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The unique Karijini Eco Retreat is now welcoming guests as the fi rst and only permanent up-market accommodation in the depths of the breathtaking Karijini National Park. Karijini (formerly Hamersley Range) National Park is the second largest national park in Western Australia – located just north of the Tropic of Capricorn, approximately 1,400 kilometres north of Perth and boasting breathtaking gorges, crystal clear rock pools, waterfalls, and stunning scenery. The Karijini Eco Retreat offers comfortable, luxurious eco tents in a rugged outback setting, along with campsites featuring quality shared facilities including showers and BBQ bush kitchens for self catering. The property, which is fully-owned by the local Gumala Aboriginal people has a range of accommodation that includes 82 campsites, 5 group camp sites, 40 upmarket eco tents with ensuites, 10 eco tents with shared facilities and an Outbackstyle alfresco licensed restaurant. Guided walking and tag-a-long tours are offered at selected times www.karijiniecoretreat.com.au Inland, the park protects an undulating heath-covered sandplain, interspersed with swamps and freshwater pools. In the south-west corner of the park you’ll discover an impressive chain of peaks with intriguing names, such as Mt Le Grand (345 metres), Frenchman Peak (262 metres) and Mississippi Hill (180 metres). Also located near Esperance in Cape Le Grand National Park is the beautiful Lucky Bay, voted last year as Australia’s whitest beach. Visitors can also take a boat cruise to the nearby Recherche Archipelago, or try some bird spotting at the Munglinup Beach wetlands. Here a dazzling variety of water and migratory birds inhabit the nature-rich landscape. Munglinup Beach is ideal for safe swimming and the reef makes a great snorkelling attraction. Visitors should take time out from to enjoy the charm of quaint villages, like Esperance itself – a good base for exploring the region. Esperance offers a wide variety of accommodation with more than 60 quality motels, hotels, caravan and holiday parks, chalets, apartments, farm stays and bed and breakfasts. the south coast New retreat for Karijini For more information go to www.westernaustralia.com www.australiasgoldenoutback.com J u l y 2 0 0 7 w w w . S E L L I N G D O W N U N D E R . c o m 23

C H A N G E Y O U R L A T I T U D E TM The theatrical approach The multi-award Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park close to Cairns and owned by the Tjapukai people showcases the culture of the rainforest people of Tropical North Queensland with a spectacular theatrical interpretation of Aboriginal heritage. There is also an interactive Camp Village, where visitors can learn didgeridoo playing and boomerang throwing. Walking with the owners Djabugay Country Tours are based in the rainforest village of Kuranda, within easy reach of Cairns and is designed for those visitors wanting a unique and special experience. The company is community owned with profi ts going back to the community. Here’s a tip: take the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway to Kuranda, with its stunning views over North Queensland’s magnifi cent scenery. Beach, mudflats and mangroves Tag along with Kuku Yalanji Cultural Habitat Tours in Port Douglas to explore the region’s magnifi cent beach, the mudfl ats, and the mangroves. Learn how to throw a spear, track wildlife, and use coastal resources as Linc and Brandon Walker follow the traditions of their ancestors and educate visitors about their rich Kuku Yalanji culture. Dreamtime at Mossman Head north from Port Douglas and join one of the Kuku Yalanji Dreamtime Walks at majestic Mossman Gorge. The main 90-minute walk takes you through the Daintree Rainforest with a unique traditional interpretation of ancient Kuku Yalanji culture. The Bloomfield experience Cross the Daintree River north of Port Douglas and past Cape Tribulation to Wujal Wujal, home of Walker Family Tours. This is an opportunity to see Bloomfi eld Falls through the eyes of its traditional custodians, and to learn about the cultural signifi cance of this very special place. Inclusive packages from Cairns and Port Douglas are available. See the Rainbow Serpent Guurrbi Tours operate from Cooktown with Aboriginal Elder, Willie Gordon – and is listed as one of Australia’s ‘Ultimate Must-Do Experiences’. Willie’s Rainbow Serpent Tour takes you through a dramatic landscape to six magnifi cent rock art sites. A remote cultural cruise The more adventurous visitor might want to venture to the top of the Cape York Peninsula and cruise the region aboard the MV Pikkuw with Aurukun Fishing The last of Australia’s regions to be explored, settled or developed until a little over 100 years ago, Tropical North Queensland is home to Australia’s highest proportion of Indigenous Australians – offering a wonderful opportunity to explore a great diversity of ancient cultures. 24 w w w . S E L L I N G D O W N U N D E R . c o m J u l y 2 0 0 7