History and Culture - Australia's North West

Australia’s North West has a fascinating history. Over 2 billion years in the making, its landscapes have been home to Indigenous peoples for some 30,000 years, with the first European explorers arriving in the 1600s.



Gwion Gwion Aboriginal rock art on the Kimberley coast

Indigenous History and Culture

Indigenous Australians have lived in the Kimberley and Pilbara regions of Australia’s North West for some 30,000 years Find out more

Francis Dureau, pioneer of the North West pearling industry

Explorers and Pioneers

Between the 17th and 19th centuries, European explorers discovered and named many of the towns and landmarks in the Kimberley region and the Pilbara region Find out more

Historic Broome pearl diver helmets

Pearling and Mining

Australia’s North West has a rich mining history - gold was first discovered in the 1880s followed by asbestos in 1940, natural gas and iron ore in the late 1960s and diamonds in 1970. Find out more

Unusual rock formation on Reddell Beach, Broome

Natural History

At 2,000 million years old, the rock formations of the North West are some of the oldest on earth - turbulent events, from volcanic eruptions to ice ages, have created incredible ranges, gorges and caves. Find out more

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