Sponsored by Silversea Cruises
The Kimberley region occupies the northern corner of Western Australia: an expanse of unspoiled coastlines, deep gorges, broad Outback landscapes. Despite its remoteness, you don’t have to endure any hardships to experience its wonders – a luxury expedition cruise, such as offered by Silversea, allows you to cruise, wine and dine while exploring even the most distant corners of this very special part of the world.
There are many reasons why experiencing the Kimberley by expedition cruise should be on your wish-list – here are our top five:
Despite encompassing an area nearly double the size of Victoria, the Kimberley is home to just 34,000 people, which means it’s entirely possible to travel all day and only see a handful of people. If you’re exploring the inland reaches of the Kimberley by road, the Gibb River Road connects the towns of Wyndham and Derby via more than 600 kilometres of mostly 4WD-only road that is best travelled during the dry season (May to October). Further inland, the sealed Great Northern Highway provides year-round access to the region, including the Ord River, Lake Argyle and Purnululu National Park. Despite the isolation of both routes, towns like Fitzroy Crossing, Halls Creek and Kununurra provide travellers with a warm Outback welcome. If you’re short of time or not fond of long road trips, a scenic flight provides a bird’s eye view of this astonishing landscape.
A visit to the Kimberley is an opportunity to walk some of the oldest landscapes in the world – at Gantheaume Point, just outside Broome, you can literally follow in the footsteps of dinosaurs, whose footsteps were created more than 130 million years ago. The beehive-shaped red sandstone formations known as the Bungle Bungles have been 360 million years in the making, while the grey stripes within them are formed by microorganisms that are among Earth’s most ancient forms of life.
The Kimberley was one of the first regions in Australia to be inhabited, with Aboriginal settlement dating to around 65,000 years ago. Today, the region remains home to more than 30 Aboriginal tribes, whose cultures and traditions are intrinsically linked to the land they occupy. There are thousands of examples of ancient rock art to be found in the region between Broome and Darwin including on Jar Island, and you can see contemporary examples of traditional art at Mowanjum Aboriginal Art and Cultural Centre in Derby. As the gateway to the Kimberley region, Broome served as a centre for the pearling industry from the late nineteenth century – today, the town is prized for its spectacular beaches and astonishing sunsets.
The Kimberley coastline stretches for more than 12,000 kilometres, with much of it inaccessible by land but ideal to explore by expedition ship. The warm waters are home to an array of sea creatures including humpback whales, sea turtles and manta rays, while natural wonders like Montgomery Reef and Talbot Bay’s Horizontal Falls provide exhilarating displays of the power of nature. At the end of each day, you’ll be treated to a breath-taking spectacle aboard, with the vivid colours of the setting sun reflecting in the waters of the Indian Ocean.
Hidden within the vast expanses of the Indian Ocean, three tiny islands form the centre of one of Australia’s most spectacular natural treasures: Ashmore Reef Marine Park. Tightly protected as an important sanctuary for marine and birdlife, only a small area of the park is accessible to visitors, who come to watch for migrating seabirds, playful dolphins and gentle dugongs. The park’s remote location, hundreds of kilometres from the coast, makes it ideally suited to luxury expedition cruising as it provides plenty of time to enjoy the onboard facilities, watch for marine life or work on your tan.
Talk to your personal travel manager to start planning your Kimberley cruise adventure with Silversea.