Kimberley & Pilbara

Before heading west to the Kimberley coast we usually fill up at Drysdale River Station with pre-arranged drum fuel. The plateau country surrounding the station is flattish, sparsely timbered savannah woodland, but further towards the coast it is criss-crossed with deep dramatic gorges. Numerous rock faces hide fascinating art sites. Flight along the gorges with their richly coloured walls and multiple waterfalls is spectacular. The coastline, with its extreme daily tidal variations, is equally dramatic.

West of Lake Argyle, another regular photographic location is the Ragged Range. Here the bulbous hills are composed of a conglomerate of orange coloured stones. It is a dramatic environment dotted with slender palms, growing even up the steepest inclines. In recent years we visited Gregory National Park for the first time. In one region, from the air, the limestone formations protrude through the surrounding landscape in a broad curving band like a river, with an accompanying army of pre-historic looking boab trees.

A particular special destination for us is a small island not far out to sea. Midway along the island, are two tiny back-to-back beaches composed of broken coral. Piles of beautiful bleached driftwood have collected at the high tide line and amongst the rocks. A pair of Osprey maintain a nest here, and Sooty oystercatchers are active along the rocks out from the shore.

Continuing south-west takes us past Geike and Windjana Gorges before heading south to the Pilbara. The sheer size of the Pilbara gorges, such as the huge Wittenoom Gorge, have a powerful impact on the humble human viewer. They are stained a deep rich red-orange colour by the high concentration of iron oxide in the rocks. Water run-off is crystal clear and at a suitable rock shelf will provide the most luxurious shower ever.