Kimberley Region

Right here in Australia, we have a culture that has thrived for 60,000 years, the longest of any living culture on Earth. There’s nowhere like the Kimberley to have authentic Aboriginal experiences, and by having these experiences, we can gain perspective and appreciation for the world around us.

Waringarri Aboriginal Arts Centre Kununurra

Waringarri Aboriginal Arts Centre, Kununurra

Any exploration of Kimberley’s history and the origins of Aboriginal culture must begin with rock art. The Kimberley is home to ancient rock art that pre-dates the last ice age known as Gwion Gwion (pronounced Gyorn Gyron) or the Bradshaw Art. These are incredible records of world history that show human figures and animals in striking red or black ink. As well-preserved and celebrated as these significant works are, they’re practically hiding in plain sight along the epic Gibb River Road, one of the state’s most famous road trip routes.

El Questro on the Gibb River Road

El Questro, on the Gibb River Road

In and of itself, this is what makes WA such an extraordinary destination: on the surface, the natural phenomena are breathtaking on their own. But with a closer look, you can open your eyes to the world as it was experienced by the Aboriginal people who first inhabited the area tens of thousands of years ago.

A holiday in WA’s Kimberley region wouldn’t be a complete without getting in amongst the action! Beyond the countless ways to explore the natural wonders of one of the world’s last true wildernesses, the best way to understand how local communities relied wholly on themselves and their environment for thousands of years is to try out the ancient techniques that have survived. With the help of a guide, visitors can see what it’s like to go mud crabbing or spear fishing, participate in a celebration with music and dance, and learn how food and bush medicine are prepared from only what nature provides.

Lombadina Community Cape Leveque 2

Lombadina Community, Cape Leveque

Of course, an exploration of Aboriginal life in the Kimberley region isn’t only about looking at the past. It’s about preserving and respecting the traditions that are very much still alive today. That’s the goal of the Waringarri Aboriginal Arts Centre, which opened in Kununurra in the 1970s. It was the first wholly Aboriginal-owned art centre in the region and is still one of the oldest continuously operated art centres in all of Australia. Simply, the centre allows Waringarri artists to share their work from Miriwoong Country. But more specifically - and more importantly - the artists and their families are supported through the Arts Centre to make return visits to significant sites in Country, learn from their elders, and continue to share their traditions with the next generations.

Waringarri Aboriginal Arts Centre Kununurra 2

Waringarri Aboriginal Arts Centre, Kununurra

Visitors can get an even more intimate interaction with local communities and the Kununurra landscape by stepping beyond the Centre with a Waringarri Aboriginal Art and Culture Tour. Only a Miriwoong custodian could give visitors the most valuable, insightful, and authentic introduction to Miriwoong Country and how their ancient culture is maintained in a contemporary context.

Waringarri Aboriginal Arts Centre Kununurra 3

Waringarri Aboriginal Arts Centre, Kununurra