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Lifestyle : Adventures in the Kimberley
1HERSA1 U004 Australian Adventure Travel have been operating 4WD camping tours throughout the Kimberley for almost 20 years - travel with the local specialists! Book any 2011 Broome tour departure direct with Australian Adventure Travel and receive a 10% discount off your tour! Offer ends 28 February 2011. * Conditions apply Freecall 1800 621 625 or email firstname.lastname@example.org www.safaris.net.au Proudly 100% Western Australian owned & operated! Affordable, Comfortable, Premium Camping Tours for the 'Over 25's' Windjana Gorge, Tunnel Creek, Gibb River Road, Bell Gorge, Galvan's Gorge, Adcock Gorge, Manning Gorge, Home Valley Station, El Questro Station, Kununurra, Bungle Bungles, Halls Creek, Fitzroy Crossing, Geikie Gorge. 12 Day Broome to Broome Safari $2800 p.p. www.adventurewild.com.au Freecall - 1800 359 008 KIMBERLEY COASTAL CAMP Australia's Ultimate Wilderness Retreat Escape to a place so remote your taxi is a helicopter. No set itineraries here - choose from a range of fully guided options including adrenaline pumping fishing, spectacular ancient rock art, picnics on boab fringed islands or simply relaxing by the pool. Gourmet meals and your 'room with a view" are all just part of the Kimberley Coastal Camp experience. Contact us for packages including light aircraft and helicopter transfers from Mitchell Plateau Kununurra, Broome and Darwin. Admiralty Gulf, North Kimberley • Ph: 0417 902 006 email@example.com • www.kimberleycoastalcamp.com.au Cruise the Kimberley with Odyssey Expeditions 9day Fly/Cruise from $6,300pp twin share For booking and information phone 1300 683 255 firstname.lastname@example.org www.odysseyexpeditions.com.au Visit the spectacular Horizontal Falls, Kings Cascade and Cathedral Falls. Swim beneath the cascading waters of Camp Creek and Ruby Falls. Wonder at the sight of Montgomery Reef rising from the ocean on a falling tide. Relive history as our experienced guides take you to Western Australia's earliest settlement locations. Take an exhilarating flight over the majestic Kimberley region whilst transferring to or from Odyssey. Luxury accommodation, great food, magnificent sights, and a warm friendly crew is what awaits you when you cruise the Kimberley on board our custom built 24-metre expedition vessel "Odyssey". "Limited Offer" Buy One Get One Half Price Selected Cruises Only Stranded in Style Features... Cygnet BayStranded in Style Dampier Peninsula, Broome Ph: (08) 9192 4283 email@example.com www.cygnetbaypearls.com.au Established in 1946, Cygnet Bay is Australia's oldest and family owned Pearl Farm and home to the largest round pearl produced in the country. This luxurious and unique paradise is the newest exclusive destination in the Kimberley. A stunning Kimberley beachside location at the tip of the Dampier Peninsula. Close to Cape Leveque, the Buccaneer Archipelago (made up of pristine, untouched islands) and the well known Horizontal Falls. Experience our new luxurious "eco-tents" or our original Pearlers cottages and dine in the cafe open seven days. Step aboard the "Escapade" for a luxury 4-7 day Catamaran cruise, voyage through the Archipelago, experience a local island day tour or a sunset sail. Take a tour around the farm and discover the history of the Bay as well as the modern pearling ways. Marvel at the Pearl gallery and the wide array of genuine Australian South Sea Pearls direct from the farm and even hand pick a beautiful reminder of your spectacular experience. Cygnet Bay, home of the Kimberley Marine Research Station, the first and only marine research station in the Kimberley dedicated to conducting and encouraging independent research, partners with WAMSI (WAmarine science institute). AG3429506AA-060211 4 February 6, 2011 the kimberley special report Tales etched in stone For all the region's natural beauty, Julie Miller finds it's the human stories that leave the biggest impression. The discovery of a new painting is a badge of honour. IT'S an apocalyptic scenario worthy of Hollywood, or perhaps a bad '60s sitcom: 18 castaways saved from destruction while in the most remote corner of the planet. Sailing a deserted coastline, void of external communication, living off the bounty of nature, repopulating the planet. All well and good, although it may put undue pressure on our youthful crew and on Sarah, a 17-year-old German passenger. The rest of us are a more typical cruise clientele, a motley bunch of Australians more inclined to push daisies than prams. Sarah's parents are a refreshingly sprightly couple in their 40s and from Cologne. The Kimberley coastline truly is the end of the Earth, a place so devoid of the human touch it's unsettling. During our seven-day expedition north from Broome on the plush Kimberley Quest II, we do see evidence of past habitation, however: a cave painting here, a carved boab tree there. And for all the natural magnificence before me -- sparkling waterfalls, russet-coloured ancient cliffs and pristine white-sand beaches -- it's the stories of those who came before us that have the most impact, leaving an indelible impression about the harshness of life in a region so blessed by nature. As we set sail from Broome through a tangerine sunset, it's our own stories that unfold over champagne and canapes on the Quest II's upper deck. For recently widowed Kaye, of Sydney, it's her first holiday as a single woman. She's terrified but soon succumbs to the intimate ambience of the ship, on this journey carrying just 11 passengers and seven crew. Over a dinner of roast duck, Perth couple Col and Deb quickly establish themselves as the life of the party -- former mining magnate Col breaking down barriers with his gentle taunts and indiscriminate flirting. The Germans are a sheer delight -- witty, urbane and ridiculously well travelled. We marvel at the spirit of elder stateswomen Laurel and Dell, who regale us with tales of Canberra's political elite during the '60s. Fresh from knee-replacement surgery, 84-year-old Mac and his 81-year-old wife, Annette, are up for any adventure, though it soon becomes apparent that the Kimberley landscape is unforgiving on ageing bones. A walk to a waterfall may not sound like a difficult undertaking but the couple -- veterans of seven Nepal treks -- struggle with the almost-vertical climb up gorgeous Ruby Falls, soldiering on with the patient assistance of crew members. You can sense their frustration at being forced to slow down -- ''Bugger, bugger!'' Annette curses as her calves start to cramp and she drops back behind the group. On board, however, there is ample downtime to let challenged muscles recover. I take nanna naps interspersed with reading, soaking in the spa and watching the Germans fry their gorgeous skin a deeper shade. Meals are also a part of the cruise rhythm and there is great excitement when a freshly caught barramundi or mud crab is added to the gourmet menu. With Advanced Ecotourism accreditation, environmental awareness and education is an active part of the Quest's guest program. The ship has useful reference books on the history, flora and fauna of the region, while each off-vessel excursion is accompanied by the ship's resident naturalist, Tim Willing, a botanist and former conservation adviser for the Broome Shire. Willing's knowledge of the region and its geography and ecology is staggering and his presence adds an extra dimension to each experience. High above Raft Point, under a cool red overhang capturing the breeze from Doubtful Bay, we listen as Willing tells the story of Lalai, the Araluliya clan's version of the Dreaming. Two supernatural beings, both named Namarali, are in love with the same woman, fighting to the death for her hand. Representations of these mysterious creatures loom above us on the roof of the cave; their ochre faces, with blank eyes and no mouth, are reminiscent of classic Hollywood sci-fi aliens. So powerful are these Wandjina guardians of the landscape that if they did have mouths, water would gush and cause floods; instead, they are silent sentinels, surrounded by images of nature's bounty as a reminder that, on life's journey, we are never alone. This gallery, known as Ngumburi, is one of the best known in the Kimberley, maintained by eminent elders of the Mowanjum community outside Derby to ensure their spirit remains strong. Other sites are yet to be recorded and during every dinghy excursion, Willing and other staff members keep their eyes peeled on rock overhangs. The discovery of a new painting is a badge of honour among Kimberley cruisers.