The Kimberley is located in the north western corner of Australia, from Broome and Cable Beach in the west to Kununurra and Lake Argyle in the east. It has the Indian Ocean on its western edge, the Timor Sea to the north, the Great Sandy Desert to the south and the Northern Territory to the east.

The main towns are Kununurra and Wyndham in the north, Derby and Broome in the south, with Halls Creek and Fitzroy Crossing inland on the Great Northern Highway.  The mostly unsealed Gibb River Road runs 660km through the heart of the Kimberley.

The Kimberley is known for large swaths of wilderness defined by rugged mountains, gorges, outback desert and isolated coastal sections. The Kimberley is also home to one of the world’s largest, most varied and visually spectacular rock art estates. Kimberley rock art is one of the largest figurative bodies of art to survive anywhere on the planet.

The area is dominated by sandstone outcrops and escarpments containing tens of thousands of rock art galleries and individual images. Rock paintings, engravings, stone arrangements, artefacts and oral histories provide primary evidence about how, when and why people first arrived in Australia, their cultural beliefs and how they lived and adapted to changing climatic conditions. Aboriginal Australians of the Kimberley are the primary custodians.

See Fast Facts for more information.

 

Wanjina twins NW Kimberley

wanjina-twins-nw-kimberley

The Rock Art of the Kimberley is more striking and evocative than we had dared to imagine. Who were these people; what were the stories they were they trying to convey? How did they manage to portray their various human, animal and spiritual figures in such a distinctive and enduring manner; and what triggered the evolution in styles from the original cupules through to the more recent Wanjina? These questions are essential to understanding humanity's journey through the millennia. We have great expectations that the current Rock Art Dating project will provide some of the answers.

Anthony Burgess
Governor, The Ian Potter Foundation

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