Broome and Kimberley guide - top things to do and see

snorkler in rowley shoals marine park


Posted October 24, 2023

Broome and the Kimberley region is an extraordinary part of Australia to visit. Here's everything you need to see in Australia's North West.

A journey to Broome and through the Kimberley, in Australia’s far North West, is a trip of a lifetime. Call it cliched, but how can it not be when you witness unique sights and attractions? Like taking a boat trip across one of the world’s only horizontal waterfalls? Or sightseeing the incredible striped domed rock formations in the Bungle Bungle Ranges? This is an extraordinary Australian holiday experience, and we’ve got all the tips to help you plan your Broome and Kimberley adventures.

Often referred to as Australia’s last frontier, the Kimberley is wild, remote, vast, and spectacular. This is not your average holiday but a destination where a true Australian wilderness adventure awaits. Witness fascinating geological wonders, ancient cultural sites, and nature at its finest - and almost all you’ll have to yourself.

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What to do in Broome, the Kimberley and Australia's North West


Broome, gateway to the Kimberley, has a range of appealing attractions that kickstart your northern Western Australia getaway. Broome is accessible on a 4.5-hour nonstop flight from Melbourne twice weekly; with stopovers, you can reach Broome daily.

One of Broome’s highlights is Cable Beach, Western Australia’s most famous landmark and often classed as one of the world’s best beaches. Its squeaky white sand, sparkling turquoise waters, epic sunsets, and red-duned trails through Minyirr Park impress. A popular Cable Beach activity is taking a sunset camel ride. You’ll also want to head to the southern end of Cable Beach, to Gantheaume Point, to see the 130-million-year-old dinosaur footprint fossils, visible at low tide. 

While you may never have heard of the snubfin dolphin, you won’t want to pass up the chance to see them on a dolphin-watching cruise. These rare round-nosed dolphins are the only resident snubfins in the world, calling Roebuck Bay home. Bottlenose dolphins may also make an appearance. 


Cable Beach is known for its white sand. Image: Tourism Western Australia
Dolphins in Roebuck Bay, Broome. Image: Tourism Western Australia
Gantheaume Point is a red rock cliff face overlooking turquoise waters. Image: Tourism Western Australia

Horizontal Falls

According to David Attenborough, the Horizontal Falls are "Australia’s most unusual natural wonder". In a country like ours, this is a significant statement. Located 255 kilometres from Broome, the Horizontal Falls have the unusual phenomenon of fast-moving tides gushing through narrow gorges in the Buccaneer Archipelago. The speed of the water, matched with the narrowness of the gorge gap, makes the water reach more than 10 metres, with the tide also changing direction daily. 

Take a speedboat road through Garaanngaddim (the Horizontal Falls), where you can feel, as much as see, the effect of this phenomenon as you ride the tide. A scenic flight over the falls is equally as wondrous.


aerial shot of boat going through Horizontal Falls

 Horizontal Falls are tidal currents that squeeze through two narrow gorges. Image: Tourism Western Australia

The Bungle Bungle Range

To stand in awe of the incredible tiger-striped beehive-shaped rock formations in the 360-million-year-old Bungle Bungle Range is truly astounding. The Bungle Bungles are in the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Purnululu National Park, around 900 kilometres inland from Broome. While only brought into the public eye in the 1980s, this area has been inhabited by the Gija and Kara people for over 20,000 years.

The Bungle Bungle Range is in the southern end of the Purnululu and is enjoyable to explore on foot, navigating the narrow chasms, striking gorges, and orange-and-black striped domes up close. Not only are the Bungle Bungles a natural phenomenon, but they are also culturally and spiritually significant to the traditional owners. While you can self-drive through the Bungle Bungles and Purnululu, a guided tour led by an indigenous guide will deeply enrich your experience. You can also access tours from Kununurra or Broome.

Other landmarks to include in your Purnululu explorations include the natural acoustics of Cathedral Gorge, a hike through the dramatic Echidna Chasm with its Livistonia palms, and Kungakaylani Lookout at sunset. If you’re a keen hiker, the creek bed walk along Picaninny Gorge will appeal.

To maximise your time, experience, and the best of the park’s night sky, choose one of the accommodation offerings close to the Bungle Bungles.


Cathedral Gorge. Image: Tourism Western Australia
Bungle Bungle Range. Image: Tourism Western Australia

Gibb River Road

For an iconic Australian Outback road trip, take the 660-kilometre Gibb River Road from Derby to Kununurra. Only accessible by 4WD, this is truly off the grid, taking you through untouched wilderness. This includes touring stunning gorges, refreshing waterholes, cascading waterfalls, and native flora and fauna. Originally constructed to transport cattle (you can still see vast cattle stations en route), the Gibb River Road has since been deemed a bucket-list worthy journey through the heart of Kimberley. 

Typically, travellers allow 7-14 days to traverse the Gibb River Road. Highlights include Dalymanyi (Bell Gorge), a peaceful horseshoe-shaped gorge with cascading waterfall. Take the 2–3 hour hike to the swimming hole at the base of the falls for a rewarding and refreshing swim. Manning Gorge is another firm favourite, thanks to its scenic pool, high cliffs, gushing falls and indigenous rock art. 

While you pass through five impressive national parks along the Gibb River Road, the four-tiered Mitchell River National Park is a standout - not only as an iconic Kimberley landmark but as one of Australia’s most breathtaking waterfalls. Explore Punamii-Uunpuu (Mitchell Falls) on foot or by air on a scenic flight. 

Across the Kimberley, the Aboriginal rock art is some of Australia’s oldest, dating back 50,000-60,000 years, and the Mitchell Plateau has some of its finest. In particular, the Munurru art site is spectacular and experienced on tour with the Unuguu Rangers.


Bell Gorge is a must-see sandstone valley. Image: Tourism Western Australia
Mitchell River. Image: Tourism Western Australia
Kununurru Mirimi National park. Image: Tourism Western Australia

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