Looking for a trip of a lifetime – but maybe you don’t want to go too far from home? How about a magnificent trip exploring wide open skies, red earth, indigenous culture and hidden natural wonders of far northern Western Australia!
Over the next couple of blog posts, we thought you might like to come with us as we explore The Kimberley, Pilbara and Broome. But let’s start with one of our favourites – The Kimberley.
Quite simply, the Kimberley, is best described as magical, breathtaking and often serenely peaceful.
Oh, and it’s huge! The entire Kimberley region is close to half the size of all NSW (and twice the size of the whole state of Victoria) – covering around 423,000 kilometres. To give you an idea of how big that is, it’s around 1400 times the size of greater Albury.
There’s a truckload of things to do and see. Due to the area’s sheer size, you could stay here for months and still never see it all! At it’s heart, the Kimberley is about nature, history and how both have influenced each other.
The Purnululu National Park, one of 15 national parks in the Kimberley region, is a World Heritage listed site and home to a unique wilderness landscape and vast wildlife sanctuaries. The Kimberley’s gorges will leave you feeling awe struck by the sheer height of the rock faces that go on seemingly forever leaving you feeling rather dwarfed and inconsequential by comparison. The loud gush of the many waterfalls along the way provide the perfect contrast to the red rock, stillness and scale of the walls of which are just astounding.
Purnululu is also home to the Bungle Bungles – a series of deep red, sandstone beehive-shaped domes – some of which stand around 300m – that are said to have been in existence for some 350 million years. Again, the area is huge and stretches for around 450kms, so it offers something for all levels of adventures.
You can get a biology and geology lesson as you walk the trail to Cathedral Gorge – where, despite the seemingly harsh conditions, some 200+ plant species thrive which in turn supports an amazing variety of bird life – everything from budgies to emus. The gorge itself is rather a feat of nature and time having been worn away by hundreds of thousands of years of raging ‘wet-season’ whirlpool (which still happens – check the seasons before you go).
If you’re looking for even more adventure, continue trekking the 2km narrow path to Echidna Chasm. As you trek the walls grow higher and going gets tougher – ie: you’ll need an ability to scramble over boulders at the bottom of a 180m deep ravine.
If comfort is more your thing, you might opt for the breathtaking view and take it all in by helicopter.
The Kimberly is also home to the amazing Lake Argyle, which is 1000 km2, it is 18 times the size of Sydney Harbour. You can marvel at the red landscape from shore, or take it all in on a cruise.
Just a note of caution – as gorgeous as the rivers/creeks are in the Kimberley, only swim in sign-posted safe swimming spots as the last thing you would want on your trip of a lifetime is the shock of coming face to face with a large fresh or salt-water crocodile.
There are plenty of opportunities to experience fascinating Indigenous culture through immersing yourself in the landscape and cultural traditions of Australia’s traditional owners. Start with a visit the Mowanjum Arts and Culture Centre where you can see artwork being created by local Indigenous artists.
And just in case you needed another reason to visit, the Kimberley is also home to the Argyle Diamond Mine near Kununurra, which produces 90-95% of the world’s pink diamonds, the most famous (and greatly sought-after) of which is the Argyle pink diamond. There are guided mine tours and opportunities to purchase a little something in pink, cognac or champagne.
There are just so many options for exploring The Kimberley. If you’re more adventurous you’ll want to experience the 660 km 4WD route where you can experience the gorges, cattle stations and culture up very close and personal.
If a magical and breathtaking trip to the Kimberley is now on your horizon and you’d like help designing your first or next great Australian travel adventure, we’d be delighted to help you create something that perfectly suits you or your family.
You can give us a call on (02) 6041 5577, visit the office at 601 Dean Street, Albury or book an appointment with one of our expert travel agents via the form below.
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