Kimberley Overview

The Kimberley subegion of the Western Australian Rangelands is 424,517 square kilometres in size and is the State’s most northern subregion. The coastline faces the Indian Ocean to the west and the Timor Sea to the north. It is bordered by the Pilbara subegion to the south and the Northern Territory to the east. 

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 36,562 people lived in the Kimberley in 2011. View Tindale's tribal boundaries map to see the many language groups that make up the Kimberley indigenous community.

The Kimberley environment holds great cultural significance for Aboriginal people, who have inhabited the region for at least the past 40,000 years. The Kimberley was first explored by non-indigenous people in the late 1800s and during this time pastoralists from across Australia declared land and started to move cattle into the region. The first stations in the region were settled along the major river systems of the Ord and Fitzroy Rivers. Gold was found in Halls Creek in 1885.

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Kimberley Subregion

The subregion has a diverse regional economy. Mining, tourism, agriculture, aquaculture, fishing and retail are major contributors to the subregion's economic output. Mining is by far the largest revenue earner and exploration activities include searching for diamonds, gold, iron ore, nickel, off-shore gas and crude oil.