Best Spots in the Kimberley and Pilbara
When we think of Western Australia (WA) we usually think of vast plains or beautiful turquoise beaches. It’s not often you will think of waterfalls, gorges and crystal-clear watering holes. The Kimberley and Pilbara are two areas of WA which exceeds expectations. These are two places you can travel to and feel truly one with nature.
The Kimberley and Pilbara make up two of the largest areas in WA, making them the home to some of the most amazing locations to explore. I have composed a list of some of the best locations to add to your next Kimberley or Pilbara road-trip, all of which I have visited on my travels.
Bungle Bungles – Kimberley
A trip to the Kimberley wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the world heritage site, the Bungle Bungles. These orange and black sandstone domes rise 300 metres above the vast plains that surround them and are one of the world’s most fascinating geological landmarks.
The Bungle Bungles are located 2850 km from Perth or 330 km from Kununurra. You can access the Bungle Bungles via a car, tour or scenic flight. If you are going to drive into the national park, you will need a 4WD as the roads are corrugated and rough. While in the National Park, spend a few days to explore the area, take a scenic flight, go on a hike and camp under the desert stars.
Emma Gorge – El Questro – Kimberley
One of the beautiful waterfalls I mentioned before, Emma Gorge is in El Questro and is one of the only waterfalls in this area accessible via 2WD. It’s located 80 km from Kununurra via the Gibb River-Wyndham Rd. To get to Emma Gorge from the carpark you will need to hike 3.5km (return), over rocky terrain. A good level of fitness is required. Give yourself at least 3 hours to enjoy the waterfall and complete the hike.
At the end of the hike, you will be rewarded with a beautiful crystal-clear waterfall, which I must mention is ice cold! Take a moment to appreciate the beauty you are in and all the surroundings. Capture a few memorable photos or enjoy a picnic. Not down for hiking alone? There are plenty of group tours that take groups to Emma Gorge.
Zebedee Springs – El Questro – Kimberley
Looking for a hot relaxing soak in a rustic environment, amongst palm trees and in between gorges? Zebedee Springs is a series of thermal pools and waterfalls, located in a pre–historic forest of Livistona and pandanus palms. These thermal pools are 28-32 degrees Celsius and make for a relaxing morning activity.
The springs are only open from 7am-12pm and get very busy due to their popularity. Access is permitted between May and September (dry season). For most of the dry season you won’t need a 4WD to access these springs. However, keep in mind that the roads in El Questro are prone to flooding.
James Price Point – Broome – Kimberley
We’ve all seen these cliffs on Instagram, right? What once was a local’s secret has quickly become one of the go to destinations in the Kimberly for travelers. Gorgeous red cliffs, turquoise waters and beach front camping (free, might I add). To get to James Price Point you will need a 4WD as the tracks are very sandy. If you want to camp you will need to be fully self-contained. Please take out what you bring in and leave these beautiful destinations as you found them.
Lake Argyle Infinity Pool – Kimberley
The best infinity pool in Western Australia. Located in the Lake Argyle Caravan Park, you can visit this pool on a day pass or free if you stay at the caravan park. Offering incredible views over Lake Argyle, it will be one of the most scenic swims you ever have. Be warned…the pool is incredibly cold! But makes for a great cool down in the Kimberley heat.
Have a few days to spare? Make sure you spend some time exploring Lake Argyle itself. Rent a boat, have a BBQ, go for a hike or a scenic flight. It will be well worth your time!
Karijini National Park – Pilbara
Personally, my favourite destination in the Pilbara. There are so many attractions in Karijini National Park, you will need to spend at least 3 days here to explore this destination. Waterfalls, swimming holes, hikes and gorges. There really is something for everyone in this national park. The top attractions to visit are Hamersley Gorge, Fern Pool, Mt Bruce and Fortescue Falls.
To see this National Park at its best, visit just after the wet season. The swimming holes will be full, waterfalls will be flowing and there will be a variety of wildlife.
Of course, this list does not show all the amazing places you can see in the Kimberly and Pilbara. This just means you will have to gather up your friends or family, jump in the car, get out there and start exploring for yourself. Road trip anyone?
Photos by Bec Hamilton.