A Slow Start

Drysdale RiverDrysdale River at sunrise (taken previously)

Every once in a while on these camping trips I take a morning off photography. Not very often but occasionally, either by choice or circumstance. Instead it becomes a morning to wake slowly and savour the silence and stillness of a perfect Kimberley morning. No photo chase. No swapping filters. No wading through cold water. Just a slow start with a freshly brewed coffee. And, of course, the Kimberley’s chorus of birdlife as my background music. Perfect.

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Room With A View

Mitchell Falls

Back in the real world my days start slowly. Coffee helps clear any lingering fog of one beer too many the night before. My morning scan of world news and the latest Donald Trump scandal lulls me into a false sense of feeling like I have learned something new  – something useful – about the world, as if my daily consumption of bad news – or ‘fake news’ – makes me a better person. It doesn’t. Back in the real world it’s very easy to waste time – to fill our days with chores and emails and busywork. And when the day is over it’s all too easy to wind down with another cold beer and crappy TV. These are the days when I am completely uninspired.

And then one day I wake up in the middle of the great wilderness that is the Kimberley and it couldn’t be more different. Out here surrounded by nature it is a different world. I open my eyes in the morning and a soft pre-dawn glow illuminates the burnt orange rocks around me. In an instant my morning is filled with purpose and excitement. I reach for the camera and the hunt for a perfect sunrise photo begins – that exciting and frustrating chase for a perfect image, a perfect Kimberley moment captured in time – an image that captures the place not only as I see it but as I feel it.

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A Surprise Around Every Corner

Fitzroy River

From the air a uniform tree line of eucalypts stretch as far as the eye can see. The landscape can appear flat and uninspiring. But zoom in, look a little closer, and there are hidden gems around every corner. Quiet reflections in still creeks. Gently cascading waterfalls just out of sight. And ancient rock art calling to us from a distant past.

And yet from a distance all of it is hidden. All of it lies tucked away at the end of dusty roads in one of Australia’s least developed regions. It is a place with many names in many languages – named by those who first stepped foot on virgin soil, Australia’s first people.  For us – those who follow in their footsteps – it is The Kimberley. A landscape rich in natural attractions, history and culture.

Back In Kimberley Country

Sandstone-Ridges-Kimberley-Gary-Annett

Driving west of the Victoria River towards the East Kimberley the first distinctive sandstone ridges – or mesas – welcome me back to Western Australia. Technically I’m still the N.T. but the geology makes it very clear this is Kimberley country. This is classic Kimberley sandstone, with burnt orange hues and vertical cliff faces. No mater how often I drive these roads these ranges speak to something deep within me.

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