The history of Indigenous people on the Dampier Peninsula is thought to date back as far as 5,000 years and the communities on the north tip of the peninsula include those of the Bardi (land) and Jawi (island) coastal Indigenous groups. These local people retain a particularly special relationship with their land and sea that encompasses in-depth knowledge of bush food, medicine and traditional hunting and fishing practices.
The Dampier Peninsula is a large, remote and rugged wilderness dotted with many Aboriginal communities and homes as well as a handful of privately-owned properties, Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm being one of them. The northern half of the Peninsula is Aboriginal-owned country, locally known in the local language as ‘Ardi’, meaning ‘heading north’. While there are various Aboriginal communities throughout the Peninsula who welcome visitors, please avoid travelling on unmarked tracks as they may lead to sites of traditional significance and sensitivity.
Kooljaman at Cape Leveque
Kooljaman at Cape Leveque is a unique wilderness camp which is surrounded by a diversity of natural wonders. This Indigenous owned tourism venture provides day passes for a small fee to visit. Discover the stunning red cliffs and sweeping white beaches of this iconic location. Their restaurant offers tantalising dishes with a splash of native ingredients and a great view out over the ocean. They also offer cultural and fishing tours and are open all year round.
Gumbanan offers unpowered camping in a stunning remote location on the northern end of the peninsula near the Ardyaloon Community. Take the opportunity to go on a bush walk, fishing trip or witness local artefact making, which are often available for sale. Also now available is Mud Crabbing and Quad Bike tours! This bush camp provides magnificent views of the surrounding islands, perfect for sunsets and sunrises and also an excellent spot for viewing the ‘Staircase to the Moon’ during the full moon phase.
One Arm Point
One Arm Point is the closest community to Cygnet Bay. Located at the tip of the Dampier Peninsula, One Arm Point, or Ardyaloon as it is called in Bardi, is home to approximately 400 people. The region is home to expansive mangrove systems and sensitive coastal areas, making it a beautiful place to experience the massive tidal flows of the King Sound. The Bardi Jawi retain a strong connection to their rich culture and saltwater traditions, passed down from their ancestors who lived on the surrounding islands as well as the mainland. They offer a small grocery shop that is open 6 days a week and an unmanned fuel pump. Visit the office upon arrival to obtain a day pass and pop down for a swim on their beautiful beaches overlooking the beginning of the Buccaneer Archipelago.
The Trochus Shell Hatchery offers a great family outing. Get up close and personal with fish species local to the Ardyaloon area. View their specialist mangrove and reef habitats, showcasing the vast array of aquatic life found on the Dampier Peninsula. Discover the rich saltwater heritage of the Bardi Jawi people and learn about the Community’s trochus fishery tradition and the Hatchery’s reef maintenance programs on one of their cultural tours. You can also purchase locally crafted products, such as polished shells and jewellery.
Lombadina offers visitors a unique opportunity to experience the local Bardi way of life. Relax on white sandy beaches, characterised by pristine turquoise waters, take in nature’s beauty and experience the colours of the Kimberley, the thrilling fishing and breathtaking whale watching. Catch a fresh feast of mud crab or take a kayak tour and spend time snorkelling in crystal clear waters abundant with sea life. Tours are timed to take full advantage of the tides ensuring your experience is more exhilarating than exhausting.
It is necessary to obtain a day pass for those people wishing to have a leisurely stroll around the community and visit the beach. These can be obtained by visiting the office on arrival.
Bully’s camp is situated just 7km off the Cape Leveque Road. It is a relaxed, easy to access campground with views that overlook the blue waters of Cygnet Bay, the extreme tidal changes provide an ever changing picture of coastal beauty. The 15 site campground has a BBQ, well maintained ablutions and water supplied.
Djarindjin Community is situated right next to Lombadina. There is a small community store open 6 days a week and cultural tours from Kooljaman that showcase the beautiful area around Djarindjin are available.
Whale Song Café overlooks the stunning National Heritage coastline at Pender Bay and Humpback Whales nursery and resting grounds. The café offers delicious fresh food and beverages daily during the dry season in an idyllic setting with the most scenic views of the Peninsula. Opening hours are 9am – 3pm June-September.
Nature’s Hideaway is located roughly 182km north of Broome which overlooks the spectacular and isolated white beach bay. Middle lagoon is a wonderful place to go exploring and rediscover your love of nature. Enjoy a stroll along 26 hectares of prime beach front land, the pristine waters are ideal for snorkelling, kayaking and even windsurfing. The abundance of marine life at Middle Lagoon makes for a perfect fishing spot whether by boat or by land. There are also boat tours including whale watching, fishing and sunset cruises.
There is no better place to unwind than by taking in the natural beauty of your surroundings at this untouched wilderness, a unique retreat located in the National Heritage Dampier Peninsula. Mercedes Cove offers Eco Tents and Chalets which are fully equipped with your own private sandy beach to fish and swim from. Experience snorkelling, bird watching, bush walks and land based whale watching whilst the Humpback Whales travel directly past the retreat each year from July – October.
Banana Well Getaway is beautiful bush camp situated in the heart of the Nyul-Nyul country, 20kms south of Beagle Bay. Banana Well Getaway offers a range of accommodation settings and powered and unpowered caravan and camping grounds, this is a perfect location to escape and unwind in the natural surroundings of the Kimberley.