Home Valley Station Western Australia

Negotiating the rugged Gibb River Road in the Kimberley region can be tough. It can be an unrelenting road which can only be used in the dry season as it floods in the wet.

Saying it `floods’ sounds benign, but there is nothing easy about the Gibb River and when the wet season is at its peak, parts of the road are many metres under water and much of it simply gets washed away.

That’s why it’s a relief to enjoy a bit of comfort on the Gibb River Road. From my experience, the most comfortable place that I have stayed is at Home Valley Station in the East Kimberley. Depending on which way you are doing the Gibb, it is either near the beginning or towards the end of the road. I did west to east, so it was near the end of the road for me, and what a joy to pitch the tent on soft grass and find a proper laundry in which to wash my clothes after a lot of days roughing it.

The road from the west into the station has one of the best vistas that I have seen anywhere.

A couple of kilometres from the homestead, near the peak of a small hill is a lookout which reveals the full impact of the Cockburn Ranges. This is an awesome escarpment, the lower portion of which begins as a reasonably mild hill which suddenly converts into a sheer sandstone wall with a plateau on top. The colours of the range change throughout the day but are at their most spectacular near dawn and dusk when the soft greens of the grasses on the sloping hill contrast starkly with the vivid reds of the cliff face.

Home Valley Station is owned and is run by the Indigenous Land Corporation and the station, together with two neighbouring stations which encompass a total area of 3.5 million acres, are run both as profitable agricultural businesses and as training facilities for local indigenous people.

Much of the Baz Luhrman film `Australia’ was filmed here, and it is easy to understand why such a phenomenally attractive area was chosen as it is almost overwhelmingly beautiful. To stand on the shore of the wide, crocodile-infested Pentecost River and to gaze out over the ranges is like having a religious experience as it is simply a magnificent, inspiring site.

The quality of the facilities of the homestead and the sheer majesty of its location should make Home Valley Station a required stop for anyone who visits the East Kimberley.

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