Here in Western Australia we’re spoiled with countless stunning natural attractions including white sandy beaches, breathtaking formations and fascinating national parks.
The Kimberley region is home to many spectacular national parks, so it can be tricky to know which are the best places to visit on your next trip to the region. Here’s a guide to our top eight national parks near Broome and beyond in Western Australia.
Prince Regent National Park
Appreciate the Kimberley region in its rawest form at Prince Regent National Park. The natural rock formations, steep cliffs and sparkling waterfalls offer a look into the long history of this spectacular area, which has strong cultural significance to the First Nations people that are the traditional owners of this land.
At Careening Bay you can see the boab tree inscribed by crew members from the HMC Mermaid in 1820 while the ship awaited repairs. The Mermaid Tree is protected by a boardwalk, and you can see how the inscription has grown with the tree.
Prince Regent National Park is home to half of the known animal species in the Kimberley region, and you may just spot a saltwater croc! There are over 500 species of plants – it’s worth slowing down and allowing yourself time to take it all in.
Prince Regent National Park cannot be accessed by road. Visitors either arrive via boat or scenic flight.
Mitchell River National Park
Close to Prince Regent National Park, Mitchell River National Park is an impressive sight to behold. Cascading waterfalls and layered sandstone rock plains are sure to draw the eye, as well as the fan palms which are a rare sight in Western Australia.
Mitchell River National Park is accessible by four-wheel drive during the dry season months, (you’ll want to be confident with off-road driving), and via boat or scenic flight.
Purnululu National Park
The home of the Bungle Bungles, Purnululu National Park is one of the most well-known national parks in the Kimberley. Off the beaten track, Purnululu National Park is accessible by four-wheel drive or scenic flight.
The Bungle Bungles themselves, domed orange and black sandstone deposits, age back some 360 million years. They create a striking landscape well worth a visit – or a helicopter ride overhead. You can choose to camp overnight within the park to make the most of your visit.
Danggu (Geikie Gorge) National Park
With a completely sealed road leading to the park, Geikie Gorge National Park is easily accessible for private vehicles. Geikie Gorge is famous for its bleached white limestone wall, carved by the Fitzroy River.
The traditional owners of this land, the Bunuba people, are joint park managers and lead tours within the park. These tours are a great way to learn more about the fauna, flora and history of the area. Trips to Geikie Gorge are for the day only, as no camping is permitted within the park.
Bandilngan (Windjana Gorge) National Park
Windjana Gorge is an impressive 3.5km long – most of which you can walk – and it’s easily accessible by road.
The gorge is over 100 metres wide, with towering walls reaching from 30 to 100 metres high on either side. There are usually lots of freshwater crocodiles around!
Camping is allowed in the park, but not at nearby Tunnel Creek. Tunnel Creek is about 30km southeast, so you can tick both off your bucket list in one day, and camp overnight at Windjana Gorge.
Dimalurru (Tunnel Creek) National Park
Not all the national parks in the Kimberley are all that easily accessible, but Tunnel Creek National Park is a relatively easy drive from Broome, Derby or Fitzroy Crossing on mostly sealed roads.
The limestone at Tunnel Creek dates back some 350 million years, and the 750 metre tunnel was created by a creek running through the Napier Range. This tunnel – the main attraction of the park – is the oldest cave in Western Australia.
Cape Range National Park
Heading further down the coral coast to Exmouth, make sure you stop in at Cape Range National Park, located within the Ningaloo Reef World Heritage Area.
Within Cape Range National Park is Turquoise Bay, which is largely regarded as the best place to snorkel within the Exmouth area. The crystal clear waters allow you to see the diversity of coral and marine life.
Ningaloo Reef Marine Park is an inviting area for snorkelling, diving and swimming with whale sharks.
Francois Peron National Park
Located within the Shark Bay World Heritage Area, Francois Peron National Park offers a coastal four-wheel driving adventure. Spot a huge diversity of marine life from atop the red cliffs and enjoy camping in this stunning part of the world.
Nearby Shark Bay and Monkey Mia are both fantastic spots to act as a home base while you explore the local national park, making this an easy stopover on your way between Perth and Broome.
There are so many breathtaking national parks in Western Australia. If you plan on stopping in on a few on the way back to Perth (or on a Perth to Broome road trip), there are plenty more to consider. Yanchep National Park, Nambung National Park, Karijini National Park and Kalbarri National Park are all worth a visit!
Not all the parks are free to enter – some charge a small entry fee. If you plan on hitting up several national parks, it may be worth looking into securing a park pass.
While you have to leave the town limits to visit these national parks near Broome, rest assured – there’s plenty of stunning displays of nature to see within Broome too!
There’s nothing better than getting out onto the water to experience Broome at its best. The best time of day to explore the waterways of Broome is at dusk, when Broome puts on one of its world-famous sunsets.
Check out an Absolute Ocean Charters sunset dolphin cruise and witness a picturesque Broome sunset from the luxury of the water. On our sunset cruises in Broome you can spot the unique Snubfin dolphin as well as other marine life, while basking in the serenity of Broome at twilight. Our Broome tours are specifically designed to ensure you get to experience the very best that Broome has to offer. Get in touch with us to see it all for yourself!