With just two opposing seasons, the Wet and the Dry, the Kimberley is a land of extremes – semi-arid plains dotted with spinifex and outback roads that flow like rivers, spectacular ranges cut by steep stony gorges and tiny pockets of tropical rainforest and tranquil waterholes. It’s these dramatic contrasts that make a trip here so compelling.
But despite the region’s many attractions – from the pristine Dampier Peninsula and splendid Cape Leveque to the magnificent gorges of Geike and Windjana and Tunnel Creek, and the rough and tumble of Gibb River Rd – there’s still no place as engaging or as full of contradictions as Broome, with its rich, ancient indigenous history and exotic 19th-century pearling past. And then there’s its present as a big outback town that plays host to amateur rodeos the same week it holds its annual cultural festival, the Shinju Matsuri, with Japanese food and dragon boat races. Then rumble along the Gibb River Rd to Derby and Kununurra where the languid pace goes best with a sweet juicy mango, or a nice cold beer.
Best places to stay in Broome & the Kimberley
Western Australia's Dampier Peninsula
When you're up to your backside in a Kimberley creek, fumbling among mangrove roots with a makeshift metal hook, you hope that it's a mud crab that bites – and not a crocodile...
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Broome & the Kimberley destination guides
Like a paste jewel set in a tiara of natural splendours, Broome clings to a narrow strip of red pindan on the Kimberley's far-western edge, at the base of the pristine Dampier Peninsula.
Lonely Planet: Roads Less Travelled Australia itinerary
Experience the magnificent Kimberley in northwestern Western Australia with this trip from Broome to the Dampier Peninsula and Derby, and along the Gibb River Road to Kununurra and Wyndham. Get yourself a sturdy 4WD, fill it with food, fuel and water, arrange your free transit permit at www.dia.wa.gov...
Go wild in some of Australia's most remote and unspoilt territory, the mighty Kimberley. Embark on an adventure tour down the rough Gibb River Road, taking in hidden caves at Tunnel Creek, waterfalls, palm oases and rock pools. Discover the astounding Bell and Geikie gorges and natural amphitheatres teeming with Australian wildlife, and wander among the iconic Bungle Bungles.
Broome to the Bungle Bungle
A tour from Broome to the Bungle Bungles is a perfect adventure through the untamed beauty of the Australian Outback. This five-day adventure through the Kimberley starts with the beauty of Broome's beaches and takes you along the dusty Gibb River Road.