The region known simply as The Kimberley takes its evocative name
from its most imposing landmark; an ancient mountain range visible from
the rugged sea coast. Covering more than 400,000 square kilometres (an
area three times larger than England) in North West Australia, it is a
place universally acknowledged as the world's last - and possibly most
beautiful - wilderness.
The Kimberley is a place of magnificent vistas created by towering
rock ridges, silent secluded gorges, wide savannah plains and
waterfalls which defy both nature and belief. Its coastline is nothing
short of stunning and according to all who have seen it, there is no
other stretch of coastline in Australia that comes near in terms of its
ability to inspire awe and wonder.
The Kimberley is vast, stretching from a dramatic coastline of
islands, cliffs and sandy beaches facing the Indian Ocean to the west
and the Timor Sea to the north, across gorges, escarpments, vast open
plains, river valleys and cave systems to the arid Great Sandy Desert
in the south and the Northern Territory in the east.
The ancient inland landscape is punctuated with astonishing gorges
and waterfalls, spectacular cave systems, lush rainforest patches and
abundant wildlife. It is like nowhere else on Earth.
Until relatively recently, the Kimberley was a place for only
hardened pioneers and prospectors. Once the National Highway
circumnavigating the country was completed, however, the Kimberley
became a highlight on the travel map, and Australians as well as
overseas visitors are now getting a taste of what they've been missing
- and are loving it. The Kimberley region is still one of the remotest
areas on earth, however, most of its roads are still unsealed, and
there are fewer people per square kilometre than most other places on
Just as "Big" equates to "Texas" in the United States, so in
Australia, "Big" equates to The Kimberley. Everything here is
super-sized. The distances are big, the gorges and canyons are larger
than life, the waterfalls are more dramatic.
The colours of the earth, the rocks, the ocean and the sky are all
so bold and vivid, when you see photographs of them, you'd be forgiven
for thinking that they have been tweaked by a computer program to
exaggerate their intensity. They haven't. As anyone who has been there
will attest, what you see is exactly what you get.