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The West Kimberley, Great Northern Hwy, Broome, WA, Australia

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List National Heritage List
Class Natural
Legal Status Listed place (31/08/2011)
Place ID 106063
Place File No 5/09/213/0034
Nominator's Summary Statement of Significance
Official Values
Criterion A Events, Processes
Assembling a continent
King Leopold orogen
The rocks of the King Leopold orogen represent the remnants of three major orogenies (mountain building processes) that took place in the Kimberley from c. 1870–560 million years ago (Ma). The King Leopold orogen provides strong evidence of Palaeoproterozoic plate tectonic activity (from about 2500–1600 Ma), at a period preceding formation of the Neoproterozoic supercontinent Rodinia, which came together around 1000–850 million years ago. Rodinia was a giant landmass containing most or all of Earth's continental crust at the time, centred south of the Equator. The land that became Australia was probably in the north-east of the landmass. 
The King Leopold orogen also preserves rocks from the Yampi and King Leopold orogenies that occurred later in the Proterozoic, which record events that helped build the modern Kimberley topography (Maher and Copp 2009b). The events of these three Proterozoic orogenies are preserved in the spectacularly folded Proterozoic quartzites and sandstones of the Yampi Peninsula and the granite domes, gneiss hills and schist ridges of the King Leopold Range and the Fitzroy uplands province. There is little consensus among geologists on plate tectonic activity in the early Earth: rocks from the period from 2,700 Ma to about 700 Ma, such as those of the King Leopold orogen, are very important in understanding the timing and nature of modern plate tectonics (Witze 2006; Stanley 1999).
The King Leopold orogen is a significant geological record of past orogenic processes which led to the Proterozoic assembly of Rodinia, representing key tectonic events in the evolution of the Australian continent and a major stage of Earth's history. This record is displayed in significant fault and fold structures in rocks exposed along the coast of Yampi Peninsula, in the King Leopold Range and the Fitzroy Uplands. These geological features highlight the powerful tectonic forces and the physical geological structures formed during orogenic processes (Maher and Copp 2010).
The King Leopold orogen of the west Kimberley has outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (a) for recording pre-Rodinian and Proterozoic plate tectonic processes, key events in the evolution of the Australian continent.
Ecology, biogeography and evolution
Devonian reef
The Devonian reef sequence preserved in the Oscar, Napier, Emmanuel and Pillara ranges is a continuous record from the Frasnian to the Famennian stage of the Late Devonian period (around 380 – 360 million years ago), covering two significant marine mass extinction events. Famennian reefs are rare throughout the world and none is present elsewhere in Australia. In addition, valleys cut through the reef at Windjana and Geikie Gorges by the Lennard and Fitzroy rivers provide sections through the deposit that give palaeontologists and geologists a unique window on this sequence.
The Devonian Reef of the Kimberley has outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (a) because it is a continuous record of 20 million years of reef deposition and shows the response of a Late Devonian reef to a mass extinction event.
Gogo fossil sites
The Gogo fish fossil sites of the late Devonian period are one of the world's most important early vertebrate fossil localities. The deposits contain specimens of fish ancestral to tetrapods (vertebrate animals with four legs or leg-like appendages), fossils that clarify the anatomical transitions that took place at the base of this radiation.
The Gogo fossil sites have outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (a) for important transitional fossils that document the evolution of early tetrapodomorph fish.
The biological significance of the west Kimberley
Biodiversity analysis using the Australian Government's Australian Natural Heritage Assessment Tool (ANHAT), supported by the Australian Heritage Council’s expert opinion, has shown the northern Kimberley coast and islands, the Kimberley Plateau and the west Kimberley Devonian reefs are nationally significant for species richness and endemism for many plant, mammal, reptile, frog and invertebrate groups. Island populations of critical weight range species such as the northern quoll (Dasyurus hallucatus), the golden bandicoot (Isoodon auratus), the scaly-tailed possum (Wyulda squamicaudata) and the golden–backed tree–rat (Mesembriomys macrurus) are of particular importance due to their decline on the mainland caused by an array of human–induced threatening processes.
The northern Kimberley coast and islands, the Kimberley Plateau and the west Kimberley Devonian reefs have outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (a) for plant, mammal, reptile, frog and invertebrate species richness and endemism; and as refugia protecting against human-induced environmental changes.
Many of the small immobile invertebrate species endemic to the Kimberley have only been recorded in its rainforest patches (vine thickets), including 90 per cent of the earthworms and 48 per cent of the land snails (Kenneally and McKenzie 1991). Survey and taxonomic work by Solem (1979, 1981, 1984, 1985) and more recent research (Graham 2001b; Köhler 2010) have helped highlight the national importance of the Kimberley Plateau and surrounding islands for land snail richness and endemism. ANHAT analyses have supported the findings of these researchers, showing the Kimberley Plateau is exceptionally high in richness and endemism for Camaenidae (air breathing land snails). This consistent spread of now locally restricted species may reflect long-term evolution through isolation (Köhler 2009; Köhler and Gibson in prep.). The west Kimberley was found to have the second highest richness in the country for the family Pupillidae (minute, air–breathing land snails).
Vine thickets of the northern Kimberley coast and islands and the Kimberley Plateau, and the Devonian reefs of the west Kimberley, are of outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (a) for their evolutionary refugial role that has resulted in high invertebrate richness and endemism.
The river systems of the north Kimberley serve as refuges to freshwater fish species, with a consequently high endemism found in several families. With 18 species that are endemic to the region, the west Kimberley has the highest number of endemic freshwater fish in comparison to any other region in Australia (Allen et al. 2002, Morgan 2008, Unmack 2001). The highly dissected nature of the landscape has served as an isolating mechanism between species, with the numerous large and deep waterholes acting as refugia, resulting in centres of speciation that have existed since the fluctuating climate of the late Cenozoic (Allen and Leggett 1990). Rivers that are important for endemism include the Drysdale River (six species), the Prince Regent (six species), the Roe and Moran Rivers (four species), Carson River (four species) and Isdell River (three species) (Morgan 2008, Allen et al. 2002). The Mitchell, King Edward (including the Morgan and Carson Rivers) and Drysdale River systems also provide habitat for a number of endemic freshwater turtles (McCord and Joseph–Ouni 2007). ANHAT analysis returned the second highest national Chelidae (side–necked tortoises) endemism score.
The Drysdale, Prince Regent, Roe, Moran, Carson, Isdell, Mitchell and King Edward Rivers are of outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (a) as areas of evolutionary refugia demonstrated by nationally high values for freshwater fish and turtle endemism.
Wealth of land and sea
Movement of material (marine shell beads) by Aboriginal people
The occurrence of marine shell beads in occupation deposits at two inland rock shelters, Carpenter's Gap 1 and Riwi, dated to 30,000 BP is exceptional, providing testimony for the antiquity of long distance movement of material by Aboriginal people, perhaps in some kind of system of exchange during the Pleistocene period (McConnell and O'Connor 1997; O'Connor 1999; Balme 2000; Balme and Morse 2006).
In historical times, Aboriginal trading networks criss-crossed the continent moving valued commodities like pearl shell, ochre and stone tools over thousands of kilometres. These extensive economic and social systems of exchange are a characteristic feature of Aboriginal Australia.
Carpenter's Gap 1 and Riwi rock shelters have outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (a) as they demonstrate the operation of Aboriginal social and economic networks 30,000 years ago over distances of 500 kilometres.
Symbolic use of ochre
Archaeological excavations at Carpenter's Gap 1 rock shelter recovered a slab of roof material to which ochre had been deliberately applied. The slab had fallen to the floor of the rock shelter some time before 39,700 years BP. The ochre appears to have been blown onto the surface, probably in a similar method used by Aboriginal people in Australia in ethnographic times (O'Connor and Fankhauser 2001). This is the oldest trace of ochre intentionally applied to a rock surface presently known in Australia, and is one of the earliest examples on a world scale.
Carpenter's Gap 1 rock shelter has outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (a) as it provides evidence of the antiquity of the symbolic use of ochre on a rock surface, the earliest 'art' in Australia's cultural history.
Aboriginal trade in pearl shell
Kimberley pearl shell (Pinctada maxima) has associations with water, rain-making, ancestral Creator  Beings, stories and songs. The significance of the modified pearl shell changes as it is traded from its source, where it was created by powerful Dreamtime Beings.
Highly valued by Aboriginal people as the 'emblem of life' with potent correlations with water, and the power to regenerate, renew, and transform; modified Kimberley pearl is the most widely distributed commodity in Aboriginal Australia, covering two-thirds of the Australian continent.
Pearl shell beds at a number of identified sites from Bidyadanga to Cape Londonderry, where in Aboriginal law and culture, the shell is believed to have been created by Dreamtime Beings and is collected by Traditional Owners, have outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (a) as the source of the item most widely distributed by Aboriginal people in the course of Australia's cultural history.
Contact, change and continuity
European explorers
In the sixteenth century long, dangerous and difficult voyages across uncharted oceans began to shape ‘new worlds’ on the maps of European navigators. In the pursuit of knowledge and wealth beyond the borders of Europe, early expeditions by the Portugese, Spanish, Dutch, French and British began to reveal the outline of the Australian continent.
The William Dampier (Cygnet) 1688 landing place
William Dampier stayed in the west Kimberley coast area for more than one month, landing first at Pender Bay, then sailing and anchoring in Karrakatta Bay. Dampier and the Cygnet crew lived at Karrakatta Bay, camped and careened the ship on land, 'canoed' and fished in the nearby sea, met a group of Aboriginal people on an island, observed Aboriginal people elsewhere and swimming between islands. Dampier also notes in his account old wells, low even land, sandy banks against the sea, rocky points, the careening beach, the islands in the bay, the 'dragon' trees and the Aboriginal stone fish traps described as 'weirs of stone across little coves or branches of the sea'. A full description of his observations is included in his account of his voyages around the world (Dampier 1697). The environment Dampier observed is substantially unmodified since his 1688 landing and can be seen today.
William Dampier's published accounts of his voyages around the world, which included his observations at Karrakatta Bay and nearby, were significant in stimulating European exploration interest in the Pacific and Australia which foreshadowed Cook's voyage to the Pacific and eventual establishment of a British colony in Australia in 1788. Dampier's observations at Karrakatta Bay and nearby were also influential in shaping late seventeenth and eighteenth century attitudes towards Australia and its Indigenous people. His observations made at Karrakatta Bay were also influential in the British Government's sponsorship of another voyage to Australia in 1699 during which Dampier collected some Australian plants, foreshadowing the birth of Australian botany.
The Kimberley coast is recognised for its association with early European exploration of the continent. The William Dampier (Cygnet) (1688) landing place, around Pender Bay, Karrakatta Bay, King Sound, the Buccaneer Archipelago and nearby coast, has outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (a) for its association with William Dampier and the influence of his published observations. The environment observed by Dampier is substantially unmodified since his 1688 landing and can be seen today.
Fossil Downs station
Fossil Downs station is outstanding for its association with the longest droving journey in Australia. Undertaken over three years in the late nineteenth century the MacDonald brothers drove cattle from Goulburn, New South Wales to what is now known as Fossil Downs Station in the Kimberley. This journey of 5,600 kilometres ended near a tree marked F136 by explorer Alexander Forrest on 3 June 1886.
The place where the tree marked F136 once stood has outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (a) for its association with the pioneering overlanding journey undertaken by the MacDonald brothers in 1883-1886.
Bunuba resistance to the rolling frontier of European settlement
Conflict between Europeans and Aboriginal people was endemic on the frontier of European settlement (Reynolds 1976). As the wave of European settlement moved south and north from the Sydney colony it took many forms from passive resistance through to large-scale violent action, and was highly influenced by the terrain on which it occurred. (Reynolds 1982; Pedersen 2000; Grassby and Hill 1988; Connor 2002).
The Bunuba resistance would not have been a success without the impenetrable fortress-like qualities of their traditional country. The limestone landscape of the Napier and Oscar Ranges provided the Bunuba people with a refuge from which to defend their country and a fortress to attack would-be settlers and the police. Control of the Devonian Reef was crucial for the rolling frontier of European settlement to move forward.
The limestone ranges of the Devonian Reef have outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (a) as the place where Bunuba resistance held back the advance of European settlement for 13 years, an unusual achievement by Aboriginal people in the history of Australian frontier conflict.
Treatment of Aboriginal people after European settlement
The buildings and landscape elements of Bungarun (Derby Leprosarium), together with the area of the former residential units, the cemetery and the state listed Aboriginal heritage sites, tell the poignant story of the isolation of Aboriginal people during a period of Australia's history when government policy makers were dominated by the fear of disease and its spread into the Australian populace to the south. Aboriginal people from across the Kimberley were isolated at Bungarun, some for a few weeks, and others for up to forty years.
The place highlights the government's rationale at the time, merging the logic of penal, quarantine, therapeutic and racial segregation into policies to manage disease amongst Aboriginal people. The place provides an ongoing testament to Aboriginal people's resilience and capacity to resist, adapt and survive despite the difficulties and personal suffering imposed by leprosy, separation from country and family, and the government's isolationist policies of the time.
Bungarun (Derby Leprosarium) has outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (a) as the only extant facility to tell the national story of leprosy treatment of Aboriginal people in Australia's cultural history.
Aboriginal rights to practice law and culture
When Aboriginal people speak about 'Noonkanbah' they are referring to a series of events which took place on Noonkanbah station between 1978 and 1980. These events drew the attention of the nation to the struggle of Aboriginal people to protect their rights to practice traditional law and culture.
Noonkanbah is one in a series of important steps in the national struggle of Aboriginal people to have their rights to practice traditional law and culture, and have their rights to traditional land ownership recognised. In addition, Noonkanbah brought about significant change to resource company policies and practices in relation to consultation and negotiation with Aboriginal people and in the protection of Aboriginal heritage.
Yirrkala, Wave Hill, Noonkanbah and Mer Island each assume their own symbolic importance in the long, slow path towards the recognition of Aboriginal rights and the protection of Aboriginal heritage.
The areas of Noonkanbah station encompassing the station gates, the crossing at Mickey’s Pool, Pea Hill (Umpampurru) and the unsuccessful exploration well, have outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (a) as the site of the Noonkanbah dispute, an important event in the national struggle of Aboriginal people to have their rights to practice traditional law and culture recognised, and to protect their heritage for future generations.
Criterion B Rarity
Ecology, biogeography and evolution
Gogo fossil sites
At the late Devonian Gogo fish fossil sites, near–complete, articulated fossil fish are often found in limestone nodules and up to 50 different species are preserved. The spectacular Gogo fossils have recently been discovered to preserve soft tissue structures along with bone. This has revealed evidence for viviparity (live birth) and sexual dimorphism: embryos, an umbilical cord and a possible yolk sac have been preserved. This represents the earliest evidence for internal fertilization and live birth in vertebrates (Long et al. 2008). Extensive remains of soft tissue have allowed reconstruction of the body musculature in a stem vertebrate (these fish being ancestral to tetrapods) (Ahlberg 2009). The Gogo fossils are unique in preserving a diverse fossil fish fauna, complete with soft tissue anatomy.
The late Devonian Gogo fish fossil sites have outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (b) for remarkable preservation of a diverse fauna of entire fossil fish skeletons complete with the rare preservation of extensive soft tissue.
Dampier Coast
The early Cretaceous Broome Sandstone of the Dampier Coast contains the only sauropod prints found in Australia – these are common in the discontinuous outcrops that stretch for up to 200 kilometres along the west coast of the Dampier Peninsula (Molnar 1991; Thulborn et al. 1994; Long 1998). With some hind foot tracks as long as 1.75 metres, the Dampier Coast tracks may be the world's largest sauropod prints. The world's smallest sauropod tracks have also been found here, indicating a broader population sample than that of any other known sauropod track site. It preserves rare examples of the coexistence of sauropod and ornithopods. The Dampier Coast is the only site with extensive evidence of western Australian dinosaurs and the large number of tracks provides an otherwise unobtainable census of dinosaur populations and communities.
The Dampier Coast dinosaur tracks have outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (b) as the best and most extensive evidence of dinosaurs from the western half of the continent, some of which are unknown from body fossils; for the diversity and exceptional sizes of the sauropod prints; and the unique census of the dinosaur community that they provide.
Rare in Australia, fossil human tracks are important for both scientific and symbolic reasons. There are three occurrences of fossil human tracks documented in the literature. The Dampier Coast site is the only example yet found in Western Australia. Less clearly documented accounts of human tracks at other locations along the coast also appear in the literature (Mayor and Sarjeant 2001; CNN 1996; Long 2002). The Pleistocene and Holocene human record which the Dampier Coast tracks help to elaborate is very patchy. Documenting track sites through human history can begin to reveal population data across a continent and through time, to supplement other kinds of archaeological and historical evidence. Tracks have the potential to reveal data which is hidden from those who only study body fossils: about gait, anatomy, stature, size, population and speed. In other words, they evoke 'the living behaviour of our ancestors' (Kim et al. 2008; Webb et al. 2006).
The fossil human footprint sites of the Dampier Coast have outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (b) as one of only three documented human track sites in Australia and the only documented evidence of human tracks from the west coast of Australia.
Wealth of land and sea
Botanical remains and Aboriginal plant procurement strategies
At Carpenter's Gap 1 rock shelter, also known as Jambarurru to Bunuba people (S. Pannell pers. comm. 5 May 2010) and Tangalma to the Unggumi (Playford 1960, 2007) in the Napier Range, a combination of protected dry deposits and high alkalinity have combined to preserve an exceptional collection of botanical materials including wood shavings, seeds and plant fibres (O'Connor 2007).
Carpenter's Gap 1 rock shelter has outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (b) for its rare archaeological sequence of micro and macro-botanical remains spanning 40,000 years that contributes to our understanding of the impacts of climate change on flora composition though time, and the rare evidence it provides of plant procurement strategies used by Aboriginal people from the Pleistocene, through the last glacial maximum, a period when many occupation sites were abandoned across Australia, and into the Holocene.
Contact, change and continuity
Careening Bay and the Mermaid tree
In 1820, during one of his coastal survey expeditions, Phillip Parker King careened his ship the Mermaid in Careening Bay on the Kimberley coast of Western Australia. Careening was an essential activity in the routine of maintenance and care of the ship. On this occasion a boab tree was carved with the initials HMC Mermaid to mark the crew's stay on what was then a very remote area of the Australian coast. Within the Kimberley other early land explorers made similar marks on trees which are still present in the landscape. The Mermaid tree however is rare as the only known in situ, physical reminder of King's survey expeditions along the Australian coastlines of the Kimberley, Northern Australia, the northern coastlines of Queensland and the Torres Strait.
The Mermaid tree within Careening Bay has outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (b) as rare, in situ,  physical evidence of nineteenth century hydrographers and in particular the survey work of Phillip Parker King, one of Australia's most important early marine surveyors.
Criterion C Research
Ecology, biogeography, climate and evolution
Devonian coral reef
The fossil reef assemblages of the Lennard Shelf, including the Napier, Oscar, Emmanuel and Pillara Ranges span the Givetian–Famennian stages of the Devonian period from about 390–359 million years ago, including the Frasnian–Famennian mass extinction. Studying this sequence can provide information about how reef communities react to climate change and to changes in sea level, both of which are key issues facing modern coral reefs such as the Great Barrier Reef (Wood 2000; Wood 2002; Veron 2008).
The Devonian reef outcrops of the Lennard Shelf have outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (c) because of their potential to yield information that will contribute to an understanding of the climatological and biological processes that affect major reef systems.
Gogo fossil sites
The late Devonian Gogo fossil sites produce remarkable specimens with a potential for study that increases with each new technological development. The most recent advances use high–resolution scanning electron microscopy, high–resolution computer tomography, X–ray and Synchrotron CT scanning to reveal details of the soft tissue morphology that might otherwise be obscured by bone and buried within the supporting matrix (Trinajstic and Long 2009; Ahlberg 2009). Along with advancing studies of its own fossil fauna, the Gogo sites provide a way to test new techniques in studying these Devonian faunas, which may be applicable to other fossil types and sites in the future.
The Gogo fish fossils have outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (c) as they have significant potential to yield new information about the natural history of Australia, the evolution of Australian vertebrates and about new technologies that can be used to study fossils.
Human ecology and adaptation
Only a small number of archaeological surveys have been undertaken in the west Kimberley region. Those few surveys have provided nationally significant evidence on the paleo-environment, human adaptation to climate change, marine resource use, development of symbolic behaviour and the antiquity of long distance exchange. Given the highly significant nature of these investigations, coupled with the argument that the west Kimberley is one of the most likely points through which humans first entered Australia, future archaeological surveys in the region may reveal sites of even greater scientific and archaeological significance. The exceptional preservation conditions offered by the Devonian reef complex also support the likelihood of further significant discoveries.
The coastline from Cape Londonderry to Cape Leveque and the Devonian reef complex have outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (c) for their potential to yield significant new archaeological information contributing to an understanding of Australia's natural and cultural history.
Rock paintings as a source of information about climate, ecology and technology
The fine graphic detail of the painted motifs in the Wanjina-Wunggurr homeland and the Balanggarra native title claim area provide invaluable insights into a number of nationally important areas of research including climate change and species extinction; early Aboriginal material culture and technology development; and the interactions between Aboriginal people and outsiders. The exceptional illustrative nature of the rock paintings has the potential to provide information at a level of resolution currently absent from the archaeology. Welch (1993, 29) supports this view, noting that early Kimberley rock art 'gives us an enormous insight into the material culture of early Australians'. While the rock paintings of Arnhem Land and the Kakadu region are also highly informative, Morwood (2002, 162) suggests that the Kimberley region may have greater potential in demonstrating changes in weapons used, accoutrements and ideology.
The rock paintings of the Wanjina-Wunggurr homeland and the Balanggarra native title claim area have outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (c) for their potential to yield information that will contribute to an understanding of climate change and species extinction; early Aboriginal material culture and technology development; and the interactions between Aboriginal people and outsiders.
Natural disasters in the late Holocene
Recent research in the Kimberley linking comets and tsunamis to Indigenous oral histories, painted rock images and stone arrangements provides exciting opportunities for future collaborative investigations between archaeologists, geologists and the Traditional Owners.
The west Kimberley coast between Cape Londonderry and Cape Leveque has outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (c) for its potential to yield information that will contribute to an understanding of the nature and the effect of mega-tsunami events.
Contact, change and continuity
Asian–Australian interaction
Indonesian fishermen, commonly referred to as Macassans, have been visiting the west Kimberley coast for perhaps hundreds of years to harvest marine resources including pearl and trochus shell, turtle shell, clam meat, shark fins and trepang, also known as sea cucumber or bêche-de-mer (Morwood 2002). The historical accounts and oral traditions of Kimberley Aboriginal people, together with the limited archaeological evidence, suggest that a very different kind of relationship existed between Indonesians and Kimberley Aboriginal people than that experienced between Macassans and Aboriginal people in Arnhem Land. In the Kimberley, the relationship appears to have been one of hostility and distrust on both sides. Few archaeological surveys have been conducted to investigate this important pre-European contact.
The west Kimberley coast from Cape Londonderry to the Lacepede Islands has outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (c) for its potential to yield information that will contribute to an understanding of Indonesian-Aboriginal interaction in Australia's cultural history.
Criterion D Principal characteristics of a class of places
Ancient landscapes, geological processes
The Kimberley ria coast
The Kimberley ria coast, from the Helpman Islands in King Sound to Joseph Bonaparte Gulf is the most extensive region of well–expressed ria coast and, at more than 2,500 kilometres, probably the longest stretch of predominantly rocky coast in Australia (Sharples 2009; Woodroffe and Short 2009). Nowhere else in Australia, or possibly the world, is there the opportunity to study the effects of macrotidal tide–dominated rocky coastal processes, and repeatedly interacting sea–level changes and fluvial landform processes through time, on a predominantly rocky coast that lacks the disturbance caused by high density coastal infrastructure (Sharples 2009; DEWHA 2009c). There are many ria coasts in the world, and other ria coasts in Australia, but the Kimberley rocky coast is unique in Australia and rare in the world for preserving a continuous and intricate dominantly–rocky fluvial and drowned fluvial landscape over a length of more than 2500 kilometres. Due to the stability of the Kimberley craton over time, the sea floor to roughly the 30 metre bathymetric line has been a terrestrial land surface, subjected to subaerial terrestrial landform development, more than it has been subject to marine processes over the last half billion years. As such, it is the best expression in the country of this type of landscape and the processes that have shaped and continue to shape it during the Phanerozoic eon (the last 545 million years).
The west Kimberley coast from Helpman Islands in King Sound to the western shore of Cambridge Gulf, including islands, peninsulas, inlets and inundated features, has outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (d) for demonstrating the principal characteristics of a major coastal landform type, in an extensive region without significant modification by coastal infrastructure.
Lennard Shelf
The Lennard Shelf contains the elements of a late Devonian carbonate ramp on an ancient tropical continental shelf. These limestone complexes lie off the ancient mainland represented by the folded and faulted, granitic and metamorphic Kimberley Block to the north (described under criterion (a) as the rocks of the King Leopold orogeny). An integrated picture of a proto–Australian continental shelf environment in an epicontinental sea from 390–370 million years ago is provided by a number of features and their spatial relationships. These features include: palaeoshores, palaeoinlets, platforms, atolls, interreef basins, debris flows, islands and archipelagos with fringing reefs (including the superbly preserved Mowanbini Archipelago of the Oscar Range), the remains of a barrier reef, including the forereef accumulations, lagoon deposits, patch reefs, bioherms (mud mounds) that grew on pinnacle reefs rising from the shallow sea floor of the backreef lagoon and limestone nodules preserving entire fish and crustaceans at the Gogo fossil localities (Playford and Lowry 1966; Webb 2001; Johnson and Webb 2007; Playford et al. 2009).
The Devonian carbonate complexes of the Lennard Shelf have outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (d) for demonstrating the principal characteristics of a very well preserved proto-Australian carbonate ramp environment on an ancient continental shelf.
Ecology, biogeography and evolution
Dampier Coast Cretaceous landscape
The ichnofossils (trace fossils including dinosaur tracks) preserved in the Broome Sandstone exposed in the intertidal zone of the Dampier Coast (from Roebuck Bay to Cape Leveque) represent up to 15 different types of dinosaur (Thulborn et al. 1994; Tyler 2000; Thulborn 1997; Long 1998; Long 2004). The Cretaceous landscapes that occurred here were buried intact and reveal original topography, with soils, leaf–litter and even fossils of plants in their growth positions (roots can be seen descending into the substrate). In places, dinosaur tracks meander around these plants so that one may walk across these ancient landscapes following their paths through clumps of vegetation (Thulborn pers. comm. 2009).
The plant and sedimentological evidence allows reconstruction of the environments in which dinosaurs lived and fed, providing a fuller palaeoecological picture of a suite of Cretaceous coastal environments. The Broome Sandstone coastal exposures of dinosaur tracks and associated fossils therefore tell an integrated story of the animals, plants and physical environment of this area during the Early Cretaceous period, approximately 132 million years ago.
The dinosaur tracks and associated ichnofossils, plant macrofossils and Cretaceous depositional environments of the Broome Sandstone exposed in the intertidal zone of the Dampier Coast have outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (d) for preserving snapshots of the ecology of the Mesozoic.
Roebuck Bay migratory hub
Sixty four waterbird species have been recorded at Roebuck Bay, 34 of which have been listed under international treaties (JAMBA, CAMBA and ROKAMBA). Roebuck Bay has the highest number of species of international importance visiting its shores of any site in Australia, including pied oystercatcher (Haematopus longirostris), Mongolian plover (Charadrius mongolus) and the ruddy turnstone (Arenaria interpres). ANHAT analysis returned the second highest score for Charadiiformes (waders) richness at Roebuck Bay (61 species). Along with international visitors, Roebuck Bay also returned nationally high endemism scores for a collection of bird groups, including Passeriformes (perching birds), Meliphagidae (honeyeaters), Pittidae (pittas) and to a lesser extent Sylviidae (old world warblers). The endemism significance can in some cases be explained by a number of bird species, such as the common redshank (Tringa totanus) and the Asian dowitcher (Limnodromus semipalmatus), that within Australia almost exclusively visit the Canning coast area, before returning to other countries within their flyway zone.
Roebuck Bay has outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (d) due to the place's importance as a class of avian habitat (a migratory hub or staging post), and for the regular presence of migratory, protected or endangered avifauna.
Rainbow Serpent traditions tied to Indigenous interpretations of the different way in which water flows within the catchment
The Rainbow Serpent is an important Creation Being for Aboriginal people across Australia and is closely linked to land, water, life, social relationships and fertility. There are many stories associated with the serpent, all of which communicate the significance and power of this Being within Aboriginal traditions.
Within the Fitzroy River catchment there are four distinct expressions of the Rainbow Serpent tradition. In the jila-kalpurtu domain of the Fitzroy catchment on the northern edge of the Great Sandy Desert, water flows are principally underground and the Rainbow Serpent (kalpurtu) is said to exist in the underground structure of the channels, linking excavated waterholes and other water sources of significance. Places like Kurrpurrngu, Mangunampi, Paliyarra and Kurungal are exemplars of this expression of the Rainbow Serpent.
The phenomenon of Galaroo, on the other hand, is linked to flowing surface water, in the form of major rivers, and to long and deep permanent waterholes in broad river channels, like Geikie Gorge (Danggu). The Rainbow Serpent of the Wanjina-Wunggurr belief system, known as Wunggurr, is typically found in  discrete pools of water and is also associated with the sea and with Wanjina Creator Beings at  painted sites and in religious narratives.. The upper Hann river is an exemplar of this aspect of the Rainbow Serpent tradition, while the Woonyoomboo-Yoongoorroonkoo narrative of the lower Fitzroy primarily tells the story of the creation of the lower Fitzroy River and its floodplains and its links to the sea.
The Fitzroy River and a number of its tributaries, together with their floodplains and the jila sites of Kurrpurrngu, Mangunampi, Paliyarra and Kurungal, demonstrate four distinct expressions of the Rainbow Serpent tradition associated with Indigenous interpretations of the different ways in which water flows within the catchment and are of outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (d) for their exceptional ability to convey the diversity of the Rainbow Serpent tradition within a single freshwater hydrological system.
Criterion E Aesthetic characteristics
Wealth of land and sea
The West Kimberley, with its spectacular scenery and substantially unmodified landscapes, has outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (e) for its inspirational landscapes, as exemplified by the following places.
Common aesthetic characteristics noted for the West Kimberley region include the colour in the landscape (reds, yellows, intensity and variety of hues) , the substantially unmodified nature of the natural landscapes, the experience of remoteness and the inspirational nature of the landscapes commonly described by words such as majesty, ancient, remarkable, awesome, endless vistas, jewel like sources of water, wild, spectacular, magnificent, iconic, scenic splendour, outback and grandeur.
Kimberley coast from the Buccaneer Archipelago to King George River
Particular aesthetic characteristics of the Kimberley coast valued by the Australian community include its rugged sandstone coast with rocky headlands, prominent peaks and striking landforms, sandy beaches, pristine rivers and drowned river valleys with rich flora and fauna, off shore reefs and numerous islands in extensive seascapes in a sea supporting diverse marine life.
The Kimberley coast from the Buccaneer Archipelago to King George River has outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (e) for its aesthetic characteristics valued by the Australian community., including its rugged sandstone coast with rocky headlands and prominent peaks and striking landforms, sandy beaches, pristine rivers, waterfalls and drowned river valleys with rich flora and fauna, offshore reefs and numerous islands in extensive seascapes in a sea supporting diverse marine life. The unusual effect of tidal movement is also part of the aesthetic appreciation of some areas like the Horizontal Waterfall.
Mitchell River National Park
Particular aesthetic characteristics of the Mitchell River National Park valued by the Australian community include the rugged Kimberley Plateau, Mitchell River, Mitchell Falls (Punamii Unpuu), rocky features around Mitchell Falls and the Surveyors Pool (Aunauyu) and its falls.
The Mitchell River National Park has outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (e) for its aesthetic characteristics valued by the Australian community.
King George Falls and King George River
Particular aesthetic characteristics of King George Falls and King George River valued by the Australian community include the rugged sandstone gorge of the King George River between the Falls and the ocean, the high colourful cliffs of the river gorge and the spectacular twin waterfalls cascading into the river.
King George Falls and King George River have outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (e) for their aesthetic characteristics valued by the Australian community.
Geikie Gorge Conservation Park and Geikie Gorge National Park
Particular aesthetic characteristics of Geikie Gorge Conservation Park and Geikie Gorge National Park valued by the Australian community include Geikie Gorge (Danggu), its colourful gorge cliffs and sculptured rock formations carved by water through an ancient limestone reef, the lush riverine vegetation along the gorge, the fossil decoration on the gorge walls and the deep permanent waters.
Geikie Gorge Conservation Park and Geikie Gorge National Park have outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (e) for their aesthetic characteristics valued by the Australian community.
Windjana Gorge National Park
Particular aesthetic characteristics of Windjana Gorge National Park valued by the Australian community include the narrow gorge of the Lennard River, the colourful cliffs of the gorge and the fossil decoration on the gorge walls.
Windjana Gorge National Park has outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (e) for its aesthetic characteristics valued by the Australian community.
King Leopold Ranges Conservation Park
Particular aesthetic characteristics of the King Leopold Ranges Conservation Park valued by the Australian community include the Lennard River Gorge, Bells Gorge, the rugged mountain ranges, the fault lines and twisted topography, spectacular gorges, waterfalls, rock pools and their fringing vegetation.
The King Leopold Ranges Conservation Park has outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (e) for its aesthetic characteristics valued by the Australian community.
The aesthetic value of rock art
The stunning painted images of Creation Beings, ancestors, plants and animals in rock shelters in the west Kimberley, including the powerful Wanjina and intriguing Gwion Gwion/Girrigirro figures, are considered amongst the most spectacular examples of 'rock art' in the world (Flood 1990, 70). Highly valued by non-Aboriginal people for their aesthetic values, these images are both powerful and of deep religious significance to Kimberley Aboriginal people.
Aboriginal rock art paintings in the west Kimberley, particularly in the Wanjina-Wunggurr homeland, the Balanggarra native title claim area and the Devonian reef, are both powerful and of deep religious significance to Kimberley Aboriginal people and have outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (e) as they represent a stunning visual record of an ongoing Aboriginal painting tradition in a substantially unmodified landscape.
Criterion F Creative or technical achievement
Design and innovation
Painted rock images
The painted images found in rock shelters and caves across the Wanjina-Wunggurr homeland, the Balanggarra native title claim area and in the limestone ranges of the Devonian reef provide an exceptional record of painted rock art that is extraordinarily diverse and technically very detailed.
Considered one of the longest and most complex painted 'rock art' sequences anywhere in the world, (Morwood 2002, 143) the west Kimberley complex of painted images is a creative achievement by Kimberley Aboriginal people that has outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (f).
Sacred Heart church, Beagle Bay mission
Built in a remote location from locally sourced material, the Sacred Heart church at Beagle Bay mission is a testimony to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the Pallottine brothers and the Aboriginal residents of the mission who built and decorated it. The use of pearl shell and other media to decorate the interior of the church, particularly the sanctuary, demonstrates a high degree of artistic excellence and technical finesse. The place continues to be highly valued by the Beagle Bay Aboriginal community today because of the considerable Aboriginal involvement in its construction and decoration.
The Sacred Heart Church at Beagle Bay mission has outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (f) for the high degree of creative and technical achievement in the use of pearl shell and other locally sourced media to decorate the interior, combining western religious and Aboriginal motifs.
Technical response to environmental constraints
Double log raft
Aboriginal people built strong, light rafts to navigate the treacherous waters of the west Kimberley coast. Rips, whirlpools and overfalls created by the massive twelve metre tides made navigation through the maze of islands and waterways a serious undertaking. While a navigational hazard, these strong tidal currents, provided opportunities for skilled and knowledgeable Aboriginal people to travel long distances to hunt, trade and maintain social and cultural obligations.
The manufacture of the double log raft from mangrove logs (particularly Rhizophora stylosa) is a unique adaptation to the massive tidal variation of the west Kimberley and has outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (f) for demonstrating a high degree of technical achievement by Aboriginal people in the course of Australia's cultural history.
Criterion G Social value
Wealth of the Land and Sea
European pearling
Memories and stories of pearling along the pearling coast in the Kimberley region have a special iconic association with the Australian community.
Today the Australian community continues to be drawn to the region in search of the iconic association with pearling and the attraction of the pearls themselves.   This is enlivened by the place’s outback location, remoteness of the area and beauty of the coast. A demonstration of this community connection is the high visitation to the area, where a diverse cultural heritage is celebrated in the annual Shinju Matsuri Festival.
The pearling coast within the West Kimberley place has outstanding (intangible) heritage value to the nation under criterion (g) as a place which has a special association with the Australian community for evoking memories of pearling. These memories are enlivened by the place’s remoteness and beauty at the gateway to the Kimberley's outback.
Criterion H Significant people
Contact, Change and continuity
European explorers
William Dampier (Cygnet) l688 landing place
William Dampier first made observations of Australia and its Indigenous people at Karrakatta Bay and the nearby environment. His accounts of Australia and his other voyages around the world established Dampier as an expert, in his time, on the Pacific and Australia. His travel experiences described in his writing stimulated eighteenth century European exploration of the Pacific and Australia and foreshadowed the later voyages of Cook.
The William Dampier (Cygnet) 1688 landing place has outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (h) for its special association with the life and work of William Dampier.
Indigenous resistance: Jandamarra
The late timing of the settlement and the impenetrable nature of the Devonian Reef helped create the man and the legend of Jandamarra - a man brought up in two worlds, whose detailed knowledge of European methods to contain Aboriginal resistance and his capacity to pass those skills on to his Bunuba countrymen and women, severely threatened the colonising project. While Jandamarra did not act alone, his abilities to disappear and avoid capture, and to appear to even cheat death itself, made him a much feared adversary to Europeans and a powerful leader amongst his own people.
The limestone ranges of the Devonian Reef, known to the Bunuba as Barlil, has outstanding value to the nation under criterion (h) for its  association with Jandamarra, whose campaign of resistance was unprecedented in Australian history, as was the ferocity of the police and settler response. Jandamarra's death in 1897 ended the last large-scale organised violent resistance by Aboriginal people in Australia's cultural history.
Criterion I Indigenous tradition
Wanjina–Wunggurr Tradition
The Wanjina-Wunggurr tradition, with features including the painted images of Wanjina and Gwion Gwion in rock shelters across the west Kimberley, provides testimony of a complex association of socio-religious beliefs that continues to be central to the laws and customs of the Wanjina-Wunggurr people.
Together, the Wanjina and the Wunggurr Snake are believed to be the manifestations of a life force, also called Wunggurr, which permeates the Wanjina-Wunggurr cosmos and is imbued in all living forms. The creative association of the Wanjina and the Wunggurr Snake is represented in the religious narratives and manifested in the painted images on rock, and as other features in the land, sea and sky including natural rock formations and man-made stone arrangements. 
Members of the Wanjina-Wunggurr society trace their descent to the Wanjina ancestral beings. Wanjina 'rock art' sites serve as geographical focal points for a system of territorial and social organisation that links small groups of people (the clans of anthropological discourse) to named local countries (clan estates) (Blundell et al. 2009) and into a system of exchange called the wurnan that extends throughout the Kimberley. The exchange of items between local group members is viewed as the passage of items in space from Wanjina to Wanjina.
In order to sustain the ongoing cycle of life, members of the Wanjina-Wunggurr community continue to engage in a range of ritual practices established in Lalai (The Dreaming). While Wanjina-Wunggurr people believe that the Wanjina 'put' themselves onto rock surfaces as paintings, they also believe that as the human descendents of these Wanjina, it is their duty to maintain the 'brightness' or 'freshness' of the paintings by re-touching them with charcoal and pigments (Mowaljarlai and Malnic 1993; Redmond 2001; Blundell and Woolagoodja 2005; Blundell et al. 2009). By keeping the paintings 'fresh' the world will remain fertile – the annual rains arrive, plants and animals will reproduce, and child spirits will remain available in whirlpools and waterholes throughout the Wanjina-Wunggurr homeland.
There is no other Indigenous society in northern or central Australia, indeed anywhere in Australia, where a single class of Creator Being, the Wanjina, depicted as a distinct rock art figure, has such a significant and multifaceted role or set of associated meanings and practices (Blundell et al. 2009).
The Wanjina-Wunggurr homeland, where the painted images on rock and other features in the land, sea and sky, including natural rock formations and man-made stone arrangements, are manifestations of the Wanjina and the Wunggurr Snake, are of outstanding heritage value to the nation under criterion (i) because of their importance as part of Indigenous tradition.
See under History.
Located in the far northwest of Australia’s tropical north, the west Kimberley is one place with many stories. National Heritage listing of the west Kimberley recognises the natural, historic and Indigenous stories of the region that are of outstanding heritage value to the nation. These and other fascinating stories about the west Kimberley are woven together in the following description of the region and its history, including a remarkable account of Aboriginal occupation and custodianship over the course of more than 40,000 years. Over that time Kimberley Aboriginal people have faced many challenges and changes, and their story is one of resistance, adaptation and survival, particularly in the past 150 years since European settlement of the region. The listing also recognizes the important history of non-Indigenous exploration and settlement of the Kimberley. Many non-Indigenous people have forged their own close ties to the region and have learned to live in and understand this extraordinary place. The stories of these newer arrivals and the region's distinctive pastoral and pearling heritage are integral to both the history and present character of the Kimberley.
The west Kimberley is a remarkable part of Australia. Along with its people, and ancient and surviving Indigenous cultural traditions, it has a glorious coastline, spectacular gorges and waterfalls, pristine rivers and vine thickets, and is home to varied and unique plants and animals. The listing recognises these outstanding ecological, geological and aesthetic features as also having significance to the Australian people.
In bringing together the Indigenous, historic, aesthetic, and natural values in a complementary manner, the National Heritage listing of the Kimberley represents an exciting prospect for all Australians to work together and realize the demonstrated potential of the region to further our understanding of Australia’s cultural history. The listing enriches and extends our understanding of the diverse histories and heritage values of the west Kimberley, perhaps in ways we are yet to fully understand and appreciate, potentially leading to unimagined benefits and new partnerships.
Given the scale of this assessment it is impossible to tell all the stories about the west Kimberley. The extensive bibliography of the National Heritage listing, including histories, personal accounts, academic treatise and scientific literature, will provide a resource for those interested in delving further into their specific areas of interest. These are living stories, about living places: they tell of the forces that continue to shape people's lives, and have made the Kimberley what it is today. The National Heritage listing of the west Kimberley opens the way to the discovery, by the Australian public, of these and many more stories, that have yet to be told.
A remarkable land- and sea-scape
The Kimberley occupies more than 420,000 square kilometres on the north-western margin of the Australian continent. Its rocky coastline edges the Indian Ocean, and off the coast lie thousands of islands, many fringed with coral. In the wet north-west, the Mitchell Plateau (Ngauwudu) rises to nearly 800 metres above sea level at its centre, in places dropping into steep escarpments, and losing altitude as it approaches the sea. Further south, Yampi Peninsula lies in a transitional area between the high-rainfall of tropical north Kimberley and the drier conditions characteristic of central Western Australia. These different environments meet in a complex landscape of plains, dissected sandstone plateaus, and rugged mountains. The central Kimberley, which includes the periphery of north Kimberley plateau country and the King Leopold Ranges, is very rugged; the physical structures here were formed by significant geological events which folded rocks intensely, many thousands of millions of years ago. That such evidence of a distant past can today be seen so clearly in the landscape is due to the region's remarkable geological stability. This stability has also allowed the much more recent appearance of extensive limestone ranges, built from the remains of an extraordinary reef complex which, over 300 million years ago, rivalled the Great Barrier Reef in size. The ranges have since eroded to form complex networks of caves and tunnels. Dinosaur footprints and tracks are another remarkable remnant of past life in the Kimberley; they are exposed in many places in the Broome Sandstone, along the western length of Dampier Peninsula. This coastline is subject to one of the highest tidal ranges anywhere in the world, and many of the fossil footprints can only be seen for short periods during very low tides. Inland of Dampier Peninsula, south of the broad floodplains of the Fitzroy River, the distinctive red of the pindan country opens onto a vast expanse of desert.
Throughout the Kimberley, where water meets land – in estuaries, mangroves and mudflats, in moist vine thickets, along the banks of rivers and creeks, around waterholes or soaks – there is an abundance of plants and animals, some of which live only in the Kimberley, while others may have travelled from the far side of the world to nest or breed here. Animals rely on these refuges to congregate, feed, rest and reproduce. Such places also sustain Aboriginal people: for millennia these places have had important subsistence and sacred values, and have been the focus of ecological knowledge and traditional practices over seasons and lifetimes, for millennia (Pannell 2009).
European settlers saw the Kimberley's vast tropical landscape as the last frontier: a remote place with lush river floodplains ideally suited to pastoralism. To the European eye, this untapped, undeveloped wilderness was rich with opportunity and ready for exploitation. But the Kimberley was already occupied by Aboriginal people who were the country's owners and custodians, and regarded the land and its natural resources as having been created and maintained by their Dreamtime ancestors who gave them responsibility to look after country and abide by its rules.
Indigenous foundations of the Kimberley
The Dreaming
Like other Indigenous societies across Australia, Kimberley Aboriginal people believe that their traditional countries have been formed during an era of creation often described in English as 'the Dreaming' or 'the Dreamtime'. During the Dreaming both the natural and human world are formed coterminously by ancestral creator beings who are manifestations of powerful spiritual forces that permeate the cosmos (Blundell and Doohan 2009). The Dreaming is not a theory of creation out of nothing: before the Dreaming, the world was already in existence, but it was unformed or 'soft' as some Kimberley Aboriginal people explain (Lommel 1997).
In contrast to ontological views of the West, the Indigenous story of creation is non-linear in the sense that aspects of the present are considered both to affirm and to re-enact the events of the Dreaming. The Dreaming exists in a continuous past-present-future continuum, in what Stanner (1987) calls 'the everywhen'. 
Each Kimberley Aboriginal society has a rich body of religious narratives that concern the Dreaming. While such narratives are distinct for each of these societies, they all contain accounts of creator beings who 'gave' them their laws and customs. Importantly, across the Kimberley, these narratives describe how ancestral creator beings have 'made' the Indigenous countries that comprise the west Kimberley region. During their many travels and other exploits, such beings are said to have carved out the rivers, lifted up mountains and transformed themselves into rock formations and other features of the land, the sea and the sky.
Some of the ways in which these Dreaming-derived laws and beliefs are transmitted from generation to generation are in the form of traditional narratives, art forms, and enactments through dance and song. Aboriginal children are taught these laws through 'wudu' or observation and practice. These verbal and visual expressions tell the history or stories of Kimberley Aboriginal people. In the words of one Bardi woman 'they are living stories; they are the spirit of us'. As integral strands in a broader corpus of Aboriginal being and knowing, stories are forceful social expressions. Explaining this relationship between power and knowledge, a senior Wunambal man stated, 'the story can't be told just anyway, anytime, people can get killed if they have the wrong information, and do not know how to respect the place, the place is still alive'. As this Traditional Owner's comments imply, the reproduction of stories has serious implications and sometimes dangerous consequences. So while some stories are public, others are more restricted in their use. Kimberley Aboriginal people have carefully considered the kind and nature of the stories they have contributed towards this National Heritage listing of the west Kimberley.
'Making' the country
The Wanjina-Wunggurr people of the north-west Kimberley – which includes the language countries of the Worrorra, Ngarinyin, Unggumi, Umida, Unggarrangu, Wunambal, and Gaambera – explain that one of the most important activities of the powerful creator beings, Wanjina (Wandjina) and the Wunggurr Snake, is their role in 'making' the country. Like other aspects of their belief system, the Wanjina-Wunggurr people and indeed all Aboriginal people's concept of 'country' stands in stark contrast to Western views.
In Western thought, country is often described with reference to its geology and topography, its climate, and its characteristic animal and plant forms. Country is considered an aspect of nature. It is a geographic space, often seen as untapped wilderness that becomes transformed into a culturally meaningful place through the actions of its human inhabitants, for example when humans create an agricultural or urban landscape. Such a Western perspective differs markedly from Indigenous views, including those of the Wanjina-Wunggurr people. For them, country is far more than a geographic location with particular topography, flora and fauna.  Marcia Langton, one of Australia’s leading Aboriginal scholars, explains that while White settlers in Australia 'see an empty wilderness, Aboriginal people see a busy spiritual landscape, peopled by ancestors and the evidence of their creative feats' (Langton 2000:14).
The relationship between Aboriginal people and country is one of reciprocity. While country is the source of their spiritual and physical well being, indeed their very identity, it is the responsibility of Aboriginal people to ‘look after’ or ‘care for’ it. Such responsibilities are defined by the traditional laws of each Kimberley Indigenous society. They include acknowledging and respecting their country’s resident spiritual beings, and extracting their country’s resources in a non-wasteful way.
'Country' is not limited to dry land.  'Saltwater country' is a term that Kimberley Aboriginal people, and other Indigenous people around Australia use, in their efforts to demonstrate to others that their country—no matter what its component parts—is meaningful. Saltwater country is meaningful through the events of Lalai, the Wanjina-Wunggurr term for the Dreaming. Country is an undivided and enlivened space, regardless of its material composition. It includes land, fresh waters, islands, rivers, reefs, sea, and the heavens. As such, country is both the consequence of, and consubstantial with, the ‘everywhen’ that is Lalai.  
There are many accounts across the west Kimberley of the role of creator beings in 'making' the country. One such narrative from a senior Worrorra/Wunambal woman describes how the Lalai Wunggurr Snake opened up the space where the Prince Regent River now flows by travelling from the inland toward the sea. Rock Cod and the Baler Shell, as Wanjina in their animal forms, then created Malandum (the Prince Regent River) by swimming upstream through this space.  At the place known today as King Cascade, Rock Cod was forced to stop abruptly by the Lalai Bowerbird.  As Rock Cod 'put on the brakes', she was thrust against the soft mud. In this way she created the step-like formation where today water cascades into the Prince Regent River from a stream atop the plateau where Bowerbird now lives. Travelling back toward the sea, but unable to go any further, Baler Shell became tired and swam around in a frenzied way. She was 'looking for a home' where she could 'stop,' and in the process created a huge basin (St. George Basin). Finally Baler shell 'stopped' and transformed herself into St. Andrews Island, which takes its Worrorra name of 'Ngarlangkarnanya' from Baler Shell. Meanwhile, Wanjina in the form of a Flat-Headed Fish lifted up part of the land that adjoins this basin, thus protecting Mt. Trafalgar from Baler Shell’s frantic activities (Blundell et al. 2009).
Kimberley Aboriginal people share this remarkable Australian land- and sea-scape with the animals, birds and plants that are found in the region; all these living things are intrinsically linked to the actions and travels of creator beings, and the ongoing rituals and ceremonial actions of Traditional Owners. Speaking of this living, interconnected world, a senior Wunambal man and senior Wunambal/Worrorra woman explain what it means for those Aboriginal people who identify as members of the Wanjina-Wunggurr community: 'we call it a gift, it's all been brought to us from Wanjina. That's the Law, we have always had it. Wanjina gave it in a way for us to appreciate it. The stories can't be put in and out, this is religion. It's the very highest point, what we are, what created us. It's religious country' (Wunambal and Wunambal/Worrorra Traditional Owners pers. comm. May 2010).
Images in rock and other physical manifestations of Creator Beings
In many parts of the Kimberley, ancestral spirits have transformed themselves into paintings in the numerous caves and rock shelters that dot the region’s landscape.  These painted images have attracted much interest from the outside world since the arrival of the first European explorers and are considered to be one of the longest and most complex rock art sequences anywhere in the world. For the Wanjina-Wunggurr community these painted images play a crucial role in demarcating social boundaries, connecting individuals and local groups to local countries, which anthropologists call clan estates; and connecting Wanjina-Wunggurr people to their conception sites and language countries. Capricious and harmful spirits whose painted images often occur at these rock art sites are a constant reminder of the disorder that failure to follow traditional laws can bring (Layton 1992a; Blundell et al. 2009).
To outsiders the paintings of the Wanjina are most prominent: the large-eyed, mouthless, anthropomorphic beings depicted with a halo-like ring encircling their heads that appear alone or in groups, some of them walking the earth, others floating in the sky. Painted with natural earth pigments often on a white background that is typically a wash of the mineral huntite, some Wanjina are truly monumental, extending up to six metres across the walls and ceilings of rock shelters. The human-like paintings of Wanjina were first brought to the attention of the outside world by Lieutenant (later Sir) George Grey during his explorations in the Kimberley in 1837 (Grey 1841, Blundell and Woolagoodja 2005). According to McNiven and Russell a painted figure reproduced by Grey "was to become the most historically significant Aboriginal rock painting recorded by Europeans in the nineteenth century" (2005:133).
Perhaps equally well known are the elegant human-like painted images of the Gwion Gwion/Girrigirro, commonly referred to as Bradshaw figures, named after Joseph Bradshaw, another early European explorer who encountered the images whilst looking for pastoral land in 1891. Bradshaw, like Grey before him, was the first European to record and publish examples of these images. Like the Wanjina paintings encountered by Grey five decades earlier, Joseph Bradshaw's 'stylized recordings' of these figures were interpreted by Europeans as non-Indigenous in origin (McNiven and Russell 2005), a view that was supported by the late Grahame Walsh, who spent many years recording the Gwion Gwion/Girrigirro painted images (see Walsh's 1994 publication "Bradshaws: Ancient Paintings of North-West Australia"). The claims of Walsh and others of a non-Indigenous origin for these paintings have been strongly challenged by members of the Wanjina-Wunggurr community and many specialist commentators, starting with André Lommel in the 1930s, whose work with Wunambal Traditonal Owners connected paintings of Gwion Gwion with a Lalai bird called Kujon [gwion] (Lommel 1997). Other researchers including Shultz (1956), Crawford (1968), Layton (1990, 1992a), Redmond (1998, 2002), Blundell and Woolagoodja (2005), McNiven and Russell (2005) and Welsh (2007) have placed the Gwion Gwion/Girrigirro painted images strongly within Indigenous tradition and with an Indigenous origin.
For Wanjina-Wunggurr people, the Wanjina and Gwion Gwion paintings are of significance to them in accordance with their practices, observances, customs, traditions, beliefs and history. For Balanggarra people, the Girrigirro painted images are also an important component of their contemporary belief system. However, unlike the Traditional Owners of the Wanjina-Wunggurr country, Balanggarra do not associate Gwion Gwion/Girrigirro with Wanjina. Nor do they consider them to be paintings that were 'put there' by spirit beings during the Dreaming. Instead, they believe that these paintings were produced by their own human ancestors and that they depict the aspects of their earlier everyday life (Blundell et al. 2009).
Wanjina and associated paintings found in caves and rock shelters across the Wanjina-Wunggurr homeland are ritually repainted in order to ensure the regeneration of country as well as the ongoing continuity of Wanjina-Wunggurr society. Ritual repainting or 'freshening' of painted images has been recorded since the early decades of the twentieth century. Wanjina-Wunggurr and Balanggarra people continue to pass on their traditional knowledge to the next generation through the production of contemporary art in community art centres across the region.
Paintings in rock shelters are not the only physical manifestations of creator beings. For Wanjina–Wunggurr people, Wanjina have made their mark all across the country; they have shaped the course of rivers, raised mountain ranges, and changed themselves into other features of the land, sea and sky, where particular events took place. One such event was a battle between a Wanjina known as Namarali and local coastal Wanjina at a place called Langgi. After Namarali arrived on the coast in Worrorra country he established his dominance and the Wanjina with whom he was doing battle transformed themselves into the elongated stone boulders that dot this rocky coastal beach today (Blundell et al. 2009). Sometimes Wanjinas leave their image on boab trees. Wanjina are also seen as cumulo-nimbus clouds, which are a dramatic presence in the sky during the build-up to the wet season (Crawford 1968). They also appear in the night sky, for instance as Wallanganda, the Milky Way Wanjina (Redmond 2001). Like Wanjina, the Wunggurr Snake also appears in the form of numerous rock formations and manifests as islands, reefs, and waves in the sea.
Geikie Gorge: more than just a beautiful place...
Many visitors to the region are drawn by the Kimberley's dramatic and beautiful scenery. One place that is well recognised for its aesthetic values is known as Geikie Gorge or Danggu by its Bunuba Aboriginal Traditional Owners. Danggu lies in the south-west Kimberley, at the junction of the Oscar and Geikie ranges, where limestone that was once a reef is cut by the flow of the Fitzroy River into a 30-metre deep, sheer-walled gorge. This permanent pool on the Fitzroy is an important wetland and refuge area for freshwater and marine fish, especially in times of drought (WWF 2007). It is a spectacular place, with colourful cliffs and sculptured rock, its deep waters lined by lush vegetation. The gorge features in many tourist brochures and travel itineraries, and because of its easy accessibility receives over 30,000 visitors each year.
A visitor to Geikie Gorge can gain a sense of the great antiquity of the Kimberley landscape and the complex history of its formation. The limestone ranges, formed from the ancient barrier reef system, wind across the country between 50 and 100 metres above the surrounding plains, in much the same way that the reef would have reared above the ancient Devonian sea floor more than 370 million years ago. From the air, it is easy to imagine that the sea has just withdrawn, leaving the reefs uncovered. Fossils of ancient reef fauna can be seen in the rocky outcrops, showing glimpses of life from the time before reptiles or mammals evolved. In the gorge itself, the reflective surface of the water hides and reveals an abundance of life – fish, turtles, yabbies and freshwater crocodiles swim here, and birds nest in forest alongside the river and take what they need from its pool and banks.
But Geikie Gorge is much more than a beautiful national park. For the Bunuba people, Danggu is a cultural refuge within the catchment of the Fitzroy River, a place of deep spiritual significance created by its resident Rainbow Snake or Wunggurru. The gorge is located in a section of the river known as Bandaralngarri, which extends north from the 'Old Crossing' in Fitzroy Crossing to Dimond Gorge. The name is derived from bandaral, the silver-leafed melaleuca which lines the river in this area and was used to construct log rafts for travelling short distances.
Danggu is also the name given to the large limestone boulder (another name is Linyjiya) located in the middle of Geikie Gorge – this is a Dreamtime place associated with a resident Wunggurru, or Rainbow Snake (KLRC 1998). The boulder is a malay, an increase place, critical to maintaining the abundance of fish in Geikie Gorge, and is an important ceremonial and fishing spot for Bunuba people. At sand patches within Danggu, Bunuba people camped and held ceremonies with other river people from the surrounding region. Such ceremonies are still held today. Like many places in the Kimberley, Danggu has darker resonances too. A massacre of Bunuba people took place here in the late nineteenth century, and stories of this event are still recalled by the living (Pannell 2009).
Geikie Gorge is described here not for its undeniable uniqueness and aesthetic appeal, but because it is like so many places in the Kimberley – complex, layered in meaning, valued by different people for different reasons, and associated with many and varied stories.
Throughout the west Kimberley, geological activity and geological stability have spectacularly shaped and preserved the landscape over hundreds of millions of years, and scientists identify significant biodiversity values. While visitors are struck by its ancient beauty, the land, sea and sky of the Kimberley, and the diversity of life there, hold profound spiritual meaning for its Traditional Owners. Aboriginal law and culture remain strong across the Kimberley, even in the face of a shared history of violent disruption brought by colonisation.
Cycles of life
In the Kimberley, as in other parts of Aboriginal Australia, traditional life revolved around variations in the weather and the seasons. Movements of family groups were based on the availability of food, and on obligations to relocate to particular areas for ritual business. During the dry, from about April to August, the weather was a little cooler and there were abundant resources. The most critical time for food supplies was the build-up, before the onset of rains. Once the wet season broke, more food became available. The coming of the wet with the north-east monsoons brought oppressively humid weather, and some Aboriginal groups moved to rock shelters and more substantial huts on higher ground at this time. Seasonal movements differed between groups living in the desert, near the coast, and in the wetter north Kimberley, and were often determined as much by the need for water as for food.

Many groups managed their food and water resources to maximise availability and variety throughout the year: people stored foodstuffs in dry places in different locations, so that they could always have access to a range of food, even when it was not in season. The ritual business necessary for the maintenance and increase of food sources and the arrival of the rains was the responsibility of both men and women, and at times was undertaken cooperatively and at times exclusively, depending on the ritual (Choo 2001).
Knowledge was the primary tool used by Aboriginal people to occupy and manage the Australian continent (Rose 1991). Aboriginal knowledge systems, which support sustainable relationships with the land, have developed through many millennia of observation, experimentation and teaching (Horstman and Wightman 2001). Kimberley people lived and prospered in country where having enough to eat and drink year round depended on intimate, exact knowledge of country.
Each year the Kimberley, subject to the monsoonal patterns of the tropics, is transformed by the passing seasons. As the wet season breaks, the landscape changes. Where the ground is sandy and porous, water soaks through to recharge underground aquifers, and spreads out forming broad seasonal floodplains, renewing plant and animal life. In the higher, rockier country of the north Kimberley, water masses and pours into mighty rivers that gush to the sea with tremendous force, carrying huge volumes of sediment, reshaping beaches and mudflats. It is not just the visible landscape that changes: during the oppressive build-up to the wet, the volume and variety of bird calls increases, and the piercing drone of cicadas fills the humid air. When the rains start, frogs greet them with raucous song (Gueho 2007).
Six seasons in Nyikina country
Nyikina people, whose country encompasses the lower reaches of the Fitzroy River, follow a calendar which describes six seasons. Like all Kimberley Aboriginal groups, the Nyikina seasons are defined with reference to their particular country:
Wilakarra (December to February): Wilakarra, around Christmas time, is the wet season. When it starts to rain, it's spinifex time, moordoon, when all the spinifex turns green and Nyikina people use it to make wax, called limirri, for fixing spearheads and other tools. Koongkara (conkerberry) and magabala (bush banana) start flowering. Around February, when green berries are growing on the koongkara, little orange beetles climb all over the koongkara bush, making the berries ripe. In March or April, when the beetles have done their job, the conkerberries are ripe and people can start to eat them.
Koolawa (March to May): 'Knockem down rain' comes at the end of the wet season, before it goes into Koolawa time, the start of winter. Yabooloongarra is the name for grass after it's knocked down. During koolawa, the colour of the morning sky changes, so that it looks like the colour of the ground, of the sand. After knockem down rain the smaller birds start nesting: honey birds and little parrots, kinykiny (budgerigar). The bigger birds start to mate, and they look for hollow trees to nest in. Going into May the wind changes, the Seven Sisters start to appear again, and some of the wattle trees begin to flower, going into Jirrbal (Milgin et al. 2009).

Jirrbal (May to June): At this time the Seven Sisters come out early in the morning. The bright pinpoint light of these stars warns that cold weather is on the way.
Wilbooroo (June to August): Trees begin to flower. Warimba (bohemia), nganybarl (bush orange) and koolbarn (a kind of wattle) are all in bloom. Some of the flowers tell you it's time for crocodile eggs, and that birds are starting to nest. At the end of July, when koolbarn leaves turn green, the cold weather is coming to an end.
Barrkana (September): Warimba flowers dry up, and kardookardoo (whitewood) flowers begins. Kardookardoo flower is the main food for cockatoos while they're nesting. Crocodiles and snakes are laying eggs and soon their young will hatch. The pods on the warimba tree go red, and when they start to dry that's the start of Lalin.
Lalin (October to December): This is the build up to the rainy season. White gums and coolibahs, walarriy (white river gum) and majala (freshwater mangrove) are all in flower.
Dampier Peninsula – resources from the land
Because of its proximity to Broome, Dampier Peninsula is one of the best-researched areas in the west Kimberley for ethnobiology – traditional knowledge about native species and natural systems. Over the past 70 years, researchers have collaborated with elders, particularly Bardi elders who live in and near Broome, to record details such as plant names, and the methods of preparation and use of important species. They have also recorded information about the seasons and seasonal cycles of plant and animal use (Kenneally et al. 1996b; Smith and Kalotas 1985). On Dampier Peninsula, as throughout the Kimberley, plants have provided Aboriginal people with food and medicine, and the raw materials used to construct weapons, ornaments and shelters.
A range of important food species have been recorded from Dampier Peninsula. Acacia, the most broadly distributed and abundant plant group, is an important and versatile resource. Acacia seeds can be roasted and eaten, or collected dry and ground into flour. Acacias are also a source of medicine, and their branches are used by the Bardi and other groups for making spears, boomerangs and shelters (Lands 1997; Paddy and Smith 1987; Kenneally et al. 1996b). One species – Acacia wickhami – has strong-smelling leaves that are tied through a hair belt when swimming, and reputedly act as a shark repellent, which people wear when recovering turtles (Paddy and Smith 1987).
A number of Terminalia species are highly prized for their fruit and seeds, and some also have medicinal properties. Kakadu plum (Terminalia ferdinandiana), known as Arungal, Mador or Gubinge in Bardi and Gabiny in Nyul–Nyul, is thought to have the highest vitamin C of any known food: its fruit contains more than 50 times the vitamin C of oranges. The fruit, seeds and gum are all eaten, and an infusion is made from the bark to treat rheumatism, sores and itchy bites (O'Dea et al. 1991; Paddy and Smith 1987). Another tree called Joolal in Bardi and Jilangen or Joolangen in Nyul–Nyul (Terminalia canescens), produces a highly-prized edible gum. Branches are used in constructing shelters, and are a good source of hot-burning firewood (Paddy and Smith 1987). The pindan quondong (Terminalia cunninghami), known as Jamdalngorr by Bardi people and Gumpja by Karrajarri people at Bidyadanga south of Broome, also has an excellent tasting edible seed. This tree has recently been cultivated, along with Kakadu plum, in an orchard south of Broome (Kenneally 1996b; ABC 2008).
Species of fig, which grow in and around Broome and elsewhere on Dampier Peninsula, provide many useful resources. Shields are made from mature tree trunks, and string is woven from the outer bark of aerial roots. Fruit is eaten raw when ripe (Paddy and Smith 1987). One species (Ficus opposita, the sandpaper fig) shares its Bardi name with the rough-skinned black swordfish, Ranyja. Ranyja has a sweet edible fruit and, as its common name suggests, its leaves can be used as sandpaper (Lands 1997).
Some plant species are highly regarded for their medicinal properties. Eucalypt gum is used to treat sore teeth and gums (Paddy and Smith 1987; Kenneally 1996b). The bark and wood of Lysiphyllum cunninghamii (Kimberley bauhinia) known as Jooma or Jigal in Bardi, are an antispectic, and a remedy for headache and fever (Kenneally 1996b; Paddy and Smith 1987). Owenia reticulata (desert walnut), known as Lambilamb in Bardi and Limbalim in Nyul–Nyul, is reputed to have powerful medicinal qualities, and is used to treat rheumatism, cuts and sores (Kenneally et al. 1996a). The Bardi rub their feet with leaves of Wudarr (Gardenia pyriformis) to protect them against cuts from the reef and stonefish stings (Lands 1997).
Caring for and regenerating country
There are a number of important rituals regularly performed by Kimberley Aboriginal people that maintain the ‘brightness’ of country, including the 'freshening' (repainting) of Wanjina rock art, burning off the bush, cleaning certain places (for example, the graves of deceased relations), and ‘talking to’ resident spirit beings. Kimberley Aboriginal people also regularly visit places in the country so that country does not ‘get lonely’ or, in the case of shelters and caves along estuarine river systems, ‘hide themself’ from traditional owners. Caring for country also requires the asking and giving of permission to access country, as well as rituals that welcome, introduce, or re-introduce people to country. When traditional owners invite outsiders to visit country with them, they smoke their guests.  This eliminates foreign scents and allows the country to recognize the visitors. These rituals reflect the sentient nature of country which will protect people it recognizes as belonging to it, or people who have been properly introduced and smoked by the country’s traditional owners (Blundell and Doohan 2009; Blundell et al. 2009).
In the Kimberley, the diversity of the biological environment is paralleled by the diversity of the cultural and linguistic environment. Linguists have shown that languages spoken north of the Fitzroy River are different from those classified as the 'Pama–Nyungen' languages, spoken everywhere else on the Australian continent (McConvell and Thieberger 2005). Kimberley Aboriginal people typically have multiple affiliations based on their language groups and their numerous connections to country: ranging from specific sites to large tracts of country. These connections include knowledge of Dreaming stories across the Kimberley that tell of the creation of country and its features, plants, animals and people by ancestral creation beings.

Geologists explain the formation of the Kimberley in terms of physical forces which have shaped present landforms over thousands of millions of years: the movement of continental plates; shifts in climate and sea level; and the action of wind, water and ice on rock. Geologists situate change in geological periods, which are defined with reference to global geological and evolutionary developments. These explanations are published in written form, are sometimes disputed, and may be revised or refined over time on the basis of new evidence, or new methods of interpreting existing evidence.
The geological origins of the Kimberley reach back to a period when life was first evolving in Earth's oceans, before the appearance of multicelled organisms. Geologists believe that the oldest rocks in the west Kimberley, which now lie in the Lennard Hills, were formed between 1,920 and 1,790 million years ago (Tyler 2000). During much of this time, a significant portion of the west Kimberley was part of a separate, larger continent located to the north of what would become the Australian continent, but drifting towards it.
About 1,880 million years ago, these two continents collided in an event now known as the Hooper Orogeny, causing major upheavals in Earth's crust and forming a mountain range ­­– the King Leopold orogen – not unlike the modern Andes. Today, rocks which were part of the Hooper Orogeny are spectacularly exposed along the Kimberley coastline. The collision produced huge volumes of molten rock (magma). Much of this magma spewed as lava from erupting volcanoes, while some remained within the crust and over time solidified to form granite and gabbro. The tremendous forces created by the collision were enough to buckle rocks into folds and break them along faults. Some rocks were buried deep in the crust, where the intense pressure and temperature transformed them into minerals such as garnet and mica. Where conditions were most intense, the rocks melted. Over time, the mountain range created by this collision was weathered by wind and rain. Huge amounts of sediment washed or blown into the shallow seas and rivers of the Kimberley Basin hardened through temperature and pressure into extensive sedimentary rocks (Tyler 2000; Maher and Copp 2009).
Around 1,000 million years ago, the southern edge of the ancient Kimberley landmass (represented by the rocks of the greater Kimberley Plateau) moved south against the Pilbara Craton, heating, folding and faulting rocks. The renewed contact again led to the formation of a series of mountains. Rocks showing evidence of this event can be seen on Yampi Peninsula.
From around 850 to 630 million years ago, during the 'Cryogenic' period of the Neoproterozoic era, a series of intense ice ages gripped much of Earth, interspersed with episodes of runaway greenhouse conditions. Glacial deposits from approximately 700 million years ago are well preserved in the Kimberley. About 630 million years ago at the beginning of the Ediacaran period, the glaciers thawed. An array of complex multicelled organisms is preserved in rocks from this period, known as the Ediacara biota. The Ediacara biota bore almost no resemblance to modern organisms; it appears to have been dominated by soft-bodied animals resembling segmented worms, fronds, disks, and immobile bags. The fossil remains of these organisms have been found in all parts of the world. As waves of evolutionary change were washing over life in Earth's oceans, the southern supercontinent Gondwana was also under construction, and was finally assembled by around 520 million years ago (Johnson 2009).
Between 600 and 500 million years ago, the Halls Creek Fault system formed, which today extends across much of northern Australia, from Darwin to the Great Sandy Desert. Movement on either side of the fault resulted in the spectacular folding of the King Leopold Range. As the range rose, the epicontinental sea in the Kimberley and Pilbara basins to the south deepened.
Around 540 million years ago, the Ediacara biota rapidly disappeared, and was replaced by a new suite of organisms, which may have arisen very suddenly in what is known as the 'Cambrian explosion', although there is evidence that a number of Ediacara fauna were ancestral to Cambrian species. During the Cambrian period, life in Earth's oceans seems to have undergone an exceptional increase in diversity and complexity, as seen in the fossilised remains of many different forms of plants and animals which have been preserved from this time. Most of the increase occurred in shallow seas, such as that which filled the Kimberley and Pilbara basins (Tyler 2000). The Canning Basin formed as a result of intracratonic sagging in these basins during the early Ordovician period. Another series of global extinction events occurred between 448 and 443 million years ago during the Ordovician and Silurian periods, with the loss of more than half of the Cambrian marine genera (Geoscience Australia 2008).
The Devonian period, from 416 million years ago to around 359 million years ago, was characterised by a great increase in diversity of fish. The first fossils of ray-finned and lobe-finned bony fish are dated to the Devonian. From around 397 million years ago, there is evidence that some fish evolved limb-like structures and began to move onto land. Vascular plants diversified and became more widespread on land. In the late Frasnian to early Famennian stage of the Devonian, around 364 million years ago, many fish species became extinct. A second, strong extinction pulse closed the Famennian, and the Devonian period. These extinctions primarily affected organisms that lived in shallow, warm water marine environments – most significantly, the reef-builders of the great Devonian reef systems. The reasons for these extinctions are not known.
Even more than an 'age of fish', the Devonian was the age of reefs and reef builders. The Lennard Shelf, a tropical carbonate shelf which formed part of the shallow continental sea filling the Canning Basin, was the site of one of the most remarkable, rich and abundant barrier reef systems of the Devonian period. From about 390 million years ago, reefs fringed three sides of the Kimberley Plateau landmass. The main reef may have been as much as 1,400 kilometres long – comparable to today's Great Barrier Reef, which extends for just over 2,000 kilometres. Today, the remains of the Devonian reef are preserved in outcrops up to 50 kilometres wide, which occur for 350 kilometres along the northern margin of the Canning Basin, in the Oscar, Napier, Emmanuel and Pillara ranges. These ranges run parallel to the King Leopold Ranges from near Derby to Fitzroy Crossing, and extend almost as far as Halls Creek (Long 2006). The King Leopold Ranges represent the ancient continental coast. Limestone outcrops, which reach heights of up to 300 metres above sea level, give a sense of the magnitude of the reefs that once occupied this part of the Kimberley (Playford et al. 2009). The features they preserve are diverse, and include shores and inlets, islands and archipelagos, platforms and atolls (Johnson and Webb 2007). The Lennard and Fitzroy rivers expose spectacular reef cross sections at Windjana and Geikie gorges (Long 2006). The Proterozoic rocks of the Oscar Range, an outlier of the King Leopolds, was an archipelago during the late Devonian, and preserves many reef features in intricate detail (Johnson and Webb 2007).
As well as providing a sense of the grandeur of the Devonian reef system, fossils also preserve intimate and exact details of the individual organisms that built and occupied these reefs and the shallow seas that supported them. In particular the Gogo Formation, a limestone formation of the Lennard Shelf, contains spectacular and abundant fossils of fish that lived in deeper water, seaward of the reefs. Nearly 50 species have been described so far, and work is ongoing. The fish fossils mostly occur below the surface of the formation within 'Gogo nodules' that sometimes become exposed when the surrounding rock is weathered out (Playford et al. 2009). The preservation of these fish is exceptional: their fossils are near-complete, with three-dimensional skeletons. Soft tissue features of the fish have been preserved here, intact, for over 300 million years.
Following sea level retreat around the world, between 310 and 270 million years ago glaciers of the Permo–Carboniferous ice age, which covered much of Earth in sheets of ice, buried the remains of the Devonian reef and laid down sedimentary rocks in the Canning Basin. As sub-glacial ice melted, water reacted with the carbonate structures of the reef and began to hollow out the maze of caves and tunnels which now form the extensive karst systems of the Kimberley limestone ranges. The reef was buried under glacial sediments for millions of years, before uplift eventually exposed it once more.
The end of the Permian is defined by a mass extinction of an unprecedented scale, informally known as 'the great dying'. More than 90 per cent of all marine species disappeared from the fossil record and 70 per cent of terrestrial vertebrate species. However, it ushered in the Mesozoic era, the 'age of dinosaurs'. By the Triassic period, beginning around 245 million years ago, the grip of cold, arid glacial conditions had given way. From around 200 million years ago, in the early Jurassic period, the Kimberley Plateau once again formed part of a large island landmass, separated from the Northern Australian and Pilbara cratons by an inland sea. During the Cretaceous period, many species of dinosaurs occupied the area. As dinosaurs walked over swampy ground about 130 million years ago, they left tracks, some of which are preserved as fossils in the Broome Sandstone and exposed along the west coast of Dampier Peninsula. Fossilised remains of plants and pollens are found along with the tracks, which allow geologists to estimate their age. Plant remains and depositional features of the sandstone show the range of environments that these dinosaurs inhabited, which included rich lagoonal forests, estuaries, swamps and riverine areas.
The early Cretaceous coastal plain and drainage were roughly parallel to the existing Dampier Peninsula coastline: 'on the landward (eastern) side of the coastal plain a few small lakes and swampy areas intervened among groves of ferns, while on higher ground there was open forest dominated by cycads. In a few places there were stretches of flood debris (pebbles and boulders) and sheets of sand blown out from the continental interior. On the seaward (westward) side of the coastal plain there was a series of open lagoons, with very shallow water, intermittently drained free and exposed to the air' (Thulborn 2010).
Today, the Broome Sandstone is exposed discontinuously for around 200 kilometres on the western coast of Dampier Peninsula, from the bird observatory at Roebuck Bay north to Cape Leveque. At most places where this rock formation has been uncovered, whether by gradual erosion or the pounding of cyclonic seas, dinosaur footprints have been found. At least 15 different types of footprints are recognised, making this one of the most diverse collections of trace fossils in the world (Thulborn et al. 1994; Molnar 1996; Long 1998; Tyler 2000; Long 2004). At some sites, short sections of trackways (sequences of prints recording the movement of one or more animals) can be detected.
Sauropods are the most common source of the prints found in this region. Sauropods were four-legged herbivorous dinosaurs, best known in the form of Diplodocus or Brachiosaurus (both found in the western United States). The sauropod prints found at Dampier Peninsula include some of the largest in the world, at 1.75 metres long, as well as some of the smallest. They are the only sauropod tracks known in Australia. The most publicised footprints, however, are the three-toed (tridactyl) prints, which can be seen at low tide in the intertidal zone of the rocky shore at Gantheaume Point, near Broome (Thulborn et al. 1994; Thulborn 1997). Vertebrate palaeontologists and trace fossil experts consider that the range of prints and trackways found along the Kimberley coast, together with their environmental settings, is internationally outstanding. The dinosaur traces and other fossil prints in the area are culturally significant to Aboriginal people. Public statements and scientific access has been restricted due to fear of theft, after a slab containing footprints was stolen in 1996 (Long 2002; Cook 2004). Study has been limited by the difficulty of reaching the tracks, which are often located in the intertidal zone, and are intermittently buried and uncovered by storm surges shifting large quantities of sand (Thulborn pers. comm. 2009).
Around 160 million years ago, as Gondwana began to break apart, rift valleys formed down the western Australian coast and between Australia and the Indian continent. Sea levels rose, flooding the Great Artesian Basin. As Gondwana fractured over tens of millions of years, rifting opened wide areas of ocean between the previously joined landmasses of India, Antarctica and Australia. The Australian landmass has been a separate island continent since about 55 million years ago (Maher and Copp 2009).
At the end of the Mesozoic, the non-avian dinosaurs vanished all over the world, along with the winged reptiles and many marine species. Inland seas once again retreated and Australia migrated north to its current position following separation from Antarctica. Despite these changes to Australia and the world, the topography of the Kimberley has remained essentially the same as when it formed part of Gondwana. Geologists believe there has been only limited tectonic movement and deformation in the Kimberley since the Devonian period began, over 400 million years ago, although there has been some uplift. This means that features such as the Devonian reef system, the glaciated landscapes of the late Carboniferous period and the varied environments of the Mesozoic era (including dinosaur trackways recorded in the Broome Sandstone) have been relatively undisturbed in the landscape (Maher and Copp 2009).
In the absence of any major mountain-building events, water, wind and ice work to wear down the surfaces of a landscape, eventually producing a nearly-flat topography only broken by isolated hills. Geologists refer to this process as 'planation'. In the Kimberley, the oldest planation surface – the Kimberley High Surface – is thought to have formed around 200 million years ago (Wright 1964 and Hays 1967 in Ollier et al. 1988; Tyler 2000), though some researchers have argued that this surface predates the Neoproterozoic glaciation, which would make it as much as 700 million years old (Ollier et al. 1988). The remains of the High Surface can be seen today on the highest mesas of the plateaus of the north Kimberley, such as Mount Hann at 776 metres. Peaks within the King Leopold and Durack ranges, including Mount Ord at 937 metres, were once hills which stood above this surface.
Between 200 and 100 million years ago, uplift and then erosion of the Kimberley High Surface formed a second, lower planation surface – the Kimberley Low Surface. From 70 to 50 million years ago Australia moved into tropical latitudes, and the warmer climate and heavy rain leached the soil of the Kimberley Low Surface and led to the formation of laterite, a hard capping of minerals. Twenty million years ago, as Australia continued its journey north towards Asia, the Kimberley Low Surface was uplifted. Fast-flowing water rushing down these newly created steep slopes cut deep gorges and other features that are visible today in the northern coastal regions of the Kimberley, including the spectacular cliff walls and waterfalls of the lower reaches of the King George and King Edward rivers (Maher and Copp 2009). The uplifted Kimberley Low Surface has been gradually worn down to form the hills and valleys found in the lower altitude country around the edge of the North Kimberley plateaus, while the original Low Surface is preserved in the vicinity of Halls Creek. A new planation surface has not yet developed.
It is still unknown when and from where humans first appeared in this country. The contemporary scientific explanation is that, after leaving Sundaland (the southern extension of south-east Asia drowned by rising seas of the Holocene, with Sundaland's remnants comprising the Malay Peninsula and islands of Sumatra, Java, Borneo, and surrounding smaller islands), the first arrivals made short voyages between islands, mostly remaining in sight of land, before setting off on the longest stretch of the journey. They navigated sea channels up to 100 kilometres wide to reach the Sahul, the conjoined landmass of Australia and New Guinea (Mulvaney and Kamminga 1999; Gillespie 2002). We do not know what sort of craft they travelled on, or whether the journey was made by accident or intention, once or many times. Archaeological evidence suggests that by at least 40,000 years ago humans had occupied all, or nearly all, parts of the Australian continent. Scientists identify the Kimberley as one of the most likely entry points for the initial migration of people from Asia to Australia. Archaeological investigations may show the Kimberley to be the first area in Australia to be inhabited by modern humans (O'Connor 1999).
Archaeological finds from rock shelters indicate that early Kimberley people had a varied diet. They ate many different plants, shellfish, fish, tortoises, lizards, rodents, wallabies, possums, bandicoots and goose eggs (McConnell and O'Connor 1997; O'Connor 1999; Balme 2000). Marine remains, including what appear to be decorative pieces of baler shell and sections of dentalium or tusk shells (called barrgayi by Bardi and Nyul Nyul people, who still make necklaces from them), have been found in rock shelter deposits up to 500 kilometres from their source, providing evidence that trade routes linked the inland to the coast from perhaps 30,000 years ago (Balme and Morse 2006). In addition, archaeological excavations in the west Kimberley have provided the earliest evidence of the intentional application of ochre onto a rock surface presently known in Australia, and one of the earliest examples anywhere in the world. Sometime before 39,700 BP, ochre was blown onto the roof of a rock shelter in a similar method to that used by Aboriginal people in Australia today (O'Connor and Fankhauser 2001; O'Connor and Marwick 2007).
The most dramatic change to the Kimberley landscape since people arrived began after the Last Glacial Maximum of the late Pleistocene, around 22,000 years ago (Tyler 2000). Australia remained largely free of permanent ice during this period of global glaciation, except in a small area of the Snowy Mountains and parts of Tasmania, but in the northern hemisphere, glaciers advanced to high latitudes. As the ice age ended glacial ice melted, sea levels rose and the Kimberley coast was flooded, with seawater reaching up to 80 kilometres inland. Mountain ranges became islands, and river valleys were inundated and now lie beneath the sea. The Fitzroy River floodplain, which was to be an important centre of life for many generations of Kimberley Aboriginal people, started to form. Sea levels stabilised at around their current levels by about 9,000 years ago.
These changes occurred over a number of human generations, transforming the landscape and resources available to people living in many parts of the Kimberley. Archaeologists have studied rock shelters which were occupied during this time, and found that people adapted to change in a range of ways, including by altering the species of plants they consumed. Further study of such sites in the Kimberley could assist in better reconstructing how people responded to this environmental transformation, as well as to subsequent cycles of climatic change associated with la Niña and el Niño events, experienced over the past 10,000 years (McConnell and O'Connor 1997; O'Connor 1999).
Scientists believe that the Kimberley landscape formed both by gradual processes of geological and climate change, and by much more rapid events. Evidence along the north-west coast of Australia suggests that, as recently as the seventeenth century, a powerful tsunami hit the Kimberley coast, generating waves that travelled up to 35 kilometres inland, with water reaching as far as the Great Sandy Desert (Bryant and Nott 2001; Nott and Bryant 2003; Bryant et al. 2007). This may have been the result of a meteorite falling into the Indian Ocean. The whole Kimberley coastline shows the after effects of being swamped by a catastrophic wave (Nott et al. 1996; Bryant et al. 2007). The tsunami's impact on the many Aboriginal groups who lived along the coast, and even those well inland, must have been immense, and this impact may be reflected in stories that still tell of this terrible event (Mowaljarlai and Malnic 1993; Blundell and Woolagoodja 2005).


For the people who live here, whether Traditional Owners or more recent arrivals, the west Kimberley is home; for scientists, it is largely a tantalising unknown. The Kimberley is vast and remote from southern centres. Travel is difficult during the wet season, and many parts cannot be reached by ordinary means of transport at any time of year. Along the coast, there are saltwater crocodiles and massive, powerful tides. The west Kimberley coast, particularly at King Sound and Roebuck Bay, has the greatest tidal range of any coastal area in Australia, and one of the greatest in the world. Spring tides can reach up to 12 metres, and there are two tidal cycles each day. The west Kimberley is also remarkable for having the most convoluted coastline in Australia: it is comprised of an enormous number of islands, bays, coves and inlets, which appear as an impossible tangle of lines on a map.
While most of the region has not yet been studied in detail, what survey work has taken place indicates that the Kimberley is home to a highly diverse range of plants and animals, and includes many species that live nowhere else (endemics), as well as species that are under threat or have now disappeared elsewhere in Australia. Some of the factors that make the Kimberley most challenging to study also make it a refuge – providing greater resilience from introduced species and human actions, from seasonal scarcity, and from longer term changes in climate – allowing unique communities of species to thrive.
Kimberley country ranges from coastal mangroves and eucalypt woodlands, through rugged ranges, flat-topped mesas and deep gorges, to rich pockets of rainforest and savanna grasslands. Rainfall, geology, topography, soil types, and associated plants and animals all vary significantly between the coast and inland, and from north to south. For descriptive purposes, the west Kimberley mainland is divided into four regions, reflecting changes in rainfall and geology: the north Kimberley, including the Mitchell Plateau and the northern and north-western coastline; Yampi Peninsula; central Kimberley, which includes the King Leopold, Napier, Oscar, Pillara and Emmanuel ranges; and the south-west, made up of Dampier Peninsula and the catchment of the Fitzroy River. The multitude of islands and reefs and other outstanding marine features which lie off the coast are also described.
North Kimberley
The north Kimberley is an extensive area of rugged tablelands and distinctive flat-topped mesas stretching from Cape Londonderry in the north to Harding Range in the south, and includes the Carson Escarpment, Mitchell Plateau (Ngauwudu to its Wanjina–Wunggurr Traditional Owners) and Gardner Plateau. This is the wettest part of the Kimberley: between 1,100 and 1,500 millimetres of rain falls on average each year, mostly in the summer months. The area has high biodiversity values, including the richest mammal populations in the west Kimberley, and is home to many endemic species. The greatest diversity of plant and animal species in the Kimberley is found in the coastal strip from the Mitchell Plateau north-east to Drysdale River.
The geology of the north Kimberley is dominated by sandstones, dolerites and other volcanic rocks. Ancient rocks usually buried deep below Earth's surface are exposed here. In places, these basement strata have been worn through by rivers, showing both the long geological stability of the region which has allowed such features to be retained, and the power unleashed by the annual wet season. Unlike the more porous, sandier country in the southern Kimberley, the rocky landscapes of the north continue to hold surface water during the dry season: pools are common in creeks, and both springs and rivers continue to flow year round (McKenzie 1981). These are important dry season refuges for many animals, particularly birds and fish.
In the north Kimberley, the King George River provides a dramatic corridor of access from the ocean to the foot of the King George Falls, about 12 kilometres upstream from Koolama Bay. The river has cut a deep gorge in the surrounding rock, creating striking orange sandstone cliffs, between 80 and 100 metres tall. Two high waterfalls spill from a rocky plateau down vertical, rocky cliff faces into deep water in the river; in the wet season these falls carry spectacular volumes of water, and the sound of their deluge can be deafening.
The soils of the north Kimberley are sandy and sparse. Where there is enough soil, grassy woodlands grow: woollybutt (Eucalyptus miniata) and Darwin stringybark trees (E. tetrodonta) shade high Sorghum and hummock grasses (Plectrachne schnizii). Many large, open, flat pavements are formed from sandstone and laterite, and carry little or no soil. These pavements seem sterile, lifeless places during the long dry season, but the deluge of wet season rains turns the pavements into temporary pools. After the rains, many annual plants grow quickly from seed: ephemeral species such as triggerplants, bladderworts, small sedges and insectivorous sundews appear suddenly and live for only a short time, producing abundant seeds before once more withering under the harsh dry season sun.
Areas with more reliable dry season moisture, such as the edges of creeks and drainage lines, support closed forests of paperbark and spiny, spiral-leafed pandans. In estuaries, sheltered bays and inlets, extensive mangroves occur (referred to as 'mangals' when they grow as a group of mixed species). Significant stands of mangroves are found at the head of major rivers of the north Kimberley: the Prince Regent, King Edward and Lawley rivers (Kenneally 1982; Zell 2003). On the edge of sea cliffs, a tropical laterite flora dominated by cabbage palm (Livistona eastonii) forms part of a spectacular landscape. While cabbage palm species are found throughout northern and eastern Australia, this particular community is unique to the Kimberley (Burbidge et al. 1991; Rodd 1998). Cycad species including Cycas basaltica and C. lane–poolei are recorded only on the Mitchell Plateau.
Punamii–Unpuu (Mitchell Falls)
Punamii–Unpuu is considered by many visitors to the Kimberley to be a place of exceptional beauty, featuring a cascading series of water falls and rocky water pools along a section of the Mitchell River on Ngauwudu (the Mitchell Plateau). Punamii–Unpuu includes four separate waterfalls which cascade into a stepped series of rocky pools. Each pool also has a rugged, rocky setting. The rock walls surrounding the pools increase in height along the line of the water course. The third pool is enclosed on two opposing sides by high, rocky, cliff walls about 24 metres high. The pools are oriented in such a way that afternoon and early morning light enhances the appearance of the pools, and the setting sun brings out the red colour of the rocky cliff faces to dramatic effect.

Punamii–unpuu is a very important place to its Aboriginal Traditional Owners, the Wanjina-Wunggurr people, who are concerned that tourists, drawn by these well–recognised aesthetic values, must behave correctly while they are there. They say that people visiting Punamii–unpuu need to be very careful, and should be accompanied by a Traditional Owner:
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'Like many water places in our country, Punamii–unpuu is a powerful story place, with great cultural and spiritual significance. For whitefellas, it would be like a big cathedral. Punamii–unpuu is a large sacred site, entire area, not just one place – it includes all of the creeks (eg.Mertens Creek), rivers (eg. Mitchell River), waterfalls (eg. Little Mertens Falls, Mitchell Falls), and surrounding outcrops and woodland.
'Wunggurr, or creation snakes, travelled from different points with Wandjina, the creators, making rivers and creeks, and creating all living things. The snakes meet and show each other (punmii–unpuu) at Punamii–unpuu, travelling from the sea (leaving paintings at Arrun on the tidal stretch of the Mitchell River), and from inland, like Wumbulbrii, the one-eyed snake. Punamii–unpuu is an important part of the Wunggurr travels, and is now one of the main homes for Wunggurr.
'The powers and creation story of Punamii–unpuu are fundamental to our beliefs, and to our life. It is a very important place to all Wandjina–Wunggurr people, for the Worrorra side, the Ngarinyin side, and the Wunambal–Gaambera side.
Punamii–unpuu is an important link for our Wunggurr dreaming tracks. We have a really strong responsibility in our Law to make sure those links are not broken' (Wunambal Gaambera Aboriginal Corporation 2001).
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Kimberley vine thickets
Scientists have only recently realised that rainforest is an important, if restricted, element of the vegetation of the Kimberley. Rainforest traditionally provided many resources for Aboriginal people in the Kimberley. Until the 1960s, however, the presence of rainforest patches had gone largely unnoticed by non-Indigenous researchers. Unlike the more extensive forests of North Queensland, which blanket mountain ranges and cover coastal lowlands, Kimberley rainforests occur as scattered, isolated vine thickets. While small patches are found as far south as the coastal sand dunes near Broome, they are most extensive in remote and rugged parts of the mainland and islands of the North Kimberley region. Many of these vine thickets are very small – some are less than a hectare in size. The largest, on south-west Osborne Island, is 100 hectares. While only occupying a small portion of the area of the Kimberley, vine thickets are critical to the biodiversity of the region: they contain around a quarter of all recorded Kimberley plant species, many of which do not survive outside the rainforest environment, and are an important refuge for animals in the late dry season (Kenneally et al. 1991; Kenneally and McKenzie 1991; Black 2001). The food and shelter they provide is particularly important after surrounding, drier vegetation has been burned. However, few of the plants found in these vine thickets are endemic to the Kimberley: most also grow in rainforests in other parts of northern Australia. Their seeds are transported long distances by birds and bats, and quickly colonise areas of suitable habitat. This ease of dispersal is crucial for the continuation of small, isolated patches of vine thickets in a vast and largely inhospitable landscape (McKenzie et al. 1991; Liddle et al. 1994).
Vine thickets in the Kimberley have a precarious existence: they cling to rough scree slopes; grow at the base of sheer rocky cliffs and in narrow gorges; and follow the moisture provided by drainage lines or groundwater seepage. Larger patches with greater structural complexity and species richness are found in high rainfall areas (Kenneally and McKenzie 1991; Chester et al. 1999; ANRA 2007c). These thickets are often found alongside mangrove communities. Small patches of vine thicket also occur along the Dampier Peninsula coast amongst Holocene sand dune systems (Kenneally and McKenzie 1991). These coastal thickets, while simpler in structure and possessing fewer plant species, offer important dry season refuge and food resources for birds such as the rose-crowned fruit dove (Ptilinopus regina) and great bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchus nuchalis) (Black et al. 2010). Rainforest plants are more vulnerable to damage from fire than the more abundant savanna woodlands, and as a result they tend to be restricted to fire-protected niches within the landscape. Wunambal people traditionally maintained vine thickets by burning the surrounding grassland early in the dry season, to prevent more damaging, late season fires from taking hold (Mangglamarra, Burbidge and Fuller in McKenzie et al. 1991).
While the birds and mammals that occupy or use these areas are easier to observe, vine thickets are also home to many lesser known creatures. The rainforest's moist soil, varied vegetation and regulated temperature are particularly important for land snails, earthworms, leeches, ants, spiders and pseudoscorpions (arachnids that resemble scorpions in body shape). The qualities that make rainforest patches such important invertebrate habitat also prevent invertebrate populations from moving through, or occupying, surrounding non-rainforest areas, which tend to be drier and more open. Because of this, many invertebrate species live only in a single vine thicket patch, and some have evolved as rainforest specialists (Harvey 1989, 1991). Throughout the north Kimberley, many more invertebrate species are found in vine thickets than in any other vegetation type (Main 1991).
North Kimberley: a haven of biodiversity
The north Kimberley is home to many small to medium-sized mammals that weigh between 50 grams and five kilograms. The weight range is not incidental: mammals within this range (referred to by ecologists as 'critical weight range') have been hardest hit by predation or competition from introduced species, and are now absent or severely reduced from much of the rest of the continent (Burbidge et al. 1991). Fifty seven mammal species have been recorded on the north Kimberley plateaus, including endemics such as the golden bandicoot (Isodon auratus), scaly-tailed possum (Wyulda squamicaudata), monjon (Petrogale burbidgei), nabarlek (Peradorcas concinna), golden-backed tree rat (Mesembriomys macrurus) and the Kimberley rock rat (Zyzomyz woodwardi) (Strahan 1983; ANRA 2007c).
Scientists have also found that the rocky, broken terrain of the north is rich in reptiles and amphibians. Dragon species that are found nowhere else include Diporiphora superba and D. convergens, which is only known from Crystal Creek. Two cave-dwelling species of geckos (Pseudothecadactylus cavaticus and P. lindneri) are restricted to the north Kimberley region, and a velvet gecko (Oedura gracilis) has only been identified from the Mitchell Plateau. The Mitchell Plateau is also the only-known home of the rough-scaled python (Morelia carinata) (Cogger 1992). Researchers have found that a number of frogs are endemic to the wettest parts of the north Kimberley (Tyler and Doughty 2009). Endemic tree frogs include Litoria splendida and Cyclorana vagita; and L. cavernicola is found only on the Mitchell Plateau (Cogger 1992). Endemics from the southern frog family include three very restricted species: Uperoleia minima, U. micra and U. marmorata, only known from their original collection site near the mouth of the Prince Regent River (Tyler and Doughty 2009). It is highly likely that further survey work would add significantly to the record of unique or unusual species that live in this richly diverse region.
While scientists lack detailed knowledge of the birds of the north Kimberley, preliminary surveys recorded 69 passerine species (that is, perching birds, many of which are songbirds) and 92 non-passerine species, and ongoing research continues to add to these numbers, with around 220 bird species now listed for Mitchell River National Park alone (DEC 2010). Rugged sandstone supports the rare black grass wren (Amytornis housei), white-quilled rock pigeon (Petrophassa albipennis) and lavender-flanked wren (Malurus dulcis) (Burbidge et al. 1991). Vine thickets are important habitat for rainbow pitta (Pitta iris), Torres Strait pigeon (Ducula spilorrhoa), figbird (Sphecotheres flaviventris), cicada bird (Coracina tenvirostris) and koel (Eudynamys scolopacea) (Chester et al. 1999; Johnstone and Smith 1981 in Burbidge et al. 1991). Mangals are also an important bird habitat. North Kimberley mangals support 12 of the 13 bird species that are entirely confined to mangroves in Western Australia, including the chestnut rail (Eulabeornis castaneoventris), great-billed heron (Ardea sumatrana) and brahminy kite (Milvus indus) (Burbidge et al. 1991).
The rivers of the north Kimberley support a range of freshwater fish and turtles found nowhere else. There are endemic or near endemic populations of gudgeons and grunters, as well as of the rare pygmy rainbowfish (Melanotaenia pygmaea). Both the northern river shark (Glyphus sp. C) and freshwater sawfish (Pristis microdon) are found in river mouths and creeks. The freshwater sawfish is listed as vulnerable and has not been seen in Queensland, where it used to also occur, for over 20 years (Mustoe and Edmunds 2008). The north Kimberley is an important region for freshwater turtle research: most populations of the recently described bearded longneck turtle (Macrochelodina walloyarrina) and another turtle species which shares its range, (M. kuchlingi), are found in the Mitchell, King Edward and Drysdale river systems (McCord and Joseph-Ouni 2007). The Kimberley is the only region in Australia where the widely-dispersed freshwater crayfish does not occur, a niche occupied there by giant freshwater shrimps known as cherrabun (Tappin 2005).
Yampi Peninsula
At Yampi Peninsula, the climate shifts from the high rainfall of the northern Kimberley into drier conditions characteristic of central parts of Western Australia. Though Yampi Peninsula is much smaller than the other regions described here, it has unique characteristics as a transitional zone. Yampi Peninsula has not been extensively surveyed, but researchers expect further study to confirm that the area supports very high levels of biological diversity (KPBG 2001).
Yampi Peninsula houses a unique combination of community types, including ecological communities typical of both northern and southern parts of the Kimberley. Many forms of vegetation occur here at the limit of their range. This is the north-west outpost for acacia woodland and for many pindan and arid-zone species; and it is the furthest south-west that rainforest grows over sandstone. Mallee scrub-heath is found on a rare outcrop of Devonian sandstone, about ten kilometres south of Kimbolton homestead. This unusual rock formation, which is isolated from the King Leopold Range, was probably once an island that developed a distinctive flora before a change in sea level rejoined it to the mainland (KPBG 2001). Because of the diverse range of ecosystems that are present on Yampi Peninsula, at least a third of the entire Kimberley flora is represented in this relatively small area.
Yampi Peninsula is bounded by Collier Bay to the north, the King Leopold Ranges to the north-east, and King Sound to the south. Aside from the pockets of diverse flora, much of the peninsula is bare rock: surface sediment is largely limited to sandplains, floodplains and tidal flats. Alluvial plains and sandplains occupy the region's centre and south-east, and include areas of pindan, red clay soils and black cracking clays. The north-east is characterised by low, rounded, boulder-strewn hills often referred to as 'choc chips' because of their distinctive chocolate brown colour. To the west, near the sea, stands a high, broken, rocky plateau. To the north and south-west of the peninsula, there are mudflats dissected by winding tidal channels and creeks, fringed with mangroves. Yampi Peninsula's rocky coastline is both dramatic and intricate: it is incised by long, narrow inlets, and opens onto broad embayments. Offshore, there are rich and diverse marine and insular environments, which are discussed in greater detail below (KPBG 2001; Wyrwoll 2001).
One feature of Yampi Peninsula of particular interest to geologists is the Lillybooroora Conglomerate. This geological structure, which lies approximately 20 kilometres south-east of Talbot Bay, is formed of weakly-cemented rock fragments dating from the Devonian era. The fragments are well-rounded and clearly visible, and range in size from pebbles to boulders. In the area where the Lillybooroora Conglomerate forms the most extensive outcrops, it completely covers the underlying rocks. Some geologists suggest that when the conglomerate is eroded away, it reveals an intact pre-Devonian 'fossil' landscape. In some places, it appears the conglomerate formed when a valley was gradually filled with rocky debris, and its presence today suggests an essentially unmodified landscape over some 350 million years. Further research may show the Lillybooroora Conglomerate to be of considerable scientific importance (Wyrwoll 2001).
Significantly less biological survey work has been undertaken at Yampi Peninsula than in the north Kimberley. However, it is likely that Yampi Peninsula's importance as a biological refuge, a place supporting communities with high levels of diversity and endemism, has been underestimated. Following surveys in 2001, 802 plant species were recorded from Yampi Peninsula, and botanists suggest it is likely that the area contains more than 1000 species, including undescribed, rare, and fire sensitive plants that are declining elsewhere in the Kimberley (KPBG 2001).
Zoologists have only been able to make opportunistic visits to Yampi Peninsula, and their work there is hampered by the region's remoteness, rugged terrain, and limited access for vehicles. Thirty seven species of mammals have been recorded, with a very high probability that more than 50 species occur, including the restricted scaly-tailed possum (Wyulda squamicaudata) (ANRA 2007a). Yampi Peninsula is also rich in reptiles and amphibians, with 77 reptile species known, and at least 17 species of frogs – a richer assemblage of frogs than has been found at Prince Regent Nature Reserve, and the same number as recorded for the Mitchell Plateau. Although the area has not been well surveyed for birds, it is known to support the rare and threatened Gouldian finch (Erythrura gouldiae), red goshawk (Erythrotriorchis radiatus), purple-crowned fairy wren (Malurus coronatus) and partridge pigeon (Geophaps smithii blaauwi) (ANRA 2007a).
Kimberley coastline: islands and reefs
Sea country
Before the most recent sea level rise in the Holocene, many of the islands off the Kimberley coast were part of the landmass of mainland mountain ranges, sloping down to river valleys and floodplains. Aboriginal people lived here, fished in the rivers and hunted on the land, before rising seas drowned their country, creating what geologists refer to as a 'ria coastline' (Nix and Kalma 1972). Only the highest altitude surfaces of the old coast remain, standing above the sea, isolated now from the landmass of which they were part. Where rivers once swelled with fresh water, there are now channels in the seafloor – a lost landscape of the Kimberley clearly visible in the region's underwater topography.
The lives of many Aboriginal people of the west Kimberley were, and continue to be, intimately connected with the sea. Evidence suggests that people lived along the coast, using and trading or exchanging marine resources with inland groups almost 30,000 years ago. A well–developed marine economy had developed by 10,550 BP (O'Connor 1999).
A number of coastal sites in the Kimberley provide evidence of this long history of Aboriginal occupation or visitation. Archaeological evidence indicates that people lived on Koolan Island, in the Buccaneer Archipelago, more than 25,000 years ago during the Pleistocene, with human occupation continuing into the Holocene. Aboriginal people also visited the High Cliffy islands, near Montgomery Reef, more than 6,000 years ago, and have continued to use these islands since that time. Hundreds of stone structures that stand on the largest of the High Cliffy islands, including circles, pathways, standing stones and cairns provide evidence of the islands long term use (Hiscock 2008; O'Connor 1987).
Aboriginal people, often in family groups, travelled along the coast between islands on double log rafts, using the powerful tides and rips to propel them from one place to another. The craft goes by various Aboriginal names, including [g]kalum (by the Worrorra), biel biel (by the Jawi) and [g]kalwa (by the Bardi) (Vachon 2009). There were different sorts of double log rafts: some rafts were specifically designed for hunting; others were for short trips; while some were made to transport larger groups of people from island to island. Baler shells were used to carry water on long voyages, which were planned around the travellers' comprehensive knowledge of the tides, the currents and the winds. At night people used the stars to navigate. They travelled to hunt and to maintain important relationships with neighbouring groups (Choo 2001; Vachon 2009).
The Traditional Owners of the land and sea along the north and west Kimberley coast, including the Bardi, Jawi and Worrorra continue to utilise fish and marine products for food, and their linguistic heritage and vocabularies reflect their complex dependence on the sea. Dugongs and turtles were, and still are, important food resources. Stingrays, crocodiles, crabs, sea birds, shell fish and oysters form part of their diet. From October to November, people harvested turtles and their eggs and ate shark and whales which they sang ashore and stranded (Smith 1997). Aboriginal people also used traps to capture fish and poisons to stun them. Poisons were made from the roots of three species of pea – Tephrosia crocea, T. aff. flammea and T. aff. rosea – as well as from sea cucumbers, which contain a potent substance called holothurin. The Worrorra built fish traps and lit fires to attract fish into them at night (Smith 1997).
Long before the arrival of Europeans, Aboriginal people along the west Kimberley coast collected pearl shell (Pinctada maxima) for use in rituals and ceremonies, and for exchange. The large, luminescent shell was collected from coastal reefs exposed during low equinox tides from Bidyadanga in the south to Cape Londonderry in the far north (Moore 1994; Doohan 2009). In the north Kimberley, the Kwini believe that the area off Cape Londonderry is the source of rinji – pearl shell that is especially brilliant, and is said to have 'fallen down, like a star' to this reef system (Akerman et al. 2010).
From the 1920s, the pearl shell trade became more widespread as the expansion of the pearling industry increased access to shell (Ackerman and Stanton 1994). Recognisable geometric designs developed, and contemporary events and relationships were incorporated into figurative designs which ranged from symbols to increase luck in card games, to depictions of planes to assist spirit travel.
Kimberley pearl shell is highly valued by Aboriginal people of the west Kimberley and beyond; and it continues to be used in rituals and ceremony (Akerman and Stanton 1994; Bornham 2009). Even in areas such as the Gulf of Carpentaria or East Arnhem Land, where local pearl shell is available, it is the Kimberley pearl shell, which arrives through traditional systems of trade and exchange, which is most highly prized (Akerman et al. 2010). A Mayala elder says that carving pearl shell is 'for my country, for my tribal people and all the Mayala people… the designs are our history' (Aubrey Tigan, pers. comm. June 2010). Carved pearl shells are passed on from generation to generation, from father to son. According to a senior Bardi man  'It's part of the family'. He explained that today, when pearl shell is used for ceremony, it is also in remembrance of all the Kimberley Aboriginal people who were forced to dive by European pearlers, and of the many who died working in the pearling industry (KLC 2010).
A rich archipelago
Two thousand six hundred and thirty three islands lie off the Kimberley coast, including those forming the Buccaneer Archipelago in the south, and the Bonaparte Archipelago in the north. This is a remarkable number: there are about 8,330 islands within the Australian jurisdiction overall, therefore almost a third of Australia's islands are found in the Kimberley, a very high proportion relative to the length of coastline (Burbidge pers. comm. Dec 2009). Biological and archaeological survey data are available for only a very small fraction of Kimberley islands, and even for those that have been surveyed, findings are not comprehensive. Further surveys will add greatly to the known values of Kimberley islands.

The sheer number of islands along the Kimberley coastline, as well as their remoteness and the powerful tidal flows around them, mean they are as yet little known to science. Their scientific and conservation significance is becoming increasingly clear as survey work continues. The islands of the Kimberley today support complex communities featuring many mammals, reptiles and invertebrates that are either endemic or largely restricted to the region, and in some cases to the islands themselves. These islands are very important refugial habitat, free of many of the threatening processes which commonly effect mainland communities. In particular, Augustus Island (17,952 hectares) and Bigge Island (17,190 hectares) are large, near-coastal and uninhabited, with no known feral animals, and a diverse, intact terrestrial fauna.
Many seabirds nest on the islands of the Kimberley coast, including the masked booby (Sula dactylatra), brown booby (Sula leucogaster), red-footed booby (Sula sula), great frigatebird (Fregata minor), lesser frigatebird (Fregata ariel), lesser crested tern (Sterna bengalensis) and the common noddy (Anous stolidus). The Adele Islands are home to important colonies of lesser frigatebird, brown booby, and masked booby (ANRA 2007a).
A winter retreat for whales
Each year, in one of the longest known vertebrate migrations, a genetically-distinct population of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) travels from feeding sites in Antarctica along the west coast of Australia to the warm tropical waters of the Kimberley to mate and calve. Researchers who study these whales refer to them as Group IV, and more is being learned about them each year. Humpback whales feed in summer in Antarctic waters, and spend the winter fasting, living off their fat reserves. As they follow the coast, they rest at Shark Bay on their way north and at Exmouth Gulf on their journey south(Jenner et al. 2001). Most cows and calves are seen in Kimberley calving grounds between mid August and mid September, but the exact timing of the whales' passage varies by as much as three weeks from year to year (Jenner and Jenner 1996; Jenner et al. 2001). This variability is thought to reflect changes in the timing of food availability in the Antarctic (Chittleborough 1965).
Until recently, researchers believed that the Kimberley's Camden Sound was Group IV's critical calving destination (Jenner and Jenner 1996; Jenner et al. 2001; Costin and Sandes 2009a). However, surveys suggest that whales also calve in other locations along the Kimberley coast between Broome and the Lacepede Islands. Humpback calves have been seen in the waters around Roebuck Bay, and along the coast of Dampier Peninsula (Costin and Sandes 2009a, 2009b).
In 1963, fewer than 600 whales were recorded on the Kimberley coast (Chittleborough 1965; Bannister and Hedley 2001). In 2008, the estimated number of Group IV whales migrating north was 22,000. This represents a significant recovery since the end of commercial whaling in 1966. In fact, Group IV may currently be the largest population of humpback whales in the world (Costin and Sandes 2009a, 2009b; DEC 2009). In a six week survey from 1 July 2009, 969 whales were sighted between Broome and Camden Sound, and almost a hundred of these were calves (Costin and Sandes 2009b).

Populations of several other cetacean species also inhabit Camden Sound and the Buccaneer and Boneparte archipelagos, including the recently described Australian snubfin dolphin (Orcaella heinsohni) (Beasley et al. 2005). Snubfin dolphins have been observed to hunt in groups, working together first to chase fish to the surface of the water, and then to round them up by shooting jets of water from their mouths. This unusual and complex behaviour was first recorded off the Kimberley coast.
Remarkable reefs
Along the west Kimberley coast, remarkable coral communities thrive in extreme conditions, posing researchers many puzzles. South of Camden Sound, Montgomery Reef is a sandstone platform encrusted with coral, which extends for around 300 square kilometres. As the tide drops, water cascades spectacularly from where it is held in lagoons atop the reef, roaring as it pours over the platform's sheer edge. At very low tides, Montgomery Reef is exposed above sea level by as much as four metres. As water is lost from the lagoons, small pools are created, filled with coral and algae. Dugongs, turtles, fish, clams and starfish can be seen in these pools, waiting for the rising tide to release them. Montgomery Reef is one of many places in the Kimberley where coral grows abundantly in an extreme tidal environment, buffeted by strong currents and high water temperatures. The dynamic tidal currents at Montgomery Reef have also made it possible for coralliths and rhodoliths to survive here. These unusual organisms are comprised of coral or corraline algae, and are rolled around relentlessly by the currents until they form balls of living matter, detached from their original rock substrate. They float free, alive on all sides. Much remains to be learned about Montgomery Reef.
Other submerged and fringing reefs and unusual coral communities occur along the Kimberley coast, including at Cape Bougainville, Cape Londonderry, the Maret Islands, Murrangingi Island and Napier Broome Bay. High water temperatures, strong currents and high nutrient availability from wet season runoff contribute to rapid coral growth. The outer parts of the fringing reefs around the Maret Islands appear to have grown very actively in the past 6,000 years, following the Holocene sea level rise. Corals are present on the platform and edges of the reefs. Beyond the reefs, between 12 and 30 metres below sea level, major filter feeding communities, including sponge gardens, grow (C. Simpson, pers. comm. January 2008).
South-east of Montgomery Reef and north of Derby on Yampi Peninsula, the narrow Yule Entrance links Walcott Inlet to Secure Bay. The tidal range here can be as much as 11 metres, and results in turbulence, strong tidal flows and whirlpools (Burbidge et al. 1991). Beyond Yule Entrance the tide drives straight out into the ocean, carrying silt laden waters some six kilometres into Collier Bay, and creating a cloudy brown river in a brilliant aquamarine sea (Chester et al. 1999).
A little south of Yule Entrance, Talbot Bay is virtually enclosed by vertical sandstone cliffs, with only two narrow gaps allowing sea water to enter. Massive tidal movements between the bay and the sea result in what are known as the Horizontal Waterfalls. As the tide rises and as it drops, there can be up to 10 metres difference between the water levels of the bay and of the ocean. Water held back by these narrow gaps rushes through and is spectacularly expelled in a churning, roiling mass.

Central Kimberley
Stretching east from Yampi Peninsula, the landlocked central Kimberley region encompasses the King Leopold Ranges, the rugged limestone country of the Napier, Oscar, Pillara and Emmanuel ranges and the headwaters and upper reaches of the Fitzroy River (although the Fitzroy River catchment as a whole is described below in the context of the south-west Kimberley).
The central Kimberley is drier than the country to its north. Most of the 800 or so millimetres of rain it receives each year falls during the few months of the wet season. While much of the region is mountainous, with scant soils and sparse vegetation, plains and low hills support extensive, varied tropical savanna woodland. Curly spinifex (Plectrachne spp.) grasslands are dotted with low eucalyptus trees; Eucalyptus brevifolia grows on ridges and in drier areas, and E. tectifica – E. grandifolia in the valleys, and a range of other eucalypt species also occur. Where there is moisture, shrubs such as acacia and grevillea, boabs and Kimberley bauhinia are found. Richer volcanic soils support ribbon grass (Chrysopogon spp.) and scattered trees. Forests of river red gum (E. camaldulensis) and pandans follow drainage lines. In the region's south there is semi desert spinifex steppe, and patches of vine thicket occur in the west, closer to the coast.
The King Leopold Ranges stretch for 300 kilometres along the south-western edge of the Kimberley Plateau. The geology of these ranges is often exposed, and with dramatic rock and landform features. The ranges consist mainly of white to pale brown cross bedded quartz sandstone intruded by dark grey dolerite which provides a marked visual contrast on steep hillsides. Sides of valleys are generally steep and have only sparse vegetation; some are nearly vertical with precipitous bare rock cliffs. As a result, panoramic views of ranges, valleys and plains are obtained from many scarps. In the wet season, water roars through a series of rocky gorges: Silent Grove and the Lennard, Bell, Mt Matthew and Yellowman gorges include waterfalls, pools, rock ledges and palm groves.
The Oscar, Napier and Geikie ranges stretch for 150 kilometres between Napier Downs Station in the north to the Fitzroy River at Fitzroy Crossing. They are the remnants of a barrier reef complex which has stood, largely unaltered by tectonic processes, since it was formed almost 400 million years ago (Jennings and Sweeting 1963 in Sutton 1998). The upper surfaces and slopes of the ranges are predominantly bare limestone, with scattered grasses and the occasional boab or small tree perched on a rock or clinging to a ledge. What lies below the surface also makes these ranges truly remarkable: water has dissolved the limestone into an intricate network of cliff-foot caves and tunnels, deep narrow gullies, intersecting corridors, narrow fissure caves, and razor-sharp ridges (Sutton 1998). In the Napier Range, Windjana Gorge is a popular tourist destination. The Gorge is four kilometres long, and its colourful limestone walls rise vertically to a height of 100 metres in some places. The Lennard River flows intermittently through the Gorge and during the wet season sometimes rises metres above its winter levels. In winter, water is confined to deep, clear pools in the main channel.
The limestone karst systems of the central Kimberley are home to a diverse variety of terrestrial and subterranean fauna. The Tunnel Creek cave system, for example, is important for bat colonies, most notably for the ghost bat (Macroderma gigas), Australia's only carnivorous bat, which is listed as vulnerable under Commonwealth legislation. Other subterranean environments support a range of invertebrates which have evolved in isolation over millions of years, and are sometimes unique and restricted to very small areas. While subterranean fauna are amongst the most poorly studied faunal groups worldwide, such organisms can help researchers to understand how evolutionary processes unfold in relation to changes in climate and geology, over geologically significant time scales (W. Humphreys pers. comm. quoted in Sutton 1998).
However it is not only the subterranean fauna that is little known: the terrestrial flora and fauna of the central Kimberley region has not yet been systematically surveyed, and data on species is limited. Records indicate that the region supports more than 200 bird species, including small populations of Kimberley endemics, and that it provides moderately important habitat for at least two threatened species – the Gouldian finch (Erythrura gouldiae), one of Australia's rarest birds, and the painted snipe (Rostratula benghalensis australis). At least 37 mammal species are recorded as occurring in the central Kimberley (ANRA 2007a; AWC 2010).
The Kimberley's largest permanent natural wetland, Lake Gladstone, also lies in this region, and is listed as a wetland of national significance in the Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia. Lake Gladstone provides critical habitat for many species of plants and animals, including threatened species like the red goshawk (Erythrotriorchis radiatus) and Gouldian finch, as well as for listed migratory bird species.
South-west Kimberley                                           
In the south-west, the rugged plateaus and undulating hill country of the north and central Kimberley meet the arid sand ridges and iron-rich soils of the Great Sandy Desert. This area, which includes Dampier Peninsula, is considered by geologists to be part of the Canning Sedimentary Basin. The south-west is the driest region of the west Kimberley, and receives between 300 and 800 millimetres of rain each year, mostly during the two to four months of the wet season (McKenzie 1981). In contrast to the north-west, much of the landscape here is comprised of sandstones and mudstones, which are porous and seldom hold surface water. Combined with the south-west's drier climate and higher evaporation rate, this reduces even major river courses such as the Fitzroy to an intermittent string of pools in the dry season. Permanent water sources throughout this region, including mound spring and freshwater seepages, have great cultural significance for Aboriginal people, and are important refugia, helping birds and animals survive through the dry. There are significant groundwater aquifers and groundwater dependent ecosystems in the south-west Kimberley, and many of these are associated with the floodplains of the Fitzroy River (WWF–Australia 2007).
The south-west Kimberley is characterised by distinctive vegetation and landscapes. A key visual feature is the boab (Adansonia gregorii) – an iconic, long-lived tree for which the Kimberley is renowned, though it also occurs in the east Kimberley and western reaches of the Victoria and Daly rivers in the Northern Territory. Related to the baobabs (Adansonia species) of Madagascar and the African mainland, boabs are particularly common in low-lying areas, and often occur on alluvial flats in association with bauhinia (Lysiphyllum cunninghamii) and beefwood (Grevillia striata), above a layer of ribbon grass (Chrysopogon) (Sutton 1998). The boab has significant cultural value and utility for many Kimberley Aboriginal people. Some trees are also historic memorials to confronting events in early contact history and record the visits of explorers like King (the 'Mermaid Tree'), Hann and Brockman (Jebb 2009). Like other animals and plants, the boab tree is inextricably linked to Kimberley Aboriginal people's social and spiritual world. Kimberley Aboriginal people carry the boab 'totem'; some are born into the boab tree or boab flower 'section' (Von Brandenstein 1982 cited  in Jebb 2009). 
Boabs have uses ranging from the mundane to the sacred. They are important as a source of water, and also as a material manifestation of the powerful forces of the cosmological world across the whole Kimberley region (von Brandenstein 1982 cited in Jebb 2009). Boab trees provide twine, food, medicines and shelter, and may be increase sites for particular resources. Boabs are 'a valuable resource for traditional Aboriginal healthcare practices, both in terms of the provision of medicines and as a resource for health-related rituals' (Heaver 2007). Boab nuts are carved in traditional and contemporary designs by Aboriginal people.
Some trees are believed to harbour extremely severe and potent powers, like Jilapur, a boab on the outskirts of Derby, more commonly known as the Derby Prison Tree. This tree is believed to be about 1,500 years old, and it has an opening into its hollow trunk large enough for a man to enter. There is speculation that prisoners were locked inside, and other accounts recall prisoners being chained around the outside of the tree. This tree is also a camping place for the Nyikina Creation Being Woonynoomboo (Akerman 2008).
Another distinguishing feature of the south-west Kimberley is the bright red soil of the pindan country. 'Pindan' describes both the vivid red sandy soils that are common here, and the seemingly-homogenous low woodlands and shrublands which grow on them. South of Beagle Bay, the pindan is dominated by Acacia tumida, A. holosericea and A. eriopoda. North of Beagle Bay there is an abrupt change: Acacia eriopoda is almost absent and A. holosericea is reduced in frequency. Taller eucalypt woodlands dominate in the north, particularly Darwin box (Eucalyptus tectifica) and ochre bloodwood (Corymbia dampieri). Carnivorous plants are found on the pindan in damper areas of black soil; white-flowered sundews such as Drosera broomensis are found growing near Broome, and D. derbyensis, a similar species, occurs further east.
While pindan may appear homogenous, the coastal and near coastal environments of the south-west are visibly rich and varied. Mangroves, samphire flats, grasslands, coastal dunes, freshwater swamps, monsoon forests, Melaleuca thickets and creekside vegetation are all found in close proximity to one another, clustered near the coast. Outcrops of limestone and sandstone dot the landscape. Vine thickets occur on limestone on the far southern perimeter of Yampi Peninsula, adjoining the south-west region, as well as at the northern tip and western edge of Dampier Peninsula. They do not extend as far inland here as in the wetter areas further north. On the white coastal sands of Dampier Peninsula, the striking green birdflower (Crotolaria cunninghamii), which can grow up to three or four metres tall, is very common; it also occurs far inland on the red sand dunes of the desert.

Biodiversity of the south-west Kimberley
While the south-west region as a whole is not as rich in amphibians, reptiles or mammals as other parts of the west Kimberley, it nonetheless contains places which support important biological diversity: in particular, Roebuck Bay and the Camballin floodplains provide habitat for significant populations of birds; and the Fitzroy River contains a diverse array of fish.
Across the south-west Kimberley, 69 species of reptiles and amphibians have been recorded, of which at least three are endemics: the skinks Lerista apoda and L. separanda, and the venomous Dampier burrowing snake (Simoselaps minimus) (Burbidge et al. 1991; Storr et al. 1983). While Dampier Peninsula's pindan country possesses few resident birds, it is often used by nomads: birds come to nest and breed, and others follow the path of seasonal flowerings (Johnstone 1983). Permanent residents of the pindan woodland include rufous whistlers (Pachycephala rufiventris), grey shrike thrushes (Colluricincla harmonica) and singing honeyeaters (Lichenostomus virescens). Dampier Peninsula vine thicket patches contain many fewer species of plants than vine thickets further north, and also fewer bird species (Johnstone and Burbidge 1991). However, the red-crowned pigeon (Ptilinopus regina), which is confined to vine thickets, is more common here than in other parts of the Kimberley. The mangals which grow on the peninsula's shores are home to 20 species of birds, many of which do not occur outside of mangroves, and some of which, such as the mangrove kingfisher (Halcyon senegaloides), do not live any further south in Western Australia (Johnstone 1983).
Roebuck Bay
The greatest attraction for birds in the south-west Kimberley is the extensive coastal mudflat system to the south of Broome at Roebuck Bay. The Roebuck Bay mudflats lie within a large, irregularly curved embayment. The northern shores of the bay are lined with crumbling red pindan cliffs above narrow sandy beaches; to the east and south there are mangroves surrounded by deep, soft mud. Tidal creeks flow into the bay from the east, and divide into the intricate network of smaller streams that wind through the mudflats. A dramatic tidal range (including spring tides reaching between eight and 10.5 metres) alternately exposes and inundates the low gradient mudflats to an extent only recorded elsewhere in Australia at King Sound near Derby. At low tide a flat expanse of mud and sand stretching for kilometres separates the sea from the shore; at high tide seawater covers the mudflats, floods the mangroves which fringe the bay, and rushes into the salt marshes and claypans beyond (Rogers et al. 2003; Ramsar 2008).
Roebuck Bay is a rare example of a significant intertidal mudflat system which occurs in the tropics – most mudflats are found in temperate regions. The Roebuck Bay mudflats are also unusual because they are not obviously associated with any large river system. They were formed by the early Fitzroy River system, in the time before the river's flow diverted north to its present position at King Sound (Brunnschweiler 1957; Graham 2001a).
In recent years, surveys have revealed a rich invertebrate fauna living in the mudflats (de Goeij et al. 2003; Piersma et al. 2006). Every year, as survey work continues, researchers continue to find new species at Roebuck Bay (Rogers et al. 2003). These invertebrates are an important source of food for the many migratory shorebirds that visit the bay each year.
The Roebuck Bay mudflat system is best known because it is one of the most significant sites for international migratory waders on the Australian continent, and its protection under the Ramsar Convention confirms that status. While each migratory species' population follows its own particular annual migration path, there are nonetheless generalised global migration routes that connect breeding areas in the north, via stopovers in temperate and subtropical zones, to non-breeding areas in the south. These routes are called flyways. The East Asia–Australasian Flyway, of which Roebuck Bay is part, is one of eight major migratory waterbird flyways around the world. From August each year, at the end of the northern summer, shorebirds make a journey across oceans and continents to reach Roebuck Bay, sometimes flying for stretches of up to 8,000 kilometres without landing.
Roebuck Bay has been known to hold as many as 170,000 birds at one time (Rogers et al. 2003). Sixty four waterbird species have been recorded here, and 34 of these are listed under international conservation treaties. The site supports more than one percent of the national population for 21 species of wader, including pied oystercatchers (Haematopus longirostris), Mongolian plovers (Charadrius mongolus) and ruddy turnstones (Arenaria interpres). Australian shorebirds also make Roebuck Bay home for part of the year, and for many it is their main breeding ground. Red-capped plovers (Charadrius ruficapillus) and black-winged stilts (Himantopus himantopus) occur in large numbers; more than one per cent of their flyway populations may spend time at Roebuck Bay each year. Twenty-two of the 24 Australian raptor species also live around the shores of Roebuck Bay (Rogers et al. 2003).
While the mudflats are spectacular at the height of the wet season, the best time for birds is at the end of the wet, when the ground starts to dry out. As surface water is absorbed and evaporated, mud is exposed and a rich feast begins. Birds feed on the multitude of invertebrate fauna, which have reproduced rapidly during the wet (Rogers et al. 2003). Because little rain falls during the dry season, for much of the year surface water at the mudflats is restricted to a few permanent or semi-permanent waterholes and streams. Most of these are not supplied directly by rainfall, but are maintained by water seeping from underground aquifers – these in turn are replenished each wet season, when the whole area is once more immersed.
The rivers of the Kimberley: a haven for fish
Researchers have found that a number of fish species in the northern and western rivers and in the Fitzroy system are endemic and have distributions restricted to the Kimberley. This is thought to be the result of a number of factors: the varied habitats throughout the river systems, including areas of extremely rugged topography in the upper catchment; the periodic very high flows which occur, and the large area covered by the Fitzroy catchment (Morgan et al. 2002). Recent surveys recorded 37 species of fish in the northern and western rivers, including 23 freshwater species and 14 estuarine or marine species. Three of the freshwater species did not have scientific names at the time of the survey, but researchers recorded names of fish, where available, in Bunuba, Gooniyandi, Ngarinyin, Nyikina and Walmajarri. The researchers found that the range of fish species varied significantly between the lower, middle, and upper reaches of each river, and was different again in billabongs, smaller permanent tributaries, and the upper gorges (Morgan et al. 2002).
Many remarkable fish species are found in the rivers of the Kimberley. An eel (Anguilla bicolor), known in Bunuba as Lanyi, is believed to migrate from the freshwaters of the upper reaches of the Fitzroy, along with other rivers of the Kimberley, to Indonesia to breed and die, with juveniles returning to the Kimberley to continue their lifecycle (Allen et al. 2002 cited in Morgan et al. 2002). This eel was found by researchers hundreds of kilometres inland, above the Margaret River. Another fish has the evocative common name 'mouth almighty' (Glossamia aprion) because of its unusual breeding habits: the male fish carries fertilised eggs in his mouth. The mouth almighty's name in Bunuba and Gooniyandi, Thamali/Thamarli, means 'little brother of the Barramundi', and the fish is commonly used as bait when Aboriginal people fish for barramundi. The Kimberley archerfish (Toxotes sp.), which is widespread throughout the Fitzroy River catchment, gains its name from its habit of spitting water at insects to knock them into the river, where they make easy prey. The freshwater whipray (Himantura chaophraya) is a rare and elusive ray that reaches up to one metre in width, and has been collected from only a few sites in the Fitzroy catchment, though it is reported to occur in the Fitzroy River above Geikie Gorge. Marine species also use the river – the aggressive bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas) occurs in the lower reaches of the river and is anecdotally reported to have been sighted near Fitzroy Crossing, and the ox eye herring (Megalops cyprinoides) has been found up to 400 kilometres upstream. The Fitzroy River and its estuary also support freshwater sawfish (Pristis microdon), and the dwarf sawfish (Pristis clavata) occurs in the river's lower reaches (Morgan et al. 2002). The Fitzroy River estuary is the only known Western Australian habitat for the critically endangered northern river shark (Glyphis sp. C) (Morgan et al. 2002).
The Fitzroy River: living waters
In Aboriginal Australia, ‘living water’ is the term generally used to describe
permanent water sources. As Rose (2004) notes, the term conveys both the sense of water having a life of its own and also its contribution to the life of others — humans, animals and plants. Water sources are often at the centre, or the heart, of a person or group’s country and are frequently conception sites. An association with a particular water source provides one of the prime markers of individual identity; and the collective identities of Indigenous groups, and the relationships and links between them (McFarlane 2004).
The Fitzroy River is a centre of life and diversity in the Kimberley. It is a mighty river system with a catchment of over 90,000 square kilometres that collects water and channels it into the longest river in the Kimberley. The Fitzroy stretches 733 kilometres from its headwaters in the central Kimberley to Moorrool Moorrool (the Nyikina name for King Sound), where it reaches the ocean. Along the way, it is fed by 20 tributaries and numerous smaller, ephemeral creeks and waterways.
Water brings with it particular rights and responsibilities under Indigenous law. Most importantly, as noted by McFarlane (2004) water and waterscapes are inseparable from the land on which people live. The cultural systems and languages of ten Aboriginal groups whose traditional country principally falls within the Fitzroy catchment area include the Kija, Wurla, Andajin, Ngarinyin, Gooniyandi, Bunuba, Unggumi, Walmajarri, Nyikina and Warrwa people. The Bunuba people, whose traditional country is located above Fitzroy Crossing on the upper Fitzroy, know the river as Bandrarl Ngadu. The Nyikina people call the river Mardoowarra and themselves Yimardoowarra: 'belonging to the river'. As one Nyikina Traditional Owner explains, 'The river is a central place in Nyikina cultural belief and spirituality. It is also a place for fishing and hunting, where we gather medicine and bush tucker and take our children to learn cultural stories, language and law' (A. Poelina pers. comm. 27 April 2010). While the permanent pools on the river are very important culturally; they also provide refuges for animals, birds and fish during the dry season.
The river also provides a rare living window into the diversity of the traditions associated with the Rainbow Serpent, a narrative across Aboriginal Australia that was once more pervasive and is recurrent in art, myth, ritual, and social and economic life. Four distinct expressions of the Rainbow Serpent are found within the Fitzroy River's catchment. Each tradition is intrinsically tied to Indigenous interpretations of the different way in which water flows within the one hydrological system, and all four expressions converge into one regional ritual complex, called Warloongarriy Law or 'River Law' that serves to unite Aboriginal people and their Rainbow Serpent traditions.
In the jila-kalpurtu domain (the term jila refers to permanent sub-surface water sources and kalpurtu are said said to be the rain-giving snakes occupying these sites) of the Fitzroy catchment on the northern edge of the Great Sandy Desert, water flows are principally underground and the Rainbow Serpent is said to exist in the underground structure of the channels, linking excavated waterholes and other water sources of significance (Vachon 2006; Pannell 2009). Places like Kurrpurrngu (Cajibut Springs), Mangunampi and Paliyarra are exemplars of this expression of the Rainbow Serpent. The phenomenon of Galaroo (Galeru, Kalaru), on the other hand is linked to flowing surface water, in the form of major rivers, and to long and deep permanent waterholes in broad river channels, like Geikie Gorge (Danggu). In the upper reaches of the catchment, the Rainbow Serpent of the Wanjina-Wunggurr belief system known as Wunggurr or Ungud is linked to discrete pools of water and the movement of the sea, and is often associated with the painted image of Wanjina. While the Woonyoomboo-Yoongoorroonkoo narrative of the lower Fitzroy primarily tells the story of the creation of the lower Fitzroy River and its floodplains and also has links to the sea.
The Fitzroy River is one of the largest unregulated rivers in Australia, and its flow varies significantly over the course of a year, and between years. Both the river channels and the floodplains, which lie below Fitzroy Crossing, are highly dynamic, shaped by the floods which pour through the system after heavy cyclonic rains. As water flows, the river branches; splitting and rejoining around large alluvial islands. Floods flush the deep permanent pools of the main channel, and water spreads across the plains, creating billabongs and anabranching channels, and renewing groundwater aquifers (Sutton 1998). The link between the river and the floodplains is vital to the health of floodplain wetlands, which are important habitat for many water birds.
The main channel of the river is fringed by forest, including river red gums, freshwater mangroves, native figs and pandanus. The purple-crowned fairy wren (Malurus coronatus), which is listed as threatened under the WA Wildlife Conservation Act, is restricted to the forest's understorey (WWF–Australia 2007). Fish, eels, turtles, mussels and cherrabun, or freshwater shrimp (Macrobrachium rosenbergii) live in the river. Freshwater crocodiles bask on the riverbanks and swim in pools. At the river's mouth, brackish water is used by many species of fish, prawns and crabs to spawn. Nearby, areas of healthy vine thicket provide shelter for birds and bats, and waterbirds feed in the mudflats along the river and at the river mouth.
The Fitzroy River is a rich source of food for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people who live in the region. Barramundi (Lates calcarifer), a highly valued eating fish, is found up to 500 kilometres upstream of the river mouth. Another fish which is commonly eaten is the lesser salmon catfish (Arius graeffei), which occurs in both the freshwater reaches and estuarine areas of the river. Black bream (Hephaestus jenkinsi) live throughout the main channel of the Fitzroy and major tributaries, where they like to dwell in deep holes in the riverbed, and congregate around submerged roots, logs and rocks. Spangled perch (Leiopotherapon unicolor) are a small, hardy and aggressive species that are sought-after for eating, and are also often used as bait for catching barramundi and lesser salmon catfish. Turtles, mussels and freshwater shrimp are also eaten (Morgan et al. 2002).
Cherrabun, or freshwater shrimp, use different parts of the Fitzroy River at different stages of their life cycle. Adults live upstream, hundreds of kilometres from the river's mouth. But while the cherrabun's eggs can last between 3 and 5 days in freshwater, the newly-hatched larvae only survive in the brackish estuary. Some female cherrabun release their eggs into fast-flowing water to try and ensure they will be carried down to the estuary before the larvae hatch; after which the young must make the long return migration upstream. Other adults take the journey themselves, travelling downstream to spawn, and then returning up the river with their young (Robertson 1983 in Sutton 1998). For cherrabun, as for many other species of fish, birds and invertebrates, the whole of the river and its tributaries form a chain of living connection: the variable patterns of the river's flow are crucially tied to the cycles of these species' lives.
About 100 kilometres south-east of Derby, in Nyikina country, adjoining the Fitzroy River and extending to its north, is Kunjaninguru, the Camballin wetlands. The Camballin wetlands are extensive blacksoil floodplains consisting of two large claypan swamps – Le Lievre and Moulamen – as well as many smaller swamps, creeks and deep billabongs that are important refuges for birds and animals, as they hold water long into the dry season. The area is of great cultural and historical significance to Nyikina people, who continue to visit and utilise Kunjaninguru today.
Over 38,000 waterbirds have been recorded there, including EPBC listed seabirds: the Australian pratincole (Stiltia isabella), the wood sandpiper (Tringa glareola) and marsh sandpiper (T. stagnatilis). Of 67 bird species which are known to occur at the Camballin wetlands, 19 are listed migratory species that travel between Australia and Asia. The wetlands are also an important breeding refuge for plumed whistling-duck (Dendrocygna eytoni), wandering whistling-duck (D. arcuata), Pacific heron (Ardea pacifica), great egret (Egretta alba), glossy ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) and magpie goose (Anseranas semipalmatus). Two threatened species have been found at Camballin: the yellow chat (Ephthianura crocea) and freckled duck (Stictonetta naevosa). It is also an important breeding area for long neck turtle (Chelodina sp.) and freshwater crocodile (Crocodylus johnstonii). The wetlands are listed on the Directory of Important Wetlands of Australia (Sutton 1998; A. Poelina pers. comm. 2010).
North of the Fitzroy River, alluvial plains are bounded by the ranges of the Devonian reef. These black soil plains support grasslands, with scattered trees and shrubs. To the south, the floodplain abuts the Great Sandy Desert. The dune vegetation of the Great Sandy Desert is simple in species and structure. The sides of dunes sometimes support thick growth of hummock grass (Plectrachne schinzii) and scattered shrubs, but the crests are kept bare by the harsh climate and the action of the wind. Traditional Owners relied on their detailed and intimate knowledge of the availability of permanent and seasonal water sources to survive here; these water sources have been used for generations. Freshwater soaks and springs hold intense spiritual significance for desert people, and these water sources also have high biodiversity values. Each place where water can be found is individually named and known, and has many stories associated with it, although some of these stories may be secret or culturally restricted. Permanent water sources are called 'jila' and are all connected through the underlying groundwater system, which is known as kurtany, or mother. Through performing their obligations, Traditional Owners maintain the water levels (WWF–Australia 2007; Yu 2000).
Although permanent European settlement occurred later in the Kimberley than in most other parts of Australia, the coastline was the site of sporadic contact between Aboriginal people and outsiders since at least the sixteenth century. The region's recent history has been shaped by the ambitions and fears, curiosity, hope and needs of these diverse newcomers; as well as by the broader political and economic circumstances which led them to the region, and the institutional structures they imported or created. Central to the post-contact history of the Kimberley has been the capacity of Kimberley Aboriginal people to resist, adapt to and survive the changes outsiders have brought.
From the 1870s, Aboriginal people have been coerced or forced into the pastoral and pearling industries, and institutionalized in missions, prisons, hospitals, ration depots and reserves. Colonisation has had a severe impact on the lives of Kimberley Aboriginal people and forced dramatic changes to traditional ways of life - many lost their lives or were dispossessed of their country and homelands. But throughout the intense disruption wrought by colonisation, over time Aboriginal people have devised strategies that have enabled an accommodation with the new regime and which has ensured their long-term survival as a distinct and proud people.  The effectiveness of these strategies is demonstrated by the success in the Federal Court of Australia of fourteen applications for the determination of native title throughout the Kimberley since the passage of the Native Title Act in 1993 (Jebb and Allbrook 2009).

The southernmost shore
Before European settlement, Australia's north coast was the southernmost shore of a network of trade and travel which connected south-east Asia with the marketplaces of China. The Kimberley lies within 400 kilometres of the south-eastern limit of the Indonesian Archipelago. For perhaps hundreds of years, Indonesians came to Kayu Jawa, their name for the west Kimberley coast, to harvest its rich marine resources; including pearl and trochus shell, turtle shell, clam meat, shark fin and the valuable beche-de-mer, a delicacy highly sought after by the Chinese (Crawford 2001; Morwood 2002;).
Beche-de-mer, also known as trepang, sea cucumber, or sea slug, is a large marine invertebrate commonly described by observers as unattractive. Almost 200 species are found in Australia, but the nine or ten which are edible live only in the tropics, along the north and north-western coast. The earliest reference to what the Chinese called hai–sen, or 'sea ginseng', is reputedly found in a medicinal treatise from the sixteenth century (MacKnight 1976). By the seventeenth century, beche-de-mer developed a reputation for its culinary use and aphrodisiac properties. It is not clear when it began to be collected from the Kimberley region. Trade through the Indonesian
Condition and Integrity
The west Kimberley has been subject to a range of land uses and environmental conditions over time, some of which have had varying effects on the values. Some areas are relatively inaccessible and remain virtually untouched by modern development.
Land use continues to vary widely across the place. As a result the west Kimberley constitutes a patchwork of developed and natural environments in a range of conditions.
The place is managed by a number of organisations and private landholders including Western Australian Government agencies, Commonwealth agencies, Indigenous community groups and Native Title holders, local councils, pastoral lease holders and others. There are also a number of both active and pending mineral exploration and development tenements and petroleum exploration permits within the place.
Threats to the values of the west Kimberley include (but are not limited to) uncontrolled fire, feral animal and plant invasion, mineral and petroleum developments, increased tourism activity and global climate change events.
About 19,200,000ha, West Kimberley, comprising the following areas:
1. An area bounded by a line commencing at the intersection of Latitude 16.778S and the line 3 nautical miles seaward of the territorial sea baseline (approximate coordinate point 16.778S  122.509N), then north easterly via the 3 nautical mile limit line to its intersection with Longitude 126.078E (approximate coordinate point 13.700S  126.078N), then directly to the intersection of the 3 nautical mile limit line with Longitude 126.183E (approximate coordinate point 13.689S  126.183N), then easterly via the 3 nautical mile limit line to its intersection with Longitude 128.251E (approximate coordinates 14.614S  128.251N), then directly to coordinate point 14.715S  128.251E, then directly to the northern tip of Cape Dussejour (approximate coordinates 14.740S  128.225N), then southerly via the coastline of Cambridge Gulf and West Arm to its intersection with Latitude 15.487S (approximate coordinates 15.487S  128.038N), then via straight lines joining the following geographic coordinate points consecutively:  15.526S 128.061E,  15.569S 128.106E,  15.603S 128.152E,  15.877S 128.251E,  16.016S 128.251E,  16.016S 128.211E,  16.090S 128.211E,  16.090S 128.210E,  16.183S 128.210E,  16.183S 128.089E,  16.181S 127.909E,  16.497S 127.798E,  16.497S 127.768E,  16.550S 127.754E,  16.596S 127.734E,  16.708S 127.663E,  16.891S 127.535E,  17.047S 127.411E,  17.143S 127.343E,  17.236S 127.298E,  17.386S 127.233E,  17.444S 127.205E,  17.456S 127.194E,  17.467S 127.188E,  17.495S 127.154E,  17.494S 127.143E,  17.494S 127.136E,  17.498S 127.130E,  17.509S 127.120E,  17.526S 127.093E,  17.537S 127.064E,  17.557S 127.009E,  17.571S 126.959E,  17.578S 126.917E,  17.587S 126.887E,  17.604S 126.843E,  17.621S 126.808E,  17.640S 126.765E,  17.649S 126.748E,  17.649S 126.748E,  17.658S 126.733E,  17.677S 126.699E,  17.710S 126.654E,  17.734S 126.626E,  17.770S 126.593E,  17.787S 126.583E,  17.804S 126.574E,  17.833S 126.563E,  17.855S 126.560E,  17.871S 126.561E,  17.884S 126.562E,  17.940S 126.562E,  17.984S 126.565E,  17.978S 126.581E,  17.975S 126.596E,  17.967S 126.609E,  17.961S 126.621E,  17.954S 126.645E,  17.950S 126.668E,  17.950S 126.722E,  17.946S 126.732E,  17.938S 126.742E,  17.929S 126.756E,  17.944S 126.766E,  17.957S 126.768E,  17.964S 126.766E,  17.981S 126.771E,  17.982S 126.751E,  17.992S 126.745E,  18.005S 126.744E,  18.005S 126.700E,  18.003S 126.668E,  18.008S 126.650E,  18.024S 126.614E,  18.024S 126.608E,  18.029S 126.590E,  18.026S 126.565E,  18.023S 126.515E,  18.018S 126.482E,  18.033S 126.463E,  18.035S 126.457E,  18.036S 126.444E,  18.068S 126.439E,  18.182S 126.432E,  18.205S 126.438E,  18.217S 126.450E,  18.224S 126.465E,  18.232S 126.479E,  18.237S 126.484E,  18.247S 126.479E,  18.250S 126.473E,  18.255S 126.469E,  18.256S 126.466E,  18.266S 126.436E,  18.275S 126.427E,  18.326S 126.425E,  18.358S 126.428E,  18.379S 126.439E,  18.387S 126.457E,  18.374S 126.463E,  18.386S 126.484E,  18.403S 126.488E,  18.411S 126.500E,  18.411S 126.504E,  18.404S 126.508E,  18.393S 126.507E,  18.383S 126.545E,  18.382S 126.554E,  18.395S 126.581E,  18.394S 126.599E,  18.388S 126.612E,  18.379S 126.623E,  18.420S 126.702E,  18.422S 126.701E,  18.422S 126.700E,  18.427S 126.687E,  18.437S 126.676E,  18.447S 126.667E,  18.459S 126.658E,  18.465S 126.628E,  18.471S 126.592E,  18.475S 126.559E,  18.477S 126.541E,  18.481S 126.515E,  18.487S 126.495E,  18.488S 126.493E,  18.490S 126.478E,  18.489S 126.471E,  18.499S 126.417E,  18.498S 126.378E,  18.493S 126.340E,  18.554S 126.302E,  18.594S 126.261E,  18.597S 126.278E,  18.597S 126.287E,  18.598S 126.293E,  18.597S 126.312E,  18.624S 126.373E,  18.650S 126.396E,  18.678S 126.426E,  18.695S 126.437E,  18.701S 126.442E,  18.704S 126.442E,  18.717S 126.448E,  18.719S 126.444E,  18.723S 126.444E,  18.735S 126.408E,  18.733S 126.393E,  18.732S 126.386E,  18.728S 126.366E,  18.723S 126.332E,  18.721S 126.313E,  18.722S 126.305E,  18.718S 126.284E,  18.715S 126.250E,  18.707S 126.212E,  18.707S 126.190E,  18.710S 126.172E,  18.712S 126.169E,  18.730S 126.145E,  18.728S 126.123E,  18.744S 126.104E,  18.750S 126.100E,  18.761S 126.087E,  18.777S 126.074E,  18.779S 126.071E,  18.720S 125.963E,  18.713S 125.953E,  18.666S 125.892E,  18.610S 125.838E,  18.608S 125.837E,  18.607S 125.836E,  18.584S 125.819E,  18.575S 125.816E,  18.548S 125.798E,  18.494S 125.779E,  18.473S 125.772E,  18.472S 125.772E,  18.456S 125.766E,  18.454S 125.764E,  18.450S 125.764E,  18.442S 125.759E,  18.439S 125.759E,  18.431S 125.754E,  18.423S 125.744E,  18.421S 125.741E,  18.411S 125.726E,  18.388S 125.700E,  18.368S 125.681E,  18.348S 125.665E,  18.346S 125.664E,  18.339S 125.658E,  18.305S 125.636E,  18.297S 125.629E,  18.290S 125.614E,  18.296S 125.614E,  18.292S 125.603E,  18.293S 125.602E,  18.292S 125.602E,  18.293S 125.599E,  18.290S 125.597E,  18.286S 125.588E,  18.290S 125.578E,  18.298S 125.580E,  18.309S 125.577E,  18.331S 125.598E,  18.349S 125.597E,  18.374S 125.590E,  18.424S 125.548E,  18.453S 125.517E,  18.464S 125.519E,  18.472S 125.531E,  18.484S 125.537E,  18.499S 125.545E,  18.505S 125.569E,  18.498S 125.575E,  18.509S 125.591E,  18.507S 125.603E,  18.497S 125.603E,  18.486S 125.622E,  18.487S 125.650E,  18.498S 125.660E,  18.507S 125.650E,  18.522S 125.628E,  18.536S 125.619E,  18.535S 125.607E,  18.543S 125.606E,  18.554S 125.598E,  18.560S 125.606E,  18.572S 125.609E,  18.580S 125.614E,  18.579S 125.630E,  18.586S 125.642E,  18.593S 125.655E,  18.602S 125.636E,  18.623S 125.634E,  18.637S 125.651E,  18.642S 125.657E,  18.648S 125.649E,  18.643S 125.641E,  18.639S 125.632E,  18.644S 125.624E,  18.658S 125.628E,  18.676S 125.648E,  18.691S 125.673E,  18.702S 125.694E,  18.696S 125.720E,  18.708S 125.740E,  18.722S 125.741E,  18.735S 125.734E,  18.736S 125.723E,  18.751S 125.721E,  18.768S 125.708E,  18.760S 125.685E,  18.767S 125.672E,  18.746S 125.652E,  18.727S 125.638E,  18.716S 125.618E,  18.687S 125.604E,  18.672S 125.588E,  18.649S 125.571E,  18.649S 125.562E,  18.639S 125.554E,  18.623S 125.554E,  18.613S 125.541E,  18.595S 125.530E,  18.575S 125.510E,  18.561S 125.498E,  18.562S 125.459E,  18.560S 125.441E,  18.570S 125.420E,  18.564S 125.409E,  18.551S 125.400E,  18.552S 125.389E,  18.561S 125.377E,  18.561S 125.362E,  18.565S 125.362E,  18.573S 125.369E,  18.584S 125.363E,  18.594S 125.368E,  18.601S 125.386E,  18.601S 125.406E,  18.604S 125.437E,  18.614S 125.450E,  18.621S 125.463E,  18.635S 125.479E,  18.652S 125.500E,  18.671S 125.511E,  18.688S 125.511E,  18.705S 125.506E,  18.715S 125.507E,  18.724S 125.507E,  18.760S 125.506E,  18.779S 125.497E,  18.791S 125.490E,  18.766S 125.463E,  18.752S 125.443E,  18.737S 125.426E,  18.722S 125.409E,  18.681S 125.385E,  18.662S 125.367E,  18.654S 125.342E,  18.655S 125.312E,  18.664S 125.287E,  18.669S 125.278E,  18.654S 125.280E,  18.636S 125.276E,  18.613S 125.278E,  18.592S 125.283E,  18.579S 125.277E,  18.572S 125.255E,  18.559S 125.232E,  18.552S 125.197E,  18.546S 125.168E,  18.545S 125.163E,  18.537S 125.139E,  18.533S 125.096E,  18.545S 125.071E,  18.544S 125.032E,  18.547S 124.972E,  18.548S 124.944E,  18.557S 124.893E,  18.559S 124.849E,  18.557S 124.793E,  18.574S 124.786E,  18.574S 124.758E,  18.585S 124.750E,  18.580S 124.732E,  18.570S 124.710E,  18.578S 124.701E,  18.575S 124.688E,  18.566S 124.683E,  18.568S 124.645E,  18.565S 124.614E,  18.551S 124.573E,  18.518S 124.549E,  18.523S 124.539E,  18.533S 124.539E,  18.541S 124.531E,  18.559S 124.530E,  18.557S 124.516E,  18.527S 124.515E,  18.519S 124.511E,  18.495S 124.521E,  18.482S 124.521E,  18.469S 124.521E,  18.448S 124.516E,  18.428S 124.507E,  18.399S 124.499E,  18.369S 124.492E,  18.351S 124.489E,  18.334S 124.490E,  18.297S 124.483E,  18.268S 124.474E,  18.254S 124.459E,  18.246S 124.457E,  18.227S 124.459E,  18.213S 124.453E,  18.208S 124.441E,  18.214S 124.431E,  18.211S 124.419E,  18.204S 124.411E,  18.180S 124.405E,  18.169S 124.409E,  18.154S 124.410E,  18.140S 124.405E,  18.130S 124.395E,  18.130S 124.382E,  18.127S 124.370E,  18.124S 124.362E,  18.117S 124.339E,  18.111S 124.320E,  18.113S 124.301E,  18.114S 124.285E,  18.108S 124.258E,  18.109S 124.230E,  18.118S 124.197E,  18.122S 124.174E,  18.126S 124.130E,  18.134S 124.099E,  18.146S 124.081E,  18.153S 124.076E,  18.161S 124.079E,  18.167S 124.080E,  18.171S 124.086E,  18.175S 124.090E,  18.178S 124.091E,  18.183S 124.090E,  18.187S 124.087E,  18.195S 124.084E,  18.201S 124.084E,  18.208S 124.085E,  18.215S 124.084E,  18.220S 124.084E,  18.226S 124.086E,  18.235S 124.088E,  18.241S 124.091E,  18.244S 124.091E,  18.249S 124.095E,  18.249S 124.098E,  18.253S 124.106E,  18.257S 124.108E,  18.263S 124.109E,  18.265S 124.112E,  18.269S 124.115E,  18.275S 124.115E,  18.280S 124.113E,  18.289S 124.114E,  18.291S 124.116E,  18.297S 124.116E,  18.304S 124.119E,  18.310S 124.125E,  18.313S 124.127E,  18.323S 124.142E,  18.324S 124.147E,  18.330S 124.149E,  18.339S 124.157E,  18.339S 124.162E,  18.341S 124.169E,  18.346S 124.174E,  18.346S 124.178E,  18.345S 124.184E,  18.348S 124.189E,  18.353S 124.201E,  18.356S 124.205E,  18.365S 124.209E,  18.374S 124.211E,  18.378S 124.211E,  18.378S 124.213E,  18.382S 124.214E,  18.382S 124.217E,  18.385S 124.219E,  18.390S 124.219E,  18.392S 124.220E,  18.396S 124.223E,  18.400S 124.224E,  18.402S 124.224E,  18.411S 124.227E,  18.413S 124.230E,  18.416S 124.233E,  18.419S 124.236E,  18.423S 124.239E,  18.426S 124.240E,  18.430S 124.245E,  18.434S 124.247E,  18.441S 124.247E,  18.446S 124.244E,  18.450S 124.244E,  18.452S 124.242E,  18.454S 124.241E,  18.464S 124.245E,  18.472S 124.246E,  18.476S 124.251E,  18.483S 124.251E,  18.489S 124.250E,  18.500S 124.251E,  18.500S 124.253E,  18.502S 124.257E,  18.506S 124.258E,  18.527S 124.271E,  18.536S 124.273E,  18.537S 124.269E,  18.529S 124.268E,  18.508S 124.254E,  18.504S 124.253E,  18.504S 124.250E,  18.502S 124.247E,  18.492S 124.246E,  18.489S 124.246E,  18.483S 124.247E,  18.478S 124.247E,  18.474S 124.242E,  18.465S 124.241E,  18.453S 124.237E,  18.449S 124.239E,  18.440S 124.243E,  18.436S 124.243E,  18.432S 124.242E,  18.431S 124.238E,  18.428S 124.236E,  18.425S 124.236E,  18.421S 124.233E,  18.416S 124.228E,  18.414S 124.224E,  18.402S 124.219E,  18.399S 124.220E,  18.398S 124.220E,  18.394S 124.216E,  18.390S 124.215E,  18.386S 124.215E,  18.385S 124.212E,  18.382S 124.210E,  18.380S 124.208E,  18.375S 124.207E,  18.369S 124.202E,  18.362S 124.202E,  18.359S 124.199E,  18.358S 124.195E,  18.358S 124.191E,  18.354S 124.188E,  18.351S 124.187E,  18.350S 124.185E,  18.350S 124.177E,  18.350S 124.173E,  18.348S 124.170E,  18.345S 124.167E,  18.343S 124.161E,  18.343S 124.158E,  18.342S 124.154E,  18.338S 124.150E,  18.332S 124.145E,  18.327S 124.144E,  18.326S 124.141E,  18.320S 124.129E,  18.316S 124.124E,  18.312S 124.122E,  18.307S 124.116E,  18.298S 124.112E,  18.293S 124.112E,  18.290S 124.111E,  18.285S 124.109E,  18.279S 124.109E,  18.274S 124.111E,  18.270S 124.111E,  18.268S 124.109E,  18.265S 124.106E,  18.259S 124.105E,  18.256S 124.103E,  18.253S 124.097E,  18.253S 124.094E,  18.246S 124.088E,  18.242S 124.087E,  18.236S 124.085E,  18.228S 124.082E,  18.218S 124.076E,  18.211S 124.074E,  18.204S 124.071E,  18.200S 124.072E,  18.194S 124.073E,  18.191S 124.073E,  18.188S 124.077E,  18.181S 124.076E,  18.174S 124.074E,  18.165S 124.065E,  18.157S 124.061E,  18.151S 124.055E,  18.145S 124.038E,  18.145S 124.010E,  18.140S 123.989E,  18.134S 123.953E,  18.120S 123.933E,  18.103S 123.907E,  18.108S 123.903E,  18.120S 123.902E,  18.134S 123.907E,  18.141S 123.901E,  18.146S 123.889E,  18.155S 123.877E,  18.170S 123.867E,  18.182S 123.846E,  18.195S 123.828E,  18.201S 123.820E,  18.203S 123.810E,  18.211S 123.790E,  18.224S 123.775E,  18.232S 123.764E,  18.235S 123.754E,  18.242S 123.749E,  18.257S 123.750E,  18.274S 123.755E,  18.288S 123.756E,  18.300S 123.765E,  18.308S 123.764E,  18.318S 123.760E,  18.330S 123.754E,  18.345S 123.753E,  18.359S 123.756E,  18.380S 123.761E,  18.391S 123.761E,  18.407S 123.756E,  18.427S 123.756E,  18.451S 123.762E,  18.464S 123.770E,  18.479S 123.788E,  18.493S 123.804E,  18.502S 123.810E,  18.504S 123.804E,  18.495S 123.794E,  18.492S 123.781E,  18.494S 123.764E,  18.501S 123.753E,  18.518S 123.747E,  18.517S 123.695E,  18.502S 123.713E,  18.488S 123.721E,  18.472S 123.728E,  18.458S 123.727E,  18.453S 123.720E,  18.460S 123.705E,  18.461S 123.692E,  18.451S 123.692E,  18.446S 123.699E,  18.432S 123.703E,  18.419S 123.709E,  18.401S 123.715E,  18.385S 123.719E,  18.372S 123.719E,  18.356S 123.714E,  18.342S 123.712E,  18.328S 123.715E,  18.313S 123.719E,  18.300S 123.722E,  18.287S 123.722E,  18.275S 123.729E,  18.262S 123.732E,  18.245S 123.728E,  18.230S 123.732E,  18.214S 123.740E,  18.203S 123.753E,  18.198S 123.774E,  18.193S 123.793E,  18.191S 123.808E,  18.178S 123.818E,  18.166S 123.835E,  18.154S 123.853E,  18.148S 123.865E,  18.135S 123.870E,  18.126S 123.881E,  18.121S 123.887E,  18.109S 123.885E,  18.098S 123.874E,  18.089S 123.870E,  18.076S 123.871E,  18.071S 123.864E,  18.056S 123.835E,  18.041S 123.811E,  18.020S 123.798E,  18.002S 123.790E,  17.982S 123.779E,  17.969S 123.763E,  17.944S 123.739E,  17.899S 123.705E,  17.883S 123.688E,  17.882S 123.662E,  17.877S 123.649E,  17.863S 123.642E,  17.851S 123.630E,  17.826S 123.619E,  17.806S 123.610E,  17.789S 123.598E,  17.766S 123.574E,  17.756S 123.565E,  17.743S 123.562E,  17.725S 123.560E,  17.710S 123.553E,  17.698S 123.557E,  17.679S 123.563E,  17.655S 123.563E,  17.629S 123.564E,  17.589S 123.556E,  17.541S 123.541E,  17.497S 123.543E, then directly to the intersection of the western shoreline of King Sound with Latitude 17.482S (approximate coordinate point 17.482S 123.545E), then north westerly via the western shoreline of King Sound to its intersection with Longitude 123.103E (approximate coordinate point 16.764S 123.103E), then via straight lines joining the following geographic coordinate points consecutively: 16.761S 123.092E,  16.733S 123.024E,  16.712S 122.982E,  16.666S 122.915E,  16.715S 122.913E,  16.769S 122.899E,  16.814S 122.854E,  16.850S 122.782E,  16.862S 122.707E,  16.856S 122.638E,  16.830S 122.572E, then north westerly to the intersection of Longitude 122.569E with the Highest Astronomical Tide mark (approximate coordinate point 16.829S  122.569E), then southerly via the Highest Astronomical Tide mark to its intersection with Latitude 18.005S (approximate coordinate point 18.005S  122.205E), then south westerly directly to the intersection of Latitude 18.006S with the Lowest Astronomical Tide mark (approximate coordinate point 18.006S  122.204E), then northerly via the Lowest Astronomical Tide mark to its intersection with Latitude 16.813S (approximate coordinate point 16.813S  122.547E), then directly to coordinate point 16.800S  122.531E, then directly to the point of commencement.
Excluded from the above is an area bounded by a line commencing at coordinate point 17.435S  123.581E, then via straight lines joining the following coordinate points consecutively: 17.428S 123.617E,  17.442S 123.654E,  17.455S 123.664E,  17.482S 123.671E,  17.500S 123.673E,  17.508S 123.665E,  17.508S 123.653E,  17.523S 123.651E,  17.534S 123.644E,  17.556S 123.641E,  17.575S 123.652E,  17.589S 123.654E,  17.603S 123.648E,  17.624S 123.649E,  17.645S 123.645E,  17.623S 123.636E,  17.608S 123.628E,  17.583S 123.628E,  17.578S 123.621E,  17.587S 123.611E,  17.603S 123.602E,  17.624S 123.599E,  17.639S 123.606E,  17.655S 123.612E,  17.664S 123.608E,  17.679S 123.609E,  17.689S 123.609E,  17.696S 123.617E,  17.691S 123.624E,  17.687S 123.634E,  17.694S 123.644E,  17.709S 123.649E,  17.740S 123.657E,  17.763S 123.672E,  17.785S 123.690E,  17.804S 123.708E,  17.820S 123.735E,  17.830S 123.744E,  17.840S 123.742E,  17.856S 123.742E,  17.865S 123.751E,  17.904S 123.780E,  17.919S 123.788E,  17.929S 123.793E,  17.945S 123.813E,  17.971S 123.833E,  17.994S 123.848E,  18.003S 123.860E,  18.012S 123.877E,  18.032S 123.900E,  18.042S 123.914E,  18.043S 123.938E,  18.049S 123.954E,  18.052S 123.970E,  18.067S 123.981E,  18.083S 123.989E,  18.101S 124.005E,  18.107S 124.025E,  18.107S 124.041E,  18.108S 124.059E,  18.100S 124.083E,  18.092S 124.115E,  18.082S 124.142E,  18.073S 124.160E,  18.061S 124.170E,  18.047S 124.176E,  18.040S 124.192E,  18.024S 124.199E,  18.008S 124.202E,  17.997S 124.195E,  17.993S 124.201E,  17.988S 124.198E,  17.982S 124.198E,  17.972S 124.217E,  17.961S 124.233E,  17.961S 124.257E,  17.954S 124.272E,  17.943S 124.294E,  17.938S 124.325E,  17.931S 124.347E,  17.918S 124.353E,  17.914S 124.368E,  17.903S 124.377E,  17.903S 124.400E,  17.906S 124.430E,  17.921S 124.447E,  17.929S 124.453E,  17.936S 124.454E,  17.947S 124.444E,  17.953S 124.435E,  17.951S 124.428E,  17.962S 124.420E,  17.976S 124.411E,  17.990S 124.402E,  17.996S 124.392E,  18.009S 124.384E,  18.025S 124.372E,  18.035S 124.362E,  18.040S 124.363E,  18.042S 124.367E,  18.040S 124.383E,  18.051S 124.385E,  18.065S 124.380E,  18.072S 124.374E,  18.083S 124.387E,  18.090S 124.406E,  18.095S 124.428E,  18.101S 124.434E,  18.111S 124.437E,  18.114S 124.448E,  18.112S 124.457E,  18.106S 124.467E,  18.104S 124.483E,  18.106S 124.496E,  18.118S 124.506E,  18.121S 124.494E,  18.120S 124.484E,  18.124S 124.478E,  18.126S 124.469E,  18.128S 124.470E,  18.151S 124.479E,  18.166S 124.483E,  18.184S 124.495E,  18.196S 124.498E,  18.210S 124.499E,  18.217S 124.510E,  18.229S 124.517E,  18.262S 124.534E,  18.271S 124.545E,  18.282S 124.554E,  18.284S 124.554E,  18.280S 124.571E,  18.284S 124.577E,  18.290S 124.577E,  18.294S 124.581E,  18.296S 124.571E,  18.295S 124.565E,  18.291S 124.557E,  18.298S 124.560E,  18.323S 124.560E,  18.342S 124.556E,  18.372S 124.572E,  18.395S 124.600E,  18.406S 124.613E,  18.405S 124.620E,  18.407S 124.634E,  18.417S 124.653E,  18.426S 124.658E,  18.426S 124.671E,  18.420S 124.684E,  18.423S 124.692E,  18.433S 124.686E,  18.438S 124.707E,  18.435S 124.721E,  18.428S 124.717E,  18.419S 124.717E,  18.416S 124.736E,  18.416S 124.747E,  18.407S 124.755E,  18.408S 124.769E,  18.409S 124.785E,  18.416S 124.794E,  18.421S 124.789E,  18.423S 124.760E,  18.425S 124.761E,  18.434S 124.753E,  18.442S 124.762E,  18.445S 124.795E,  18.445S 124.814E,  18.451S 124.810E,  18.461S 124.801E,  18.462S 124.782E,  18.476S 124.783E,  18.477S 124.797E,  18.486S 124.800E,  18.482S 124.809E,  18.481S 124.818E,  18.497S 124.821E,  18.504S 124.833E,  18.503S 124.868E,  18.430S 124.867E,  18.430S 124.908E,  18.424S 124.909E,  18.419S 124.935E,  18.417S 124.949E,  18.421S 124.965E,  18.414S 124.968E,  18.409S 124.977E,  18.403S 124.977E,  18.398S 124.985E,  18.404S 124.997E,  18.402S 125.006E,  18.413S 125.022E,  18.418S 125.040E,  18.418S 125.045E,  18.429S 125.054E,  18.435S 125.067E,  18.429S 125.077E,  18.429S 125.092E,  18.435S 125.100E,  18.435S 125.111E,  18.427S 125.119E,  18.418S 125.140E,  18.421S 125.149E,  18.413S 125.156E,  18.397S 125.182E,  18.385S 125.185E,  18.375S 125.194E,  18.369S 125.207E,  18.374S 125.220E,  18.383S 125.227E,  18.376S 125.228E,  18.363S 125.237E,  18.360S 125.250E,  18.348S 125.257E,  18.340S 125.272E,  18.332S 125.277E,  18.325S 125.288E,  18.328S 125.299E,  18.338S 125.296E,  18.345S 125.295E,  18.343S 125.315E,  18.336S 125.335E,  18.329S 125.387E,  18.326S 125.422E,  18.319S 125.455E,  18.296S 125.488E,  18.287S 125.519E,  18.287S 125.519E,  18.282S 125.525E,  18.272S 125.523E,  18.263S 125.526E,  18.271S 125.540E,  18.262S 125.544E,  18.253S 125.541E,  18.237S 125.543E,  18.232S 125.544E,  18.226S 125.547E,  18.224S 125.548E,  18.222S 125.549E,  18.220S 125.549E,  18.218S 125.549E,  18.217S 125.551E,  18.216S 125.562E,  18.220S 125.562E,  18.220S 125.579E,  18.217S 125.583E,  18.215S 125.584E,  18.212S 125.583E,  18.208S 125.587E,  18.200S 125.587E,  18.196S 125.590E,  18.194S 125.590E,  18.191S 125.590E,  18.189S 125.592E,  18.183S 125.597E,  18.182S 125.600E,  18.178S 125.602E,  18.176S 125.601E,  18.174S 125.601E,  18.173S 125.598E,  18.172S 125.595E,  18.165S 125.574E,  18.163S 125.574E,  18.163S 125.562E,  18.163S 125.544E,  18.163S 125.535E,  18.158S 125.529E,  18.145S 125.521E,  18.108S 125.502E,  18.097S 125.496E,  18.094S 125.493E,  18.088S 125.491E,  18.077S 125.485E,  18.077S 125.485E,  18.052S 125.469E,  18.046S 125.465E,  18.034S 125.435E,  18.026S 125.434E,  18.001S 125.420E,  17.988S 125.401E,  17.988S 125.401E,  17.974S 125.380E,  17.939S 125.323E,  17.939S 125.322E,  17.925S 125.299E,  17.916S 125.287E,  17.900S 125.263E,  17.898S 125.259E,  17.896S 125.256E,  17.863S 125.205E,  17.829S 125.159E,  17.808S 125.131E,  17.762S 125.068E,  17.756S 125.049E,  17.747S 125.046E,  17.741S 125.024E,  17.700S 124.988E,  17.674S 124.933E,  17.659S 124.932E,  17.657S 124.929E,  17.632S 124.924E,  17.610S 125.003E,  17.585S 125.015E,  17.559S 125.006E,  17.480S 124.939E,  17.462S 124.926E,  17.454S 124.891E,  17.452S 124.794E,  17.427S 124.726E,  17.391S 124.662E,  17.385S 124.546E,  17.378S 124.448E,  17.407S 124.363E,  17.402S 124.291E,  17.409S 124.234E,  17.407S 124.174E,  17.409S 124.126E,  17.430S 124.082E,  17.387S 124.045E,  17.371S 123.980E,  17.320S 123.913E,  17.288S 123.884E,  17.229S 123.868E,  17.219S 123.871E, then directly to the point of commencement.
2. The Lacepede Islands extending to the Low Water Mark.
3. An area at Lagrange Bay comprising a circle of 2500 metres radius centred on coordinate point Latitude and Longitude  18.614S 121.752E. 
4. Bungarun Derby Leprosarium Reserve comprising the whole of Lot P174646.
5. An area at Noonkanbah Gate comprising a circle of 100m radius centred on coordinate point Latitude and Longitude  18.094S 124.751E.
6. An area at Paliyarra Springs comprising an area of 100m radius centred on coordinate  point Latitude and Longitude  18.703S 125.810E.
7. An area at Kurungal Springs comprising an area of 100m radius centred on coordinate point Latitude and Longitude  18.887S 125.905E.
8. The Roebuck Bay Ramsar Wetland.
9. An area bounded by a line commencing at the intersection of the High Water Mark with Latitude 17.953S (approximate coordinate point 17.953S 122.251E), then easterly via the High Water Mark to its intersection with the western boundary of the Roebuck Bay Ramsar Wetland, then southerly via the western boundary of the Roebuck Bay Ramsar Wetland to its intersection with the Low Water Mark, then westerly via the Low Water Mark to its intersection with Latitude 17.953S, then easterly directly to the point of commencement.
10. Sacred Heart Church at Beagle Bay.
All geographic coordinates are expressed in terms of the Geocentric Datum of Australia 1994 (GDA94) as described in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette GN35 of 6 September 1995. Note all units display in decimal degrees.

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Report Produced  Mon Apr 21 11:07:48 2014