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Archive for the ‘The Kimberley, WA’ Category

termite-mounds-the-kimberley-western-australia-cropped

One thing that fascinates visitors to the Kimberley are the tall, red-brown statues that are strewn across the landscape.  They are actually termite mounds which have been built up over the years and they look spectacular.

Each mound can hold millions of termites.  They build the mounds using saliva, excreta and soil, and the mounds can rise up to 5 metres in height.  Not all mounds have the same shape and scientists believe that the design adapts to suit the environment.

In the top end of the Northern Territory the mounds are tall and cathedral-like but in the Kimberley they can be smaller and more bulbous.  They are designed to help the insects store food for use during the wet season, and some of their acutal building material can be used as food during an emergency.  The shape of the mound allows the heavy rain water of the wet season to run off without damaging the exterior of the mounds.

Inside, the mounds are a complex maze of passages and ventilation shafts.  The temperature is fairly steady, making the mound a safe and comfortable home.

The termite mounds are unmissable in the Kimberley and they are famous right around the world.

This stunning photo was taken by Thomas Young and can be viewed at www.wildroad.com.au/galleries/australia-photos/termite-mounds-west-kimberley-australia/.

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The Kimberley is an amazing and unique part of our planet.  Nature has been allowed to roam free here without any human intervention so the Kimberley area has some of the most pure and unspoilt areas on earth.

The problem is that our beautiful home is also rich in natural resources which big business want to harvest and profit from.  Natural gas, uranium and bauxite are just a few of the highly prized resources that corporations are fighting for with dollar signs across their eyes.

The Australian reports of conspiracies against the indigenous people.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that it will be cash that wins against conservation.

Woodside justifies their position in economic terms with a token nod towards the environment.

News.com.au reports on the planning manoeuvres which are happening while the fight against the development was still under legal examination.

Just scan through the reports listed on the Save The Kimberley website and you will get a feel for what is going on.

Woodside has already begun clearing land in preparation for the building of the Browse Basin natural gas processing plant despite not having permission from the government or local land authorities.

This area is significant to the indigenous people who believe that the area is part of a songline – a path made by Dreamtime ancestors – yet their beliefs seem to be worth nothing.  They certainly are not being respected or considered.

This is going to be a long and difficult fight to protect the environment and indigenous rights against corporate greed.

I’m not an overly political person but I do know that the politics behind this situation are not based on the good of the area or the earth.

I would like to ask you to take a stand with us by making a noise about this awful situation or making a donation to the Save The Kimberley fund if you can.

The Kimberley is a precious place on earth in just the same way as the rainforests of the Amazon are.  It deserves to have the same strong voices fighting for the cause.

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(Image source:  http://www.western-australia.com/wolfe-creek.html)

One of the most interesting landmarks in the Kimberley is the Wolfe Creek Crater that is located about 150 kilometres south of Halls Creek.  While the local Aboriginal tribe have known about it for thousands of years and refer to it as Kandimalal, it was only discovered by Europeans in 1947.

The Wolfe Creek Crater was created by a meteorite that hit the earth around 300,000 years ago that was estimated to weigh 50,000 tonnes.  The crater is 880 metres across and originally about 120 metres deep but has gradually been filled in with sand and is now about 50 to 60 metres deep.

The Wolfe Creek Crater was also made famous in recent times as a result of the film Wolf Creek and this has resulted in a lot more publicity about the area as well as the Kimberley in general.

Once at the Wolfe Creek Crater you can explore the area and take in the never-ending incredible views in all directions.  Also, you can explore the floor of the crater as there is a track that you can follow to get down there.

For more information about Wolfe Creek Crater and how to travel to this spectacular part of the Kimberley click on the link.

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Source Image

Cape Leveque is a truly spectacular area of the Kimberley that combines a vast wilderness with the turquoise water of the Indian Ocean and the dynamic red cliffs along the coastline.

Located at the tip of the Dampier Peninsula it is approximately 220 kilometres north of Broome and accessible by air or 4WD.  On the trip to Cape Leveque there are some great places to see along the way that includes Beagle Bay with the famous Sacred Heart Church, Middle Lagoon that has some great fishing and swimming as well as the aboriginal community at Lombadina.

There is an eco-resort at Cape Leveque called Kooljaman which has all the amenities and facilities to make your stay very comfortable and enjoyable.  The Djarindjin and Ardyaloon Aboriginal communities jointly own this resort which has won many awards and is close to the coastline and beaches.  You can undertake a range of activities from bird watching, catching mud crabs, snorkelling or exploring Hunter Creek but beware of the crocodiles.  Between July and October you can watch the humpback whales pass by or get in a boat and go fishing.  The local Aboriginal guides can teach you about bush tucker and they can help you make your own ceremonial spear.

The Cape Leveque lighthouse located at the entrance of King Sound is another attraction to visit.

At the end of the day you can wind down and have a meal and drinks while watching the incredible sunset and then wake up the following morning to the spectacular sunrise.  Cape Leveque is a great place to visit with plenty of tours and activities available or if you prefer you can just sit back, take it easy and simply enjoy this great location.

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After the rains, the wildflowers come. The rusty Kimberley soil almost transforms; the contrast stark – from sandy desolation to a carpet of colour.

Western Australia is home to around 12,000 species of wildflowers, many of them native. Nearly all year round, except for the wet season, an amazing variety of around 2,000 of these species sprinkle the Kimberley Region’s landscapes. It’s not hard to see why WA is known as the wildflower state.

Many of the wildflowers in this region are unique.

The spectacular Ondinea Purpurea which are found in creek beds mostly in North Western Kimberley, and look a little like water lilies.

Kimberley Wildflowers
Borrowed from www.keys.lucidcentral.org 

The Kimberley Rose is not actually related to the rose at all.  It’s striking star shape and vivid colour catches the eye as they bloom during the dry mid-year.  They flower in clusters and glow against the blue skies.

kununurra, wa
photo borrowed from www.plantbroome.com.au

A number of acacias are native to the area. For example, the Acacia Maconochieana which is usually found on sandy shores e.g. Lake Gregory, and the Acacia Paula, a low shrub from the Mitchell Plateau.

Another type of acacia is the Acacia Argyrea, or the Silver Wattle, usually found in Central and East Kimberley:

Kununurra, WA, Kimberley Wildflowers
borrowed from www.plantbroome.com.au

The Kimberley region is the home of several species of rare grevillea including the Grevillea Cunninghamii.  The delicate red blooms nestle in behind leaves with prickly, pointy edges like teeth.

Kimberley Wild Flowers
borrowed from www.plantbroome.com.au

And don’t forget the Bush Tomato. It is part of the tomato family, but just look at the colour of its flowers.  Only 6 species of the bush tomato produce edible fruit.

Kimberley Wild flowers
borrowed from www.plantbroome.com.au

Other wildflowers dotted around the Kimberley region include mulla mulla, capparis-umbonata, cleome and the wild hibiscus just to name a few. Visit Plant Broome to see some stunning photos of these wildflowers.

As if there wasn’t already a lot to see and do here, spotting some of the wildflowers is another item to add to the Kimberley ‘must see’ list.

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Kununurra, WA, East Kimberley, Wet-season

The Kimberly region is simply gorgeous; a rugged, all natural landscape, pristine rock pools and beaches, beautiful weather complete with clear blue skies and a warming sun. It’s the almost perfect way to give your mind and body a break.

It’s also located along the Tropic of Capricorn, and highly influenced by the seasons: more specifically, the Dry and Wet seasons.

As we move into the year that brings in the wet, it brings with it tropical monsoons, hot and humid days and nights, and unpredictable weather patterns.

Mossi

But that’s not all it brings. The soaking rains and damp natural surroundings are the perfect breeding ground for insects, including those that like to bite and sting.

Avoiding them is not all that simple, particularly if you need to leave the house. Repelling them, however, is easier done, with the aid of an insect repellent.

Like our natural surrounding wonderland, Totally Scentual; based in Kununurra, creates a range of insect repellents made entirely from natural ingredients.

Natural-insect-repellant, Insect-repellant

Creams can be rubbed into exposed areas of the body (and they’re safe for babies and infants who like to suck on fingers and toes) or you can spritz  your  face and body to enjoy some pest free time outdoors.

On the off chance you do receive a bit or sting, some bite soothing gel is an essential

Whilst the weather may not be all that appealing at this time of year, you can make it a little more bearable by keeping the bugs at bay. Available online through Moo Woo.

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