Dusty off-road tracks, sweeping landscapes and unforgiving climate all make for the ultimate four-wheel drive adventure into Western Australia’s far-north frontier – the Kimberley. It’s where rambunctious ocean waters meet searing desert terrain; a vast region that eclipses any traveller’s expectations. From sun-drenched beaches and revitalising waterfalls, to plunging gorges and monolithic ranges, the Kimberley provides travellers with all the possibilities for a bucket-list expedition, and we have narrowed down our top things to do in the Kimberley to help you plan your adventure.
Start your Kimberley adventure by the ocean in Broome
Broome, in far-north Western Australia, is the southern gateway to the Kimberley. Originally a pearling town in the 1880s, Broome has blossomed into an oasis for sun-chasing travellers. A little over an hour away is Eco Beach where the Kimberley’s red desert greets the Indian Ocean.
Broome is renowned for picture-perfect sunsets, yet a natural phenomenon takes the limelight – ‘Staircase to the Moon’. Between March and October, watch the moon rise over Roebuck Bay’s mudflats. The resulting scene is an optical illusion; a light staircase climbing to the moon.
Capture a sunset over the Indian Ocean as you stroll along Cable Beach, one of Australia’s iconic stretches of beach. It’s when the azure waters transform into a sea of oranges and reds.
While away the time with a desert lime cider or lychee beer from Matso’s Broome Brewery; unique amber inspiration for a seaside session with friends.
Spend time lazing away at Eco Beach, an eco-resort where you can reinvigorate the body and mind before your inland adventure begins. Salute the morning sun with beachfront yoga or order a picnic hamper and unwind on a deserted beach.
Take an epic four-wheel drive along the Gibb River Road
If the off roads beckon, then the Gibb River Road is a stretch of track that will test the driving skills. It’s one of Australia’s final frontiers and lures four-wheel drivers from afar. The Gibb River Road extends for 600 kilometres between Derby and Wyndham; an intrepid route through The Kimberley.
Make a few pit-stops along the way and visit Windjana Gorge, Bell Gorge, Home Valley Station or Tunnel Creek, the hideout of Indigenous insurrection leader Jandamarra. Throughout the journey, breathe in the sights of rotund boab trees – the Kimberley’s iconic tree that can only be found in this region.
Break up your journey and take rest at a camping ground, wilderness safari camp, homestay or luxury homestead. It’s well-advised to book your accommodation before your trip starts to avoid disappointment.
Inexperienced drivers can still travel the Gibb River Road route via an organised group tour. Sit back in a custom-built vehicle while a skilled driver does the driving for you. Take advantage of the knowledgeable guides on board and you’ll still experience the highlights that the Gibb River experience offers.
Lose yourself in El Questro Wilderness Park
An hour out of Kununurra, explore some of the million acres that make up El Questro Wilderness Park and discover the abundance of wildlife here – a true, Australian wilderness experience.
El Questro Wilderness Park possesses four major river systems. Consider hiking to spectacular Emma Gorge to swim in its swimming hole beneath a waterfall and towering desert cliffs. Explore Chamberlain Gorge by boat – the only way to access this gorge – or soak at one of the natural thermal springs available to travellers.
One simply can’t conquer all million acres at once here, and there are some areas still untapped by savvy travellers. Soak it all in with a birds-eye view via a scenic helicopter tour and you could discover a new nook.
Step into Dreamtime at the Bungle Bungle Range in Purnululu National Park
In Dreamtime, a rainbow serpent slivered across this part of The Kimberley, leaving behind the orange and black-striped domes present-day travellers awe over. Now, the 350-million year old Bungle Bungle Ranges is an arresting landscape captivating many travellers, and is a sacred area for local, Aboriginal people.
The Dreamtime is filled with more mesmerising legends that illustrate the range’s 20,000-year Indigenous history. Pace through the years on a walking tour with an Aboriginal guide who can bring the area’s history to life.
After a day hiking through the Bungle Bungle’s rugged surrounds and discovering its natural highlights, luxuriate overnight with a dose of ‘glamping’ at the Bungle Bungle Wilderness Lodge.
Witness all of the Bungle Bungle Range’s ‘bee-hive’ domes by catching a stunning scenic flight by helicopter or light aircraft overhead.
Witness Mitchell Falls at Mitchell River National Park
The mysterious Mitchell Falls are unknown to many. Those who are in the know travel here to witness the four-tiered falls that form Mitchell Falls and the lush expanse of Mitchell River National Park; one of the most remote places in Australia.
Get up close with these breathtaking surrounds by embarking on a walking trail to the Mitchell Plateau. Locate Aboriginal Gwion rock art along the way, witness cascading emerald-green pools within surrounding gorges and reward yourself with a dip in Mitchell River before returning back to base.
For a more encompassing view of your wanders, book in a helicopter transfer back to your vehicle. Capture the sights available on this scenic flight over Mitchell Falls such as the majestic power of the waters.
Bunker down overnight in comfort and style at neighbouring Mitchell Falls Wilderness Lodge and send yourself to sleep with the sounds of the bush around you.