Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world. I am a photographer, writer and multi-media artist.
Focussing mainly on Western Australia and Australia, I am seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.



Monday 31 August 2009

The Ancient Land of Purnululu, Western Australia

Cathedral Gorge is well named. Entering its immense towering cavern is like entering a magnificent natural cathedral, a place steeped in time and history. The red and orange sandstone walls tower above you, and the white sand crunches softly underfoot. Tiny tracks from night time animals can be seen going across the sand to the central pool which sits still and undisturbed like a mirror. It is a place for hushed voices and to sit quietly with your own thoughts. If you come early in the morning, as we did, you can enjoy the peace undisturbed. It has the atmosphere of a holy place, a sanctuary 

Cathedral Gorge is just one of the magnificent gorges within the Purnululu National Park (also known as the Bungle Bungles) in the Kimberley region in Western Australia’s far north west. Given World Heritage listing in 2003, Purnululu is one of Western Australia’s newest and most spectacular National Parks.

In the Kija Aboriginal language purnululu means sandstone. The Aboriginal people inhabited the region for thousands of years, however Purnululu was known only to a few Europeans until the mid 1980s.

How it received the name Bungle Bungles remains an intriguing mystery with several explanations including the corruption of the Aboriginal name Purnululu, or derived from the name of a common Kimberley grass, bundle bundle grass, or the ranges proximity to the old Bungle Bungle cattle station. 

Purnululu is located off the Great Northern Highway, 250km south of Kununurra, west of the WA/Northern Territory border. There is a 53 kilometre unsealed road only accessible by 4WD and offroad campers from the Highway, through Mabel Downs Station to the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) Rangers / Visitor Centre and roads are unsealed throughout the Park.
You should allow approximately 2-3 hours for the 53 km drive in (approximately 5 hours total travel time from Kununurra).

You can also read more about Purnululu on my blog post here -  

 Sunset over Spinifex in World Heritage Purnululu 

and my articles in  November 2011 edition of On The Road Magazine. 

Monday 10 August 2009

The Gibb River Road - Gorging on gorgeous gorges along the Gibb - Kimberley, Western Australia

The Gibb River Road is hot and dusty – they call it “bull dust”. It swirls around and is so fine it seeps into your car, up your nose and into your mouth. You can taste it. The first part of the road coming from Kununurra is grey dust, so fine it has the colour and taste of cement dust. When a vehicle passes the dust swirls around in a cloud so thick you can’t see one metre in front of you until the dust settles.

Later on the road turns to orange red dust and stretches straight ahead into the distance as far as you can see.

Added to this are the corrugations. For those who don’t know what corrugations are – think of corrugated iron but change the substance to gravel and rock as hard as concrete and then imagine driving over it. It is a bone shaking experience that feels like it is trying to shake the car to pieces, everything rattles, including your bones.

There are also gullies and potholes that loom up in front of you, and the possibility of spiking a tyre on the sharp rocks that the grader has turned up. The condition of the road is dependant on when it was last graded so it can vary from very good to very bad. The best time to travel is from April to November, once the creek levels have dropped after the summer “wet” and it is recommended to carry two spare tyres, extra water, food and fuel.

Why would anyone want to travel this dusty bone shaking road? Because “The Gibb” catches the imagination of travelers as it is one of the few remaining remote 4WD treks and the scenery and the gorges are spectacular.

Originally built for large road trains transporting cattle from isolated stations to ports in Derby and Wyndham, the Gibb River Road, which is unsealed for most of its length, stretches 665km from just south of Derby to just west of Kununurra in Western Australia’s Kimberley.

Travelling from Kununurra the turn off onto the Gibb is 53 kilometers from Kununurra on the Great Northern Highway. The best way to experience the road is to travel from gorge to gorge camping overnight in bush camps along the way. You can swim at most of the gorges and camp nearby – both a welcome relief from the road conditions and the heat. The waterfalls are at their best early in the season.

Click on the boab photo opposite (World is Round - Western Australian images) and go to my link in "World is Round" to see some more photos.

This full article can be read in "On the Road" magazine, February 2010 edition.