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

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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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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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