The red dirt Kimberley region is the only Australian tourism hotspot to land itself on a prestigious list of the year’s must-see global destinations.
A “bucket list of natural wonders” earned the State’s North the No.5 spot on the 52 Places To Go In 2020 countdown, published by the New York Times, which has an international readership of nearly 5 million people.
The Bungle Bungle Range, Ord River, Lake Argyle and El Questro waterfalls were all landscapes helping earn the region a spot on the list, with Broome’s revitalised Chinatown and stunning resorts all receiving a shout-out in the article.
Local guide Bart Pigram’s Narlijia Experiences indigenous history tour was highlighted as a key attraction, as well as Kingfisher Tours and the soon-to-close Argyle Diamond Mind.
“The least touristy part of Australia is now in bloom,” the article said.
Australia’s North West Tourism chief executive Natasha Mahar said an appearance on the list was the type of exposure “money can’t buy” for the Kimberley.
“Any region or city featured in the NY Times list means huge kudos,” she said.
“The Kimberley is really a standalone destination because of its unique ancient landscapes, experiences and natural attractions. It sounds corny but it really is the “last frontier”, particularly to our international visitors — we are thrilled by the listing.”
Ms Mahar said ANWT provided all content to the journalist for the article, with help from Tourism WA North America.
Broome Visitor Centre manager Mel Virgo said it had put the town and the wider region centrestage.
“Hopefully it will start bringing more tourists to us that have never seen the region before,” she said.
“It is great to see our members being acknowledged for their hard work and what they offer visitors because they really are the backbone of our tourism industry.”
The British Virgin Islands, Greenland and the Italian island of Sicily were among the other 51 entries on the list.