29’ 60 S 122o 03’ 03 E
IN THE KIMBERLEYS, NORTH WESTERN AUSTRALIA,
TOP OF MITCHELL PLATEAU AND BACK
AURORA CORAL PRINCESS
– 14TH June 2007
Princess, a stable catamaran to carry 50 passengers for our 10 day voyage
the tropical northern western waters of Australia
joined Aruora Cruises for a 12 day trip along the Kimberley Coast from
Broome in North Western Australia sailing east as far as Bigg Island. It
is an amazing coastline of red sandstone containing some of the oldest
rocks on the surface of the planet. They have been dated to 1,800 million
years old! This land also contains signs of the earliest settlers in
Australia going back some 60,000 years.
David Donda with David and Valerie at the cocktail reception
our Antarctic cruise there were only around 40 passengers which made for a
very relaxed fun atmosphere.
Libby Sakker with Expedition leader, Len Zell on Montgomery Reef
We were fortunate to have Len Zell aboard
as one of the tour leaders. He is a marine biologist and is author of the
Lonely Planet Great Barrier Reef diving & snorkelling guide amongst a
number of other books.
leader Mike Cusack
had lived a year in the wilderness of the Mitchell plateau in the
Kimberley’s with his wife 20 years ago,
is a great source of information and inspiration for these wild lands.
weathered siltstone on Edeline island, where so many Pearl divers had met
their fate diving too
in the late 1800’s.
High Water Mark on the rocks shows that the tides reach 12 metres further
up the cliff face
could cool off in Crocodile Creek swimming hole, safe from crocodiles as
it’s high up from the mouth of the
Horizontal falls so named as the gap is so narrow between the cliffs
the tide causes the water to shoot in between like a cascade, 5 metres
all had a ride in the RIB to experience the thrill of riding back up
against the rapids!
not used to wearing a life jacket in the RIB, but the RIB did have a job
pushing up against the tide race
with its 40 HP outboard
ferrous limestone is pushed up by the earth’s tectonic movements
these extraordinary ripples, treating hard rock like toffee
Island Ore workings have recently begun again since the power needed to
pump the water for the iron ore open cast mines made extraction uneconomical
after 31 million tons of ore had been removed in the previous 27 years. The
increase in ore prices has made it a viable proposition again. The mine was
due to ship out its first load the day after we were there!
Ore carrier and floating crane for Aztec resources as part of the
infrastructure requirements for the mining
to the ledge of Numbi to visit the Aboriginal rock paintings
Rock Paintings used to be repainted every year to ask the spirits to bring
plenty of water
custom stopped in the 1960’s, and these old paintings will gradually
deteriorate as no one has the right to repaint them, the local tribe having
Island. Sacred historical aboriginal story tells that this was the fish
cast in stone when
(the fish) married the person from the wrong clan