Mention of my home country Australia is often greeted with an expression of love and desire to visit followed by the sheer realization of how far away it actually is. A trip to Australia is one that needs more time than one has and that doesn’t even begin to touch the sides of what’s to see. Sydney, Melbourne and the north coastline are often top of the list, but sadly an area often missed, even by Aussies, is Western Australia. Just a five-hour plane ride from the east coast, this vast expansive area offers everything from beaches to mountain ranges, vineyards to deserts and even camels to crocs.
The Kimberley, one of the nine regions of Western Australia, is the most remote and sprawling areas on earth and three times the size of England.
As you fly over miles of red desert dirt it would seem there is nothing but more earth ahead until the glistening turquoise ocean out of nowhere hugging the red earth blinds you. It was like nothing I had ever seen before, a feeling I realized would occur again and again during the trip.
Known for sunset camel rides on Cable beach and its famous Matsos’ ginger flavored beer, Broome really turned on the wow factor, but it wasn’t long before we were in the car mastering the dusty crimson terrain. Eco Beach Resort is 80 miles south of Broome, set amongst a pristine and untouched environment; it is ‘accessible wilderness’ leaving minimal impact
Domanic Matsumoto runs the Eco Beach’s indigenous tours including a catch and taste excursion in the mangroves of Jack’s Creek, just up from Eco Beach Resort. The mangroves, Dom explained is the perfect location for hooking a mud crab as he did so, so effortlessly.
At just 21, he has an easy, laid back style with a huge sense of humor suggesting we ask “any question you’ve ever wanted to ask an Aboriginal person”. Talking about his people and their connection to the land, he has us city folk in awe as he describes trapping a goanna or wild duck to eat with his family is the norm. “On special occasions we will have dugong,” he shares.
The naughty treat of driving the four-wheel drive along the sandy beach; something frowned upon on the east coast of Australia was somewhat of a highlight.
The night was completed with another magical sunset like I’ve never seen before.
I have seen some beaches as an Australian from the east coast, but the beaches on the west are something else. The juxtaposition of rugged land and vibrant colors truly is a visual gift. There is also a nostalgia present that allows you to understand the connection the indigenous have to the land.
The Kimberley truly is where the outback meets the ocean.
Herstory is a weekly column on women and travel by Steph Ridhalgh. Steph is a Sydney born; New York based television producer and travel blogger. Not one for being quiet for too long she simply loves talking about travel and lifestyle.
Steph is the founder of STEP(h) ABROAD, a travel and lifestyle resource for those who love to be in the know and know how.