The Kimberley

Cockburn Range, El Questro Station, Kimberley, WA. © Tourism Western Australia

The Kimberley

Be enthralled by the rugged gorges, epic waterways and incandescent ocean of the Kimberley, in Australia's north-west corner. Enjoy a sunset camel ride in Broome, then 4WD the Gibb River Road to Kununurra, home to the Ord Valley Muster and near the beehive-striped Bungle Bungles of Purnululu National Park. Broome is also gateway to the remote, beautiful Dampier Peninsula.

Cable Beach, WA
Cable Beach, WA

1. Broome: beaches, pearls and dinosaur prints

Ride a camel along the white sand of Cable Beach, the place to watch a blazing sun sink into the Indian Ocean. See 130 million-year-old dinosaur footprints preserved in rock at Gantheaume Point. Have a picnic dinner on Town Beach and watch the ‘Staircase to the Moon’, a spectacular, silvery illusion created by a rising full moon reflecting off the tidal flats of Roebuck Bay. It’s visible for three nights a month between March and October. When night sinks over the natural attractions, head to Broome's Outdoor Picture Garden for movies under the stars. Broome was once the centre of the world’s pearling industry, and today you can buy pearls, tour a pearl farm, visit a pearling museum or see the headstones dedicated to some 900 Asian pearl divers.

Bungle Bungle Range, WA
Bungle Bungle Range, WA

2. Kununurra: big waters, beehives and diamond mines

Take a scenic flight over the towering orange-and-black striped rocks of the Bungle Bungle Range in World Heritage-listed Purnululu National Park. Or camp and explore them by four wheel drive or foot. These fascinating geological landmarks rise up to 578 metres above sea level, sheltering gorges, crystal-clear pools, fan palms, rich wildlife and living Aboriginal history. Kununurra means 'big water' in the language of the traditional Aboriginal owners, and here you can also cruise down vast Lake Argyle past freshwater crocodiles, wallabies, wetland birds and dramatic cliffs.  Or appreciate its 1,000 square kilometers of grandeur by air. Canoe Lake Kununurra and swim in a deep waterhole under Black Rock Falls. Then visit the Argyle Diamond Mine and see the rare pink diamonds extracted from this ancient rock each year.

Dampier Peninsula, WA
Dampier Peninsula, WA

3. Dampier Peninsula: beach beauty and Aboriginal history

Four wheel drive 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 paper bark cabins, then snorkel, reef walk and explore old mission ruins with a local Aboriginal family as your guide.  Camp at Middle Lagoon and charter a boat or go mud crabbing with a local guide from Lombadina. Stay in the remote communities of Mudnunn, Chile Creek and La Djardarr Ba and visit Beagle Bay. The Sacred Heart Church here was built by Pallotine monks and Aboriginal people in 1917, all the way down to its mother-of-pearl shell altar. 

Bucaneer Archipelago, WA
Bucaneer Archipelago, WA

4. Derby and the Buccaneer Archipelago: islands, history and huge tides

See the sun set over the King Sound from Derby Wharf and fish from tides as tall as 12 metres. Learn about Aboriginal leader and outlaw Jandamurra on the Pigeon Heritage Trail and discover the art of the Mowanjum Aboriginal Community.  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. Take a scenic flight and see how massive tidal movements force the seawater ‘waterfall’ through a narrow gap in the cliff walls.

Gibb River Road, WA
Gibb River Road, WA

5. Gibb River Road and the Mitchell Plateau: gorges and great off-road adventure

Four wheel drive the 660-kilometer Gibb River Road from Derby in the west to Kununurra in the east, taking in Windjana Gorge, Tunnel Creek and the mighty Pentecost, and Ord Rivers. Travel into the remote Aboriginal community of Kalumburu, where you can stay; fish from the reef and rivers and camp on the beach at Honeymoon Bay and McGowan Island. For a really rugged adventure, discover the Aboriginal rock art and native vegetation of Mitchell River National Park. Trek Mitchell Plateau and see the majestic Mitchell Falls – a series of four waterfalls - cascade over layers of rock into a deep pool.

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The KimberleyFind out more about the Kimberley on the Tourism Western Australia website.