This wild region, in Western Australia's north, is unlike any other in the country. It covers a vast swathe of the state, stretching for 40,000 square kilometres from the outskirts of Broome all the way to the Northern Territory border and out to tiny isles in the Timor Sea and Indian Ocean. That’s a lot of ground to cover so make the most of any adventure by ticking these incredible natural wonders off your must-see list.
Watch carefully: this watery wonder will disappear before your eyes. As the tide goes out, the ocean recedes in a flurry of white foam to reveal this incredible structure that reaches as high as four metres above sea level in some places. A protected marine park, Montgomery Reef supports a staggering array of unique wildlife, including marine turtles, dolphins, humpback whales and dugongs.
Where it is: In the southwestern end of Camden Sound in the Indian Ocean, close to Yawajaba Island.
How to see it: You’ll need to approach by by small ship and use a Zodiac vessel to get up close to the reef. from a larger vessel.
King George Falls
The spectacle is double at these powerful cascades at the end of the King George River. The King George Falls are the highest twin waterfalls in Western Australia, standing a staggering 100 metres high above the navy freshwater pools below. The falls themselves are separated by a wedge of rugged, terracotta-hued sandstone, creating two deep blue pools at the base of each waterfall.
Where it is: Part of the King George River, which flows from a northern-eastern area of The Kimberley out to the Indian Ocean.
How to see it: On a cruise along The Kimberley coast; it’s possible to climb to the top of the falls for a broad overview.
The Bungle Bungles
No, these aren’t enormous beehives. The Bungle Bungle Range is a series of tiger- striped domes comprised of alternating layers of sandstone and clay. Though it’s hard to overstate how impressive the orange-and-black exteriors of these formations are – they turn spectacularly golden in the light of the afternoon sun – the gaps between these mounds are also worth exploring. Within, you’ll find a network of hidden pools and gorges that offer cool respite from the heat for both curious humans and timid wallabies.
Where it is: In Purnululu National Park, close to the NT border, about 250 kilometres west of Kununurra.
How to see it: On a tour with a local guide or from the air for a bird’s-eye view of these wondrous domes.
An empty white beach, gentle cerulean waters and shockingly red sandstone cliffs that wouldn’t look out of place of Mars: Cape Leveque is a truly remarkable place. Happily, it remains almost as pristine as it was thousands of years ago, save for the partly sealed road and eco resort nearby. A visit is truly about doing nothing much at all: snorkelling, fishing, waiting for the occasional humpback whale and, if you want a little exertion, long ambles along the shore as the waves caress your bare feet.
Where it is: On the very tip of the Dampier Peninsula, about 250 kilometres north of Broome.
How to see it: By hopping in a four-wheel drive and setting out on a cross-country adventure that ends in beachfront camping; or by boat; or from the air for a scenic aerial view.
It’s hard to pinpoint the colour of the water that flows down the four tiers of Mitchell Falls. At first glance it appears a forest green, so dense and deep is the channel below; look again and you’ll be amazed at the bright emerald water collecting in the pools of water on each level. The smaller waterfalls nearby are also worth exploration, particularly if you want to take a dip: while plunging into the pool beneath Mitchell Falls is not permitted, there are plenty of actual swimming holes a short walk away.
Where it is: Within the boundaries of Mitchell River National Park, 500 kilometres northwest of Kununurra.
How to see it: Helicoptering in from a cruise along the coast or by hiking along the Punamii-unpuu walking trail that begins at a nearby campground.