The northern part of Western Australia is known as the Kimberley, a region measuring 423,000 square kilometres or about twice the size of the United Kingdom and named after its striking resemblance to the landscape of the South African diamond fields. The major town in the area is Broome, with a population of around 15,000 people. Broome began life in the 1880s as a major pearl harvesting town but today people flock to Broome as a starting point to explore the extraordinary natural beauty of the region.
The Kimberley enjoys two major seasons: the wet season from December to April and the dry season from April to September. As the names suggest, the wet season is when the majority of rain falls throughout the region. The dry season is the preferred time to visit the Kimberley; many attractions close during the wet season. In January temperatures peak at around 33 degrees, while in July the mercury rises to 28 degrees.
Broome hosts its own unique festival experiences including the annual Shinju Matsuri or Festival of the Pearl, which celebrates the city’s cultural history as a pearl harvesting centre and the multicultural workers who worked in the industry.
Broome International Airport is located just north of the city. There are direct flights from Perth and Sydney to Broome. The following airlines fly to Broome:
Flying from Perth to Broome takes about two and a half hours. From Broome, you have the option of hiring a car to explore the region or take a guided tour and sit back and enjoy the mesmerising scenery.
Broome offers several five star luxury accommodation options. Once you leave the township, resources become scarcer, so it’s best to stock up before you depart for an exploration of the region.
To find out more about the range of holiday accommodation available with Travel Associates call 1800 017 849 or enquire online.
Sights to See
Around Broome, prior to exploring the outback, take a look at the working pearl farm, Willie Creek Pearl Farm about 35km from the centre, which will give you a fascinating insight into pearl harvesting. Cable Beach boasts inviting white sand and crystal clear turquoise water. From the beach, wander down to Gantheaume Point to see the rugged deep red rocks.
Synonymous with the region are the astonishing sandstone dunes with their alternating orange and grey bands known collectively as the Bungle Bungle Range in the Purnululu National Park. Other major attractions include the Mitchell Falls, Cape Leveque, Horizontal Falls and Lake Argyle.
Aboriginal paintings, some which have been estimated at being 50,000 years old, have been identified on caves in the Gwion Gwion region. To Australians, these works are known as the Bradshaws after Joseph Bradshaw, the European pastoralist, who first identified them in 1891. Snorkelling and diving are other activities popular along the Kimberley coast.
Don’t Leave Without…
Insect repellent, a hat and sunscreen are essential and you should carry these in your day bag. Aloe Vera gel is good to soothe damaged skin. Broome is an Australian outback town, so it does provide essentials, however once you depart on your Kimberley adventure resources become scarce. So it’s imperative that you fully stock up in Broome.
If travelling great distances, ensure you take plenty of water.
Things to be careful of…
Apply plenty of sunscreen when enjoying the plethora of outdoor activities.
Be beach smart and swim between the flags. Never swim against a rip but rather signal a lifeguard for assistance.
Crocodiles inhabit the waterways, so never camp next to a waterway and always proceed with caution.