Australia’s Outback region is the stuff of legends. Away from the heavily populated East, Australia is defined by attractions that you won’t find anywhere else: otherworldly Uluru, vast deserts, mysterious endemic animals, and lots of almost-mythical true stories about explorers, settlers and ancient people. Between the Far East and Far West, Australia seems inaccessible. This is good for people who really want to get away and immerse themselves in nature in a way that is not possible in most other parts of the world. Options for Outback adventures include companies that specialize in taking 4x4 tours of the deserts or safaris in the little-visited Northern Territory.
One of the most interesting wild areas is the Kimberley region. It covers the northern portion of the state of Western Australia. This region is three times the size of England, but it has a population of about 40,000. So obviously, most of this part of Australia is dominated by vast stretches of wilderness where there are no people at all. The Kimberley Coast is an ideal place for experiencing this untouched region.
The beautiful Timor Sea is known for its sunsets and for its austerely picturesque coastline. This is not a beach destination, it is a wildlife destination. Australia’s most legendary creatures, crocodiles, patrol the shorelines and river mouths of the Kimberley Coast. Potent box jellyfish, with stings that can actually be deadly, are found in the waters offshore. So needless to say, despite its beauty, this is not a place for a casual toes-in-the-sand weekend getaway. That said, if you are looking for a destination that is unlike anywhere else on earth, Kimberley should certainly be high on your list.
One of the best ways to see the coast is on a cruise. Despite not having ports of call with soft sand beaches and shopping streets, Kimberley cruising is quite popular. There are several companies that offer small ship trips to the region. These often includes shore excursions and safaris. These journeys will put people in touch with the exotic wildlife and austere landscapes that characterize non-urban Australia. But even traveling with a fully-outfitted expedition is somewhat rugged.
Is there a way to find the best of both worlds and enjoy a wilderness vacation that it also heavy on the comfort and luxury?
If you can find the right venue, the answer to this question is “yes.” Luckily, Australia has quite a few resorts that offer something that can best be described as “wilderness luxury.” Like Kimberley Coast cruises, these remote boutique hotels provide a bit of pampering to go along with the excitement of the wilderness surroundings. In many ways, this kind of wild luxury offers a perfect balance between comfort and adventure.
The Berkeley River Lodge is an example of this kind of resort. Only accessible by bush plane or boat, this wilderness haven is perched on the Kimberley Coastline dunes, more than a hundred kilometers from the nearest population center. Villa suites at Berkeley River have king-size beds, private terraces and outdoor soaking tubs (from which you can see the uncountable number of stars that are visible so far away from civilization).
Berkeley offers guided hikes, 4x4 safaris (along the beach or inland), and even sightseeing flights in the resort helicopter. Boat cruises and fishing trips to the teaming rivers and coastal waters are also on the agenda, as are trips to the beautiful waterfalls that are found in the area. After a day of adventure - whatever that adventure might be - you can head back to the Dunes Restaurant and cocktail lounge for the kind of dining and drinking experience that you would have in a fine restaurant in an urban hotel.
The Kimberley Coast is Australia at its wildest. Thanks to high-end resorts like the Berkeley River Lodge, this untamed place does not have to inaccessible or even uncomfortable.
Have you ever experienced wilderness luxury? Use the comments section to tell us about it