Package Holidays in Western Australia
Australia the Movie Kununurra Western Australia Australia
English Lady Sarah Ashley Nicole Kidman and her drover Hugh Jackman fell under the spell of the romance of fabulous outback Australia; Kimberley scenery where vast areas of remote Kimberley Stations, Home Valley Station and Diggers Rest Station are featured prominently in the movie 'Australia'. Superb scenic screen shots of million acre cattle stations, each resembling painted backdrops to the uninitiated eye, beckon the visitor to the next horizon, where the Kimberley region consistently delivers the expansive aura of adventure and romance of the times. The vast Kimberley Region, the shining star of Australia, is five times the size of England and populated by only 25,000 souls with many Kimberley cattle stations being the size of small countries. In this beautifully harsh country pastoralists cattle farmers such as Lady Sarah talk in how many acres needed to sustain a steer, not how many cattle they hold to the acre.
Faraway Downs Station
Faraway Homestead at Faraway Downs Station was filmed in the East Kimberley region of Australia's North West around Kununurra. Created for Baz Luhrmann fabulous movie 'Australia' the Faraway Downs Homestead faithfully replicates the gracious architecture in the Kimberley homestead style of the harsh settlement era. Lady Sarah Ashley's mythical Faraway Downs Station actually experiences an annual rainfall of 900mm and comfortably support 500,000 head of cattle, including 18,000 Brahman breeders with the couch and buffalo grasses of the alluvial flats and black soil plains and the permanent water supply providing excellent nutrition for growing steers in this otherwise exquisitely harsh outback country.
Faraway Downs Homestead - Carlton Hill Station
Faraway Downs Homestead was built for the movie on the real life outback cattle station, Carlton Hill Station that is owned by the Consolidated Pastoral Company Pty Ltd. Here, in the incredible pindan red soil of the Kimberley are some 850 hectares of specially irrigated leucaena, a high protein tree legume capable of carrying four to five beasts a hectare, helps grow an amazing 9,000 steers a year for the Asian and Middle Eastern markets. Set on 3675 square kilometres Carlton Hill Station and its sister station Ivanhoe set on 2954 square kilometres, are split only by the Ord River as it winds its way from the Cambridge Gulf to Lake Argyle. Both properties were taken up in the spirit of Australia the movie by the fabled pioneering Durack family, after truly epic cattle drives across Australia in 1893.
Scenic Faraway Kimberley Flora and Fauna - Boab Trees
Kimberley Boab trees with exquisite white waxy flowers on bare branches are aboriginal to the East Kimberley with a miniature forest growing alongside the Ord River. Boab trees live for thousands of years, growing increasingly bottle shaped and producing larger and larger oval shaped seedpods with age. Boab trees feature strongly in North West Australia and in the romance of Lady Sarah Ashley and the drover. Spinifex and elephant grasses are widely seen throughout the Kimberley region and after the wet, wildflowers burst unexpectedly from the red earth.
In the Kimberley Region Red Kangaroos run in mobs of around ten animals, with one dominant male mating with the females. Kimberley kangaroos are particularly active during the early morning or late evening hours then spending the hot day resting in the shade. Kangaroos are herbivore grazers eating only plant matter and can go without water altogether if there is fresh green grass available; life at Faraway Downs Station would have been made harder by mobs of kangaroos taking the cattle's feed.
Kimberley dingos are pure bred, lean and taut, medium sized dogs. Apart from family packs of parents and offspring, dingos live and hunt alone. Standing some 60 cm tall, with reddish coats; they do not bark, the howl of the dingo would have been fearful for the young aristocratic Lady Sarah Ashley as she experienced Australia at her Faraway Downs Station.
Feral Cattle, Camels, Buffalo, Pigs and Goats
The Kimberley Regions of outback Australia has a population of wild cattle and camels, remnants of the days when they were either the beasts of burden that helped to settle the outback, or were the reason for settlement. Ancestors of pigs and goats, which were originally imported by settlers as food, roam freely in the vast expanse of outback Australia experienced by Lady Sarah Ashley.
Crocodiles are part of the landscape of Lady Sarah Ashley's Australia. Crocodiles and lay eggs; the sex of the young croc is determined by nest temperature. A steady temperature of 32 degrees Celsius results in the birth of male crocodiles, fluctuations much above and below this temperature results in females.Freshwater crocodiles are grey or greenish-brown on top, with flanks heavily mottled. Freshies have longer, smoother and more slender snouts than their more dangerous cousin, the saltwater crocodile. Freshwater crocodiles grow up to three metres long and are not easily distinguishable from the dangerous saltie. Freshies are widespread throughout the East Kimberley, living in freshwater rivers, gorges and billabongs where they hunt for fish, frogs and other small animals. All Crocodiles should be regarded as dangerous should never be approached. Estuarine or Saltwater Crocodiles salties live in the brackish waters of the coastlines but are just as happy in freshwater rivers, swamps and billabongs swimming many hundred kilometres inland. Salties are now found all across the north of Australia again after being seriously depleted by extensive hunting from the 1940s the time that Darwin was bombed until the 1970's when they were made a protected species; they are the largest reptile in the world in terms of mass and the largest crocodile with a confirmed measurement. Males can grow up to 6 or 7 metres long and 1000kg; eating mainly small reptiles, fish, turtles, wading birds but also killing and eating larger prey; they are known to take humans, wild pigs, buffaloes, and also livestock such as cattle and horses. All Crocodiles should be regarded as dangerous should never be approached; local advise must be sought regarding swimming.