Archipelago

horizontal-tour-14This idyllic destination nestled amongst the Buccaneer Archipelago is so secluded that it is virtually only accessible via seaplane. We were flown here from One Arm Point by the amazing crew from Horizontal Falls Adventures and were treated to incredible, once-in-a-lifetime views over the hundreds of rocky islands that form this archipelago.

Quietly floating down one of the pristine creeks in the area, beautifully coloured rock formations reveal the layers of time. We stayed silent, hoping to catch a glimpse of a sun-baking saltwater crocodile. The waters were rich with wildlife, multitudes of fish, and who could fail to spot the sharks that seemed to knowingly circle the houseboat.

The last photo is proof that I, Little Miss Phobia herself, swam with the sharks. Yes, I was in a shark cage, and yes I did shoot very rapidly out of the water involuntarily yelling “Woah!” the first time I popped my head under the water. But – I did it! So to all you people who said I wouldn’t – I dedicate a big ol’ raspberry to y’all!

Photos by me

Horizontal Falls Seaplane Adventures / Tours from Broome or Derby / bookings@horizontalfallsadventures.com.au / (08) 9192 1172
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Hovercrafts, dinosaurs and cheeky parents

hovercraft-4hovercraft-1 hovercraft-2 hovercraft-3 hovercraft-5 hovercraft-6hovercraft-10hovercraft-12 hovercraft-13 hovercraft-14 hovercraft-15 hovercraft-16 hovercraft-17My awesome Mumsy and Papsy came up to visit me a few weekends ago, and amongst taking in the Broome markets and feasting on barramundi wings and Kimberley mud crabs, we also went on this cool hovercraft tour. At first I was like, hovercrafts are real?!?!? I thought they only existed in sci-fi novels and movies! What a doofus…And to top that off, part of the tour included a look at some actual dinosaur footprints (see the photo above!). Admittedly, they’re not that easy to spot, but once they’re pointed out to you and you see just how regularly they’re positioned, you recognise how those holes could not have been made by some random act of nature or weather.

My mum always tells me stories about how she used to pelt boys she didn’t like with slugs and snails, but I never believed her as these days she is the definition of clean-freak. However, when the hovercraft landed and the low tide revealed a treasure trove of sealife I practically had to run and hide to avoid being splattered with bright red sea cucumbers and sea snails of assorted sizes. My dad, well he was not so lucky. I may or may not have used him as a human shield.

This was one of the most spectacular sunsets I’d experienced yet. The way the colours were reflected in those tiny pools made by the tidal flats. The lingering pinks and purples of the dying light. With only six weeks left up here in the Kimberley, I’m coming to realise just how much I’m going to miss this place.

Photos by me

Follow the sun

cape-leveque-east-beach-15What Kimberley holiday would be complete without a lazy afternoon spent at the beach? We tried our hand at a little snorkelling but alas the water was a tad too choppy for that! We contented ourselves with a nice snooze in the afternoon sun, cooling down with a bite of refreshing watermelon. Sometimes I just love doing nothing.motifcape-leveque-east-beach-1cape-leveque-east-beach-2 cape-leveque-east-beach-3cape-leveque-east-beach-5 cape-leveque-east-beach-6 cape-leveque-east-beach-7cape-leveque-east-beach-12cape-leveque-east-beach-14cape-leveque-east-beach-24cape-leveque-east-beach-29 cape-leveque-east-beach-30cape-leveque-east-beach-33cape-leveque-east-beach-20cape-leveque-east-beach-22

Tagalong

brian-lee-tagalong-15One of the best things we did whilst up at Cape Leveque was join local elder, Brian Lee, on a four-wheel drive tagalong tour. Brian led us along the pristine beach and down to a nearby creek, all the while sharing stories about his Bardi people and the land, and showing us how to spearfish and catch giant Kimberley mudcrabs! Brian was so expressive and enthusiastic. A couple of times he hopped out of his car like a flash, spear in hand, jumping into the surf to retrieve his catch. His face also told many stories by itself, the light in his eyes shining as he explained how his grandparents would have lived in harmony with the land years ago, and his features undeniably showing his Bardi, English and Japanese heritage, testament to the history of this region.

We came to Hunter Creek, traversed its sandy banks at low tide and made our way to the mangroves where the mudcrabs hide out. Expertly, Brian showed us how to extricate these giant crabs from beneath the roots of the mangrove trees before giving us a chance to do the same (quite unsuccessfully!). After a few hours in this amazing wilderness we found ourselves perched on a rocky outcrop, hungrily eyeing the catch from the day: two successfully speared mullet, three giant mudcrabs, and a branch covered in tiny oysters. All were deliciously smoked on a coal fire, and we feasted. I’m not sure I will ever eat crab this good ever again. Ever.

Brian Lee / brianleetagalong.com.au / brian-lee@live.com /0437026262 / Meet him in this awesome video

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Aztec in Broome

cable-beach-herschel-17Wearing – American Apparel t-shirt, Sparkle & Fade skirt, Gorman sandals, Profound Aesthetic cap, ring and metal bracelets from So We Are, Freckle & Co tassel bracelet

If you look really closely you can see I sunburnt my nose! I don’t know about you, but sometimes as painful as they are, I often cherish my little sunburns as signs of a great weekend just passed. Rach said she was itching her mozzie bites fondly on their return to Perth! (And yes, I do not condone getting sunburnt and heartily endorse the whole slip-slop-slap thing, but I think I missed a patch on my nose!)

I’m absolutely digging the whole neo-90s look that’s sweeping the UK at present. I’m slightly obsessed with the crop-top-pencil-skirt silhouette, updated with new prints and colours. And can you blame me for adding neon into the mix? I bought this skirt from Urban Outfitters in London and it is oh. so. comfortable. The downside to comfort? No external holding in of the gut so I have to remind myself not to carb load just before wearing this one! But hey, who cares – I love it!cable-beach-herschel-1 cable-beach-herschel-2 cable-beach-herschel-3 cable-beach-herschel-4cable-beach-herschel-7 cable-beach-herschel-8 cable-beach-herschel-9cable-beach-herschel-11cable-beach-herschel-15cable-beach-herschel-18 cable-beach-herschel-19

Sunrise at Kooljaman

breakfast-kooljaman-1breakfast-kooljaman-2breakfast-kooljaman-3breakfast-kooljaman-4breakfast-kooljaman-5breakfast-kooljaman-6breakfast-kooljaman-7breakfast-kooljaman-8breakfast-kooljaman-9breakfast-kooljaman-10breakfast-kooljaman-11breakfast-kooljaman-12breakfast-kooljaman-13There is definitely something energising and invigorating about the air in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Not only did my niggling foot injury miraculously improve whilst being there, but all four of us suddenly became morning people! Waking up before sunrise in order to catch those first orange rays on our faces is something most of us would never even contemplate doing in the city. Yet there we were, awake as anything, eager to watch the spectacular show of natural beauty as the sun made its glorious arrival for the day.

We topped off the sunrise with a beautiful breakfast, prepared on the balcony overlooking the ocean and the trees. Sarah had brought along lots of supplies, so this morning it was to be a scrumptious feast of French toast doused with honey, strawberries and mint. What a treat to be able to spend time with family and friends in the most beautiful of places – the wilderness, the sounds of the ocean, the laughter of great company.

Do come explore this corner of the earth – its raw beauty will change you, I guarantee it.

Kooljaman at Cape Leveque / Accommodation / (08) 9192 4970 / reservations@kooljaman.com.au

Photos by Jinn

Cape Leveque

cape-leveque-day1-2Is this the Broome edition or what?! I suppose I’ve been up here for about three months now, but to be honest it’s been more about work and settling in, but now that’s well and truly done let me show you what we’ve been up to.

The Kimberley is absolutely nothing like the southern half of Western Australia, coming up here you really feel like you’re in a completely different country. It’s so much better than I expected it to be, and for a professed city-girl I have found myself totally falling for the sheer wildness of the land and just how alive it feels. The rich soil, the roiling waves, the calls of the wildlife, the trees reaching for the skies, the scintillating sunsets that show you colours you never knew existed.

One place that must be seen to be believed is Cape Leveque, 220km north of Broome, right on the tip of the Dampier Peninsula. Jinn, Jeff, Rach and I hopped into the four-wheel drive and at first I was like, “You call this a road?” but very quickly threw fear and trepidation out the window and embraced the joy and freedom of driving over those crazy bumpy trails, feeling almost indestructible. I must have had a a wild look in my eyes and a wickedly wide grin on my face for much of the drive which possibly got even wider on our arrival when I realised we’d reached a coastal paradise.

Leave Broome behind, hire a four-wheel drive (or find yourself a friend with one), and get up that bumpy-as-hell dirt road to Cape Leveque, also known as Kooljaman in the local Bardi language. Bring a fishing rod, your bathers, some Matso’s mango beer, plenty of sunscreen and insect repellent, and most of all throw your worries and preoccupations into that blue water and breathe in your fill of the freshest air on the planet.

Photos by Jinn
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