The ochre-coloured landscape is cleaved with rugged gorges, carved by thunderous waterfalls and confined by luminous ocean.
Most visitors enter via Broome, a tiny pearling town whose many cemeteries provide a poignant reminder of the price many divers paid to obtain a handful of iridescent South Sea treasures. To the town’s west is Cable Beach, a Western Australian landmark, lapped by turquoise Indian Ocean and flanked by white sands. Time your visit to coincide with the “Staircase to the Moon” optical illusion, which occurs between March and October for around 3 nights each month when a full moon rises over exposed mudflats.
Another must-see in the Kimberley is 800km inland – the black-and-ochre striped sandstone domes known as the Bungle Bungles. Kununurra, the region’s second largest settlement, lies just north of these formations and provides another entry point to Purnululu National Park as well as a base to explore east Kimberley. Then there’s the exquisite northwest coast, a rugged, unpeopled paradise, home to big bronze rivers, towering waterfalls and Australia’s largest inshore reef – Montgomery Reef, best explored by cruise ship.