- Cruise the Ord River, swimming, relaxing or fishing for barramundi.
- Take a scenic flight over Purnululu National Park’s Bungle Bungle Range.
- Cruise the vast inland sea of Lake Argyle.
- Visit Kununurra’s galleries of Indigenous and contemporary art, plus Zebra Rock Gallery.
- Cruise along the Kimberley Coast or Rowley Shoals.
- Overnight at a luxury coastal accommodation camp.
- Take a road trip adventure along the Gibb River Road.
- Test your horsemanship on a cattle muster, catch a rodeo, or frock up for the races.
- Try abseiling down the epic outback gorges.
- Sleep under the Milky Way
Pressed for time? See the Buccaneer Archipelago, giant tides and the breathtaking Horizontal Falls all in a day tour from Broome by fixed wing or helicopter.
Escape to the edge of the world
One of the greatest experiences you can have in the Kimberley is a getaway on the wild and wonderful coast. Possibilities to run away to Never Never Land include ‘roughing it’ in the wonderful Kimberley Coastal Camp, or Cape Leveque in the Buccaneer Archipelago, and choppering out to the luxurious far northern Berkeley River Lodge, or transcendental Faraway Bay. You’ll never regret it – getting there is half the adventure. Add that to incredible food, personalised service and unique experiences on arrival, and you’re guaranteed lifelong memories to relish.
Cruising the Kimberley coast is a renowned bucket-list experience, whether you choose to make the trip in a luxury catamaran with a maximum of two couples, or on a super-decadent cruise ship, where daily small-boat adventures and helicopter flights to secret fishing, bushwalks and swimming spots are all part of the package.
Explore the world’s largest outdoor gallery
The Kimberley is home to tens of thousands of Aboriginal rock paintings, and visitors are privileged to have access to several of the great painted galleries of the region, featuring elegant Wandjina and Gyorn Gyorn paintings. In the North, there paintings and artworks of Wandjina creator beings that guide every aspect of tribal life.
You can’t just walk around rock-art sites willy-nilly. Some depictions are so old and fragile that the slightest touch could cause irreparable damage. Instead, go with an Indigenous guide, whose cultural knowledge has been handed down by their forefathers over thousands of years. You can learn about hunting, food gathering, bush survival and bush medicine, and your guide may even take you along ‘hidden tracks’, unveiling stories and a fascinatingly different perspective on the country’s rich natural treasures.
For information on tours and a range of Aboriginal wilderness camps, eco retreats and community stays, visit waitoc.com.
Driving The Kimberley Outback
Traversing sealed roads, unsealed dust-and-gravel, and even rivers, driving in the outback is a true adventure. “Have your car serviced, have a few spares, and always know how far the next service station is,” says Glen Chidlow, CEO of Australia’s North West. “Driving fast in the red dust, you kick up so much dust you can’t see behind you, and any drivers behind you can’t see you. Slow down.”
Ironically, driving fast to avoid corrugation on the roads actually creates the corrugation. Likewise, don’t be cavalier through waterways if you don’t want to get bogged. Watch the driver before you and go slowly. Some watercourses are seasonal, but the permanent, spring-fed streams have pebbles on the bottom. Taking it at a lick is a way to kill your engine and shift boulders.
Drive the Canning Stock Route
Stretching over 1850km from Halls Creek in the Kimberley to Wiluna in the mid-west, and crossing several deserts, this is the world’s longest stock route, and you’ll need to be well prepared to face it. It was named after surveyor Alfred Wernam Canning, who also surveyed the route for WA’s famed rabbit-proof-fence. The story goes that on one expedition he took 20 men, 62 camels, two horses, and 400 goats for milk and meat. On another, he walked 338km after his camel died. When water was scarce, Canning sank wells, and some can still be seen today.
Take a scenic flight
Take a charter flight from Kununurra or Halls Creek over some of the most spectacular landforms in the world. See the largest open-cut diamond mine on the planet (the Argyle Diamond Mine), fly over shimmering Lake Argyle, and see breathtaking rivers and waterfalls over the Mitchell Plateau in the Wet. Look down over the extraordinary Bungle Bungle Range, or head out to a luxury remote coastal camp. Luxury safari vacations are also available if you’d like to fly about and spend a few nights at each of the region’s best station stays and eco camps.
Explore the Ord River
Spend a few days canoeing, hire a houseboat, or experience the thrill of an air boat down the lower Ord. On a day cruise between Lake Argyle and Kununurra, you’ll see a plethora of native flora and fauna. In the afternoon, view the massive inland sea of Lake Argyle from a scenic lookout. Visit the magnificent Durack Homestead and float over Lake Argyle itself.
Take a charter on the Lower Ord River below the Kununurra Diversion Dam, flowing out to the Cambridge Gulf. You’ll be surrounded by an abundance of native wildlife, including a huge variety of birds and perhaps the odd saltwater crocodile. It is the perfect location to fish for the elusive barramundi. Also fantastic for barra fishing, the Fitzroy River at the heart of the Kimberley is one of the largest rivers in Australia during flood periods. Drop into the infamous Crossing Inn, where travellers wait with a cold drink for for floodwaters to subside. The river is also known for cherabin, a freshwater prawn.
Top Kimberley barra spots
- Fitzroy River
- Ivanhoe Crossing
- Buttons Crossing
- Dunham River mouth
- Penecost Crossing
- Mambi Island
Check with the visitor centre on how and when it is best to access these locations
Walk a Gorge
Imagine walking out of the heat into a deep, cool gorge, through pristine ancient rainforest, and along creeks so clear you can’t see the water unless a breeze ripples it. Overhead, the sun glints through waving palms and a blue ribbon of sky runs between looming golden cliffs. You get the idea. Now do it for real.
Emma Gorge, El Questro Wilderness Park
The 1.6km trail to the gorge ends with a gushing 67m-high waterfall. Take a dip in the rock pool, enjoy the natural warm spring under the rocky wall, and fill up your water bottle for the return hike.
This striking black-and-orange gorge, 150km from Fitzroy Crossing or 145km from Derby, spans 3km and has walls 100m high, carved out by the Lennard River over millions of years. Deep pools of fresh water within the gorge attract great flocks of noisy corellas, fruit bats and freshwater crocodiles, and the area is deeply significant for the local Bunuba people. Camping is available, 4WDing is recommended.
Created by the raging floodwaters of the Fitzroy River through the ancient Devonian reef system, Geikie Gorge is truly spectacular. Accessible by day only, it has several walk trails, through the soaring, weathered multicoloured cliffs of the gorge itself, or along the west wall. Look for fossils in the limestone rocks. In the early Dry, the gorge brims with water, and between May and October you might spot a croc. Take a guided boat cruise to learn more about the nature and culture of the gorge known as Darngku by the Traditional Owners (cash payment only).
The most popular Kimberley gorge. Climb down large boulders and rocks to a series of beautiful waterfalls; there’s a camping area with toilets and showers at nearby Silent Grove.
Wade or row across the Manning River to where the hike kicks off. It can be a long, hot walk, but it’s worth it when you arrive at this huge gorge. There’s a large campsite with basic facilities if you want a break.