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Buccaneer Archipelago

A group of remote islands off the Kimberley coast. Great for the fishing enthusiast and nature lover. Flight and boat tours will take you there.

Details

  • Sites:Islands

Description

The Buccaneer Archipelago is a beautiful area consisting of some 800 to 1,000 rocky islands with small embayments and secluded white sandy beaches.

It is part of a ria or drowned coastline with islands of ancient massive sandstones of Pre-Cambrian age (2,500 - 1,800 million years ago). The islands are rugged and sparsely vegetated with patches of rain forest in moist areas and a fringing of mangroves where silt has accumulated.

The area has huge tidal ranges up to 12 metres. These create such phenomena as the horizontal reversible waterfall in Talbot Bay. The falls are caused by the differential created when the tide flows between narrow island gaps. The tides and whirlpools caused havoc with the pearling fleets late last century. Many sailors and divers lost their lives. On numerous islands there are isolated graves, a testimony to the dangerous conditions.

The fauna of the islands is rich and diverse. On Koolan Island 11 species of snake were identified including the most deadly, the taipan. There were several species of gecko, skink, monitor and dragon lizards. 118 species of birds were identified. Mammals included rock rats, native quolls and bats. The estuarine crocodile is common in the waters and mangrove fringes. Sea snakes, sharks, swordfish and a great variety of tropical fish are found in the pristine waters and coral lagoons.

The area is remote. Anyone sailing to and walking on the islands and swimming or fishing in the waters should take every precaution to ensure their safety. Appropriate radio and survival and first aid equipment is essential.

The area is pristine. Visitors are requested to take all their rubbish with them back to a settlement. Please do not use soap in fresh water pools or enclosed lagoons. Retrieve any items that drop over board if possible. Respect the flora, fauna and Aboriginal sites. Please take nothing but photographs and leave only very, very discrete footprints.

Aboriginal people have lived in the Archipelago for thousands of years and their rock art can be found on many islands and the adjacent mainland. They used rafts of mangrove logs and canoes to travel between the islands. Aboriginal people today still visit their traditional sites and Communities are established in the area.
 

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