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Australian 4x4 Travel - The Kimberley

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The Kimberley, Western Australia

The Kimberley, situated in the north of Western Australia, is often referred to as 'The Last Frontier'. There are two main routes through the Kimberley The Great Northern Road, suitable for all vehicles and The Gibb River Road, more suitable to four wheel drives.

The Great Northern Road is the main access route from the Northern Territory to Western Australia.

The Kimberley covers an area almost twice the size of Victoria and stretcehes from the north of the state down to the Sandire Roadhouse and Caravan Park, south of Broome.

Whilst the area is enormous the majority of the population are based in one of the six main towns that are in The Kimberley, the majority being in Broome to the south west.

The very diverse lansdsapes found within the Kimberley range from lush tropically vegetated river gorges, vast savannah woodlands, rainforests to open plains, which has stood the test of time and prospered despite human intervention.

The Kimberley is steeped in Aboriginal culture as it has been home to the Aboriginal people for tens of thousands of years, it has even been credited as possibly their first base on the Australian mainland. Much of the region has been declared Aboriginal lands and entry is either prohibited to travelers or permits are required.

The first sighting of the area by europeans was in 1644 when a ship passed captained by Tasman. The first overland explorers reached the area in 1837 by an expedition led by George Grey.

Whilst pastoralists established themselves in the eastern regions of the Kimberley in the early 1900's much of the travel to and from the region was by camel or horse. It wasn't until the early 60's that road access started to happen, mainly when the Gibb River Road was constructed to help move cattle to and from the isolated cattle stations that had been built up.

Whilst The Kimberle's fortunes have been made with various commodities over the years including cattle, sheep, pearls and gold it has today become mainly cattle farming country.

These days limited mining is flourishing and the Ord River Scheme has turned the areas around Kununurra into thriving agricultural lands.

These days the area is a paradise for 4wd travellers, the numbers of which is ever increasing, who come here to enjoy the rich diversity that is to be found both with nature, culture and history. Whilst the population of The Kimberley is around 35,000 accross the whole area, this number regulary increases to over a quarter of a million in the dry period between April and October with the visiting travellers.

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Australian 4x4 Travel - The Kimberley, Western Australia

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