Mitchell Falls in the Kimberly is a must-see natural attraction.
The Kimberley region in Western Australia’s north is other-worldly and the Mitchell Falls, cascading over four tiers, is just one of many iconic and must-see attractions of the Kimberly.
Known as Punamii-Uunpuu to the Wunambal people, the falls were carved into place by the waters of the Mitchell River, creating layers of emerald water pools that tumble into each other.
While you save Mitchell Falls to your travel bucket list, here is everything you need to know about the natural attraction.
How to get there
You’ll need a 4WD to get here by car. Departing the Gibb River Road, take the 4WD only Kalumburu Road and then Port Warrender Road to the Mitchell Falls campground park.
From here you can walk the track or take a helicopter ride.
A number of coach tours to the Kimberly include Mitchell Falls.
If you don’t have access to a 4WD or just aren’t up for a bumpy drive, light aircraft or helicopters are available from Kununurra, Broome, Drysdale River Station or the Mitchell Falls Campground.
When you are there
The Punamii-Uunpuu hiking trail to the falls is a moderate to difficult 8.6km return walk, requiring trekking over some uneven terrain and areas with little shade.
You’ll need to allow about four to six hours for the return journey, plus some time spent at the falls.
There is plenty to see along the way, such as Little Mertens Falls just 800 metres along the trail, and Mertens Gorge which is 2.3 kilometres along.
Aboriginal rock art sites are also located close to the trail.
Due to the possible presence of saltwater crocodiles, swimming is not permitted below the falls. However, anywhere above the falls is safe.
If you’re not feeling up to the hike, Fixed Wing scenic flights operate year-round for Kununurra, but the best time to see the falls at their full capacity is between February and March.
The park is home to over 50 species of mammals, and 86 species of amphibians and reptiles.
Where to stay
Mitchell Falls is a very remote area so you can expect to be laying out your swag underneath the stars. If you’re looking for something a bit more homely however, Mitchell Falls Wilderness Lodge is for you.
Relaxing with comfortable tented cabins, a swimming deck and access to the brilliant Ungolan Pavilion, you’ll relax in style.
The Lodge features:
- Open-air dining with three-course dinners and buffet breakfasts included.
- Tea, coffee and filtered water available.
- Fully-equipped bar and lounge.
- Packed lunches available.
- Friendly service from lodge hosts.
If Mercedes Benz guided bus tours, luxurious lodges and guided tours sound good to you, Ngauwudu is the place for you.
Each fully furnished ‘safari suite’ features its own ensuite bathroom, 240-volt solar power, a large deck, full insect screening and beautiful beds for a good night’s rest.
Some of its features include:
- Architecturally designed restaurant and commercial kitchen
- Private palm-fringed swimming hole
- Ideally located close to the Mitchell Falls
If you’re a bush-tucker looking for something a little more authentic, you can’t go wrong with Mitchell Falls Campground.
The grounds feature separate generator and non-generator areas near Mertens Creek at the beginning of the walk trail to Punamii/Mitchell Falls.
Toilet facilities are available around the campground however there are no showers. There is a swimming area downstream of the start of the walk trail, but keep in mind soaps and detergents are not permitted.
There are water taps at all of the toilet facilities but it is recommended that water is boiled or otherwise treated before drinking.
See also: Best Perth & WA Glamping Options
Discover more Western Australia travel on So Where Next.