19 Dec 5 Must Dos of the Kimberley
The Kimberley is located on the northernmost part of Western Australia, spanning an area three times the size of England, or almost 421,451 square kilometres. With a population of 40,000 people, there are fewer people per kilometre in the Kimberley than almost any other place on Earth.
The Kimberley is as diverse as its visitors, and offers rugged forges, powerful waterways, and a clear, luminous ocean. Enjoy a sunset camel ride in Broome, take a 4WD along the Gibb River Road to Kununurra, or visit the Bungle Bungles of Purnululu National Park. Broome, the main town in the Kimberley, is also gateway to the remote and beautiful Dampier Peninsula. If you stay long enough, you may be tempted to experience it all. If you don’t have time for that, here are 5 must dos for your time in the Kimberley.
Beaches, pearls, and dinosaur prints
Ride a camel along the pristine sand of Cable Beach and watch a blazing sun sink into the Indian Ocean. Witness 130 million year old dinosaur footprints preserved in rock at Gantheaume Point, or simply enjoy a picnic dinner on Town Beach as darkness falls. Broome was once the centre of the world’s pearling industry, and today you can buy pearls or visit the pearl museum.
Large waters and incredible wildlife
Take a scenic flight over the gigantic orange-and-black striped rocks of the Bungle Bungle Range in World Heritage listed Purnululu National Park. Or why not camp and explore the ranges on 4WD or by foot. These enthralling geological landmarks rise up to 578 metres above sea level, sheltering gorges, crystal-clear pools, fan palms, precious wildlife, and living Aboriginal history.
Magnificent beaches, Aboriginal history
Take a 4WD down the red dirt road from Broome to Cape Leveque, where you can stay in the Aboriginal wilderness camp of Kooljaman. Sleep in safari style or paperbark cabins, and spend the day snorkelling, reef walking, and exploring old mission ruins. Camp at Middle Lagoon and charter a boat, or go mud crabbing with a local guide from Lombadina.
Derby and the Buccaneer Archipelago
Islands, history, and huge tides
Witness the sun set over the King Sound from Derby Wharf. Don’t miss the 1,500 year old Boab Prison Tree, with its girth of more than 14 metres. From Derby, you can take a boat or fly to the islands of Buccaneer Archipelago, home to South Sea Pearl farms and the famous Horizontal Waterfalls. Embark on a scenic flight and see how massive tidal movements force the seawater to ‘waterfall’ through a narrow gap in the cliff walls.
Gibb River road and the Mitchell Plateau
Gorges and great off-road adventures
Four wheel drive the 660 kilometre Gibb River road from Derby to Kununurra in the east. Visit Windjana Gorge, Tunnel Creek, and the colossal Pentecost and Ord Rivers. Explore the remote Aboriginal community of Kalumburu, where you can camp on the beach at Honeymoon Bay and McGowan Island. For a really memorable adventure, discover the Aboriginal rock paintings and native vegetation of Mitchell River National Park. Discover the Mitchell Plateau and see the majestic Mitchell Falls – a series of four waterfalls cascading over layers of ancient rock into deep pools.
The most famous gorges in Kimberley are found along the Gibb River road, and these gorges and waterfalls are what drives the many visitors to take on this sometimes arduous road. Remember that once the wet season comes to an end, the waterfalls disappear, so plan your trip well to make the most of these magnificent gorges.
Starting from Derby and driving towards Kununarra you can stop off at these gorges:
- Lennard Gorge
- Bell Gorge
- Dimond Gorge
- Sir John Gorge
- Galvans Gorge
- Adcock Gorge
- Barnett Gorge
- Manning Gorge (pictured above)
The Kimberley is perhaps Australia’s last frontier of wild land and spectacular remote scenery and vast distances. The Kimberley is edged by a magnificent coastline and an unforgiving desert. In between, it’s all palm fringed gorges, isolated mountains, and awe inspiring waterfalls. Rich in Aboriginal history and culture, the Kimberley is a great adventure for all. Taking a cruise is one of the best ways to get around to everything that the region has to offer with ease. Check out the cruises on offer and explore the legendary magnificence of the Kimberley for yourself.