Highway One: Western Australia’s rugged coast

By Catherine Lawson 7 November 2013
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Western Australia’s northern coastline has much to offer along the national Highway One.

BEYOND THE BUNGLE BUNGLES, Highway One cuts an isolated pathway through the Kimberley’s vast savannah plains, providing access to its gorges and ancient reefs along the Western Australia coast.

A handful of national parks lie just off the bitumen at Windjana Gorge, Geikie Gorge and Tunnel Creek, providing bushwalking trails, boat cruises and in Tunnel Creek, the opportunity to wet-walk for 750m through chilly, knee-to-thigh-deep pools, guided only by torchlight.

Eventually as you venture west, the silver white of the sand and the deep blue of the sea at Cable Beach beckon, irresistible after a string of 40-degree days in the Kimberley. An undeniably beautiful beach, this 22km stretch of sand takes is name from the Broome to Java Submarine Telegraph Cable, laid off the beach in 1889.

Cable Beach lures an eclectic mix of locals and travellers, dog-walkers and fisherfolk, cameleers, kayakers, four-wheel drive enthusiasts and even nudists.

Pristine Western Australia coast in trouble

And when you want to escape the crowds you’ll find that the magnficence continues north of Broome where – from a string of bush camps atop pindan cliffs – you can spot whales, snorkel reef-fringed headlands, surf, fish and watch sea eagles riding the thermals.

It’s along this pristine coastline at James Price Point that Woodside plans to build Australia’s largest LNG (liquefied natural gas) processing plant, and protestors have set up their own camps, awaiting a final decision on the project.

It’s quite possible that Goolarabooloo elder Phillip Roe is still on site too, protecting an Indigenous burial site at James Price Point from possible destruction.

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