A couple of weeks ago, I went further than I’ve ever been, and about as far away from wintry Sydney as I could get without needing my passport: to north-west Western Australia, the Kimberley.
|The sublime Raft Point|
Let me explain by describing my 9-day World Expeditions trip aboard a 24-metre catamaran called Odyssey, which was home-away-from-home for 16 of us for a week and a bit.
|Croc-free Croc Creek|
|A nameless perfect beach|
|Wandjina art at Raft Point|
But what really made the trip special was being able to experience the Kimberley with all our senses – because it was a small group and our skipper, Dylan, was switched on enough to make the most of the 10-metre tides, which threw curve-balls at us daily in terms of what we could and couldn’t do.
|Breakfast is served|
|Tapalinga Reef, at very low tide|
|Chopper pilot James, I mean Phil|
I can barely describe the thrill of rising above the beach, the Odyssey and the waving crew, to the throb of the chopper blades, suddenly able to look over the tops of the coastal cliffs we’d seen from sea level all week, at the vastness of the Kimberley.
|Porosus Creek and croc at sunrise|
You can look at pictures of the Kimberley and see how beautiful it is, but physical beauty is only part of it; what takes this place to another level is its remoteness, its ancientness. To experience that, well, you really have to be there. I rest my case.
(Coming soon: part 2 of this post, about the environmental challenges facing the Kimberley.)