Kimberley’s Berkeley River region

By Chrissie Goldrick 30 July 2012
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The Kimberley’s Berkeley River is a deeply flowing wealth of gorges, waterfalls, sandstone cliffs and frontier spirit.

ONE BENEFIT OF THE oft-maligned fly-in fly-out culture of the mining industry is the network of air routes and large airports that has evolved to serve its needs in isolated areas.

The Kimberley, once open only to those with spare time and a vehicle geared up for a life on the road, is now less than a day’s air travel from the east coast, and it’s only four hours from Perth into Kununurra. This modern township is the gateway to some of the region’s remotest parts.

The Kimberley begins to weave its magic even before your plane touches down when hours of flat, featureless desert start to buckle and fold, rising into red-gold escarpments with tantalising glimpses into the gorges between. You won’t want to tarry too long in Kununurra, despite its exuberant spirit, for just beyond its neat streets, the frontier beckons.

Local roads are good but only penetrate so far into the region’s vastness. A range of water and air options can get you places no vehicle can reach. Cruise out of Wyndham to explore countless barramundi-rich rivers or arrive by floatplane at the newly opened Berkeley River Lodge, Australia’s most isolated luxury resort, situated at the river’s mouth.