Far-north Western Australia is said to be one of the most spectacular places on earth. A hidden treasure that weaves in and out of picture-perfect coastlines, white sand beaches and natural wonders set to take your breath away, Broome and The Kimberley’s is a traveller’s hot spot destination. But like with any holiday oasis experience – a level of planning is essential.
To really get the full package of what the North West region offers, it’s important to familiarise yourself with the top travel tips for the area. This distant, rugged and beautiful destination serves as the gateway to exploring some of the most uniquely stunning natural wonders. And you don’t want to miss out on everything on offer! Here’s what you need to know before booking your trip:
1. When is the Wet and Dry Season?
The Broome and Kimberley climate isn’t defined by summers and winters, instead there’s simply a wet season and a dry season. The dry season is the best time to go and runs from April/May until September. During this time, the weather is perfect. Balmy nights, days filled with warm sunshine and clear blue skies every day all day. Not to mention it’s the ideal swimming weather too.
Throughout the dry season you can expect to indulge in all the best activities this destination has on offer like water activities, camel rides along the beach, camping and FWD adventures. May to August is the tourist season and whilst it’s lush weather, most attractions will be packed and bookings are essential. Temperatures will soar around 33 degrees in May, but you can still expect an odd shower here and there. If you want to experience the waterfalls (which are mind blowing), May is the best time to do so. For the ultimate weather and attraction package June and July are key – but busy.
The wet season starts around September / October and brings in the really stinking hot days with isolated thunderstorms. January and March are the worst months to venture to the destination with monsoon activity, cyclones and a lot of rain. Perfect if you love your epic storms, but definitely not sipping on cocktails by the beach weather.
If you can handle the heat, September is a prime time to experience Broome and the Kimberley’s region. Sure you’ll have a little thunder and lightning at night, but the rain won’t come until late October early November. Most tourists will have left the area by now in search for cooler spots, so it won’t be as busy. If you want to avoid the extreme dessert heat stay away from travelling here in November.
2. What Should I Pack?
To experience all the magic the Broome and Kimberley’s region has to offer, be sure to pack according to the weather. Consider the activities you want to do like snorkelling, fishing, hiking and FWD driving, and make sure to pack anything you’ll need for these. Here’s a few items to get you started:
- Comfortable walking footwear and camp footwear (flip flops).
- Socks, hat, sunscreen.
- Long pants and a warm jacket for the cooler nights.
- Shorts, t-shirts and bathers.
- Pyjamas and bed socks.
- Toiletries – basic first aid items are important too, as is insect repellent and anti-histamine tablets.
- Swimming and bathing towel.
- Tech gear – camera and charger, torch and batteries, mobile phone and charger.
- Water bottle and a fly net that drops over your hat.
- Activity gear – diving or snorkelling items, fishing rods, bathers or board shorts, surfboard, camping gear (tent, gazebo, portable shower if you’re planning on outback adventures in the wilderness).
3. Do Any National Parks, Tours, Cruises or Attractions Shut Down During Certain Months?
Because May to August is tourist season, all roads and attractions are highly likely to be open. Bookings are encouraged during this time as things can get very busy and full quickly. Because the dry season is peak time you can expect National Parks, tours, cruises and attractions to all be operating.
As you get into the wet season however, most National Parks and 4WD tracks will be closes. If you’re travelling April to early May or October, there will be a higher risk of road and park closures. Some parks will remain open in the wet season pending how heavy the rainfall is, but it’s best to ring and check before making plans.
4. What’s the Best Way to See the Area – Cruise or Road?
Both a cruise and 4WD adventures have their own sense of magic and offer a slice of paradise for any traveller. 4WD tend to offer more diversity and freedom, especially if you have your own vehicle or hire one. There’s heaps of tracks to venture down and all are very well signed but without a 4WD or camper van, it’s hard to get down majority of the roads. Whilst there are some tracks designed for the experienced traveller, there’s so much to see on the road any qualified driver can indulge in.
If you love seeing the wilderness from the water, The Kimberley cruises are simply impressive. Special wildlife cruises can offer whale watching and other creatures local to the region. Luxury cruises enable you to explore The Kimberley coastlines, secluded beaches and river inlets. You’ll also be able to witness the waterfalls and awe-inspiring gorges renowned to the North West. Whilst water cruises can offer a stunning experience, they don’t have as much freedom as 4WD driving. Mixing the two during your trip can be ideal though, or if you aren’t comfortable driving the outback tracks a cruise can be the way to go.
5. What are the 5 Best Things to See and Do?
Narrowing down the ultimate things to see and do in the North West is hard. As one of the last great wilderness regions in the world, there’s something truly amazing to do at every corner! But here’s a few of the essentials you can’t afford to miss:
- Experience the Breathtaking Sunsets: Cable beach in Broome is notorious for some of the most breathtaking views and can be viewed from a cruisy camel ride or simply sitting back to relax. You can also check out Echo beach, Riddell beach, Middle Lagoon and Roebuck Bay. All these beaches are fantastic for swimming, snorkelling and other water adventures as well.
- Horizontal Falls: A jaw-dropping natural wonder. For more natural wonders, head to the Kimberley waterfalls too.
- The Giant Tides: Includes a visit to the Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm and a high-speed boat ride out to King Sound to witness the world’s largest tropical tides. Whirlpools and 10-metre waves included!
- Cape Leveque: Home to some of the most remote beaches and beautiful camping spots.
- Drive down the Gibb River Road to see the heart of the Kimberley and experience one of the wildest outback adventures
This article is written by Jayde Ferguson, who writes for Broome, Kimberley & Beyond – a specialised travel wholesaler with over 20 years’ experience living, working and travelling throughout Northern Australia. You can catch her on Google+.
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