The Kimberly region is situated in the northernmost part of the state of Western Australia and is dominated by a vast savannah where it is still possible to find numerous touches of the Devonian coral reef, rocks dating back to almost 400 million years ago, which at the time formed the seabed alive of an ocean, but which are now hundreds of miles away from the nearest sea.
THE KIMBERLY REGION: HOW TO GET THERE AND WHAT TO SEE?
The Kimberly is a vast region of Western Australia located in the northern part of the state, north of the Tropic of Capricorn, bordering the Northern Territory to the east and bordering the Indian Ocean. The region is sparsely populated and has a rather extreme tropical monsoon climate, with hot and rainy summers, while winters are dry with hot days and very cold nights. The vegetation consists of a boundless savannah populated by eucalyptus trees and large baobabs, while the wettest areas have a real rainforest. Particularly interesting is the geology of the Kimberly, which sees ancient coral reefs formed during the Devonian period, which were subsequently discovered following a drastic drop in sea level.
How to get to Kimberly? The main gateways to the Kimberly region are the town of Broome connected with several flights a day to Perth, and Darwin in the state of the Northern Territory, in turn, connected with flights to various cities in Southeast Asia and Australia. (Darwin is also connected to Alice Springs and Adelaide a few times a week by the Ghan, a long-distance train). Alternatively to Darwin, especially for those with less time, the town of Kununurra, connected by daily flights to Perth and Darwin, can be a good solution. Generally, tours in the Kimberly begin in Darwin (or Kununurra) and end in Broome, or vice-versa: more rarely, circular itineraries begin and end at the same point. To visit all the attractions in the Kimberly, about ten days of travel are recommended, and to reach the major attractions safely, a good 4×4 vehicle with a raised cabin is essential (for those who do not feel like traveling independently, there are still numerous group tours from many local agencies).
What to see in the Kimberly? The Kimberly is a strictly naturalistic destination that offers landscapes with unique geological characteristics in the world, with fauna and flora to be discovered. The list of all the attractions to see in the Kimberly is quite long and one would be needed for every single area of the region, however, let’s see, at least in broad terms, what should not be missing in a Kimberly tour:
El Questro Natural Park and Cockburn Ranges:
Kununurra is located near the border of the Northern Territory, in the eastern part of the Kimberley, this region is called East Kimberley. After Broome, Kununurra is the largest city in the Kimberley, its inhabitants are mostly aborigines. The East Kimberley region is wild and secluded, the scene is set, blue skies, scorching red earth, and rugged bush landscapes. It is a paradise for all nature lovers looking for adventure. Off the beaten track you’ll find gorges, waterfalls, mountain ranges, and outback ranches.
From the best places around Kununurra, don’t miss the Bungle Bungles massif World Heritage Site, and Lake Argyle, which is so large that it can be considered an inland sea. Another curiosity of the region, the Argyle diamond mine, you will see rare pink diamonds extracted from this ancient rock. The natural park of El Questro is one of the holiday destinations most unique in the world and guarantees an authentic Australian experience.
Broome and Cable Beach:
Broome is a delightful provincial town surrounded by a wide white sand beach and beautiful sea. The whole coast near Broome is a continuous succession of splendid coral beaches, often completely deserted.
Cape Leveque and Horizontal Waterfalls:
The Dampier Peninsula, which begins north of Broome and ends at Cape Leveque, is one of the most attractive areas in the Kimberly, with long white sand beaches contrasting with steep red cliffs and turquoise blue of the sea. The slopes are quite difficult, but those short of time can appreciate the area with a scenic flight that passes over the horizontal falls.
The Kimberly is famous for its Devonian coral reefs which, following the lowering of the sea level, are currently located over 200 kilometers from the nearest coasts and at an altitude of 150 meters. Geikie Gorge, near the small town of Fitzroy Crossing, offers a glimpse into this unusual landscape.
The exterior of the Mimbi Caves, about an hour’s drive east of Fitzroy Crossing, offers a further stunning glimpse into the nearly 400-million-year-old Devonian reef that was once part of an ocean floor.
The Windjana canyon was formed 300 million years ago and houses permanent natural pools that support typical vegetation and freshwater crocodiles.
Gibb River Road:
Gibb River Road, known as The Gibb, is a 660-kilometer trail that cuts the Kimberly from east to west and features numerous canyons, natural swimming pools, aboriginal communities, and wilderness camping sites. It can only be traveled with a suitable 4×4 vehicle.