Head north of Broome to enjoy the coastal and cultural pleasures of the Dampier Peninsula.
Whether you like bush camping, or the comforts of a safari tent or cabin, you'll find a place to stay surrounded by nature and with incredible views on offer. Spend your time simply soaking it all in, or take a tour with a local Aboriginal guide to discover their stories and knowledge of this saltwater country. Cast a line, or learn how to spearfish the traditional way. Discover an operating pearl farm, and enjoy sunset on one of Australia's most famous beaches!
While the Cape Leveque Road has now been sealed, 4WD vehicles are still recommended for access to the Pender Bay area and Cygnet Bay - although the Djarindjin Campground is 2WD accessible, and Cygnet Bay also offers 2WD accessible accommodation.
Note: Kooljaman at Cape Leveque is currently closed and communities may have limited or no access for visitors. We recommend that travellers check with the Broome Visitor Centre for up to date information on which communities and campgrounds are currently open.
1. Broome to Pender Bay
Follow the Cape Leveque Rd north of Broome for approximately 1.5 hours, and you'll see a sign for your first stop at Beagle Bay. Here you find one of the most historic and charming churches in Australia - the Beagle Bay Sacred Heart Church with its whitewashed walls, inspiring mother of pearl shell altar and three-storey square bell tower, it’s not to be missed. The Church was built entirely by hand by the local Aboriginal people (the Nyul Nyul people) and the Pallottine monks more than 100 years ago. Information boards are dotted around the church grounds with the history of Beagle Bay and the story of the Catholic mission which started in the late 1800s. A gold coin donation is welcomed to visit the church and photos are permitted inside.
Beagle Bay also has a community store, fuel and outback-style bakery.
After your visit to Beagle Bay drive 25 mins north and turn left onto the unsealed Middle Lagoon Rd for another 30 mins towards the spectacular Pender Bay, where you'll find bush campsites as well as Safari Tent and cabin accommodation at a small number of locations. Fish, swim and read the days away while watching out for the mighty Humpback whales and their calves in Pender Bay, one of the largest nurseries and resting places for these gentle giants during their annual migration.
Advance bookings are essential. Whales are found in the Kimberley region from June to September.
Allow 3 days to 1 week
2. Pender Bay to Djarindjin and Lombadina
Head back to the Cape Leveque Rd and make your way north to the community of Lombadina. Visit the office on your arrival to obtain your day pass, then visit the historic bush-timber church and the art and craft centre, swim at one of the beautiful beaches or take one of the tours on offer including offshore fishing and community tours. Cabin accommodation is also available.
At the turnoff to the Cape Leveque Road, the new Camping with Custodians campground at Djarindjin offers caravan and camping spots with basic provisions, takeaway food and fuel at the nearby roadhouse. You'll also be able to join tours by Brian Lee, Bundy and Bolo departing from the campground.
3. Lombadina to Cygnet Bay
Set off north once again to the tip of the Peninsula and spend the morning at Ardyaloon (One Arm Point community). First, drop into the community store to pay your entry fee which includes your entry to the Ardyaloon hatchery to see the workings of the aquaculture centre. Take a drive to the lookout and watch one of the biggest tides in the world wrap itself around the many islands just off the coast in the Dampier Archipelago. Fuel is also available at Ardyaloon (24hr), and a bush campsite is situated just south of the community at Gambanan.
Make your way back to Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm for lunch and a swim in their infinity pool. After lunch check in to your accommodation - choose from one of their caravan and camping sites, safari tents or their air-conditioned pearlers shacks, or treat yourself to the Master Pearler's Retreat overlooking your own private beach. The new 2WD accessible air-conditioned safari tents are a short walk from reception.
Over the next couple of days make sure you join one of the Pearl Farm tours and learn how they cultivate some of the most sought-after and beautiful pearls in the world, and when the tides are right, jump onto one of the Sea Safaris to experience the natural surroundings by sea.
If you’re lucky enough to be staying at the farm on a full moon, don’t miss the natural phenomenon of Staircase to the Moon.
Advance bookings are recommended for Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm.
Allow 1 day to 1 week
4. Cygnet Bay to Broome
Before heading south back to Broome along the Cape Leveque Rd, spend the morning with Terry Hunter, a fourth-generation pearler and proud Bardi man, and let him take you on a guided tour of his home and country at Cygnet Bay.
Allow 1 day
Cultural Experiences on the Dampier Peninsula
Go with the flow and share a cultural experience with the local Bardi Jawi people while you are visiting the Dampier Peninsula - learn traditional fishing and hunting techniques, taste bush foods, learn useful bush medicine and hear about the special relationship between the surrounding land and sea. Here are just some of the wonderful tour guides and tour options you'll have to choose from!