Highlights - Kimberley
What should you see in the Kimberley? Visit the north-west of Australia to enjoy the extraordinary landscapes of this isolated region from the water or air and discover its wild flora & fauna.
Essential - Kimberley
Travel to the Kimberley region and you will experience an unusual adventure in the heart of an unspoilt land. Wild animals, Aboriginal culture, breathtaking landscapes... Below is our useful guide to read before you visit the Kimberley.
Highlights - Kimberley
What should you see in the Kimberley? Visit the north-west of Australia to enjoy the extraordinary landscapes of this isolated region from the water or air and discover its wild fauna.
Fly over the Bungle Bungle Range
Wyndham, the northernmost town in the Kimberley region, is a special gateway. This area with fewer than 800 inhabitants makes the ideal starting point for exploring Purnululu National Park. Having been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2003, it is famous for the Bungle Bungle Range and its ochre and grey striped sandstone domes. There is nothing better than a panoramic flight to admire the beauty of this landscape created by erosion over a period of 20 million years.
Fly over the Buccaneer Archipelago
In the west of the Kimberley, the land seems to break into pieces and slide into the sea. The result is a jagged coastline and no fewer than 800 islands forming the Buccaneer Archipelago, leading to finely cut panoramas. The best way to take in this unique geography is to take to the air. Soaring in a period Grumman Mallard amphibious aircraft, the views over this two-billion-year-old terrain are truly amazing. The undulating desert coast gives way to dots of land with red cliffs plunging into sapphire waters. Being so hard to access, this area has found itself protected... The nearest town is half an hour away by plane.
Sail along the King George River
One of the Kimberley's marvels, the King George River is particularly stunning. Travellers turn into real explorers here. Guided by naturalists who are experts in the region, Zodiac® boats sail along the ochre, red, purple, pink and orange rock faces in the heart of 80-metre gorges. In the distance, the twin King George Falls rumble away. They are so vertical it gives you vertigo. The water hurtles down the cliffs. Watching is a hypnotic experience. Time seems to stand still, giving everyone the chance to enjoy the moment.
Discover cave art
With 10% of the Kimberley having been systematically explored by archaeologists, hundreds of thousands of painted motifs in tunnels and on rocky walls have been found and listed. It is believed that some were done 20,000 years ago and are examples of Gwion Gwion cave art. This is characterised by its fine brushstrokes and rare aesthetics which tell us more about how these old civilisations lived. Clothes, food, arms, tools, ceremonies, trade... These precise paintings are a mine of information for researchers. One of the highlights of a trip to the Kimberley is enjoying this art, which is some of the world's oldest.
Enjoy seeing unique tidal phenomena
Water is king at Collier Bay. Gigantic tidal surges have created these unique landscapes, to photographers' delight. These surges can reach over 14 metres in width and are some of the world's biggest. They cause special phenomena, like at Montgomery Reef: the biggest coastal reef on the planet. When the water pulls back, this creates strong currents and little waterfalls. In Talbot Bay, when the tide comes in or goes out, the waves rush into a bottleneck. This water then flows away, creating "horizontal waterfalls".
Essential - Kimberley
Travel to the Kimberley region and you will experience an unusual adventure in the heart of an unspoilt land. Wild animals, aborigine culture, breathtaking landscapes... Below is our useful guide to read before you visit the Kimberley.
The saltwater crocodile or estuarine crocodile is the world's biggest reptile. Males can grow to over five metres long and weigh several hundred kilos. These animals mainly live in Oceania, northern Australia and South East Asia.
Australia's aborigine cuisine revolves around bush tucker . This means all the animals and plants in the Australian bush that allow humans to survive in this difficult environment. Kangaroos, emus, seafood, honey, berries, worms, lizards and snakes are foods sought by hunter-gatherers.
Myths and legends
North-west Kimberley is home to magnificent decorated caves representing Wandjina, the powerful rain spirit. Poignantly moving ochre figures and silhouettes enhanced with touches of black, red, yellow and white leap out from the walls, alone or in groups, standing or lying. No need for mouths on their round, large-eyed and fine-nosed faces, encircled with headdress-evoking halos, for the extraordinary power of these supernatural entities to express itself. Both Aboriginal people and visitors are required to observe a strict protocol in order to approach them, and only the initiated are allowed to maintain these frescoes and create new representations of the spirit in order to continue the tradition of this ancestral sacred art, which is considered to be the most ancient in the world.
Book. Leafing through Australie aborigène (Aborigine Australia) will make you want to visit the country. This stunning photo book's subtitle, Walkabout, is a reference to the rite-of-passage journey taken by aborigines across Australia, following in the footsteps of their mythological ancestors. The Kimberley and other areas are beautifully represented in the book in photos taken by Sandrine and Frédéric Mouchet, who spent two years immersed in these isolated lands.
Music. The first rock group, in the 1980s, to combine aboriginal sounds with contemporary music, Yothu Yindi (which means “mother and child” in Yongli), define themselves as artisans of cultural reconciliation. Prior to becoming a pop star, the group's singer, Yunupingu, was the first Aboriginal person ever to be a head teacher. He developed innovative teaching methods designed to suit the distinctive characteristics of Aboriginal people.
Film. In Undermined, Tales from the Kimberley , director Nicholas D. Wrathall examines what will become of the Kimberley and the 200 aborigine tribes who live there. A range of farming and industrial projects in the region are challenging their traditional lifestyles.
Facts and figures20 000
Some experts estimate that early aborigine cave art dates back 20,000 or 30,000 years. The term "aborigine art" includes these primitive cave works as well as creations by contemporary artists influenced by this age-old culture. It is therefore the oldest ongoing artistic tradition in the world.