The Kimberley is a unique holiday destination quite unlike anywhere else on Earth. Its Outback wilderness of colour and contrast is celebrated as much for its awe-inspiring scenery and ever-changing landscape as its deep spiritual significance, ancestral history, and iconic natural assets.
With over 1.3million domestic and international visitors to Australia’s North West in 2016, Kimberley tourism is on the rise. For many, however, the vast unspoiled region still evokes an air of mystery and adventure – a step into the unknown. To help demystify The Kimberley, we’ve put together some answers to frequently asked questions.
When is the best time to visit The Kimberley?
The Kimberley has two distinct seasons (commonly referred to as the ‘dry’ April-September, and the ‘wet’ October-March). During the often misinterpreted wet season, you can expect occasional monsoonal rains with majority of the region’s 500-850mm annual rainfall lasting six to eight weeks, generally around February/March. The term Wet Season often leads to misconception that the Kimberley Rainfall begins in October and does not stop until March. This is far from the truth as the region is accessible through the entire year with only some of the more remote unsealed roads and access tracks becoming impassable through late December to March or early April, often resulting in several National Parks and tours to be closed or offer limited availability.
What the locals refer to as the “Waterfall Season” (January to April) offers a different perspective to The Kimberley – a celebration of rejuvenation and restoration with many flooded rivers winding for hundreds of Kilometers through the remote region with countless waterfalls and gorges springing to life. It’s the best time to witness the spectacular seasonal thunderheads and lightning displays, or to take a scenic flight over the thundering Mitchell, King George and Australia’s highest single drop the 130m Revolver Falls in the Rugged, billion year old Carr Boyd Ranges along Lake Argyle’s western shoreline.
During the dry season, parks and roads are reopened and all tours are fully operational. If planning you Kimberley Adventure between May and September, it is important to book ahead so you don’t miss out.
What temperatures can I expect?
With 340 days of sunshine annually and clear blue skies The Kimberley enjoys a tropical monsoon climate resulting in warm weather most of the year. Average temperatures around 28 – 32°C from May to August with easterly winds and cool nights. Average temperatures rise to 38°C in September and at times exceed 40 degrees through the buildup season of October to December before dropping back into the high 30s through the waterfall season (Jan – April)
How long should I allow to explore The Kimberley?
Divided into two regions (East and West), The Kimberley covers 423,517 km² – a vast area bigger than most countries. With so much ground to cover (including challenging road conditions at times), your Kimberley expedition is best enjoyed at a leisurely pace.
For a true Kimberley experience and to really immerse yourself in the essence of the region, a timeframe of at least a couple of weeks is recommended, with many self-drivers preferring to conduct their explorations over a month or longer.
What can I see and do?
From East Kimberley to West Kimberley, there’s something to appeal to people of every interest, age and ability – adventure, relaxation, wildlife spotting, discovery and exploration. Some highlights from an exhaustive list to add to your itinerary include:
What essential items should I bring?
A respect for environment and climate is a must in The Kimberley, so be sure to pack with comfort and practicality in mind. We recommend all visitors bring:
What about Kimberley accommodation? Where should I stay?
You’ll find numerous accommodation options to layover on your travels from luxury resorts to Outback hotels, bush retreats, eco-camps, wilderness lodges, caravan and camping grounds, and numerous free camping sites at various locations across The Kimberley.
Lake Argyle Resort and Caravan Park has long been a favourite stop for self-driving explorers favoured for its prime location, comfortable accommodations options, facilities and amenities, tours and excursions, and breathtaking natural beauty.
The ideal place to begin or end your travels, Lake Argyle is nestled between the Northern Territory and the East Kimberley. Offering a choice of well-equipped camp and caravan sites, ensuited studio rooms and cabins, or comfortable villas with unspoiled lake views, Lake Argyle is an experience destination in itself.
With calm waters surrounding over 70 islands, Lake Argyle is also natural playground perfect for swimming, water sports, fishing, or boating. Surrounded by magnificent landscape for bushwalking, mountain biking, or wildlife spotting, travellers are rewarded after a hot day’s exploring with a dip in the spectacular infinity pool.
Lake Argyle is the perfect base for Kimberley accommodation, tours, exploration, relaxation, dining, and sightseeing.
Who should I call for more information about The Kimberley?
For local knowledge, holiday planning tips, regional advice and accommodation and tour information visit contact us or call (08) 9168 7777.