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Situated north-west of Derby, this group
of more than 1000 tiny scattered islands
is almost as remote as you can get in WA.
19th century pearl fishermen called it a lost
paradise of a thousand islands and a million
bays. It is also home to patches of rainforest,
secluded beaches and mangroves, and the
diving and fishing is exceptional.
Best suited to intrepid travellers, it takes
up to three hours to get there from Derby
by boat. The tides are massive and create
stupendous whirlpools and horizontal
waterfalls as the waters surge and subside
at pace through the archipelago. It is
important to either get an experienced local
guide if you have your own boat, or better
yet to join an organised cruise. You can also
go on a scenic flight from Derby or Broome.
The Cockatoo Island resort is no longer
open to the public, but camping is allowed
on the island beaches and is popular with
the locals, especially on Valentine Island. It is
recommended people contact the Kimberley
Land Council and Department of Indigenous
Affairs before visiting the islands, because
there are several sites of cultural significance.
Coordinates: 16°07’22”S 123°24’10”E
Fish for barramundi, coral trout, red emperor
and spanish mackerel, not to mention succulent
oysters off the rocks and enormous mud crabs.
Wildlife includes many species of snake, gecko,
monitors, lizards and dragons, bats, sea snakes,
rock rats and crocodiles. Also whales, dolphins
and turtles. Go island hopping and see Aboriginal
rock painting galleries and pearl farms, or go
beachcombing, hike though deep gorges, swim
in freshwater lagoons below cascading waterfalls,
or snorkel in coral lagoons at low tide. Failing
that, just relax on a beach.
What to do
The Buccaneer Archipelago’s Cockatoo
Island (Photography Nigel Gaunt).
An exclusive bush camp for a
spectacular wilderness experience
Ph: 08 91691214
Closer encounters with wildlife, remarkable
beauty, isolation and history all await, in
this unique slice of outback Australia.
Perched on a cliff top overlooking the
Timor Sea in WA’s remote North Kimberley
is Faraway Bay, The Bush Camp.
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