Since the renowned and highly respected Sam Lovell OAM began taking tours in 1981, the Kimberley has been a great place to travel with indigenous guides to see the countryside from the unique perspective of the original Australians.
That can be done in many ways, including a stay at the inexpensive and multi-award-winning Kooljaman at Cape Leveque, 220km north of Broome on the Dampier Peninsula. The property is owned, but not currently run, by indigenous locals, and the Bardi people bring a lot of the character to the place. Campsites here cost from $18 per person per night, plus a $5 electricity surcharge for a powered site. More swish raised-timber-floor safari tents cost from $260 per night twin-share and offer panoramic ocean views. There are fishing tours, whale watching and self-guided walks on offer.
An even less expensive option is Darlngunaya Backpackers at Fitzroy Crossing Post Office. At Geikie Gorge, the Darhgku Aboriginal Cultural Tour was developed in conjunction with National Park rangers. This boat tour provides a special insight into Aboriginal heritage and visits places not accessible to ordinary visitors.
To explore the opportunities for indigenous travel along the Dampier Peninsula, visit the Ardi tourism organisation’s website. Kimberley Dreamtime Adventure Tours offers several tours out of Broome.
Of course, there are also many opportunities to buy Aboriginal art in the area where it was created. There are galleries throughout theKimberley– ask local tourist offices for recommendations.
Darhgku Aboriginal Cultural Tour: darngku.com.au
Darlngunaya Backpackers: (08) 9191 5140
Kimberley Dreamtime Adventure Tours: Phone Rob on 0477 214 681; kimberleydreamtimeadventures.com.au.
Kooljaman at Cape Leveque: (08) 9192 4970; kooljaman.com.au
General information: See Tourism Australia’s site, www.voyages.com.au