Monday, February 15, 2010

The Kimberley Region's Wet Season

The remote and rugged Kimberley region occupies the north-west corner of the Australian continent. It covers an area of 421,451 square kilometres but inhabited by a population of only 35,000. Because of its remote location, some areas are virtually untouched by humans and those that are accessible, only have limited numbers of visitors each year. This is in part due to the distinct "wet" and "dry" seasons of the region. The "wet season" from November to March sees regular tropical thunderstorms throughout the region that turn dry river beds into mighty, raging torrents and the dry season golden brown grasses into lush green meadows. Many of the mighty rivers that flow at this time criss-cross the only main road that traverses the region and at these times the highway can become impassable, sometimes for weeks at a time. The national and state parks which are the sites of many spectacular gorges and waterfalls are also closed during "the wet" because of their inaccessibility.

The famous adventure road, the Gibb River Road, is also closed during the months of December to March, trapping pastoralists on their stations with their only access for food, mail and emergency health services via light aircraft or helicopter.

Although it is hot and humid at this time of year, residents eagerly await the sound of rain pounding on their rooftops and the cooling breezes that the thunderstorms and rains bring. The smell of rain after nearly eight months without any is so sweet! Gigantic thunderheads can form late in the day, offering amazing cloud formations that reflect the setting sun and making the whole world seem to glow in sunset colours. When the storms do eventuate, the lightening shows are worth taking time out to watch. Professional and amateur photographers venture out to try and capture those special moments of lightening bolts across the dark purple skies.

To wander along the 22kms long Cable Beach, Broome, late in the afternoon with a thunderstorm building and developing in the distance is an amazing sight. The distant clouds can be dark and threatening and the sound of thunder rumbling in the distance sends a message of promising relief, but the skies above can be clear and sunny and as quickly as the storm builds, it can also disappear......someone else may have been the lucky recipient of this afternoon's refreshing rains!

Many travellers avoid the region in the 'wet season' but they are missing a spectacular time of year. There is a definite unhurried pace around the towns as the warmer weather slows activities but is really is a great time to relax and enjoy what the season does present....particularly the thousands of mango trees throughout the region whose fruit ripens in late November and is the cause for celebration in a festival!

Whatever the time of year, one of the world's last great wildernesses is truly blessed with Mother Nature's gifts of spectacular coastal and inland landscapes, wildlife, marine life, flora and fauna. The Indigenous inhabitants have left a legacy of unique rock art and history... but that's another story.

Interest in Kimberley Travel? The Best of the Kimberley specialises in organising your Kimberley dream holiday. If you are interested in Travel & Tourism in Western Australia, or you would like to organise an Australian Vacation Package, look no further!

1 comment:

Garry said...

It supposed to seem another enjoyable holiday destination in australia and i love to visit it really
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