If you consider yourself to be a bit of a road trip enthusiast, but haven’t yet taken a drive around the Kimberley region of Western Australia, we’ve got both good and bad news for you. The bad news is that you really can’t call yourself a motoring fan until you’ve explored what this breathtaking region of Australia has to offer. The good news is that there’s no time like the present to venture off along the beautiful roads around Broome and the Kimberleys.
So, pack your bags, mark out your route on a map, hop into your 4×4 and crank the playlist – we’ve put together a guide to some of the best driving routes Down Under. These roads will not only give you serious road-trip cred, but will allow you to explore awe-inspiring natural scenery, flaura, fauna, and a range of different activities, local sights and sounds, and cultural events.
Before you leave
As with any type of travel, it’s important to keep the old mantra of ‘safety first’ at the top of your mind, especially when driving long distances for days at a time. Ensure that your vehicle is road worthy, and has been fitted with the appropriate tyres for the terrain that you’re planning to drive through.
Also, be sure of your routes and itinerary before you leave, and always check the weather forecasts. See our previous blog post on Broome’s weather and the best times of the year to visit.
For those who love the views, freedom and fresh air offered by coastal driving, the Coral Coast drive is the perfect option. Just as pretty as the name makes it out to be, the Coral Coast stretches from Exmouth in the north, all the way to Cervantes and Jurien Bay in the South, and there’s a plethora of things to see and do along the way. Stop in at the Shark Bay World Heritage area, snorkel around the Ningaloo Reef, lace up your boots for some bushwalking, or learn more about Australia’s Indigenous culture and heritage. Or, if water sports are more your thing, there are plenty of places to scuba dive, go fishing, or hit the waves at some of Australia’s best world-class surfing and windsurfing beaches. Check out the great suggested drive itineraries at the official Coral Coast website.
If adventure driving is more your thing, head straight for Savannah Way, a 3700 km driving route which links Cairns in Queensland to Broome in Western Australia via Katherine in the Northern Territory. It’s the perfect way to see Australia’s tropical and arid climates, and the road passes through some of the most amazing scenic landscapes, World Heritage areas and a whopping 15 national parks. If you want the best of WA and NT, try the Broome to Katherine route, which will take you through Brookling Gorge Conservation Park, Purnulu National Park, and a whole host of other spots which are perfect for bird watching, fishing, and catching a glimpse of history with Aboriginal rock art. Ensure you’ve got a sturdy vehicle and the proper car tyres for this one – much of the highway is on unsealed roads.
Age old rock formations, mountainous terrain, and breathtaking wildlife and natural scenery as far as the eye can see? You must be driving the Gibb River Road, a historical cattle route which stretches for 660km inland from Derby to the riverside town of Wyndham. While this road is closed due to flooding during the wet season, it’s a perfect ‘off-road’ alternative to the Great Northern Highway. Must-sees along the way include Tunnel Creek National Park, Adcock Gorge, Manning Gorge, and the King Leopold Ranges.
Have you experienced a great driving route through the Kimberley region in WA? Share it with us by leaving a comment!