Photo Essay: Broome and the Kimberley in 11 Must DoExperiences
Escape to exotic beaches and one of the last true wilderness areas on earth.
You don’t have to choose between the two when you visit Broome and the Kimberley. It’s completely possible for you to go from the seat of a camel train, riding into the Indian Ocean on Cable Beach, to hiking through soaring ancient gorges and flying over epic ranges and waterfalls in the region’s wild heart within just a matter of days.
You can take a walk through a landscape that’s been billions of years in the making, led by the people who have been its caretakers for over 40,000 years. You may struggle to find words to describe the moment you set eyes on the ancient rock art of their ancestors, but that’s OK because every picture leaves you with a story to tell – of extinct pre-historic creatures, myths, legends, early explorers and one of the oldest surviving cultures on Earth.
Then there are the moments of zen and discovery you’ll want to return to long after you leave: cruising the immense calm of Lake Argyle, an inland sea that’s more than 20 times the size of Sydney Harbour; witnessing the spectacle of the archer fish hunting for prey – spitting jets of water up to three metres with pinpoint accuracy to catch insects; and gazing up into the canopy of pre-historic Livistona palms as you float in the thermal pools at Zebedee Springs.
Here are some of our top Kimberley recommendations.
Experiencing the local nightlife in one of the oldest landscapes onEarth.
Camping out under the stars in World Heritage Listed Purnululu National Park is the ultimate outback adventure. Go four-wheel driving across rugged terrain, hike through gorges millions of years old and watch the sunset and sunrise over the curious beehive domes of the Bungle Bungle Range.
Watching the colours and shapes shift at Purnululu NationalPark.
Capturing the sweet-spot at sunrise or sunset in the Bungle Bungle Range is the icing on the cake for photographers. Nowhere else on Earth has nature shaped such a unique range – these orange and black beehive domes were formed over 350 million years and hidden from the world until 1983.
Sharing a romantic dinner for two with an endlesshorizon.
A cliff-top table at the Homestead is arguably one of the most dramatic fine dining experiences on Earth. Drink in the one-eighty panorama of the El Questro wilderness as the sun sets, and gaze upon the crocodiles floating in the gorge below.
Completely immersing yourself in a waterfallmoment.
Fed by a droplet waterfall and thermal spring, and shaded by sheer 65-metre walls, the clear waters of Emma Gorge invite you in after taking the walk through the rugged Cockburn Range. Nearby, the safari tents of Emma Gorge Resort bring the luxuries of glamping to this Kimberley wilderness adventure.
Gazing across a lake so vast, it’s classed as an inland sea.
In the green season, this man-made lake is more than 20 times the size of Sydney Harbour – a vast mirror reflecting the changing colours from sunrise to sunset. Scan the shoreline for the sniper-like archer fish, capable of spitting jets of water up to three metres with pinpoint accuracy to catch insects.
Plunging into one of nature’s most inviting swimmingpools.
That moment the cool water touches your skin, as you enter the crystal clear pool and emerge to take in the rugged beauty of Emma Gorge, you’ll be connected with the pure pleasures of wilderness. From your luxury safari tent, you can also take a dip in the Emma Gorge Resort pool.
Enjoying an exotic moment of zen in a natural thermalpool.
A soothing soak in the thermal pools, shaded by the fronds of pre-historic Livistona palms, is one of the many rewards to be found when venturing into the one-million-acre wilderness of El Questro Wilderness Park. Stay at the homestead, and you’ll also have a private bathtub under the stars.
Catching a ride into an ocean sunset by cameltrain.
The sensation of riding a bumpy camel train into one of the most striking ocean sunsets on Earth is enough to provoke a compulsive ‘hands in the air’ moment. Take in the changing view, one incredible step at a time, as you cross the world-famous sands of Cable Beach.
Finding the one place on Earth where water fallshorizontally.
No filters or photo editing required. Nature brings the wow factor when you fly over the world’s only two horizontal waterfalls, created by the largest tidal movements on Earth squeezing through two narrow passages. Riding the white waters by boat is another thrilling way to experience the phenomenon.
Discovering the exotic and exquisite beauty of South Seapearls.
Coveted the world over, Broome’s South Sea Pearls are the largest commercially harvested cultured pearls on Earth. A browse through the designer jewellery showrooms is hard to resist as you stroll through Chinatown.
Enjoying afternoon drinks and watching the ebb and flow of RoebuckBay
Nature sets the pace in Roebuck Bay, making it easy to while away an afternoon with beers, cocktails and the best Kimberley produce as you watch the colours change and the waters slowly rise and fall. In the cooler months, you can also witness the natural phenomenon Staircase to the Moon.
My girlfriend and I took a trip down to the South West for the ANZAC Day long weekend and based ourselves in Porongurup. We had checked the forecast for the weekend and made the decision that Saturday would be the ideal time to climb Bluff Knoll.
Travel writer Fleur Bainger has experienced expedition cruising in the Kimberley several times. Raft Point, Kings Cascades, Rowley Shoals, you name it, she’s cruised it. Here are some of Fleur’s useful insights into the many options on offer in this spectacular region.