Your ultimate guide to

The Kimberley

A land of remote, spectacular scenery. Australia’s last frontier. A severe climate. A sparse population. And one of the most beautiful places in the world. The Kimberley region is larger than 75% of countries around the world. There’s adventure, stunning scenery, mountains and waterfalls to explore. The unique wilderness of the region will truly capture your imagination.

Top Things to See and Do in The Kimberley

From coastal wonder to spectacular geographic formations there’s a lot to do in the Kimberley region. There is also so much culture to embrace and a lot of history to learn. The vast region is home to remarkable landscapes, gorges, thundering waterfalls and some of the most beautiful untouched beaches with a huge variety of marine life. You’ll certainly be kept busy throughout your trip. One thing is for certain, it’s truly unforgettable.

Geographic Formations and Waterfalls

One of Australia’s most striking landmarks, The Bungle Bungle Range is famous for the unusual orange and black-striped rock domes, at times, resembling beehives or even those delicious Jaffa chocolates. The range is within the World Heritage-listed Purnululu National Park. Within the park, there is an array of wildlife to discover, including more than 130 species of birds. There’s also Cathedral Gorge where you most definitely don’t want to divulge any secrets – the acoustics here are fantastic – and Echidna Chasm which is most definitely a photographer’s dream.

 

It seems like an other-worldly landscape but Mitchell Falls is most definitely real. The falls, actually made up by a series of tiered waterfalls, have naturally-carved waterholes at the top which are perfect for a refreshing dip. If you really want to experience Mitchell Falls, head to the air. The area is a hub for scenic helicopter flights.

 

King George Falls is Western Australia’s highest twin waterfalls, created by the King George River plunging over the sandstone cliff into the tidal waters below. The Falls, inaccessible by vehicle due to the remote location, is truly a spectacle to see. Your best view will be from a boat below or a scenic flight above. Either way, you’ll most definitely be awed.

 

One of the most amazing natural features of the Kimberley region, the Horizontal Falls are unlike any other waterfall, mainly because, much like the name suggests, the water passes horizontally. The natural phenomenon is caused by the intense tidal currents running through the two gorges on either side. The waterfall effect is created by the bank up of water. It’s most definitely a unique experience.

Cruising and Beachside Experiences

While the geographical phenomenon are incredible, there’s also the coastal side of the Kimberley region to explore.
With so many outstanding cruising options on offer, you’ll be spoilt for choice. No matter which itinerary or cruise you go for, you’ll be privy to more than two billion years of natural history as you sail. With the rock formations, waterfalls and Aboriginal rock art, it’s truly a moving and unique experience. From boutique luxury to barefoot luxury and even large boat cruises, there are a plethora of choices.

 

There are, of course, plenty of beaches to discover as well, with 12,000 kilometres of coastline. With pristine white sands and sparkling blue water, you’ll never want to leave. And we don’t blame you. Choose from Cable Beach in Broome, where you can enjoy camel rides and a glorious sunset, Eighty Mile Beach with gorgeous panoramic views or the red rocks of the Dampier Peninsula. There are also an endless supply of island beaches in the Buccaneer Archipelago. So really, take your pick.

 

Along the coast, you’ll also be able to see some magnificent marine life including massive humpback whales making their migration from Antarctica. There’s also the snubfin dolphin which can often be found playing along the Dampier Peninsula coast.

Cultural Adventures

Of course, the Kimberley region is also steeped in history and has deep cultural significance, being the spiritual heart of Western Australia.

 

Part of a 375 million-year-old Devonian reef system, the Windjana Gorge is of great cultural importance to local Aboriginal people. It’s a highly spiritual place, believed to be where Aboriginal leader Jandamarra hid during a gun battle with Europeans in 1894. Jandamarra led an armed rebellion against European settlers in the 1890s. There are several walks to explore around the National Park and also ruins to discover.

 

The Lurujarri Dreaming Trail is an 82 kilometre walk which follows a section of ancient songline, an oral memory map of Indigenous stories, songs and dance that describe the landscape. This songline has been passed down from generation to generation. Along the way, stay at traditional campsites and share in the Indigenous culture. There are activities such as spear-making, bush-tucker hunting, fishing and mud crabbing.

Best Places to Stay in The Kimberley

From five-star luxury to camping and caravanning, anywhere you stay in The Kimberley affords picturesque views and the ultimate serenity.

Luxury Accommodation

Described as a “pocket of luxurious exclusivity”, El Questro Homestead is a nine-suite hideaway surrounded by frangipani trees. It’s tranquil and relaxing and there are even complimentary excursions on offer meaning you can fully embrace the whole Kimberley region. Dining is all-inclusive at the Homestead too. There are several ways to explore the area, using the Homestead as a base, including four-wheel drive, helicopter, boat and even horseback. On the grounds are other accommodation options too including the Station, Emma Gorge and camping.

 

Kimberley Coastal Camp: don’t let the ‘camp’ title fool you. This is a stunning remote glamping camp in a pristine location and is perhaps the most exclusive retreat in the Top End. There are only ever 16 guests on the property means it’s not only truly private but also the impact on the local environment is reduced. Access is limited to helicopter or float plane and there is loads to do while enjoying the scenery.

 

The Berkeley River Lodge is only accessible by air, making it truly luxurious and exclusive. Villas float atop the coastal dunes and you’ll be privy not only to gorgeous sunrises but also glorious sunsets. Villas include an open-air ensuite including a free-standing bath as well as a daybed to relax on. There are several tours available from the Lodge so despite its remote location, you can still get out and about to explore.

Hotels

Kununurra is the perfect place to base yourself to explore the Kimberley and The Kimberley Grande Resort is the perfect place to stay. With a relaxed atmosphere, an onsite restaurant and a delightful pool, the resort emphasises the quintessential outback hospitality.

 

Over in Broome, the Kimberley Sands Resort and Spa is an adults-only resort located in a peaceful bush setting. It’s just minutes from Cable Beach with an award-winning restaurant, The Deck, onsite. There’s also a day spa which is a holiday within itself and despite having 72 room options, the resort has a boutique feel. There’s also a fitness studio and a gorgeous pool, including a 25m lap-lane, surrounded by sunbeds.

 

Mantarays Ningaloo Beach Resort, the only resort on Sunshine Beach, is the best place to start when exploring the Ningaloo Reef and Cape Range National Park. The resort has two main accommodation options – hotel rooms and two-bedroom apartments and bungalows. There is also the option for a three-bedroom apartment on request. See the sun rise over the ocean from your bedroom and enjoy direct beach access throughout the day. With loads of activities around, some departing from the resort itself, there’s lots to keep you entertained. Alternatively, if you’re just after some relaxation, grab a sun lounger by the pool and chill out.

Motels

Close to Karratha town centre, Econo Lodge offers relaxed, clean and comfortable accommodation at an affordable price. There’s lush green gardens and it’s just a short drive to the main shops, restaurants, parks and panoramic lookouts. There are communal kitchen facilities and shaded al fresco dining areas to enjoy and rooms are equipped with some kitchen amenities including a microwave and toaster.

 

Port Headland is a dynamic town located in the Pilbara Region. It’s also one of Australia’s largest ports and the centre of the iron-ore industry. The Hospitality Inn Port Hedland overlooks the blue waters of the Indian Ocean and offers spacious, affordable and comfortable rooms. There’s a swimming pool to relax by, a playground and a barbeque area. It’s also exceptionally central to explore the local sights of Port Hedland and the surrounding region.

 

Lakeside Resort and Caravan Park is situated on the Lily Creek Lagoon in Lununurra and offers a tranquil environment to stay. The green lawns roll into the lake’s edge and there’s a restaurant on site to enjoy. There are several accommodation options from premier rooms to budget motel rooms, all with ensuites and air-conditioning. There’s also the Caravan and Camping Park with powered and unpowered sites available. Some of the spots are directly on the water’s edge and most are situated under shady trees to protect from the sun.

Where to Eat in The Kimberley

Many restaurants in The Kimberley region pride themselves on using native and local ingredients, meaning you’ll be eating the freshest of the freshest meals.

 

With an open-deck kitchen and sweeping views over the water, Ramada Eco Beach Resort has an eclectic menu including pearl meat, smoked barramundi and even crocodile tail. The chef, Luke Sutherland uses native ingredients in all his dishes including bush basil, gubinge, lemon aspen and bush pepper. The desserts are exquisite too.

 

Raugi’s Restaurant’s manta is to celebrate traditional flavours from the bush land and it definitely doesn’t disappoint. You’ll truly taste food you can’t experience anywhere else in the world. With views over the western beaches and the red pindan cliffs, head chef, Joseph McGrattan takes local bush ingredients and turns them into modern culinary masterpieces.

 

Over at El Questro Homestead there are several dining options. The Steakhouse Restaurant serves a selection of local food and beverages, but for something a little less formal, head to The Swinging Arm Bar and Grill. There’s a weekly barbeque, traditional Aussie food and a woodfire pizza oven. Alternatively, there’s Emma’s set on the spacious veranda next to the sprawling lawns of the resort. There’s a la carte or buffet breakfasts, and a contemporary internationally-inspired lunch and dinner menu.

 

Finally, for some excellent seafood, a visit to The Pilbara Room is in order. Overlooking the Indian Ocean, there’s a cocktail lounge where you can enjoy a quiet drink before moving to the restaurant. The menu is varied and the dessert is delicious.

Packages and Tours

From cruising to four-wheel driving and right through to helicopter flights, there are so many ways to see and do the Kimberley region that it’s hard to choose just one. Lucky for you, you don’t have to. There are many packages out there that combine all forms of transport so you can really get the best kind of holiday.

 

One of the major tours to do is the Gibb River Road, often described as a true outback odyssey. Gibb River Road is one of the country’s most unique 4WD tracks, going through the untouched wilderness and experiencing gorge country and cattle stations along the way. To truly see the Gibb River Road, allow yourself at least a couple of weeks. There are personlised, self-drive options to explore the Kimberley as well as small-group packages. And of course, there are day-trips that you can pick and choose so you’re itinerary isn’t fully-booked. There are also extended, fully-guided tours that you can go on to fully experience the region.

 

However you choose to see the Kimberley there’s no denying that it’s truly a unique and unforgettable place. The scenery, swimming holes, prolific wildlife and majestic canyons are one-of-a-kind and the region is most definitely one of the world’s most precious wilderness gems.