The Kimberley region has recently experienced flooding from heavy rainfall caused by ex-Tropical Cyclone Ellie. Rainfall during the Wet Season (November to April) often causes localised flooding in the Kimberley, however the significant rainfall due to ex-Tropical Cyclone Ellie has caused some damage. The Martuwarra Fitzroy River and its catchment area is worst affected, with damage to the road infrastructure in Fitzroy Crossing, parts of the Great Northern Highway and the Gibb River Road.
Relief operations are underway, and works to restore access will begin as soon as possible.
Broome and Kununurra are both still open to visitors. Travel through the Kimberley is currently restricted.
If you’re planning to visit the Kimberley following the Wet Season this year, and unsure if your booking has been impacted by the floods, please contact your accommodation provider or tourism operator before making any changes to your booking.
Current Travel Conditions
- Kununurra is accessible via air from Perth, Broome and Darwin, and via road through the Northern Territory.
- The Great Northern Highway is open between Kununurra and Halls Creek.
- The Gibb River Road is closed to all traffic.
- Derby is accessible by air from Broome, and road travel between Derby and Fitzroy Crossing is possible (with extreme caution).
- The Great Northern Highway between Derby and Broome is closed to all traffic from Kimberley Meat Company (76km east of Roebuck Roadhouse) and Willare Roadhouse.
- Broome is accessible via air from Perth and Darwin, and via the Great Northern Highway from Port Hedland. Direct flights from the East Coast to Broome are expected to start again in early May 2023.
Works to Restore Access
The WA Government has finalised a strategy to reconnect Great Northern Highway through Fitzroy Crossing. To find out more about the strategy, please read the media statement. In summary:
- The first stage of works to restore road access across the Martuwarrwa Fitzroy River will be to implement a barge system; this will be followed by the opening of a low level floodway crossing (expected to be within 4 months). The long-term rebuild of the Fitzroy Crossing Bridge will involve lengthening and widening the bridge.
- Repairs to the Great Northern Highway between Derby and Broome are underway with two crews working from either end of the damaged roadway. Temporary gravel roadways will be constructed initially to allow this part of the highway to reopen in the first half of February; full road rebuilds are palnned for the dry season.
[Updated as at 24 January 2023]
For up to date information on road closures in the region, visit the MainRoads WA Travel Map and website. Specific information on closures and works in the region is available on the MainRoads WA Kimberley Flood Response page.
Tourism Western Australia media release "$6 million flood recovery package for Kimberley tourism".
Follow local Visitor Centres for up to date information
As repairs to the region get underway, local Visitor Centres will continue to provide up to date information on roadworks, road closures and opening dates for attractions, station stays and more. Follow them on social media, sign up for newsletters and have a look through their websites!