Kimberley

/ˈkɪmbəli/ (say 'kimbuhlee)

noun
a large region in northern WA, reaching in the south to approximately 19°S latitude (north of the Great Sandy Desert), and bounded on the east by the NT border and on the north and west by coastline; sparsely-settled area.
Also, the Kimberley, the Kimberleys.
The Kimberley region is comprised of three concentric subregions: a broad outer arc of relatively even terrain, where most of the region's settlement has taken place; within this, the rugged terrain of the King Leopold and Durack ranges; and the core, an old plateau surface dissected by streams, with gorges and waterfalls. The deeply indented coast is scattered with islands and noted for its large tidal range. The first substantial European exploration was by Alexander Forrest in 1879; pastoral settlement (sheep) began in the east in 1888. Derby and Broome were both declared ports in 1883, and at the same time the Durack family and others moved cattle onto leases in the Ord River area, in the west. There was a short-lived gold rush to Halls Creek in 1885–86. Many of the Kimberley's vast cattle stations are now owned and operated by Aboriginal communities, and beef-cattle production (with animals exported live) is the region's main source of revenue. The Ord River Scheme made possible irrigated farming from the 1960s; other industries include the Argyle diamond mine, mineral and oil production, fishing, pearling and tourism.

Australian English dictionary. 2014.

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