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Kimberley Bungle Bungle

The Ultimate Guide to the Kimberley : Exploring the Hidden Gems of the Region

The Kimberley is an amazing region of Western Australia where you can immerse yourself in pristine wilderness and witness incredible rock formations, gorges, ancient Rock Art, unique flora and fauna and much more!

Step back in time at Windjana and Bell gorges, carved by water throughout the years. Admire ancient Rock Art sites on the walls and learn more about the rich Indigenous heritage of the area. You will feel serene surrounded by waterfalls, crystal clear pools and thriving wildlife.

Discover the mythical Gibb River road going through the heart of the Kimberley with its challenging roads and untouched natural beauty.

Everyone should see the Kimberley at least once in their lifetime, I love it so much that I go back every year! I want to share the hidden gems with you that only a select few are aware of as we venture off the beaten path.



Where is the Kimberley?


The Kimberley is one of the nine regions of Western Australia. It is right at the top of the state and shares part of a border with the NT state.



Can you drive through the Kimberley?


You can but it is recommended to have a 4WD as most roads to access points of interest are unsealed. Another way to see more of the Kimberley is to do a bushwalking tour as many remote places are not accessible by car.



Main towns in the Kimberley region


Towns in the Kimberley include Broome, Derby, Fitzroy Crossing,  Halls Creek, Kununurra and Wyndham.



Size of the Kimberley region


The Kimberley is a very large area covering more than 423,500 square kilometres, which is approximately twice the size of the whole state of Victoria.



History of the Kimberley


The Kimberley formed thousands of years ago and was home to some of the first indigenous people of Australia. 

Wandjina depictions are a specific feature of Kimberley’s rock art and represent ancestral spirits that were venerated by the communities.  They have no mouth because they are so powerful they do not require speech and if they had mouths, the rain would never cease. You can also see stories of the daily life of people, including hunting scenes and ceremonies depicted on the very old and mysterious Gwion Gwion painting.

In the 19th century, European explorers arrived and discovered gold. They built towns and settlements and you can learn more about this part of the region’s history at the Halls Creek Museum. Cattle stations were also created at that time and some are still in activity today. The pearl industry also started flourishing in Broome at that time.  

The Kimberley is still home to more than 200 aboriginal communities and traditional owners of the Kimberley include at least 7 different groups.-



Kimberley pass


There are many different National Parks within the Kimberley area and depending on where you are going you will need to cross-check if you need a pass or not. The easiest way to save on park passes is to buy an “All Parks Pass” that gives you entry to all the National parks in WA for a certain duration.



Why travel to the Kimberley – Top things to do in the Kimberley


The Kimberley is one of the most incredible regions for nature lovers. It is home to the very famous Bungle Bungle range in Purnululu National Park : up to 250m high orange and black striped domes in the shape of a bee-hive. The area’s highlights also include Cathedral Gorge, Echidna Chasm and the Picaninny Gorge. This gorge (Piccanimnny) is incredibly remote and the best way to experience it is by doing a bushwalking tour. You can also see them from the air or come with a 4WD but nothing beats walking and suddenly seeing the Bungle Bungle range appearing before your eyes! Strong emotions guaranteed!


Mitchell Falls is another must-do. Surrounded by the Kimberley Savannah and boasting 4 different falls, it is without doubt in the top 3 most spectacular waterfalls in Australia.


The horizontal falls should also be on your bucket list: a natural phenomenon that pushes water through two gorges to create a waterfall effect. The best way to see this is by taking a boat or a plane.

If you love ancient rock art you’ve come to the right place. The Kimberley has some of the most spectacular art, nestled amongst incredible landscapes. The best locations to spot some art are on the way to Mitchell Falls. But the best way to see it is to take a guided tour.

If you love gorges and waterfalls and can make it through rough roads, the Gibbs River Road is a must-do. Go to Windjana gorge (my favourite) Bell Gorge, Lennard Gorge, Adcock gorge, Galvans gorge and Manning Gorge. You can also experience Tunnel Creek, a long-winded cave tunnel flooded with water where you can walk amongst freshwater crocodiles to the opening at the end of the cave! You can see some rock art there as well.

Other natural wonders of the region include Emma Gorge and El Questro Gorge situated in the El Questro Wilderness Park.

If you can go to the coast, I would definitely recommend you do it! There are very popular cruises offering to take you to untouched beaches and amazing coral reefs where you can snorkel or dive.



Outdoor activities in the Kimberley


You can do a lot of adventure sports and diverse activities in the Kimberley. From hiking, fishing, kayaking, boating or taking a plane or helicopter to see the park from above, you have many options you can choose from!

You can also go bird watching, do cruises and try to spot crocodiles, a paradise for photographers and wildlife lovers.



Cultural experiences in the Kimberley


From ancient rock art and cultural centres, the Kimberley is the best place to learn more about indigenous people. You will discover Dreamtime stories, traditions, art and more! The best places to go include the Warmun Art Centre and the Mowanjum Aboriginal Art and Culture Centre. You can also do a tour led by an Aboriginal guide to get amazing insight into Indigenous people’s lives in the past and today.

You could visit the remote Aboriginal community of Warmun, their hospitality is second to none and you will have an amazing experience full of art, culture and heartwarming encounters with local people.



What is the best month to visit the Kimberley?


The Kimberleys are in the far North end of Western Australia and have similar weather to the Top end. The best season is usually from May to October and the ideal months to come are June, July and August. The nights are cool around 20°C and the days are hot but not too humid, with temperatures between 29-31°C.

However keep in mind that the best season is also the busiest, prices go up and popular spots might get busy. The start or the end of the season is a great compromise with fewer tourists so you can fully enjoy the experience.

If you want an off-the-beaten-track experience, you can do bushwalking in the Kimberley. You can find amazing Purnululu Bungle Bungle Bushwalking tours, as well as Carr Boyd, Ranges South and North tours.



Hiking in the Kimberley


There are many trails you can walk in the Kimberley, ranging from short and easy to hard and running over multiple days. You can find a list of the trails from the Trail WA website, they also have an amazing interactive map you can use! If you are a hiking enthusiast or want to get more into hiking and camping in the wilderness, we have the perfect Kimberley Bushwalking tours for you!



What is the best way to see the Kimberley – Kimberley Tours


This one really depends on what you personally like the most. A good way to see the region could be to go on a Kimberley cruise. This way, you can access places that you couldn’t otherwise and if you like the coast and the beach then this is your best option!

If you love seeing landscapes from above (and have a consequent budget), you can plan to do helicopter and plane tours! It is a unique experience and having a bird’s eye view of the wonders of the Kimberley is an experience like no other.

If you are a nature lover and prefer to avoid the crowds, joining a Kimberley bushwalking tour will be your best bet. You’ll get to challenge yourself and enjoy untouched spots while feeling relaxed and disconnected from your busy day-to-day life.



Do you need 4WD for Bungle Bungle?

You absolutely need a 4WD vehicle to access the Bungle Bungles. The road is corrugated and you’ll have to cross creeks. It is only safe to take it during the dry season as it is usually flooded in the wet season.



Is it safe to swim in the Kimberley?


The usual rule of thumb applies: if the spot is not accessible to large saltwater crocodiles, then it should be safe to swim there. You must use common sense and always check online for the official safety recommendations as well as follow signs in the area.

There are many places where you can swim safely in the Kimberley such as Bell Gorge, Manning Gorge, Emma Gorge and El Questro Gorge to mention a few.



Where to stay in the Kimberley?


There are many different options to choose from when you start to organise accommodation. You can find caravan parks, campings, cabins, hotels, tented camps and more! Most places you can stay at also offer food.

For me, the best way to sleep in the Kimberley is in the wilderness with my own tent and my bushwalkers. We can enjoy nature and relax under the stars!



Kimberley map 

You can find great maps of the Kimberley on Australia’s North West website.



Best tips if you are going to the Kimberley


  • Take enough water and food with you for your trip. There are not many places where you can buy food, and if there are they are certainly not affordable! Better be prepared
  • Get a park pass to save money. Calculate how much you would spend on single passes and see if taking the all-park pass is worth it
  • Get useful apps like Wikicamps, 4WDing Australia and Maps Me
  • Go there at the start of the dry season. There will be fewer people and good water levels in water holes and waterfalls.
  • Get some extra fuel for your car if you are driving as well as spare tyres
  • Be ready to disconnect: you will probably not have any signal on your phone so let your family know you’re going and that they shouldn’t worry





The Kimberley is a vast region full of natural beauty and culture. In order to fully enjoy it we would recommend spending at least 1 to 2 weeks there so you can take your time and see most of the popular spots. If you are a bit more adventurous, you can venture outside of the normal tourist spots and go where others don’t go. Join our Kimberley Tour to discover the hidden treasures of the region!

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