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insider The Kimberley
CRUISERS Luxury cruises from Derby,
Wyndham or Broome will take you past sounds
and archipelagos, through gorges thick with
rainforest and salties sunning themselves on the
side. Most of the Buccaneer Archipelago and the
far northern coast of the Kimberley can only be
accessed by boat, so cruises guarantee a unique
experience. The operators offer tours that take
you past pearl farms and reefs to witness 10m
tides and the Horizontal Waterfalls. Experience
the rugged landscape with a champagne glass
in hand. Book well in advance.
DRIVERS Explore the magical Kimberley
overland in either the comfort of your own car
or on a guided tour. Head north off the famous
Gibb River Road to remote camps and Aboriginal
communities, or set up a caravan at one of the
many stations. Whether it’s a luxury room
for $1000 a night, an eco-camp, station-style
accommodation, camping by the side of the road
or a taste of life on a working station, you can get
it all when you are driving. Always remember to
take plenty of fuel and water. It is a great way to
explore this extraordinary isolated environment.
FLYING LOVERS With its vast distances and
the sheer size of the region’s attractions, seeing
the Kimberley by air gives you the best vantage
point to take in the Kimberley’s splendour. Book
yourself a fixed-wing flight, or a helicopter
tour with one of the operators out of Broome,
Derby or Kununurra, or at the airstrip at the
Bungle Bungles, Drysdale River Station or the
Mitchell Falls National Park. The tours and charter
operations will also take you to the remote bush
camps in the most isolated parts of the Kimberley,
as well as the Aboriginal communities.
LIZ TERRY | Kimberley attractions
paintings – many only a short walk from the
camp or a boat. Marvel at the elegant and ancient
Gwion Gwion (Bradshaw) paintings, whose
origins are lost in time. Sit in a cave decorated
with thousands of tiny paintings – and others
guarded by huge Wanjina that continue to have
great significance to our traditional landowners.
Fishing? Because of our isolation, these really are
untouched waters. With huge tidal rivers, mangrove
creeks, estuaries, mud flats, offshore reefs and
islands, catch barramundi, mulloway, mangrove
jack, threadfin salmon, giant trevally, mackerel,
tuna, coral trout. Plus mud crabs and oysters.
When to go? From late March to September. The
best barra fishing is just after the wet season in
April and May. If walking and exploring is more
your thing, June, July and August are ideal.
Bushtucker Our bush tucker comes mostly from
the sea – fish, crabs, oysters, pipis – as well as
spinifex seeds, wild peach, native peanuts for
scattering over spicy Asian dishes, waterlily
shoots in salads, boab nut flesh in drinks and for
the really brave, the hindquarters of green tree
ants for a sharp shot of citric acid.
Joint-owner of the Kimberley Coastal Camp, Liz
has been hooked on the Kimberley since the early 90s
– here she shares her love of the region.
Your first Kimberley visit? I first visited the
Kimberley on holiday in the early 1990s and
the experience really inspired me.
What prompted the move? It was a trip a year or
so later that took (business partner) Rocky and
me to the Mitchell Plateau and down to Walsh
Point. It was here that it all gelled, with the
beauty and isolation of the coast, which made us
decide to apply for a lease and start a very small
retreat where guests are treated like family and
share the place with the staff like friends.
What you know... the sway of the tides and the
seasons, all the secret spots for fishing, where to
find a fantastic chilli mud crab dinner and which
islands are great for a picnic.
Your five reasons for staying? Wilderness, the
community, my Indigenous friends, ancient rock
art (right) and the opportunity to meet a lot of
Aboriginal culture? Kimberley Coast has one of
the world’s finest repositories of Indigenous rock
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