The Kimberley Guide

Introducing the Kimberley region

The Kimberley region offers a distinctive and memorable Australian outback experience. From the historical pearling town of Broome, to the rugged and adventurous Gibb River Road and the pristine coastline, the Kimberley has something to tantalise every traveller to the region.

The Kimberley covers the north-west region of Australia. It is a relatively untouched part of the country with a craggy coastline and an interior consisting of rugged ranges, expansive cattle stations, tidal rivers and beautiful gorges. It encompasses approximately 420,000kms² with a total population of over 40,000 people. The Kimberley is roughly one-sixth of Western Australia, which is Victoria & Tasmania combined or over 3 times the size of England.

Magic Kimberley Adventure

Discover Denise & Michael’s Kimberley adventure below, and start to plan your own Magic Kimberley trip!

Two grey nomads, on a road trip through the Kimberley in Western Australia.

Driving Distances (km)

Broome        
221Derby       
396256Fitzroy Crossing      
686545289Halls Creek     
1053908658366Wyndham    
1040906645353101Kununurra   
12701133875586332228Timber Creek  
155614191161872619514286Katherine 
1872173414761187934829601316Darwin

Kimberley Weather

Climate

The Kimberley has a tropical climate with a distinct wet and dry season.

Dry Season – The most popular time to visit the Kimberley is May through until October. The season usually offers a clear heat and an average daily temperature of around 30°C. Broome offers cooler evenings of between 15°C to 17°C. The futher inland you are venture, the higher the possibility of warmer conditions.

Wet Season – Once November arrives humidity may begin. Most rainfall occurs from January to March and is usually in short, sharp bursts in the late afternoon and evenings. The days can be hot and the nights are balmy. This time of the year can provide great lightning shows, spectacular sunsets, thundering waterfalls and plenty of wildlife.

Temperature Chart

Broome
MonthsMaxMin
Jun to Aug29°C15°C
Sep to Nov33°C22°C
Dec to Feb33°C26°C
Mar to May33°C22°C
Kununurra
MonthsMaxMin
Jun to Aug32°C16°C
Sep to Nov38°C23°C
Dec to Feb37°C25°C
Mar to May34°C21°C

Best Time To Go

The dry season offers visitors the chance to see all the Kimberley has to offer. Broome is very popular between the months of late April and the end of October. The legendary Gibb River Road is also open during these months.

For those visitors who have flexibility of time to travel to the Kimberley, we would suggest travelling at the start of the season; late April, May & June for the following reasons:

  • The gorges and waterfalls have an abundance of water as the wet season has just ended;
  • Broome has fewer tourists than in the peak July/August period;
  • Accommodation in May is usually at shoulder season prices; and
  • The Gibb River Road has been graded after the wet season and is smoother for more comfortable travel.

July and September school holidays and Broome Cup (mid August) are extremely busy periods, and we would recommend that if you intend to visit Broome during these times that you book as far ahead as possible.

Travelling the Gibb River Road

The Gibb River Road, one of Australia’s true outback 4WD experiences, extends from Derby to Kununurra. The road opens at the end of the wet season, usually late April, and can normally be driven on until late September. The Gibb River Road is unsealed from just beyond Derby until 60km outside Kununurra. The 712km of 4WD terrain takes in stunning gorges, vast cattle stations and rugged panoramic ranges. We would recommend a minimum of 6 nights to truly get the best out of your trip.

Road Conditions

The Gibb River Road is graded at the start of the season and is mainly rocky earth. It is only suitable for large 4WD vehicles and not recommended for towing caravans, trailers and boats. The road can become very corrugated as the touring season continues. As a guide the average travelling speed is 60 to 80km per hour. We would recommend anyone with a back condition to be conscious of how jarring the road can be.

Derby to Kununurra Driving Distance (km)

Gibb River Road driving distances, Derby to Kununurra
Gibb River Road driving distances, Derby to Kununurra (click to enlarge)

Destinations

Broome

Broome was originally founded in the late 1880’s as a pearling port. Lured by the promise to make their fortune, Broome welcomed a diverse range of peoples including Malay, Chinese, Japanese, Koepanger and European. All these cultures, together with the local indigenous people, have combined to create a diverse and exotic town that today boasts a population of around 15,000.

Broome has a colourful history dominated by the pearling trade. However the riches from the pearl beds did not come cheap and the town’s Japanese cemetery is the resting place of many divers who lost their lives working in the industry. Broome was also attacked by Japanese aircraft in March 1942 resulting in 88 deaths. Shaped by a turbulent history Broome is now a mix of the old and the new; Chinatown’s historical buildings and the beautiful Kimberley architecture mix with the vibrant modern town that Broome has become. Its diversity has also created a fantastic blend of wonderful local style cuisine and unique characters.

Broome’s famous Cable Beach is a 22 kilometre-long stretch of pure white sand, turquoise water, set against spectacular Indian Ocean sunsets. Cable Beach with its gentle rolling waves is perfect for swimming, sunbathing and sunsets. Broome Township is situated 6 kilometres from Cable Beach. The township itself provides the majority of shopping options, together with many art galleries and pearl showrooms.

Broome also offers many other attractions. Visit Gantheume Point to see dinosaur footprints reputed to be 130 million years old, take in a movie at the longest running outdoor cinema in the world — Sun Pictures — or visit the pearl stores in Chinatown.

Staircase to the Moon

One of Broome’s natural wonders is the Staircase to the Moon. This phenomenon occurs for three days after the full moon from March to November. It is caused by the rising moon reflecting off the mudflats of Roebuck Bay, creating the beautiful illusion of a staircase leading to the moon.

Staircase to the Moon markets are held on many of the Staircase to the Moon dates at Town Beach. The Broome Courthouse Market is also held on each Saturday and Sunday morning between April and October.

2023 Staircase to the Moon, Broome
DateTimeDateTime
Mar 86:50pmApr 76:34pm
Mar 97:23pmApr 87:13pm
Mar 107:57pmApr 97:58pm
DateTimeDateTime
May 65:53pmJun 56:26pm
May 76:42pmJun 67:31pm
May 87:37pmJun 78:38pm
DateTimeDateTime
Jul 46:20pmAug 26:15pm
Jul 57:29pmAug 37:21pm
Jul 68:35pmAug 48:23pm
DateTimeDateTime
Aug 316:03pmSep 17:05pm
Sep 28:05pmSep 306:45pm
Oct 17:45pmOct 28:45pm
DateTime  
Oct 296:26pm  
Oct 307:28pm  
Oct 318:29pm  

Kununurra

Kununurra, the east of the Kimberley, was originally built in the early 1960s to serve the Ord River Irrigation Project. It has now become a vibrant town of about 6,000, and is the hub for visiting such icons as Lake Argyle, the Ord River, El Questro Wilderness Park, the Argyle Diamond Mine and the unique Bungle Bungle Range. These huge black and oranges stripped beehive-like mounds can be as high as 300 metres. Purnululu National Park, in which the Bungles are located, is now a World Heritage listed site and something every Kimberley visitor should not miss out on seeing.

Wyndham

Wyndham is a town of approximately 800 people in the East Kimberley. The stunning town backdrop is The Bastion, part of the Bastion Ranges. On top of The Bastion sits the Five Rivers Lookout, the highest point of the Range which provides a spectacular view of the Cambridge Gulf into which the Ord, Forrest, King, Durack and Pentecost rivers flow.

Fitzroy Crossing

Fitzroy is the home to Geikie Gorge National Park, a spectacular waterway with weather-beaten escarpments and copious wildlife. It is also a great base to access Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek.

(Click on the map to enlarge)

Kimberley Calendar of Events 2023

The Kimberley has a vast array of events occurring mainly in the dry season months of April to September. Please note dates for some events and festivals may change. For up to date information, please call our office.

The Gibb Challenge
Broome to El Questro: 12 to 19 May

Cable Beach Polo
Broome: 13 to 14 May

Ord Valley Muster
Kununurra: 19 to 27 May

Kimberley Moon Experience
Kununurra: 20 May

Broome Turf Club Races
Broome: 3, 10 & 25 Jun and 1, 16, 28 Jul

Kununurra Half Marathon
Kununurra: 18 Jun

Broome Marathon
Broome: 9 Jul

Broome Turf Club – Kimberley Cup
Broome: 5 Aug

Broome Turf Club – Ladies Day
Broome: 15 Aug

Broome Turf Club – Cup Day
Broome: 19 Aug

Kununurra Races – Ladies Day
Kununurra: Aug TBA

Kununurra Races – Cup Day
Kununurra: Aug TBA

Cable Beach Triathlon
Broome: 25 to 27 Aug

Shinju Matsuri Festival
Broome: 26 Aug to 10 Sep

Australian School Holidays 2023

ACT & NSW
7 Apr to 21 Apr
3 Jul to 14 Jul
25 Sep to 6 Oct
20 Dec to 29 Jan

NT
7 Apr to 14 Apr
26 Jun to 17 Jul
25 Sep to 6 Oct
18 Dec to 29 Jan

QLD
1 Apr to 16 Apr
26 Jun to 9 Jul
16 Sep to 2 Oct
9 Dec to 21 Jan

SA
15 Apr to 30 Apr
8 Jul to 23 Jul
30 Sep to 15 Oct
16 Dec to 28 Jan

TAS
6 Apr to 25 Apr
8 to 24 Jul
30 Sep to 15 Oct
22 Dec to 7 Feb

VIC
7 Apr to 23 Apr
24 Jun to 9 Jul
16 Sep to 2 Oct
21 Dec to 29 Jan

WA
7 Apr to 23 Apr
1 Jul to 16 Jul
23 Sep to 8 Oct
15 Dec to 30 Jan

Book A Call

We’d love to speak to you about your holiday plans! If you would prefer for us to call you (during business hours) please leave your details below, and let us know when you would like us to call.

The Kimberley Collection logo

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Bedding Configuration

SSingleKSgKing Single
DDoubleTTrundle
QQueenRRollaway
KKingBBBunk Bedding
KSKing Split