Surfing the Menu: Broome, Kununurra, Katherine

Daniel Churchill and Hayden Quinn experience the north west coast of Australia, stopping off at Broome, Kununurra and Katherine. Surfing the Menu: Broome, Kununurra, Katherine
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Surfing the Menu: Broome, Kununurra, Katherine

Daniel Churchill and Hayden Quinn experience the north west coast of Australia, stopping off at Broome, Kununurra and Katherine. 


As part of the new ABC TV cooking series Surfing the Menu - Next Generation, MasterChef alumni Dan Churchill and Hayden Quinn have set off on an adventure to explore what's cooking across the west of Australia. On the ultimate road trip, the boys have travelled from the west to the east coasts, discovering everything from watching humpback whales on the Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia to Sailing around the Whitsundays, Queensland. 

In this part of the series, the boys are travelling the north west coast of Australia – Broome, Kununurra and Katherine – and have shared with us their favourite experiences from each destination.  

Broome

"I love the diversity of culture in Broome. There are so many markets and places to see in Broome, but what I loved to do though was honestly ride a bike around town to discover it all."  – Dan Churchill

"Broome feels like you are in a tropical oasis on the edge of the desert, surrounded by the ocean. I love the energy and the vibrancy of Broome, it shone through in the people, the food, and the beaches.  Matsos Brewery, with its curry hut out in the beer garden is a must-do." – Hayden Quinn

Surrounded by the clear waters of the Indian Ocean and the mangroves and mudflats of Roebuck Bay, Broome is the western gateway to the Kimberley. It is Australia’s pearling capital and home to the world famous Cable Beach. Broome offers rugged natural beauty, from stunning turquoise waters and vast white beaches to the red sands and rugged cliff faces.

Top three highlights:

Ride a camel at Cable Beach
22 kilometres (13 miles) of alabaster sands at Cable Beach set against the striking rust-red cliffs is one of the spectacular natural beauties in Broome. One of the best things you can do on Cable Beach is to experience a camel ride at sunset. The tours operate at three points during the day. Early morning, pre-sunset and sunset and give you views across to Gantheaume Point where you will find the 130 million year old Dinosaur Footprints. Local tip: relax after your ride with a cocktail at Cable Beach Club overlooking the Indian Ocean. 

Relax with a Beer at Broome’s Matso’s Brewery 
Enjoy a craft beer and a delicious meal at the iconic Matso’s Brewery, overlooking Roebuck Bay. Choose from the wide range of award-winning beers, including Smokey Bishop dark lager, Hit The Toad mid-strength, Pearler’s Pale Ale, Mango Beer or Matso’s famous alcoholic Ginger Beer. 

Camp in Luxury at Eco Beach 
An unforgettable wilderness experience awaits at the Eco Beach resort, a 90 minute drive south of Broome. Choose a safari tent, villa or beach house accommodation and enjoy daily yoga sessions, spa treatments, stand-up paddle boarding, sea kayaking, whale watching tours and fishing charters. You can take a day trips on a 12 minute flight from Broome over stunning Roebuck Bay.

Kununurra

"Kununurra to me is a tropical oasis with a mix of Australian outback. You have the trees and climate to mix it the tropical environment, but then you have the landscape of the red dirt and gum trees. I just loved its beauty." – Dan Churchill

"I love the way the landscape has been shaped in Kununnura to enable to area to provide so much food and incredible agricultural land. We had the most fun spending the afternoon skurfing behind a ski boat on our surf boards on the river ord. The water was fresh and cleansing and the fun we had was incredible."– Hayden Quinn

Kununurra is a town in far northern Western Australia located at the far eastern corner of the Kimberley Region and circuted by the picturesque Ord River and Mirima National Park. 

Top three highlights:

Ord River (Lake Kununurra) cruise
A trip along the 55 kilometre (34 mile) stretch of river from Kununurra to the Ord Top Dam at Lake Argyle will show you a range of wildlife like crocodiles, sea eagles and kingfishers. There are a variety of tours that operate in the area, like Triple J Tours. You can also take an evening tour and watch the sunset over Lake Kununurra with the Lake Kununurra Sunset Cruise. If you'd rather explore on your own, you can hire a houseboat to tour the river in your own time. 

Mirima National Park
Known locally as the ‘mini Bungle Bungles’ or Hidden Valley, Mirima National Park is located approximately a five minuete drive from Kununurra. Covering 5,107 acres (2,067 hectares), the park features spectacular natural rock formations that are 350 million years old. There are four walking trails within the park – the 2.2 kilometre (1.3 mile) return Gerliwany-gerring Banan trail, the 800 metre (2624 foot) return Derdbe-gerring Banan trail that climbs to points overlooking Kununurra, the 400 metre (1312 foot) foliage trail (a loop that includes a wheelchair friendly boardwalk), and the 500 metre (1640 foot) return Demboong Banan trail that leads through a gap in the sandstone range to a lookout over Kununurra. Keep an eye out for wallabies and dingoes. 

Home Valley Station
For a unique accommodation experience, try the Home Valley Station, owned by the Indigenous Land Corporation in the East Kimberley region. It's a working cattle station that offers guests the ultimate Australian outback experience. They offer a range of activities including cattle musters, horse riding, natural waterhole swimming, barramundi fishing, boating, ancient gorge walks, and Indigenous cultural tours.

Katherine

"I can't forget having the honour of being welcomed into the community of Beswick. This was definitely one of my highlights for the whole trip. It is pretty special that an indigenous community would take us through their every day activities and their way of life. It was my first experience of bush tucker and man was it fun."  – Dan Churchill

"Learning about our aboriginal communities, culture and people was amazing. For me our Indigenous history and current communities are something that I have always been drawn to and to be able to visit Beswick Community just outside Katherine was incredibly special."  – Hayden Quinn

Katherine is there the outback meets the tropics. The Katherine River flows through 13 separate gorges that carve their way through the Arnhem Land Plateau. Aboriginal rock paintings adorn the rock faces along the cliffs and gorges, while waterfalls and rock pools are dotted throughout the bushland. 

Nitmiluk National Park (Katherine Gorge) 
Nitmiluk National Park covers the 13 gorges that are carved from the ancient sandstone. You can explore the park in a variety of ways - on foot, by canoe, boat or helicopter. Hire a canoe and paddle down the river on either a day trip or overnighter. If you want to experience the park on foot, there are a variety of options. For the keen hiker, there's the five-day 58 kilometre (36 mile) Jatbula Trail that traverses a variety of landscapes from hot sandstone escarpment to wet paperbark forests and passes waterfalls, monsoon rainforest, stone country and Aboriginal rock art. You can swim at Leliyn (Edith Falls) and follow the scenic walking track from here to Sweetwater Pool, a secluded swimming hole.

Daly River region
The Daly River region is the perfect place for fishing and camping. You can spend a whole day for Barramundi in the Daly River, where the Katherine and Flora Rivers meet and flow west to the Timor Sea.The Daly River is home to some of the Top End’s most spectacular scenery with abundant wildlife. With Territory Guided Fishing, you can take a one day trip or an overnight fishing trip along the river. Another must-do in this area is the Butterfly Gorge Nature Park. Jump in a four-wheel drive and explore the park – you'll find swimming holes surrounded by towering paperbarks and sheer rock faces that provide shelter for thousands of Common Crow Butterflies.

Gregory National Park
Gregory National Park, known as Judbarra to the local indigenous people, it is the second largest park in the territory. Lofty gorges, sandstone formations, monsoon rainforest and eucalypt woodlands distinguish this area. Either explore the park on foot or by 4WD. There are two walking trails that differ in degrees of difficulty. On the easy Escarpment Walk, you'll get views of the Victoria River and the escarpment, and on the more challenging Nawulbinbin (Joe Creek) Loop Walk winds up a steep rocky slope to the base of the escarpment wall. If you want to drive, there are six rugged four-wheel drive tracks like the 6 kilometre (3.7 mile) Limestone Gorge track or the longer 197 kilometre (122 mile) Broadarrow Track. 

LEARN MORE ABOUT THESE DESTINATIONS

Take a look at what else you can do in the north west. 

Kununurra

Kununurra

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Top 10 Things to Do in Broome

Top 10 Things to Do in Broome

Visit the perpetually sunny, friendly, multicultural pearling town of Broome in north-west Western Australia and you will never want to leave. A fusion of peacefulness, intriguing history and vivid Indigenous culture, Broome also offers rugged natural beauty, from stunning turquoise water to vast white beaches and the spectacular Kimberley.

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Northern Territory

Northern Territory

Lose yourself in the Northern Territory's ancient Aboriginal culture and rugged landscapes. Tropical Darwin is your gateway to World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park, lush Litchfield National Park, Katherine Gorge and the communities of Tiwi Islands and Arnhem Land. From Alice Springs, discover the Red Centre attractions of Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa, Kings Canyon, Devils Marbles, the Larapinta Trail and historic Tennant Creek.

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Katherine

Katherine

The Northern Territory's Katherine region stretches from Dunmarra in the south to the Daly River region in the north. In total it covers an incredible 480,000 sq kilometres. From east to west it touches both the Queensland and West Australian borders. Katherine and its surrounds are the place to go for true outback adventure and indigenous experiences.

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