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6 of the Best in the Kimberley

There are so many reasons why you should Wander out Yonder in Western Australia’s Kimberley region. Here are our top six.

In partnership with Tourism Western Australia.

Broome

Broome, the main gateway to APT’s Kimberley journeys by 4WD or expedition small ship, offers much more than just the fabled, majestic sweep of Cable Beach. This 22km expanse of pure white sand fringing turquoise water is justly celebrated – and its sunsets are unforgettable – but it’s worth spending time to discover Broome’s fascinating past and stunning landscapes. Encounter its long pearling history, both around town and at Willie Creek Pearl Farm. See the pre-historic dinosaur footprints at Gantheaume Point. Catch a movie at Sun Pictures, the world’s oldest operating outdoor picture gardens. Enjoy a drink at Matso’s Broome Brewery. 

 

View of Gantheaume Point Coastline, Broome

Purnululu National Park

The centrepiece of Purnululu National Park is the unforgettable Bungle Bungle Range, whose distinctive beehive-striped domes are emblematic of the Kimberley region. Created by water erosion over a staggering 20 million years ago, the range has powerful geological and Aboriginal cultural significance. At the southern end of the park you can explore Piccaninny Creek, a winding gorge within the domes. Ancient erosion has also created Cathedral Gorge, a natural amphitheatre of red rock. Exploring this spectacular region is a pleasure with the comforts of APT’s exclusive Bungle Bungle Wilderness Lodge as your base. Visit Purnululu National Park on APT’s 5 Day Purnululu Experience tour.

 

View of Purnululu National Park, Bungle Bungle Ranges, WA

El Questro

This mammoth wilderness park – it covers more than 700,000 acres of the Kimberley – encompasses mountain ranges, deep gorges and thermal springs amid pockets of rainforest. Its sheer variety is astounding, and among its highlights are Emma Gorge, where a gentle and picturesque hike through the Cockburn Ranges is rewarded by a swim beneath a towering droplet waterfall that tumbles 65 metres from red cliffs brushed with improbable patches of greenery. Elsewhere, a short walk through an ancient forest of Livistona and pandanus palms leads to Zebedee Springs, a delightful pocket of thermal pools and waterfalls, in which you can relax and enjoy a gentle soak. Explore El Questro on APT’s 15 Day Kimberley Complete tour.

 

Woman Sitting on rock near ZabedeeSpring, Kimberley, Western Australia

Horizontal Falls

When Sir David Attenborough describes something as one of the world’s great natural phenomena, people tend to take notice. And the Horizontal Falls are extraordinary, a product of the massive tidal variations of the Kimberley’s waters. Here, in the rugged beauty of the Buccaneer Archipelago’s stunning Talbot Bay, the tide surges through two narrow clefts in coastal gorges. Climb aboard a fast boat and thunder through these gaps for an exhilarating experience. Not far away, Montgomery Reef, a magical raft for abundant sea life and birdlife, emerges miraculously from the ocean as the tide recedes, another product of these astonishing tides. Discover Horizontal Falls and Montgomery Reef on APT’s 10 Day Grand Kimberley Coast small ship expedition cruise.

 

Discover the magnificent Horizontal Falls by fast boat while on a Kimberley Coast small ship expedition cruise

Lake Argyle and Kununurra

The largest man-made lake in the southern hemisphere, Lake Argyle was created by the damming of the Ord River in two places in the early 1970s. It is an astonishing sight in a landscape generally characterised by its dryness. The dam, which was built as part of the Ord River Scheme, turned the region into an agricultural marvel, but a by-product was the creation of a unique ecological system which means the river and the lake are now home to a wide array of fauna and flora. Its glories are best viewed from the comfort of a boat cruising gently on the Ord or on Lake Kununurra – another impressive man-made waterway –  especially at sunset. See the region in depth on APT’s 15 Day Kimberley Complete tour.

 

Lake with cliffs and vegetation in foreground, Australia

Mitchell Falls

The rugged and remote Mitchell Plateau is home to some of Australia’s most spectacular waterfalls. Accessible by both small ship cruise and 4WD expedition with APT, Mitchell Falls is the finest of them all, a dazzling four-tiered waterfall that drops 80 metres into a succession of pools. The contrast of red rocks, green pools and tumbling white water is something to behold. APT’s Kimberley and the Top End journey includes a helicopter flight over the cascades, as well as the nearby Big Mertens and Little Mertens falls, which is the easiest way to experience the falls’ splendour, but accessing it on foot also offers views of Aboriginal rock art galleries. And APT’s exclusive Mitchell Falls Wilderness Lodge offers the perfect place to relax and reflect on a memorable day. Enjoy an included helicopter tour on APT’s 17 Day Kimberley and Top End journey.

 

Helicopter flying over Mitchell Falls, Kimberley, Western Australia

Images in this article are courtesy of Graham Werner and Cameracrew.