Kimberley Destination Guide

Posted on Posted in Australia, Blog, Destination Guides

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The Kimberley region of Western Australia is located in the northern most tip of the state, over 2000km north of Perth. Its long stretch of rugged coastline faces out to the Indian Ocean on the west and the Timor Sea to the north.  This isolated region covers 424 517 square kilometres, that makes it three times the size of the United Kingdom.

What draws people to the region year after year is its picturesque, remote and rugged landscape of red sand and gorges, pristine beaches and waterfalls cascading from the burnt orange rock.

 

What we love about the Kimberley

  • Remote and untouched vast landscapes
  • Ancient aboriginal history
  • Pristine national parks
  • Beautiful beaches with their characteristic sunsets

The Kimberley region is one of our specialities and you can trust us to put together your perfect Kimberley escape. Contact us to find out more. 

POPULATION

The Kimberley has a population of just over 40 000 people with approximately 33% of the population of Aboriginal decent.  A majority of the population live in the main urban centres of Broome (15000), Derby (3600) and Kununurra (5000).

CLIMATE

The Kimberley has a tropical monsoon climate with the monsoon season between November and April when cyclones are quite common. During the dry season of May to October the days are sunny and warm while night temperatures are quite cool.  The Kimberley is one of the hottest regions in Australia with an annual average temperature around  27 degrees celsius and can rise well over 40 degrees in November.

The best time to travel to the Kimberley is during the dry season when the temperatures are cooler and humidity lower however this is also the peak time for tourists.

 

GEOGRAPHY

The Kimberley is characterised by ancient, steep sided mountains (none above 1000m high) of sandstone and limestone carved out by the monsoonal climate.  In amongst these mountains are gorges, waterfalls and hidden waterholes that overflow during the monsoon season. The mountainous landscape flattens out into dry tropical grassland in the south beyond the Dampier Peninsula, because of this, the area is widely used for cattle ranching. The coastline is characterised by steep cliffs along the north and flatter wide beaches in the south.

 

CULTURE

The Kimberley was one of the earliest parts of Australia to be settled by Aboriginals coming from what is now Indonesia thought to be between 40,000 - 65,000 years ago. The most well known evidence of ancient Aboriginal settlement in the region is the  Bradshaw Rock Paintings (Gwion Gwion) but there are also many other examples of ancient rock are to be found at the Burrup Peninsula north of Dampier and Kununurra.

Bradshaw Rock Paintings
Bradshaw Rock Paintings

Today, over 30 Aboriginal tribes still remain in the Kimberley region each with their own languages,  traditions and arts. You can find examples or traditional and contemporary Aboriginal arts and crafts in galleries across the region.

 

WHAT TO SEE AND DO

1. Bungle Bungle Ranges: See the spectacular, towering, orange and black sandstone domes of the Bungle Bungle Range that tower hundreds of feet above the plain.

Bungle Bungle range

2. Cable Beach, Broome: Cable beach is the Kimberley's most famous stretch of coastline with its characteristic burnt orange sunsets and silhouettes of camel trains along the beach and pearl luggers on the horizon.

Cable Beach
3. Cape Leveque: Take a 4WD journey to the remote Cape Leveque for a stretch of untouched, pristine beaches with it's characteristic orange cliffs.

Cape Leveque

4. Windjana Gorge National Park: Hike in the Windjana Gorge National Park with its spectacular winding gorges, flowing rivers and waterholes. A must see is Tunnel Creek flowing through a cave, a spot that offers a cool sanctuary during your walk.

Windjana Gorge NP
5. Mimbi Caves: Visit the Mimbi Caves one of Australia's most significant geological sites. The caves are home to vivid, limstone formations and is one of the most significant sites for Devonian fossils. It is also a place of deep spiritual significance for the Gooniynandi people.

Mimbi Caves

6. Geikie Gorge: See the towering Geikie Gorge on a boat tour along the river.

Geikie Gorge

7. Mitchell Falls: Mitchell Falls is arguably the most photographed place in the Kimberley and for good reason with its breathtaking plunging black pools falling from the surrounding red landscape.

Mitchell Falls

8. Lake Argyle: Explore the majestic man made Lake Argyle, the second largest lake in Australia by boat or air.  This is a great place to spot wildlife including wallabies and hundreds of species of birds.

Lake Argyle

 

Have you been to the Kimberley? Tell us about your experiences in the review box below.