MAPPED OUT

WHAT TO DO IN… THE KIMBERLEY

In the northern-most tip of Western Australia lies a mostly-untouched wilderness of towering cliffs, sandy beaches and natural splendor that nestle against the Indian Ocean. Where to begin in such a vast outback of wonder? Australian photographer and queen of wanderlust, Rhiannon Taylor, is here to guide us through what to do in The Kimberley: “It’s where all the luxury pearl houses farm and some of the most exquisite specimens in the world have been discovered there. There’s a long history with divers from Japan, Malaysia and Philippines migrating and sharing their expertise with locals, turning it into quite the pearl hub. As for why, it has something to do with the perfect temperature of the water and feeding conditions — but I like to think the waters hold magical powers. The Kimberly is so vast. It’s one of the last parts of Australia that remains largely untouched. And, it’s all about color: Bright blue water, orange cliffs, red dirt. It's rough, raw and the heat consumes you. The sounds of birds, frogs and the hum of insects echo between the gorges and you feel truly one with nature. It’s all so jaw dropping and there’s something about it that just gets under your skin and keeps me yearning to explore it deeper…”

Wedding pictures

THE KIMBERLEY STYLE IS…

“In the Kimberley, it’s all about managing the heat. Lots of linen, breezy shirts and shorts. Of course, everyone, and I mean everyone, is adorned with pearls — even with the most laid-back, grubby outfit! I always pack singlets and shirts to layer over the top so I can whip them off when I’m hot. And earthy-colored dresses for the glamourous outback dinners under the stars.”

The Aarli, Broome

“This fusion restaurant highlights some of the local produce like fresh seafood with a modern Asian menu. Think crispy pork belly with caramel, chili and coriander. Delicious.”

El Questro Homestead, Kununurra

“This is the ultimate outback luxury lodge with views over the river. You’ll spot rock wallabies bounding over the landscape as the sun rises, followed by crisp Aussie white wine and canapés in the afternoon leading on to twinkling dinners in the wild landscape.”

Shinju Matsuri Festival, Broome

“Try and visit during the festival where the whole town comes alive with chefs visiting from far and wide to cook up local pearl meat and host events. My favorite is the Long Dinner on Cable Beach which sees hundreds of elegant (barefoot) guests, dripping in pearls, feasting as the sun goes down.”

Woman in workwear clothing

TRUE NORTH CRUISE

“My first ever trip to The Kimberley was a 2 week off-grid cruise around the coastline from Broome to Kununurra and it’s a unique once-in-a-lifetime journey that gives you access to areas that you are unable to visit from inland. You can anchor at huge waterfalls that virtually no-one ever gets to visit and find untouched waterholes.”

SWIMS THE WORD

For days spent sunbathing, boat trips around the falls or a quick-fix outfit with a skirt and sandals: the humble one-piece could be your most stylish option.

SLIP INTO SANDALS

Day or night, wandering around festivals or with a dress for dinner, you really can’t go wrong with a classic sandal.