In a land far, far away

Published in Luxury Travel, Issue 51, Winter 2012

From Broome Jane O’sullivan took a two-hour flight to the Mitchell Plateau then a 15-minute helicopter transfer to reach the Kimberley Coastal Camp, the latest addition to Australia’s high-end travel experiences. The aching remoteness is of course part of the experience, the rest is all about what the camp’s expert guides showed her in this untouched, ancient part of our continent.

“We’re lucky it’s a cool day,” says Kev, striding on ahead. It was 39 degrees Celsius in the shade when we left, and it certainly isn’t any cooler in the full blast of the Kimberley sun. But Kev is one of those hardened country men with a battered akubra and sun-leathered skin, who clearly has a different definition of normal to us city slickers.

We’re bushwalking near the Lawley River, behind the Mitchell Plateau in far north Western Australia. It is without doubt the most remote place I’ve ever been. Most of the bushwalking I do is on nicely groomed trails in national parks, with tidy steps and handrails and trailmarkers, not bush-bashing through spinifex and hopping over boulders. I feel privileged to be out and about in such an untouched and breathtakingly beautiful corner of our country – but I do wish I had some gaiters. That spinifex is prickly stuff.

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