Five Kimberley Treasures Just a Short Trip from Broome

Broome is the perfect base for your Kimberley adventure, and a trip up the Dampier Peninsula is the best way to start exploring. Its hidden gems are all within a day’s drive from town. Lorna Hendry has travelled the Kimberley with her family and knows some of the best sites to visit.

Travelling on the Dampier Peninsula isn’t difficult – only the first 100km of the BroomeCape Leveque Road is unsealed. It’s regularly maintained and easily handled in a 4WD which you can hire in Broome. We found a driving tour from Broome was a great way to discover the full spectrum of the Dampier Peninsula’s landscape, people and history.

James Price Point – a local hideaway

James Price Point is a favourite spot for Broome locals looking for a quick break. Only 50km north of Broome, it’s the perfect place for a day out or even a short camping trip.

The first thing we noticed when we arrived was the picture-perfect Kimberley scenery. Red cliffs loomed over the pristine white sand, all set off by the warm turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. There are no facilities here, so bring your own picnic and drinking water, and spend a peaceful day swimming and relaxing. Just like the locals do.

Beagle Bay – immortalised in film

Halfway up the Broome–Cape Leveque Road, right where the sealed road begins, is the community of Beagle Bay. It is most famous for its whitewashed stone church with the pearl-encrusted altar that featured in the movie Bran Nue Dae. This is the perfect place to break your trip.

Lombadina – Aboriginal tourism at its best

Lombadina was described to us as ‘the jewel in the crown of the Kimberley’, and we had to agree. The Bardi people of this beautiful Aboriginal community 200 km north of Broome welcome visitors.and spending some time with a local guide is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn about their culture and lifestyle.

Don’t forget to stop in at the reception office when you arrive to pick up your day pass and a map. We went on a very successful mud crabbing tour and were also taken kayaking to the nearby reef where we pried oysters from the rocks and ate them on the spot. You can also join a 4WD tour to see the ancient footprints and learn more about the history of the area. The tours are very popular, so it’s best to book in advance.

If you’re in the mood for a swim, let your tyres down a bit and follow the signposted track over the sand dunes to one of the best beaches on the peninsula. If it’s not completely deserted, just drive a bit further along the seven km of pure white sand to find your own private spot. If you feel like exploring in Lombadina you can check out the art and craft centre and visit the historic timber church. Then stop at the store for a loaf of freshly baked bread, and sit outside for a chat with the locals.

Cygnet Bay – a proud pearling history

Just 15km north of Lombadina is Cygnet Bay, Australia’s oldest operating pearl farm. The pristine waters and extreme tides of the Kimberley create the perfect conditions to cultivate these world-famous South Sea pearls.

If you’re just dropping in, you can go on a one-hour tour of the farm and admire the beautiful locally designed jewellery in the showroom. If you have time to linger, try out one of the land and sea-based tours on offer to see even more of the area. After all that activity you’ll probably be starving, and luckily the farm’s Shell restaurant is on hand to serve up some fantastic food.

Cape Leveque – the pinnacle

After all that incredible scenery, it’s hard to believe that Cape Leveque, right at the top of the Dampier Peninsula, has the most stunning coastline you will ever see. Yet it’s true. The local Kooljaman resort has a cafe and restaurant, so you can grab something to eat and drink and relax on the sand in front of the red pindan cliffs. When we visited, we were lucky enough to spot a humpback whale from the beach. The calm, clear water is also inviting for a swim, and if, like us, you don’t have your own snorkeling gear, you can hire it from the cafe.

Proudly owned by the local Aboriginal communities, Kooljaman has a range of cultural tours led by traditional owners.

If you can’t shake the desire to watch the sun set into the ocean at one of these incredible locations, there’s no need to rush back to Broome. Lombadina, Cygnet Bay and Kooljaman all offer accommodation.

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