard to improve some of the facilities (particularly the dining room chairs). Emily and all of the other young ladies were exceptional. This is a special place, be prepared to be overwhelmed with it's surroundings.

Room Tip: Rooms and Villas 1 to 20 are all the same
  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
4  Thank Rod19472015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Berkeley River

Address: Berkeley River, Kununurra, Western Australia 6740, Australia
Region: Australia > Western Australia > Kimberley Region > Kununurra
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 17 Speciality Lodging in Kununurra
Price Range: €938 - €1,337 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Berkeley River 4*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
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 luxurious villa floating atop the coastal dunes. Be one of the privileged few to set eyes upon breathtaking wilderness landscapes by river cruise or helicopter flight. ... more   less 
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