Experience The Kimberley – AG style

By Ian Connellan 8 November 2013
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The Kimberley’s enduring fascination prooves as potent as ever at a recent AG members’ event.

WHERE DO AUSTRALIAN GEOGRAPHIC readers want to travel?

Lazy night-time talks with members on recent AG Society expeditions in the Galapagos Islands and Tasmania gave me the general answer: just about anywhere in Australia, and a fair few places overseas besides.

But this week’s AG Experience the Kimberley forums have filled in a detail: the remote Kimberley, in north-west WA, is high on most people’s travel wish list.

LAUNCH A GALLERY of The Kimberley

The Sydney event, at the Museum of Sydney on Tuesday night, was so popular that we had to have two sessions of the presentation. Guests were treated to illustrated talks by four passionate Kimberley advocates. Zoologist Simon Cherriman – the AG Society’s 2010 Young Conservationist of the Year – talked about his experiences surveying east Kimberley wildlife; Glen Chidlow, the CEO of tourism body Australia’s North West, described the region’s main visitor arteries; Orion Expedition Cruises’ Steve McLaughlin talked about the magic of a cruise along the Kimberley coast; and Australian Pacific Touring’s Rob McGeary and Ed Bennett described the wonders of places – such as Purnululu National Park – that people visit on ground-based Kimberley tours.

The Experience Kimberley panelists

The range of questions that guests put to the speakers afterwards was a great reflection of AG readers’ interests: there were queries about sustainable travel, travel operators’ efforts to involve and employ Kimberley indigenous people, and considerable interest in the spread of the toxic cane toad from the NT into pristine Kimberley habitats. (Read more about the AG Society expedition to the Kimberley).

As always, I thoroughly enjoyed hosting the Sydney forum and meeting and hearing the views of some of the AG Society members who came along. It’s a brilliant to meet like-minded people and hear stories about their Australian travel experiences.