AT reader Phoebe Sier erases years of working worry on a pocket of WA coastline she likes to call Man Land: Freshwater Cove.
Freshwater Cove, WA
Minds have spent the year racing, analysing, challenging and sharpening. Steel traps, mergers, futures and profits asphyxiate both grey matter and golden solar plexus. A crystal glimmer of blue, like the exquisite Lapis Lazuli, beckons in the distance. Not a white light – you’ve taken the higher road – but a blue, tranquil azure, beckoning. Full of fish and promise, this glimmer offers an opportunity to blow off some corporate debris – it allows you to completely disappear without a trace. Take it. Grab it. Relish it.
Freshwater Cove on the remote shores of WA’s Kimberley coast promises to mend frayed edges and to do to your body and soul what floating the dollar did for the Australian economy.
A week in Man Land is what the doctor’s doctor ordered. From the gob smacking aerial panorama served during the seaplane (or helicopter) transfer from Broome to the surreal bobbing beneath the majesty of Langgi Gorge in pursuit of Barramundi, Freshwater Cove is an unspoiled wilderness safari camp best kept to a whisper.
Ancient sands are cool beneath naked feet shuffling languidly toward an ocean teeming with aquatic takeovers. Rods flopped over shoulders are secured to your boat’s many bespoke considerations. Chugging amid ancient reef systems lined seamlessly with remnant forests fills blowers with a deep sense of the spiritual. Man Land comes to the fore and primitive senses begin to surface, replacing constructed, calculated instincts.
Located on the Indian Ocean’s northern extreme before the influx of the Timor Sea, this isolated beach camp boasts a frontier connection with WA’s early history and inhabitants. Dome tents and swags provide comfortable viewing of the Kimberley’s star-studded evening sky. The deep base boom of breaching whales combines with the soft raspy tenor of an owl’s call, together with the meditative lapping of a rising 13m tide – all of which accompanies weary bodies to the land of deep sleep, unbroken until piccaninny dawn sweeps the night away.
Hunter-gatherers bring home the evening meal of mangrove jack, queenfish, giant trevally, salmon, mackerel and barra. Turtles guide explorers through the magnificent reef system of the Montgomery Islands and crocodiles keep watch from the tangled mangroves at high tide. Evidence of the 60,000 years of Indigenous culture can be explored around Freshwater Cove’s backcountry, which has been a rich source of anthropological study in recent years. The Worrorra people inhabited this land which bares their mark and continues to harbour a deep spiritual core.
Return to the era of loincloths and swing from the trees; take your Jane (not supplied) or other cave-dwellers and knock back oysters shucked straight from rocks, embellish trevally with chilli and lime, or rip apart your mud crabs with rugged dexterity. Wash it down with civilisation’s coup de elixir.
Forget the stiffened pulse dried by necessity; reclaim your colour and life. Fill your spirit absolutely and unforgettably. The stars belong to a dreamtime, the coast to an epoch, and this virginal stretch only to you.