Australia’s last frontier: The Kimberley 

Welcome to Australia’s ancient landscapes of the Kimberley is the ideal location to forget about the daily stress of life, immerse yourself in her hidden treasures and just take it all in. Whether it’s the two-billion-year-old rock galleries you’re looking for, lush tropical forests with raging waterfalls or the remote Kimberley wilderness – the adventure of a lifetime is laid out before you.

If you’re set to explore the Kimberley in 2020, APT and Ponant are offering in-depth expeditions, allowing you to see the wonders of Australia’s last frontier in all its scenic, outback glory.

Here are some of Kimberley’s most spectacular places that you can explore during your outback adventure.

Horizontal Falls at Talbot Bay

Best experienced through a thrilling boat ride, the Horizontal Falls at Talbot Bay is a stunning natural phenomenon, described by many as Australia’s “most unusual natural wonder”. The unique movement is caused by the fast moving tidal current, rushing through two narrow gorges. Kimberley’s tropical tides are considered as some of the biggest in the planet, and you’d have to explore (and ride!) it for yourself to appreciate its unique beauty.

 Freshwater Cove

Home to a Wandjina rock art gallery and accessible only by boat, seaplane, and helicopter, this remote refuge stands as a bastion of Dreamtime for local Aboriginal tribes. Experience a “Welcome to the country” ceremony with a dab of ochre on each cheek, before visiting the outdoor gallery and learning how the locals lived and thrived throughout the years. Vivid images of fish, turtles, whirlpools are on display, as you stand in awe amongst unique and sacred rock formations. It’s also a chance to meet current Aboriginal artists and even participate in a traditional smoke ceremony before you bid this little cove farewell.

 The Derby Boab Tree

Standing stoically for over 1,500 years now, the Boab “Prison” Tree in the town of Derby creates an intriguing pit stop to your adventure. Over the years, it has become a major tourist attraction and an important cultural and religious marker, with respects to its Aboriginal roots, so to speak. Whether or not the tree was used as an actual prison remains a mystery. However, it’s sheer ability to draw crowds and tourists in is undeniable.

Bungle Bungle Range

Over 360 million years ago, sand dunes formed from the region’s north east rivers, which were eventually strengthened by gravel from eroding mountain ranges, creating massive, tiger-striped sand stones. Today, at the now World Heritage listed Purnululu National Park, you can witness these one-of-a-kind visual spectacles alongside long narrow chasms and hidden gorges. Standing at 300 metres above the ground, these towering, geological marvels are best seen from the sky with a scenic helicopter tour. We also highly recommend getting up close and personal with a four-wheel drive for a complete exploration.

Prince Frederick Harbour and the Hunter River

Visiting Prince Frederick Harbour, you’ll get to witness the untouched virgin landscape of red sandstones, lush tree canopies, and rich flowing waters of the extraordinary Hunter River. Host to an abundant wildlife including white-belly sea eagles, azure blue kingfishers, Brahminy kites, and salt-water crocodiles will all put on a show for you – it’s like visiting a seaside safari!

King George River

For the Balanggarra people, this epic river stems from the falls, which represent the male and female Rainbow Serpents. For you, the King George River is a great excuse to get aboard a luxury Kimberley cruise as you journey among incredible gorges and beautiful sandstone cliffs. The cascading falls are a definite sight to behold and are recorded as Western Australia’s highest twin waterfalls.

 Montgomery Reef

Visiting during low tide allows you to dive in Montgomery’s outstanding and biologically diverse coral reef. With its unusual tidal movement, a unique panorama of lagoons and sandstone islets emerges as the tide retreats, surrounding a beautiful mangrove island that’s begging to be seen. Witness colourful marine life along the reef ledges, including Australian snubfins, dolphins, saltwater crocodiles and sawfish.

 Lacepede Islands

About 120 kilometres north of Broome, the Lacepede Islands create a small view of paradise with pristine white beaches dramatically set against the infinite blue horizon of the ocean. These are Western Australia’s most important breeding grounds for the iconic Green Turtle and home to thousands of seabirds and other species. Although a protected area with no landings possible on the islands themselves, the Lacepede Islands are a highly sought-after excursion, usually approached by zodiac, to view green sea turtles, playful whales, a myriad of birds and so much more.

The Kimberley’s ideal combination of towering ochre cliffs, verdant river systems, and interesting wildlife paves the way for an adventure of a lifetime. Go on a wilderness adventure in the Western Australian outback today by speaking with our Cruise & Travel Solutions Specialists.

Speak with your Discover365 Cruise and Travel solutions specialist on 1300 830 786.

Written Jacqueline Hamilton