The Kimberley Plateau – Australia’s landmark

Where is the Kimberley Plateau on a map of Australia

The Kimberley Plateau, located in the northwestern part of the Australian continent in the region of the same name, stands out for its unusual topography.

It is made up mainly of sandstone and crystallized rocks that have been deposited in the area for thousands of years. Basalt rocks can also be found in the eastern part of the plateau.

The Kimberley rises only 650 metres above sea level, and in the north-west it slopes steeply down to the ocean. Numerous headlands and bays make it possible to get here by water as well.

John Woodhouse, the first of the Lords of the Kimberley, is commemorated in the name of this natural landmark. In the latter half of the nineteenth century, it was he who was responsible for the colonies of the English crown in the British government.

Features of the Plateau ecosystem

The uplands of the Kimberley stand out because, in turn, they are also broken up into small plateaus and ridges formed by water and wind erosion. Most of them look like real fairy-tale scenery, thanks to numerous caves, karst precipices and deep wells.

The plateau has a predominantly subequatorial climate. River valleys are overgrown with dense deciduous forests, and few evergreen eucalyptus trees can be found in the north of the plateau. It is almost impossible to hide on the sandstone plateau: only low shrubs and cereal plants grow here.

The largest river, the source of which is located in the Kimberley, is the Ord: its length exceeds 300 km. It contains the Argyle Reservoir, considered the largest man-made reservoir on the mainland. It is also home to most of the unique alligator species, the bottlenose crocodile, which is found only in Australia.

The rivers and lakes of the Kimberley are a haven for birdwatchers, because of the bird diversity due to the high humidity and abundance of food in the area. Tourists are sure to see whole broods of exotics near the reservoirs:

Surprisingly, the rivers on the plateau have no clear source. During the rainy season, they appear where most of the rain falls, for which they were called “wandering rivers”.

Attractions in the Kimberley

The uplands of the Kimberley remain sparsely populated even today. Here you can mostly find small villages of indigenous Australians who prefer to lead the way of life of their ancestors. On the hills near them you can find original rock art depicting scenes of Aboriginal people hunting or getting married.

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A trip to the plateau is a must-see:

Geikie Gorge National Park. The Gorge National Park is located a couple of dozen kilometers from Fitzroy Crossing. In the depths of the gorge flows the Fitzroy River, the level of which during the rainy season rises up to 17 m. Therefore, the park is available for free visits only from April to November from 6:30 to 6:30 pm. If you wish, you can book a tour of the river in the original aboriginal boat with a local guide. Numerous figs, mangroves and reeds grow along the shore, and bats and various exotic birds of Australia are quite at home here. Camping is not allowed in the park, but it is easy to find toilets and drinking water in the area.

Purnululu National Park. It is famous for its unconventional rock formations, which, as a result of centuries of erosion, resemble huge beehives of orange hue. Also noteworthy are the many mysterious caves and grottoes. You can learn more about the nature of the park by staying at the campgrounds of Vallardi or Currajong. However, you’ll need to stock up on food and water, as there are no stores. The park is open for hiking from 8:00 to 100 and from 13:00 to 16:30.

How to get there on your own

To explore the beauty of the plateau you need to do the following:

  • Purchase a flight ticket from Perth (year-round) or Sydney and Melbourne (April through October) to Broome, which is on the west side of the Kimberley. East of the Kimberley you can get to Keenurra, which has air links to Perth and Darwin.
  • The Great Northern Highway is a fascinating journey up the plateau.

The Kimberley Plateau is quite a large area and is notable not only for its scenic relief, but also for the richness of the flora and fauna. This gives tourists the opportunity to spend several fascinating weeks here.

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Attractions in the Kimberley

Horizontal Falls at Talbot Bay Windjammer Gorge National Park

This site compiles Kimberley attractions – photos, descriptions and travel tips. The list is based on popular travel guides and presented by type, name and rating. Here you’ll find answers to what to see in Kimberley, where to go, and where to find popular and interesting places in Kimberley.

Horizontal Falls at Talbot Bay

Horizontal Waterfall in Talbot Bay (photo)

The tides are very common in these areas. They are the reason for the horizontal waterfalls. The fact is that at high tides, water passes at great speed through a narrow “gateway” formed by two counter mountain ranges located in the ocean. On a fairly short stretch of the sea surface there are two pairs of such ridges, located at a distance of about 300 meters from each other. The distance between the first pair of ridges is 20 meters, and even less between the second pair is 10 meters. Thus, two small gorges are formed, through which thousands of tons of water pass every second. This effect is especially amplified during high tides. The water can rise up to 10 meters at high tide. And then there is a very fast and very swift current in these places. The effect is enhanced by the fact that in these places, the water can move both forward and in the opposite direction.

You can observe this beautiful and exciting phenomenon in the immediate vicinity of the horizontal waterfalls – from a boat, or from a bird’s eye view, renting a seaplane.

Coordinates: -25.91976100,113.53646300

Vinjana Gorge National Park

Vinjana Gorge National Park (photo)

Windjammer Gorge National Park in the Kimberley is well known to the public for its convenient location and easy accessibility. The Gorge stretches for 3.5 kilometers and is a fascinating sight to behold. The experience doubles during the rainy season when the Lennard River, located at the bottom of the gorge, becomes more powerful.

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The width of the Vinjana Gorge varies from 30 to 100 meters. With the onset of the dry season, tourists are invited to paddle a canoe on the river, but the entertainment is an amateur. The fact that the water in the river can recede very quickly.

Along the bottom of the gorge, there are many freshwater crocodiles, some of which are quite decent-sized. But there is nothing to worry about – crocodiles are used to the large flow of tourists and hardly pay any attention to them.

Coordinates: -17.41100700,124.96174300

The most popular attractions in Kimberley with descriptions and photos for all tastes. Choose the best places to visit famous places in Kimberley on our website.

Go on holiday to Kimberley

Australian Attractions

Huron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia Samurai Beach, Sydney, Australia Great Barrier Reef, Great Barrier Reef, Australia Tasmanian Rainforest, Tasmania, Australia Purnululu National Park, Darwin, Australia Kakadu National Park, Darwin, Australia

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