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Mercedes Cove A Kimberley Sojourn To Where Whales Frolic & Beaches are Beautifully Empty

By August 3, 2017August 8th, 20222 Comments


Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. The Dampier Peninsula stretches 220km north of Broome in Australia’s North West.

There is only one track that dissects straight up the middle of the Peninsula this is called the Cape Leveque road, all others run off it.

Known to local indigenous people as “Ardi” meaning heading north, this dusty bone-rattling journey gives the adventurous a chance to experience the pristine, secluded and unique that is the Peninsula.

To fully appreciate a location you sometimes have to embrace the journey, as the two become one to form the experience.  This is one such instance. The track will rattle and drain you while the destination will rejuvenate and repair you.


The Retreat

“Exclusive” What is exclusive? Limited to only one person or group of people, special, unique.

“Welcome To Mercedes Cove“.

After 190 bone-rattling kilometres you arrive at the gate, “Booked Guests Only Beyond This Point”

Here at Last


it reads. A deep breath is part relief part expectation as you wander down the track to the main parking area.

You’re enthusiastically greeted by Rex the resident hound whose friendly demeanour is only surpassed by owner Pat Channing who is close behind.

You quickly realize that “retreat” is just a fancy word for relax, as you feel yourself slip into Kimberley Time as Pat & Rex sweep you away to Mercedes Cove

Check-in time is 2pm and just quietly I think it’s a deliberate ploy by Pat and Hubby David, for, after the drive up, their orientation tour, and settling in, you’re just about done for the day and ready to pull up a pew at the “Whales Lookout”, sundowners a perfect conclusion.

Mercedes Cove forces you to take one step forward and two steps back, disconnecting you from the world for a while it reconnects you with whoever you’re with, and the wilderness that is just waiting to immerse you.

Immersed in Kimberley wilderness.


There is no Wi-Fi at Mercedes Cove but the connection is better.

The retreat has uninterrupted views of the ocean, with three private and sparsely occupied sandy beaches on which to swim, fish, snorkel and explore on go for a walk and be the first to leave your footprints in the sand.

Get used to yours being the only umbrella on the beach.


Mercedes Cove possibly has the best land-based whale watching in the Kimberley, June to September each year.  Humpbacks wander up and down the coast, they seem to stay a little longer and a little closer at Mercedes Cove.

Let’s see a Humpback escape our attention.


A highlight of each day was taking a moment to watch the sunset each evening, seeing the sun quietly slip behind the ancient chimney rocks and then dip below the horizon, the Kimberley sky fading to mauves and pastels, whales frolic and dance as lapping waves send you off to bed without a worry in the world.

You can do as much or as little as you like at Mercedes Cove it’s that type of place, you could swing in a hammock and study the backs of your eyelids listening to the lapping waves no one would blame you, however with so much Kimberley wilderness you’d be mad not to enjoy the best of both worlds.

Exploring a stack of chimney rock on remote Mercedes Cove Beach.


Whales can be awe-inspiring, the fishing a bit of fun, long walks along uninhabited private beaches soul cleansing, and the sunsets breathtaking.

However, the thing that marries all the elements together is the exclusiveness or the small number of guests in the house at any given time, and the accommodation options.


Accommodation Options 

Mercedes Cove is not targeted at any one demographic of people, it’s for everyone. Experience it with your partner, family or friends.

Fishing fun on the beach at Mercedes Cove.

Fishing fun on the beach at Mercedes Cove.

Passing on the knowledge soon she'll be catching me a feed.

Passing on the knowledge soon she’ll be catching me a feed.

To ensure your stay is private, peaceful and personal bookings are kept to a minimum.

Mercedes Cove has package deals available to corporate bodies, workshop groups and small social groups, the maximum number of people at any one time is 24.

All accommodation  is fully equipped, cleanliness of the accommodation options is a beaut, Pat keeps them spotless. All are well appointed and more than adequate for an overnight or a two-week stay.

Two Bedroom Cabins x 2

These cabins are very similar to each other, one is called Seaview, the other Beach Shack. They are set to the back of the retreat a little amongst the gubinge fruit trees.


Kids having a ball climbing a Gubinge fruit tree.


That said they still get plenty of sea breeze and are within easy walking distance of everything.

The Beach Shack: Two Bedroom Air Con Cabin.


A wonderful option for families, with lots of room, big verandahs and air-conditioned.

Eco Tents x 2 

These eco tents are spacious and beautifully ventilated. With every wall screened, the breeze passes through wonderfully. Inside you’ll find in addition to your bed a table and chairs, a bar fridge, pedestal fan. Outside is your BBQ.

One Tent is called “Gubinge” This is the family tent it sleeps 4

The Gubbinge: Eco Tent Flanked by Pandanus & Frangipanis.

The Gubbinge: Eco Tent Flanked by Pandanus & Frangipanis.

Inside layout of the Gubbinge Eco Tent.

Inside layout of the Gubbinge Eco Tent.


The Other Tent is called Jirr (Meaning Sea Eagle) – Ideal for couples, Sleeps 2.

This tent is in a great location. It sits atop a small rise and has great views out to the ocean. The gubinge tree which is front and centre blocks things a little, however, when it grows in a wet season or two it will not only throw nice shade but frame that view well.


Both Eco Tents share an abolition block.

Kids having a ball climbing a Gubbinge fruit tree.

Kids having a ball climbing a Gubbinge fruit tree.

Inside the Eco Tent Ablution Block.

Inside the Eco Tent Ablution Block.

Open Deck

This is the pick of the bunch. It sits out overlooking the ocean, everyone sleeps out on the deck in the open under mozzie nets.


The Open Deck


The breeze, smells, sounds, and sights – it’s a beautiful way to drop off to sleep and a wonderful way to wake up. Its experience, memories that will not be easily forgotten.

View out of the kitchen window across the deck & out to sea in the Open Deck.


This open plan design has a well-appointed kitchen, great bathrooms and a sensational big entertaining table on the deck.



Kitchen of the Open Deck


Staying here just complements everything else Mercedes Cove has to offer.

TOP TIP: Every accommodation type has its own fire pit & wood so pack marshmallows.


When To Visit 

The retreat closes for the wet season and, depending on weather, rain and road conditions, as a rough guide reopens around Easter. Always pays to contact Pat and run your plans by her first as a rough guide from April to November.

Anytime is a good time really, the absolute sweet spot about Mercedes Cove which makes it quite different to other places is the limited number of guests at any given time. So when other places are seriously busy in July Mercedes Cove will have clean air and an empty beach.

Grab an umbrella as you pass and go find where you want to be.


That being said, the beautiful viewing of whales makes this place really special between June and early September.

If you’re not fussed on whales then the shoulder season months of May, September and October have warmer nights and less wind.


How Long To Stay

My mob & I could easily stay for a week and may well do so one day, however for most of everybody else I would recommend two or three nights.

This will give a bit of time to explore, rest and play.

Top Tip: On the trip up stop at Beagle Bay and check out the Sacred Heart Church, perhaps make it a morning tea break.

Top Tip: Stop at the Whale Song Cafe for lunch, then proceed to Mercedes Cove for 2pm check-in.


How To Get There

The nearest major town is Broome, 10km out of Broome, on Broome Highway, is the turn-off to Cape Leveque. Continue along the Cape Leveque Road for approximately 155km to the Middle Lagoon turn off, make this turn and travel another 35km until you see the signs to Mercedes Cove.

The Cape Leveque and the Middle Lagoon roads are sandy, rutted, corrugated, dippy, bumpy, rocky, and narrow in places with unforgiving tracks. They demand respect and your full concentration- treat them with every respect.

Don’t try to race the road, it will determine your speed. Drive to the conditions, and let some air out of your tyres.



PLEASE NOTE: There was no google map of Mercedes Cove, that’s how off the grid and remote/alone you will be. It locates roughly between Middle Lagoon & Whale Song. Follow your nose and the signs. And it won’t take 6 hours to get there even the most cautious will arrive in 3 hours or a tad under if they drove straight through, no stops.


Other Facts

  • No Wi – FI & only very limited mobile reception at Mercedes Cove, for full mobile service head round to Whale Song Cafe.


  • No Pets are allowed at Mercedes Cove.


  • Check In time is 2pm / Check Out is 10am


  • Boats can be launched from the beach tyres must be deflated to 15psi


Well, what else can I say, Mercedes Cove has beautiful accommodation, set in an ancient landscape that accommodates very few modern gadgets.


Awaiting you to discover it at Mercedes Cove.


Sometimes less is more, this location offers visitors an opportunity to unplug from the everyday in a remote coastal wilderness with few others around, with wonderful indigenous local hosts.

We’ll be back and we haven’t quite left yet.


Make your own adventure and soak it all up at Mercedes Cove.

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Have you been to Mercedes Cove recently? Perhaps you’re planning a trip. Would love to hear from you about your experiences or any questions you might have.




Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Angela says:

    Hi Will,

    Great read thank you ?

    Just wondering the map says it is a 6 hour drive is that right? I didn’t think it was that far?

    Cheers Ang

  • Will Parker says:

    Hi Ang,
    Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment much appreciated. No Im not sure why google maps placed a 6hr travel time on the journey, the road is pretty average and it never fails to disappoint however even the most cautious driver will get there in a tick under 3hrs if they drove straight through no stopping.
    Enjoy the journey Ang and thanks for the inspiration.

    Cheers Will

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