Tourists around the world could add Kununurra in the remote East Kimberley to their bucket lists thanks to high-profile recommendations from the likes of Nicole Kidman and The New York Times this week.
Kidman, who was based in Kununurra in 2007 during the filming of Baz Luhrmann’s feature Australia, last week exposed the town to millions of US viewers during an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
The actress appeared on the show to coincide with an announcement the host will visit Australia in March, with people from her studio audience in tow.
DeGeneres asked her where she should go during the trip Down Under.
“Where (are you going), in Sydney or Melbourne,” Kidman replied.
“Because there’s another place called Kununurra, but that’s a whole different thing.”
She went on to describe the town and its fertile waters, a claim she has made previously.
“I actually say that’s how I got pregnant, because I swam in the swimming holes there which are very kind of magical,” Kidman said.
DeGeneres, who is married to Australian actress Portia de Rossi, quipped it would be “real magical” if she got pregnant by swimming there.
Kidman’s husband Keith Urban backed up her recommendation in another interview on the show on Monday.
Kununurra residents are now campaigning to attract DeGeneres to the remote town.
On Tuesday they photographed a cardboard cut-out of her at local attractions, displaying signs with slogans including “Hey Ellen, you can stay at our house”.
The Kimberley received more exposure this week, ranking 19th in The New York Times list of 46 Places to Go in 2013.
The article focused on the region’s remote luxury resorts, including Berkeley River Lodge and El Questro Wilderness Park.
Kununurra Visitor Centre general manager Nadia Donnelly said the exposure from the Ellen show would be invaluable.
“I do believe the interview will make people want to visit Kununurra or Google Kununurra to find out more about this amazing place we call home, add it to their bucket list and spread the word,” she said.
A scenic flight over the Bungle Bungles and tours of Lake Argyle, Wyndham, the Gibb River Road and Emma Gorge are just some of the things DeGeneres could experience in the Kimberley.
Ms Donnelly has sent her an information package about Kununurra. Tourism WA marketing executive director Simon Burley said the Kimberley formed a large part of its marketing campaigns, for the US and all international markets.
“Many of the experiences found in the Kimberley region are unique and found nowhere else in Australia or even the world,” he said.