The Kimberley is the northernmost region of Western Australia. It is bordered on the west by the Indian Ocean, on the north by the Timor Sea, on the south by the Great Sandy and Tanami Deserts of the Pilbara region, and on the east by the Northern Territory.
With an area covering 423,517 square kilometres, the Kimberley region is about three times the size of England, twice the size of Victoria and just slightly smaller than California in the USA.
While the Kimberley is often known for the red dirt (or
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The Kimberley population totals 38,801 people with a median age of 31.9 years (Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics).
The region has a rich cultural history spanning tens of thousands of years. Approximately half of the region’s population comprises Aboriginal people that represent more than 30 traditional Aboriginal language groups. There are around 200 indigenous communities across the Kimberley and traditional culture remains a strong part of everyday life in the region.
Cost of living
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s Regional Price Index 2017 states the cost of living in the Kimberley region is 12.9% more expensive than Perth(Source: Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development).
The Kimberley is one of the hottest parts of Australia, with an average annual mean temperature of around 27oC. The hottest part of the year is just before the wet season’s rain breaks (normally November), where temperatures often reach above 37oC on the coast and well above 40oC inland.
The Kimberley has a sub-tropical climate and is characterised by two distinct seasons – wet and dry.
During the wet season (typically from November to April), the Kimberley experiences high humidity and receives around 90% of its annual rainfall. Cyclones are common during this period (especially around Broome) and rivers will often flood, providing annual mobility and access challenges for people and businesses of the Kimberley.
In contrast, the dry season (May to October), is characterised by clear blue skies, easterly winds and balmy days and is a time of peak activity in the region, particularly for tourism.
Sport and recreation
Outdoor recreation, such as water skiing, fishing, camping, four-wheel driving and boating are popular in the Kimberley due to hot summers, warm winters and a vast array of natural attractions in the region.
Other recreational pursuits such as walking, art and crafts, gardening, genealogy and drama are also well supported.
There are a number of clubs throughout the region, representing a range of recreational activities including football, cricket, rugby, athletics, basketball, netball, softball, theatre, horse racing and a pony club.
For more information, visit:
Events and attractions
The Kimberley region hosts a number of events throughout the year, including community and night markets; film, comedy, writer’s and music festivals; art exhibitions; cultural festivals; marathons; rodeos and horse races; agricultural shows; fishing competitions; dragon boat races; opera under the stars; and even an annual mud crab race.
As one of the remotest, wildest and most beautiful regions on earth, the Kimberley is also home to a vast array of natural attractions including El Questro Wilderness Park; Purnululu National Park – home of the Bungle Bungles; Cable Beach; Lake Argyle; Buccaneer Archipelago; Fitzroy River; Windjana Gorge National Park; Cape Leveque; and the Gibb River Road, along which are a number of sites where you can visit traditional rock art dating back 50,000-60,000 years.
For more information on the region’s main events and attractions, visit:
Services and facilities
You will find a range of every day services and facilities throughout the Kimberley region including banks, ATMs, libraries, business centres/telecentres, post offices, shopping (food, grocery and other), hardware stores, police stations, butchers, bakers, cafes, service stations, pubs/taverns, takeaways, newsagents, churches, pharmacies and restaurants. Most of these are located in the region’s main town centres of Broome, Derby, Fitzroy Crossing, Halls Creek, Kununurra and Wyndham.
For more information, visit the Tourist Information and Visitor Centre located in each town.
The Kimberley region provides a range of government and non-government schooling options for primary, secondary and tertiary education. For more information, visit the Kimberley Development Commission’s website.
The Kimberley offers a range of housing and rental options for those living in the region. The median house price for the Kimberley region is $410,000, with the overall median weekly rental costing $440 per week (Source: REIWA Market Update; December 2017).
For more information, visit the REIWA website.
General Practices: 55
Aboriginal Medical Services: 10
While there are a number of private general practices and allied health services located in Broome, there are very few private practitioners throughout the rest of the region.
The region is home to a number of Aboriginal Medical Services that are mostly based in the region’s major towns, with visiting services travelling out to smaller communities across the region.
(Courtesy of WA Country Health Services, Kimberley Health Profile, January 2018)
For a comprehensive overview of the health profile of the Kimberley region, download WA County Health’s Kimberley Health Profile 2018.