When I’m planning a getaway, my thoughts are all about the visuals: the scenery, the architecture, the food.

Considerations about climate take a back seat because you can’t control the weather, and besides, you can always dress for it, right?

Now, though, we’re contemplating a trip across the northwestern quadrant of Australia, across the Kimberley region. Friends there have done a similar trip and want to again, and wouldn’t we like to come along?

The trip would entail two to three weeks in June in a camper van, trundling across the territory where a compass is perhaps more valuable than a map.


It’ll be hot, they added, but nothing like it will be in August. Hot as in the upper 80s, low 90s. And dry — very dry. Little refrigeration, few services.

Checking a weather website turned up an all-too-Aussie description of what to expect: “Daily Kimberley weather forecast: Fine.”


My fine? Or their fine? See, I don’t do heat well. In fact, I do it quite badly. It’s not the sweating, but the sense of anvils sitting on my head, my shoulders, my sternum that wears me down.

The metaphor of a short fuse is all too apt. I can get crabby, which gives my husband pause. Once we begin, there’s no bailing out.

Still, what a thrill to be roaming the Kimberley, seeing animals that don’t live in Minnesota, kangaroos up close, saltwater crocodiles at a great distance (or perhaps best in the tourist brochure).

For me, the most memorable trips have involved leaving behind any semblance of daily routine. This would do that, and more. Either way, this one’s a memory maker.

Besides, it’s not as if the heat will be unrelenting. In some stretches, there’s the possibility of frost at night, which would provide a nice balance.

I mean, a fine balance.


Send your questions or tips to Travel Editor Kerri Westenberg at travel@startribune.com, and follow her on Twitter: @kerriwestenberg.