Early in 2020 the New York Times released its list of the top 52 places in the world to visit. Nestled comfortably at number five was Australia’s own Kimberley Region.

Carving out the best the region has to offer from the rest must have been a hard task for the editors, listing the Bungle Bungle Range along with the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Purnululu National Park as part of the bucket list of natural wonders.

However, this is hardly a surprise for anyone who lives in the region. The Kimberley region of Western Australia looks like it’s another world.

The New York Times listed WA’s Kimberley region as one of the top five places to go in 2020. Photo supplied.

Lake Argyle, outside of Kununurra, is one of the largest freshwater lakes in the Southern Hemisphere. At ten-times the size of the Sydney Harbour it’s awe-inspiring in its vastness.

El Questro on the Gibb River Road was mentioned with its dramatic waterfalls and gorges. The article also highlights the Narlijia Experience which explores the history of the area and Aboriginal culture.

The Indigenous population of the region is much higher the rest of Australia, at just over 41 percent, providing a greater cultural experience than most parts of the country can offer.

With recent developments in land access arrangements, Wunambal Gaambera Aboriginal Corporation has been able to develop tours through Country and welcoming ceremonies, which have helped educate visitors and increase the cultural economy of the region.

The Ord River is one the Kimberley’s gorgeous rivers. Photo supplied.

While the Times described the Kimberley as the “least touristy part of Australia”, tourism is one of the largest industries in the region and is set to grow as direct flights from Melbourne to Kununurra are set to begin in May 2020 through Alliance Airlines and booked through Virgin Australia.

With a simple four-hour plane ride, there is hope the initiative will bring more east coast and international holiday makers to the region, boosting tourism in the area to allow for greater education of traditional land use and culture.

By Caris Duncan