aerial view of striped rock formations resembling beehives

Local’s Top 10 Incredible Things To Do in the Kimberley in 2023

The Kimberley in Australia’s North West is one of the most breathtaking places in the whole world. There are so many things to do in the Kimberley that it can be hard to decide where to start.

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I’ve lived in WA for over 20 years, and Dave was born here, so we’ve spent many years exploring our state.

This post gives you the top 10 ideas for things you should not miss when visiting the Kimberley region.

Top 10 Things to do in the Kimberley Australia

1. Take a Horizontal Falls Tour

David Attenborough described Horizontal Falls as one of the world’s greatest natural wonders. Some of the largest tidal movements create a waterfall effect as a huge volume of water is forced through a narrow cliff passage.

The falls are in Talbot Bay in the Buccaneer Archipelago and can only be accessed by a scenic flight. Some tours offer a boat ride to experience the power of the white water as well. Most tours depart from Broome or Derby.

Scenic flights take you over the Buccaneer Archipelago, which is home to 1,000 islands made of Precambrian sandstone over 2 billion years old.

aerial view of water running horizontally through a gap in rocks
Horizontal Falls, Talbot Bay – photo by Tourism Western Australia

2. Bungle Bungle Range

The world heritage-listed Bungle Bungle Range is in Purnululu National Park, about 250 km west of Kununurra and 108 km east of Halls Creek. The Djaru and Gija Aboriginal people are the custodians of Purnululu National Park, Purnululu meaning sandstone.

The famous bee-hive striped domes of the Bungle Bungle range are found in the park’s southern end along with Cathedral Gorge, standing 300m above the spinifex terrain.

Purnululu National Park is the highlight of many 4wd tours through the Kimberley region, but to get a true appreciation for the Bungle Bungle domes, you should take a scenic flight to view it from the air. Seeing the Bungle Bungle range from above is truly spectacular.

aerial view of striped rock formations resembling beehives one of the best things to do in the kimberley region
Bungle Bungle Range Kimberley Australia – photo by Tourism Western Australia

3. Kununurra and Lake Argyle

Kununurra, 45 km from the border of the Northern Territory, lies on the banks of the Ord River. While here, you can enjoy the serenity of the Ord River and Lake Kununurra and cruise the 55 km to Lake Argyle. Kununurra means “meeting of big waters”.

From Kelly’s Knob Lookout, you can see the stunning view of the Ord Valley, then visit Mirima National Park to view the mini Bungles.

In town, you can spend time in one of the art galleries or at the Kununurra Museum.

Did you know that the Kimberley produced 90% of the world’s pink diamonds before it closed in 2020, after nearly 40 years of operation? Following closure, the land was returned to the Traditional Owners as the custodians of the Country for activities such as cattle grazing, tourism, cultural use, and small-scale agriculture. Pink diamonds are scarce, representing less than 1% of the total diamonds mined. I wish I had one stashed away!

Lake Argyle is the biggest artificial lake in the southern hemisphere, holding up to 10.7 billion cubic metres of water (over 21 times the size of Sydney Harbour!). There are a few ways to see Lake Argyle: self-drive to the day-use area, take a scenic helicopter flight to see it from above, or take one of the many cruises on offer.

Once there, you can swim, take hire a boat, kayak or even a BBQ pontoon, or go on one of the bushwalking trails.

If you have time, consider a day trip to Wyndham, Western Australia’s most northern town. Wyndham has some of the most stunning scenery in the Kimberley, with incredible landforms, rivers, and wetlands and the view at sunset from the Five Rivers lookout is phenomenal. Visit the caravan park to see the ‘biggest boab tree in captivity’, thought to be over 2000 years old.

huge hills covered in green grass rising above a huge lake
Lake Argyle Kimberley Australia- photo by Tourism Western Australia

4. Gibb River Road

If you own a 4wd, I’m sure the Gibb River Road Trip is on your radar due to it being one the best Australian 4wd adventures. This wilderness drive takes you through massive cattle stations, epic gorges (like Bell Gorge), and untouched natural beauty. It’s not for the faint-hearted, though; a lot of preparation must be done to drive this 660 km 4wd track that gives you access to cascading waterfalls, swimming holes to cool off in, and stunning river gorges.

The Gibb River Road was originally a road linking the cattle stations, which now provides great hospitality with accommodation, food, and drink.

5. Wolfe Creek Crater National Park

Wolfe Creek, known as Kandimalal to the local Aboriginal people, is the second-largest crater in the world. It is believed that the meteorite crashed to Earth around 300,000 years ago and would have weighed more than 50,000 tonnes. Dreamtime tells of two rainbow snakes who formed the nearby Sturt and Wolfe Creeks as they crossed the desert, and the crater is where one of the snakes emerged from the ground.

Wolfe Creek Crater National Park is 145 km from Halls Creek on the Tanami Road and gravel access road (only accessible to conventional vehicles during the dry season). It’s about a two-to-three hour drive.

aerial view of a bright orange crater and sand coloured rocks
Wolfe Creek Crater, Kimberley Australia- photo by Tourism Western Australia

6. Windjana Gorge & Tunnel Creek

Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek are part of the 375-million-year-old Devonian Reef System. The deep freshwater pools attract flocks of corellas, fruit bats and freshwater crocodiles.

You can wade through 750 m of Tunnel Creek, Western Australia’s oldest cave system, to see ancient stalactites, stalagmites, and rock art (you will need a torch). Look out for the freshwater crocodiles in the water!

Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek have a deep cultural significance to the Bunuba people, the traditional owners of the land, and is home to the legend of Jandamarra, a Bunuba warrior and clever, courageous leader.

The drive here is via Fairfield Road, an unsealed road that can be closed due to flooding.

Alternatively, tours like this Windjana Explorer are available from Broome.

See Prices & Availability Direct with Air Kimberley here
two people in a tunnel in a cave with water running through
Tunnel Creek Kimberley – photo by Tourism Western Australia

7. Broome

Broome is not just the gateway to the Kimberley region but a holiday destination in its own right and a popular place for West Australians looking to avoid the cool weather of the south.

If relaxing on the 22 km of pristine white sandy Cable Beach isn’t your thing, explore the town’s history in Chinatown or Old Broome. We enjoyed our day trip to Willie Creek Pearl Farm, but the highlight was this Broome Whale Watching tour and riding a camel along Cable Beach.

You may even be able to time your visit to see the staircase to the moon on Broome’s Town Beach.

Read this comprehensive guide on things to do in Broome for more ideas and information.

the stunning willie creek with rurquoise water and mangroves
Willie Creek Pearl farm (beware of the crocodiles that live here!)

8. Cape Leveque & Dampier Peninsula

Cape Leveque and the Dampier Peninsula, 200 km north of Broome, is where you’ll find sparkling turquoise water and beautiful white sand beaches that contrast against the red pindan cliffs. The local Bardi and Nyul Nyul people share their culture and traditions on tours where you’ll learn about traditional fishing, hunting, and bush medicine.

You drive to the Dampier Peninsula via the partially unsealed Cape Leveque Road or take a tour from Broome.

aerial view of bright orange rocks white sand and turquoise green ocean
Western Beach Kooljaman Cape Leveque – photo by Tourism Western Australia

9. El Questro

El Questro, in East Kimberley, covers 700,000 acres with an incredibly diverse landscape and is perfect for adventures. You will experience rugged sandstone ranges, thermal springs, deep gorges, rainforests, tidal flats, and waterfalls, all within just over an hour’s drive from Kununurra (or the choice to arrive by plane).

You can visit El Questro for the day (fees apply), but the best way to experience this stunning location is by staying there. Some accommodation options include luxurious stays, rooms by the river, tented cabins in the wilderness or nights under canvas.

Emma Gorge, one of the most spectacular gorges of The Kimberley, is the park’s most accessible gorge but still requires some rock scrambling and water crossings to reach it.

Zebedee Springs is a hidden oasis waiting to be discovered. Surrounded by lush greenery and crystal-clear waters, this natural hot spring is the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate. Take a dip in the warm, therapeutic waters and feel your worries melt away. Only open to visitors from 7 am to midday and exclusively to Homestead guests in the afternoons.

El Questro Gorge is a more challenging trail that can take up to five hours to complete, but the crystal-clear plunge pool and waterfall are worth it.

Chamberlain Gorge, only accessible by boat, stretches over 3 km with stunning views of the surrounding flora, fauna, and red rock gorge walls. Tours of the gorge leave in the late afternoon and feature a fish-feeding session where you’ll have the chance to see archerfish, catfish, and barramundi.

red cliffs reaching into a deep blue river
Chamberlain River El Questro Station – photo by Tourism Western Australia

10. Mitchell Falls

This iconic Kimberley attraction in Mitchell River National Park is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Australia. The four-tiered Mitchell Falls, known as Punamii-Uunpuu to the Wunambal people, can be viewed by air or close up by walking the track to the falls. In February and March, you will see the four-tired falls at their peak, tumbling one into the next.

View these incredible falls on this Mitchell Falls Explorer tour.

a series of waterfalls cascading over rocks into a waterhole at mitchell falls in Kimberley Australia
Mitchell Falls, Kimberley Australia- photo by Tourism Western Australia

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