West Australians are being encouraged to make 2021 the year to visit the Kimberley, one of the world’s last true wilderness areas, with a new incentive on offer for potential travellers.
The Kimberley Wanderer Pass is giving travellers $300 towards participating tours and experiences in Kununurra and surrounds (the eastern gateway to the Kimberley), when they buy an airline ticket from Perth to Kununurra through Virgin Australia.
The offer applies to new bookings made from now until September 30, 2021, unless sold out, and visitors will receive information about how they can access their pass within three days of making their booking.
The Kimberley Wanderer Pass is valid at more than 20 businesses across the region, giving visitors discounted access to experiencing attractions such as the Bungle Bungle Range in World Heritage-listed Purnululu National Park, El Questro, Lake Arygle, Ord River, Mitchell Falls and more, with a range of land, air and boat tour operators participating.
With the region having experienced heavy rainfall through its wet season, otherwise known as ‘waterfall season’, the landscape has been replenished, waterfalls are flowing across the region, and tourism operators are ready to welcome visitors.
The Kimberley Wanderer Pass will be redeemable through the Kununurra Visitor Centre online, by phone or in person until September 30, 2021 – conditions apply.
More information about the airfares is available at https://specials.virginaustralia.com/au/sale/wander-out-yonder while inspiration on how to ‘spend’ the Kimberley Wanderer Pass can be found at http://www.visitkununurra.com/wander.
TEN WAYS TO EXPERIENCE KUNUNURRA AND SURROUNDS
- Kununurra and surrounds is rich in Aboriginal culture. Visit Waringarri Aboriginal Arts to experience country and culture through local art or take a tour and discover the region through the eyes of an Aboriginal elder. Ted Hall’s Luridgii Aboriginal Eco Cultural Tours is another great way to experience the area through the eyes of a respected Miriuwung man, with tours operating to the Argyle Diamond Mine, Bungle Bungle Range and surrounds, where Ted shares the Jaliwang (barramundi) Dreaming story.
- Take a sunset Kimberley-inspired barbecue dinner cruise on Lake Kununurra with Kununurra Cruises – and enjoy the changing colours of the lake and Elephant Rock (AKA ‘The Sleeping Buddha’).
- See (or buy) the rare Argyle pink diamond at Kimberley Fine Diamonds from the world-renowned Argyle diamond mine. Established in 1991 by outback pioneer Frauke Bolten-Boshammer (her biography – A Diamond in the Dust – is essential pre-trip reading), it’s Australia’s most remote diamond house and as well as using Argyle Diamonds, Broome pearls and Australian gold are also woven into the designs.
- Be sure to stop by WA’s oldest continuously operating still, the Hoochery Distillery to sample the rums on offer, and stay for the famous rum cake, or take some home! Made from Australian sugarcane, rainwater and yeast, the distillery’s Ord River Rum is made by hand. Hoochery Distillery also makes a range of gin, whiskey and liqueurs, including the appropriately named Argyle Pink gin, flavoured by juniper berry, as well as botanicals sourced from the region, including wild mango, native white currant, native lemon grass, boab leaves and coriander.
- Explore the extraordinary Lake Argyle, one of the largest freshwater lakes in the Southern Hemisphere – so big it’s classified as an inland sea. With Lake Argyle Cruises, Lake Arygle Tours & Boat Cruises and Lake Arygle Adventures all operating a range of tours – there’s several ways to see the lake and surrounds. Visitors can also hire dinghies, barbecue pontoons, kayaks and SUP boards, and stay overnight at Lake Arygle Resort and Caravan Park which is home to arguably Australia’s best infinity pool.
- Take a cruise on the mighty Ord River with Triple J Tours – one of the most significant waterways in Australia, the second-largest by flow volume. Discover the changing landscapes, see native flora and fauna, and enjoy a riverside lunch or afternoon tea on a leisurely 55-kilometre cruise. Like your fishing? Ultimate Adventures operate barramundi fishing safaris on the lower Ord River.
- Tour the icons of the Kimberley – either by plane, helicopter or on a four-wheel-drive tour – or a combination of all three! Don’t miss the Bugle Bungle Range in the World Heritage-listed Purnululu National Park, El Questro, and Cockburn Ranges, or head towards Mitchell Falls and the Kimberley Coast. HeliSpirit, AviAir, Bungle Bungle Guided Tours, Kingfisher Tours, Kimberley Air Tours and El Questro operate air and land tours around the region.
- Kununurra is also the perfect base from which to explore the greater Kimberley region on an epic road trip adventure. The 660-kilometre Gibb River Road – which runs from Derby in the west Kimberley (near Broome) to Kununurra – is one of Australia’s most iconic four-wheel-drive trails through ancient gorge and waterfall country, pockets of rainforest and cattle stations. Camp overnight under the stars, stay at one of the region’s unique glamping accommodations. Not equipped to hit the road yourself? Book a guided tour with the likes of APT Kimberley Wilderness Adventures, Adventure Wild and InStyle Adventures. RedSands Campers has also opened a brand new depot in Kununurra for visitors looking to self-drive this iconic road trip.
- Just a short drive from Kununurra town, explore the ‘mini-Bungles’ at the Mirima (Hidden Valley) National Park, head to Kelly’s Knob look-out for 360 degree views of Kununurra (a top spot for sunset) or check out the famous Ivanhoe Crossing – it remains in flow year-round and is a great spot to cast a line in search of the elusive barramundi, or enjoy sunset across the river. Take a tour around Kununurra and surrounds with a local expert, such as HOT Tours, Kimberley and Kununurra 2K Tours, Kimberley Naturally, Kimberley 4×4 Tours, Kimberley Spirit or see it differently with Go Wild Adventure Tours. Back in town, go for a walk through Celebrity Tree Park and see which celebrities have visited, and if in town on a Saturday, check out the Kununurra Markets and pick up some local art and craft, or local produce. Make sure you take time to have lunch or dinner at The Pumphouse, and don’t leave town without having a mango smoothie!
- To experience the culture of the Kimberley, time your visit with one the region’s annual events such as the multi-award-winning Argyle Diamonds Ord Valley Muster – taking place from May 21 to 29, 2021 – the 20th anniversary event features 30 events over nine days, including the Kimberley’s biggest music concert, comedy, Aboriginal culture and dance, yoga sessions, a rodeo and much more.