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The Kimberley is one of the nine regions of Western Australia, consisting of the local government areas of Broome, Derby-West Kimberley, Halls Creek and Wyndham-East Kimberley. It is located in the northern part of Western Australia, bordered on the west by the Indian Ocean, on the north by the Timor Sea, on the south by the Great Sandy and Tanami Deserts, and on the east by the Northern Territory. It covers an area of 424,517 km2, which is about twice the size of England.

The population of the Kimberley is only about 38,000, but this figure is growing at a rate of 4.8% per year, around three times the state average. The population is fairly evenly distributed, with only three towns having populations in excess of 2,000: Broome, Derby and Kununurra. About half of the region's population are of Aboriginal descent.


The Kimberley has a tropical monsoon climate. During the "wet season", from November to April, the region receives about 90% of its rainfall, and cyclones are common especially around Broome. The annual rainfall, however, is highest in the northwest, where Kalumburu averages 1270mm (50 inches) per year, and lowest in the southeast where it is around 520mm (20 inches). In the "dry season", from May to October, south easterly breezes bring sunny days and cool nights. In the Devonian, there was a barrier reef system in the Kimberley, similar to the Great Barrier Reef.

The Kimberley was one of the earliest settled parts of Australia, with the first arrivals landing about 40,000 years ago from the islands of what is now Indonesia. European settlement started around 1885, when cattle were driven across Australia from the eastern states in search of good pasture lands. Many other Europeans arrived soon after, when gold was discovered around Halls Creek.

 

 

 

Other industries have included pearling, diamond mining (including the Argyle diamond mine which produces about one third of the world's diamonds), agriculture (more recently centred on the Ord River Irrigation Area near Lake Argyle) and tourism.

The Kimberley is a popular tourist destination, with areas such as:
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Bungle Bungle - Purnululu is the name given to the sandstone area of the Bungle Bungle Range by the Kija Bungle Bungle Range in Kimberley of Western Australia.Aboriginal people. The name means sandstone or may be a corruption of bundle grass. The range, lying fully within the park, has elevations as high as 578 metres above sea level. It is famous for the sandstone domes, unusual and visually striking with their striping in alternating orange and grey bands. The banding of the domes is due to differences in clay content and porosity of the sandstone layers: the orange bands consist of oxidised iron compounds in layers that dry out too quickly for cyanobacteria to multiply; the grey bands are composed of cyanobacteria growing on the surface of layers of sandstone where moisture accumulates.

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Gibb River Road - The Gibb River Road stretches some 660 kilometers between the Western Australian town of Derby and the Kununurra and Wyndham junction of the Great Northern Highway. The majority of the roadGibb River Road in the Kimberley of Western Australia is unsealed and should be attempted only with a 4WD vehicle. The road is often closed during the wet season, which is typically November through March. The road was voted 4th best in the world by The Guardian Newspaper. Attractions along the Gibb River road include Windjana Gorge National Park, Tunnel Creek National Park, and the El Questro Wilderness Park.

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Lake Argyle (16°19′S 128°43′E) is Australia's largest artificial lake (by area), part of the Ord River Scheme, near the East Kimberley (Western Australia) town of Kununurra, located on the Kimberley Plateau. The main channel of the Ord River (dark, meandering feature) north of the lake is visible as it drains northward, eventually emptying into the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf. The Ord and Bow Rivers that flow into the southern end of the lake are difficult to discern. Low, folded mountains can be identified east and west of this river valley.

The construction of the dam was completed in 1972. The Ord River dam is 335 metres long, and 98 metres Lake Argyle Dam Wallhigh. The earth-fill only dam wall at Lake Argyle is the most efficient dam in Australia in the ratio of the size of the dam wall to the amount of water stored.

Lake Argyle normally has a surface area of about 1,000 square kilometres. The storage capacity, to the top of the spillway, is 10,763,000 megalitres. The lake filled to capacity in 1973, and the spillway flowed until 1984. Since then, there has been insufficient wet season rainfall to bring the lake up to its designed capacity. Lake Argyle's usual storage volume is 5,797,000 megalitres, making it the second largest reservoir in Australia (the combined Lake Gordon/Lake Pedder in Tasmania is the largest.) At maximum flood level, the lake would hold 35 million megalitres of water and cover a surface area of 2,072 square kilometres.

Lake Argyle (together with Lake Kununurra) is part of the Ord River irrigation scheme. There are currently some 150 square kilometres of farmland under irrigation in the East Kimberly region.

The damming of the Ord River has caused major changes to the environment. Flows to the Ord River have been severely reduced. Within Lake Argyle itself a thriving new eco-system has developed. The lake is now home to 26 species of native fish and a population of freshwater crocodiles currently estimated at some 25,000. The damming of the Ord River also turned a number of low lying ridges into islands. Crocodiles can sometimes be seen on these islands along with a number of birds.

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Horizontal Falls also called Horizontal Waterfalls are a natural phenomenon in the Horizontal Falls in Western AustraliaKimberley region of Western Australia, in Australia. Despite their name, the Horizontal Falls aren't actual waterfalls but a very fast moving tidal flow between two narrow gorges located in Talbot Bay (16°22′59″S, 123°57′29″E et 16°22′35″S, 123°57′34″E). Each of these gorges is 12 metres wide and water stores up on one side faster that it can empty, giving rise to a couple of metres-high height difference in the sea level between both sides of the gorges. The direction of the flow reverses with each turning tide.

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Cape Leveque (16°23′S 122°55′E) is the northernmost tip of the Dampier Peninsula in the Kimberley region of Western Side of Cape Leveque in the Kimberley of Western AustraliaWestern Australia. The region - 220 km by road north of Broome - is remote, with few facilities. Nevertheless, the Cape's sandy beaches are attracting increasing numbers of visitors.

 

The Gibb River Road and the road into the Bungle Bungles can at times be accessed in a two-wheel drive car, although one can access many additional areas in a four-wheel drive vehicle.

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