In September I was invited to attend an “Amazing Aussie Adventure”. To my surprise, the itinerary included some places I was not familiar with.
Our journey began in Los Angeles on Qantas Airways, flying to Broome in Western Australia, via Sydney. A resort town, Broome is the pearling capital of Australia and the western gateway to the Kimberley Coast. We had a short 1/2 hour sightseeing tour before heading to our accommodations, the Cable Beach Club Resort and Spa. Cable Beach is renowned as one of the most stunning beaches in the world, with twenty two kilometers (approx. 15 miles) of pristine white sand along the Indian Ocean. The sunsets are spectacular.
The next day we took part in an Air Safari with Kimberley Aviation. The planes seat 6 passengers plus the pilot and/or co-pilot. We flew over the Kimberleys, discovering some of the landmarks of this region like the Horizontal Waterfalls. Stopping at remote Cape Leveque we enjoyed a swim in the Indian Ocean. What a treat.
We visited a Pearl Farm, and enjoyed learning about the Australian South Sea cultured pearls, before going on a camel walk on Cable Beach. Sitting atop camels who walked leisurely on the beach as the sun set on the horizon was a memorable experience.
The following day we took a short 12 minute scenic flight from Broome to Eco Beach. Eco Beach is about a one hour by car from Broome, but a million miles from anywhere you have ever been before. It features stunning villas, luxury tents and the best oceanfront panorama anywhere in Australia, and having a minimal impact on its breathtaking natural surroundings.
My favorite activity was what they call “Mud 'N Bubbles,” a wonderful skin treatment beginning with a sand exfoliation, followed by an application of healing mangrove mud freshly sourced from Jack’s Creek. By that time we all looked like the characters from the movie “Avatar”. The experience was topped off with some champagne -- what could be better! After our Bubble experience, we headed back to Broome to catch our flight to Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory.
Darwin is Australia’s most northern capital city, with a population of just over 100,000, including the Larrakia Aboriginal people. The climate here is tropical, which sets the scene for a lot of outdoor activities.
Darwin is also an excellent base from which to explore the internationally recognized World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park. Darwin has beautiful beaches but one cannot enjoy them without risking being eaten by crocodiles. We went to what is called Crocosaurus Cove, to get an up close and personal view of Australia’s iconic saltwater crocodiles.
The next day we started our adventure towards Kakadu National Park , visiting points of interest on the way. We saw a lot of wildlife and some of the best and oldest Aboriginal rock art in the country. A boat cruise, along the Yellow Water Billabong to view the many species of bird life, was one of the highlights. Saltwater crocodiles patrol the waterways while wild horses, buffalo and other wildlife can often be seen along the banks.
We stopped at a closed campsite, Hawks Dreaming Wilderness Lodge, in the heart of Kakadu National Park, to spend the night. The camp is in close proximity to Aboriginal rock art and occupation site and gives every guest an amazing insight into Aboriginal culture and heritage. Our guide was amazing and so proud being able to tell us about her culture. As remote as we were , the staff put on an amazing three-course meal for us in the evening, and a wonderful breakfast before we went on to our next adventure.
Wildman Wilderness Lodge is located in the majestic Mary River National Park Wetlands of the Northern Territory. Arriving at the lodge late in the afternoon, we had time to relax in the pool and watch wallabies before enjoying some drinks at sunset. Another amazing three-course meal was waiting for us accompanied by wonderful views. Our accommodations were anything but wild. We were treated to another boat cruise to enjoy the surroundings and saw lots more crocodiles.
After this wonderful experience in the Kakadu National Park, we headed towards Darwin Airport for our flight to Sydney.
We arrived in Sydney early evening and checked into the Sydney Harbor Marriott Hotel. Looking out of my window I saw the famous Bridge. I was really in Sydney, Australia, and not dreaming. The following day was full of workshops were we met suppliers from all over Australia. Lots to learn and appreciate.
I took a walk towards the Bridge and from there looked over Sydney Harbor towards the Opera House. What an amazing site. Later that evening our suppliers had a reception and dinner for us at the Museum of Contemporary Art, with a spectacular view of the Harbor, which was all lit up. What a great way to end our Australian Adventure.