Our flight north took us to the Tiwi Islands where we spent a day. The islanders there are the oldest known aboriginals in Australia. The live in a community that largely involves keeping their art and culture alive. The artwork is intricate and quite outstanding.
[Picture of Tiwis]
From the Tiwis we made a short hop to Darwin. We stayed the night here in a Rydges hotel where we paused for breath overnight. The next morning it was up and off to Faraway Bay on the Timor Sea. Two hours later we landed on another grass landing strip that in no way prepared us for what was to come. We managed to squish into a unique, somewhat aged land cruiser for a jolt and jump drive over boulders down to the wilderness camp. There are just two means of getting to Faraway Bay; by boat or as we did, by air. What we banked on being a 10 minute drive to the camp turned into a 30 minute negotiation of aforesaid boulders up and over a narrow road kept clear by the resort. The term clear is an approximation of what you find. Every cyclone that comes through will demand a re- grading of the road to provide access again. Being in such isolation brought the environment into a sharp focus I found exhilarating.
Kevin is the present owner of the small camp resort, but I’ll come back to him later.
In the late 1980’s two diamond prospectors arrived here in search of bling. They worked in the area for some time and had no joy in their prospecting. In the early 1980’s they called it quits, concluding all the diamonds waiting to be dug could be found by someone else. Nearby the men had set up camp in a sheltered a bay. They named this bay Faraway Bay. They were loathe to leave the idyllic haven carved out of cliffs and the turquoise blue sea that broke on the white sand. A pretty beach was already waiting to be accessed. Unfortunately the saltie crocs had already laid claim to the bay, but the idea had already taken hold; to develop a place where people with adventure in their souls, and enough money to get them there could kick back and recharge their batteries. This enterprise was hatched twenty years before the onset of eco-tourism. The aboriginal of the pair needed little encouragement to get the project underway but after a decade his partner tired of the hard labour and lost the drive to offer warm hospitality. Enter Kevin, a chef from Perth. Bill might have called it a day but JD (Johnny Dark) stayed in the Bay.