If you’re hankering for a slice of the ‘real’ Australia then the Kimberley region in the country’s remote northwest is a great place to start. Deep gorges, waterfalls, rivers, unique plants and animals and deserted roads that stretch for miles – the Kimberley is a place to truly feel at one with nature.
To really get away from it all you’ll need a 4-wheel drive to explore the more remote unsealed roads and plenty of provisions to keep you going for several days. The Gibb River Road is a famous route that takes you some 700km inland from the coast. An old stock route from the 60s, the road extends from the coastal town of Derby to Kununurra and through some of Australia’s most spectacular outback scenery.
Visit soon after the wet season and you can expect to see powerful waterfalls, deep rivers and an explosion of native plants and wildlife in the many gorges along the route. Strap a kayak to the jeep and float along the river for some of the best views. To contemplate that this often dry and rocky landscape can give way to such an abundance of life after the wet is awe-inspiring.
Other sights along the Gibb River Road include Mitchell River National Park and an Aboriginal community, Kalumburu Mission, which requires prior permission to visit. While there are several camping areas, homestays and wilderness retreats along the route, it pays to expect the unexpected and take a swag (a covered bedroll and sleeping bag) for a possible night under the stars.
Kununurra marks the end of the road and is a jumping off point to the incredible Bungle Bungles in Pumululu National Park.
It should be noted that a road trip into Australia’s outback requires careful preparation, as supplies are extremely limited. Also, at certain times of the year (like the wet season for instance!) the road may not be navigable.