Wildlife Encounters

 

Humpback Whales

Australia's North West coast is home to the largest concentration of humpback whales in the world. The warm tropical water, rich food supply and relative lack of human intervention provide a safe nursery for mothers and their newborn calves. The warm sunny days from July to November create the perfect conditions to join a whale watching cruise from Broome to see these majestic creatures on their annual migration. Often larger than the boat, these gigantic gentle creatures are curious, coming right alongside, they roll about on the surface, slap their pectoral fins and poke their heads up to check things out. Search for whale watching tours.

Marine Turtles

The Pilbara and Kimberley coast provides excellent breeding ground for turtles, with five of the six species found in Australia, the Green, Hawksbill, Loggerhead, Flatback and Leatherback turtles calling this area home.

One of the highlights in the wildlife calendar from October to February each year is turtle nesting. Guided by primordial instincts, females heave themselves up the beach to dig a deep nest, where she will lay hundreds of eggs during her long labour. Eight weeks later tiny hatchlings start to break free and scramble out of the nest toward the sea. 

Large turtle rookeries are found along the Dampier Archipelago, Eighty Mile Beach and Reddell Beach in Broome. All marine turtles are protected, so never approach a nesting turtle or disturb the nest if you are lucky enough to see one.

Migratory Birds

Broome’s Roebuck Bay and further south at Eighty Mile Beach are two of the best places in Australia to view migratory birds. 

From September to April the vast, nutrient-rich tidal mudflats of Roebuck Bay and the pristine sands of Eighty Mile are visited by half a million wader birds arriving from their breeding grounds in Siberia, North Asia and the Arctic Circle. These tiny birds fly the 11,000 kilometer journey non-stop – taking over four days and losing a third of their body weight in the process.

The wetlands around Broome are also home to Magpie Geese and dozens of duck species, along with pelicans, Ibis, large cranes and Australia's indigenous stork, the Jabiru.

Crocodiles

Athough not everybody wants to come face to face with a crocodile, there are plenty of places to safely view see these amazing prehistoric creatures throughout the Kimberley.

Freshwater crocodiles can be spotted in Windjana Gorge and Gieke Gorge, along the Ord River and Lake Argyle. Saltwater Crocodiles inhabit all the major river systems and can be easily spotted lying along the banks sunning themselves. Just be sure to keep a safe distance and never approach any crocodile. For a more interactive experience search for crocodile parks in the region.

Also in this section