Kayakers Attempt Exploratory Expedition to the Kimberley
On March 4th 2008, Kokatat ambassador Tanya Faux, Australia’s world champion whitewater kayaker, will lead a team into the Kimberley to explore the uncharted water of the Moran and Mitchell Rivers. History shows that no river flowing from the Kimberley into the Indian Ocean has ever been paddled.
Tanya and her team will spend 24 days in the wild Kimberley exploring the environment and experiencing the historical and indigenous heritage elements of significance of the region, as well as using footage and website coverage of the expedition to promote the ‘Save the Kimberley’ campaign www.savethekimberley.com.
In 2006 the team embarked on the first descent of the King Edward River located in the Kimberley Ranges.
While on the river, cyclone George formed and dumped 800mm of rain in 3 days. See here for more on that trip.
The exquisite Kimberley Ranges in Western Australia are one of five places in the world that are considered truly wild. It is a land teeming with indigenous spirit and rock art, and is home to some of Australia’s greatest waterfalls and whitewater rapids.
Recently there has been much political interest in the Kimberley. Peter Garrett, Federal Minister for the Environment, released a statement for a ‘Big Picture Study of Australia’s Kimberley’. The Kimberley holds massive reserves of oil and liquefied natural gas, and is very vulnerable to increasing domestic and international pressure on it for industrial development.
“We hope to share the magical magnitude of the Kimberley with fellow Australians and the world.” Say’s Tanya Faux. “Many people do not know this land exists and we have a chance to save it, preserving a vast tract of this historical wilderness in a world heritage site.”
The world will be able to follow the team’s progress with live daily satellite reports to www.feedtherat.com/waterfalldreaming.html
Proposed Trip Details
Due to the inaccessibility of the Kimberleys the team will fly into Doogan station where they will begin the ‘Waterfall Dreaming’, with 24 days of supplies packed entirely into their kayaks.
Via the Woodhouse River, the team will paddle upstream 45km and then walk over a ridge into the Moran River.
The First Descents
The Moran River, is a 100km uncharted stretch of river that flows from the highest peak in the Kimberley’s in a westerly direction towards the Indian Ocean. The river contains 3 major gorges and numerous waterfalls which will take the team up to ten days to complete.
On day 15, the team will expect to leave the Moran River and walk 15km over a range to the famous Mitchell River.
The Mitchell River is famous for its spectacular 3 tiered Mitchell River Waterfall. Unknown to many people, the Mitchell River Gorge walls contain unique rock art paintings which illustrate ancient sailing ships and canoe type crafts
The team will then paddle from 50km upstream of the Mitchell River Falls to the sea, unlocking the mystery and beauty of this river.