The Ardi cultural drive of Western Australia
You'll realize there's more to the Kimberley's coastal wilderness than startling contrasts of white beach, turquoise water, and pindan cliffs if you allow the people of the Dampier Peninsula show you their old land and culture. Enter the country of Bardi and Nyul Nyul, open your mind, and accompany the local guides for some spear fishing and mud crabbing, bush and reef walks, snorkeling, and kayaking.
Day 1: Broome to Beagle Bay and Mercedes Cove
Broome is only two and a half hours away from Perth, and flights leave every day. A regular flight from Darwin or a seasonal flight from Sydney, Melbourne, or Brisbane are all options. Enjoy a movie at Sun Pictures, the world's oldest operating outdoor cinema, or relax on Broome's world-famous Cable Beach, a 22-kilometer stretch of pure white sand and clear turquoise waters. Following the largely unsealed 4WD trail to the Dampier Peninsula and Beagle Bay Aboriginal Community, travel north in your leased four-wheel-drive (4WD)* (tours are also available).
Cable BeachCable Beach WA, Australia
Inside the Sacred Heart Church, you can see the unique pearl shell altar, which is one of the numerous legacy of the missionaries who arrived in the 1860s to spread their message. Continue north to Mercedes Cove, where you may have a takeout meal. Learn about the Nyul Nyul country and culture, which has ties to the land and sea for over 40,000 years. From your porch, take a stroll along isolated beaches and see migratory whales (July to October). Self-contained cabins and eco tents are available.
Beagle Bay ChurchBeagle Bay Church, Beagle Bay-Broome Road, Dampier Peninsula WA, Australia
Day 2: Mercedes Cove to Cape Leveque
Stunning and immaculate Your next stop will be Cape Leveque, where you can join the local Bardi people at Kooljaman for a range of unique cultural experiences. Allow the Bardi people to show you their way of life and traditions, including spear making and fishing, as well as hunting for mud crabs in the mangroves and cooking your catch. Take a snorkeling trip or a cruise to see the reef's magnificent marine life. On a bush tucker tour, you'll learn about bush medicines and get to try seasonal fruits. Go beachcombing or fishing for trevally and queenfish from the beach, or go boating for a bigger catch. Finish your day with a sunset cruise, or a stroll on the beach and walk the reef at low tide.
Cape LevequeCape Leveque, Dampier Peninsula WA, Australia
Accommodation options range from palm-covered beach shelters, log cabins, campsites or safari tents with panoramic coastal views.
Day 3: Cape Leveque to Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm
Head to the sheltered waters of Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm, Australia's first open-to-the-public pearl farm. Join the farm's pioneering family to see how they nurture and harvest some of the world's finest South Sea pearls. Take a picturesque flight or a cruise to the Buccaneer Archipelago's thousand pristine islands and islets. Take an exciting boat trip through the Horizontal Waterfalls and pretend to be a castaway on your own own beach.
Cygnet Bay Pearl FarmCygnet Bay Pearl Farm, Broome-Cape Leveque Rd, Dampier Peninsula WA, Australia
Stay overnight in your choice of accommodation from ensuite safari tents, cabins or camp sites.
Day 4: Cape Leveque to Lombadina
Retrace your tracks south to join the Bardi community of Lombadina and learn how their strong spiritual connection to the sea has shaped their lives for thousands of years. Let the custodians introduce you to their beautiful stretch of white sand beach and join them for a morning of fishing, crabbing, kayaking, snorkelling or whale watching (July to October). Grab a takeaway lunch (Lombadina store only open Monday to Friday) and spend your afternoon bushwalking and bird watching in this unique coastal wilderness. Stay overnight and enjoy the hospitality of the local residents, choosing from apartments, cabins, and single quarters.
Lombadina CommunityLombadina Community, Dampier Peninsula WA, Australia
Day 5: Lombadina to Broome
Before returning to the fascinating pearling town of Broome, take a morning stroll on the beach. Check out Broome's colorful calendar of events and savor the tropical flavors and fusions that have grown from the town's melting pot of ethnicities. Continue your four-wheel-drive journey by tackling the Gibb River Road and exploring the harsh heart of the vast Kimberley wilderness, or continue your four-wheel-drive adventure by tackling the Gibb River Road and experiencing the rough heart of the vast Kimberley wilderness.
BroomeBroome WA, Australia
Credit: Tourism Australia and James Fisher/Tourism Australia.