The Kimberley, Australia

Although The Kimberley was one of the first regions of Australia to be settled, by arrivals from Indonesia tens of thousands of years ago, it remains the nation’s most uninhabited region, thanks to the harsh landscape and the often-scorching temperatures. It’s the hottest area in Australia, which, combined with its violent monsoon climate, makes it practically unbearable during the summer months. However, these extreme conditions have helped make the Kimberley’s landscape exceedingly varied and eye-grabbingly beautiful. Steep gorges tear through broad eucalyptus-dotted savanna plains, astonishing waterfalls cascade down sheer rocky canyon walls into limpid swimming holes, and unexpectedly luxuriant pockets of rainforest ring the Indian Ocean coastline. With striking landmarks such as the rocky beehive-like Bungle Bungles, and the uncanny – but spectacular – Horizontal Falls.

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When to go

The Kimberley has a monsoon climate, and can therefore be violent, unpredicatable and rather waterlogged during the hotter months between November and March. May is ideal.

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Getting there

  • Planes

    Regular flights are available to Darwin Airport (in the neighbouring Top End region) from all major cities in Australia with Qantas ( | Virgin Blue ( and Jetstar ( The international terminal is also serviced by flights from Denpasar in Bali and an assortment of other cities in Asia. From Darwin there are a couple of flights a day to Kununurra (about an hour away) with Skywest ( or Air North ( Broome Airport also receives domestic and charter flights from the country’s larger cities.
  • Automobiles

    The major car hire companies have offices at Kununurra Airport, including Avis ( A 4x4 is essential for negotiating the Kimberley’s unpredictable roads and tracks.
  • Taxis

    Cabs are limited in the Kimberley, and you can forget any notions of flagging one down in the street – there aren’t many streets, for one thing. If you’re in Broome, Broome Taxis (+61 (0)8 9192 1133) will take you anywhere you need to in the city. In Kununurra, try Spud’s Taxis (+61 (0)8 9168 2553)

Any unmissable destinations for indigenous culture?

Any unmissable destinations for indigenous culture?

Don’t miss Darwin, in the Top End region, where contemporary indigenous art is thriving. Check out the region’s creativity during August’s Darwin Festival and the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair.

It’s also worth making a trip to Western Australia’s north coast and hinterland to see unique rock carvings in situ. You’ll find Bradshaws, as some of the paintings are known, in the Kimberley region – where respected Aboriginal artist Rover Thomas was from – and there are also rock art clusters on the Burrup Peninsula south of Broome.

Find out more about Western Australia