Take a closer look at… the Kimberley, the untamed Australian treasure | Magazine PONANT

Discovering a region as fascinating as it is unknown

It may not mean anything to you, but the Kimberley region is nevertheless one of the most untamed regions in the world. Located in north-west Australia, this incredible region has retained its authenticity with abundant fauna and canyons stretching as far as the eye can see. Let’s take a closer look at this unique place with Mick Fogg, Ponant expedition leader in Australia.

Kimberley could be the name of a young goddess from a children’s story. But it’s not that at all, it’s the name of this firmly untamed region located in norther Australia. This vast area, three times the size of England, is also one of the country’s largest natural resources.

“It’s the birthplace of the oldest uninterrupted culture on reEarth, that of the largest reptile in the world (the saltwater crocodile), the only two horizontal waterfalls on the planet, the biggest inshore reef in the world and the largest migrating humpback whale population on the planet”, explains Mick Fogg, a great fan of the region.

To be discovered by land or by sea?

To discover the riches of this unique region, it’s better to travel by sea. With its 2,500 islands and coastline stretching over more than 12,000 km or almost 7500 miles, the Kimberley is a difficult area to access by road. “There are not many places which are accessible by land and only the truly adventurous have access to them using difficult 4×4 trails requiring a lot of preparation”, says the Australian explorer.

By sea, you can discover the intact archipelagos occupied by mangroves and spectacular gorges such as that of King George, 19 kilometres (12 miles) long with sandstone cliffs. “The colours change throughout the day, creating countless opportunities to take photos. It’s an ideal area to explore by rubber dinghy. »

Montgomery, the hidden reef

Montgomery Reef is one of the stops not to be missed. Its distinctive feature: it’s invisible at high tide as it’s covered by more than five metres of water! At low tide, the reef emerges, and the water begins to flow, so forming one of the longest waterfalls in the world. “There’s not really any way of describing this phenomenon and the photos and videos don’t reflect reality. It’s an experience you will remember for the rest of your life! »

Finally, the region harbours an incredible number of Aboriginal cave paintings. This demonstrates the rich past of this land which still attaches a lot of significance to spirituality and sacred images. There’s no doubt about it: this Australian immersion will leave a lifelong memory!

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