If you dream of visiting a part of the world that feels untouched, remote and breathtakingly beautiful, you don’t even have to leave the country. The Kimberley region of Australia is all that and more.
The Kimberley is the northern region of Western Australia, stretching from Broome, straight across to the Northern Territory border. It is twice the size of Victoria but has a permanent population of only around 35,000 so it is definitely a remote part of the world.
Over the winter months when the weather is at it’s best and most comfortable, the tourist trail from Broome to Kununurra is incredibly busy with Kununurra’s hotels and caravan parks booking out for weeks at a time. And for good reason. Winter brings the dry season so rain is almost non-existent but the days are sunny and warm, almost always in the early 30’s with cool nights. This is perfect as you will spend a lot of time on your feet, walking the countless trails through gorges, remote cattle stations and outback townships.
If you don’t have the luxury of your own 4WD and infinite time, there are some other amazing ways to explore and experience the Kimberley region.
The Gibb River Road is the heart of the Kimberley. An unsealed road that travels through immense cattle stations and national parks between Kununurra and Derby, offering some truly unique experiences. It’s generally only open during the dry winter months as flooding cuts the road during the wet season. This road should only be travelled by 4WD with an experienced driver so using a small group 4WD tour is the perfect way to do it so you can leave all the preparation and hard work to them and just enjoy your time exploring.
There are so many spectacular places to see so I will just let you in on my favourites.
The Bungle Bungles
The Bungle Bungles at Purnululu National Park are out of this world and amazing to see by walking along the trails between the mounds as well as from the air by helicopter. If you have the opportunity, seeing the Bungle Bungles from the sky during the early morning or as the sun is starting to set is a once in a lifetime experience, as you get the sheer beauty of the changing colours of the Bungles as the light changes.
El Questro is a 700,000 acre property that has so many different areas to explore. I think you could probably live there for quite some time exploring but in the limited time we all have to visit – cruise down the Chamberlain Gorge, relax in the thermal pools at Zebedee Springs and hike Emma Gorge with a swim at the end.
My first encounter with crocodiles in the wild was at Windjana Gorge so this is my number one must do! The river that runs through the gorge during the wet season drys up to create pools surrounded by sand and trees during the dry season. Travelling along the gorge, which is an easy 3.5km walk, you will come across so many freshwater crocs, just lying in the sun, mere metres from you. There is nothing between you and them but a bit of sand and even though they are ‘just freshies’, they are an intimidating animal when you are that close. Absolutely awe inspiring and well worth the visit!
If time and budget permits, you can also see the Kimberley from the coast. Small ship cruising between Broome and Darwin is the best way to see some of the most remote bays and waterfalls in the world including King George Falls and Horizontal Falls which can only be reached by sea or viewed by air. I haven’t been lucky enough to experience Horizontal Falls yet but David Attenborough described them as ‘one of the greatest natural wonders of the world’ so I’m going to take his word for it!
Kimberley Moon Experience
My hot tip….if you can time your visit to Kununurra with the end of May, get tickets to the Kimberley Moon Experience. An amazing afternoon and evening of Australian music with some seriously huge headline acts every year, right on the banks of the Ord River. It’s amazing!
If you would like to see the pure beauty of the Kimberley but you’re not sure how to go about it, contact me and I will help you get there.