Expedition cruise company, Aurora Expeditions, is inviting guests to take part in a special mission in the Kimberley to uncover a lost historical track once used by early missionaries nearly 100 hundred years ago. The search will take part on a dedicated ‘Wilderness Walk’ which is an exclusive highlight on the company’s 2014 Kimberley Coast cruise itinerary.
The lost track, dubbed the ‘Three Mile Road’ was built in 1916 to assist with the relocation of a Presbyterian Aboriginal mission to a site named Kunmunya. Used to transport building materials by donkey cart and enable regular incoming supplies, the road linked a landing site at Nhorgor Inlet along the Kimberley coastline with the Kunmunya site in the south-east.
The goal to uncover the road has been a continuing interest of the company’s long-standing Kimberley Expedition Leader, Mike Cusack, who also spent 12-months living in the Kimberley outback near the abandoned Kunmunya site as part of Dick Smith’s 1987 ‘Wilderness Couple’ project with the Australian Geographic Society.
“During our year in the Kimberley, my wife Susan and I learnt a lot about the struggle and hardships of living off the land. It takes a lot of energy, resourcefulness, and damn hard work to get by in this often harsh environment.” said Mike.
“It’s been a personal aim of mine to find and retrace the ‘Three Mile Road’. I want to pay tribute to the men and women who pioneered the region as well help our passengers understand the hardships of living in the remote Kimberley outback”.
While the Kimberley’s wilderness has fully reclaimed the access route and mission clearings, Mike has found compelling evidence of the Three Mile Road during his past visits and more recently with the help of newly acquired aerial photographs taken in 1949. On recent expeditions, Mike and his passengers have discovered a flagstone creek crossing, the remains of cattle yards, and an Aboriginal cemetery previously thought lost.
The 9.5 kilometre trek will be a key highlight of our forthcoming Kimberley voyages, including a stop at Mike and Susan’s old campsite as Mike regales passengers of his incredible year in the wild. By attempting to follow the Three Mile Road, visitors will enjoy a remarkable opportunity to be immersed in a remote and powerful landscape, and to pay tribute to pioneers through a firsthand appreciation of the work, deprivation and resourcefulness required to survive this wild environment.
The ‘Kunmunya Wilderness Walk’ and the search for the lost Three Mile Road will be attempted on all three Kimberley coast departures between June and July 2014. Voyages travel along the Kimberley coastline between Broome and Darwin (and vice versa) and include all daily landings and excursions, accommodation, meals, and guiding services. Prices start from$7,390 per person for the 11 day cruise.
BOOKING DEAL Passengers are encouraged to book before 31 March 2014 to receive a free ‘Broome Experience’ package valued at over $500, including one night at Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa with full buffet breakfast, a three course meal and an iconic sunset camel ride along Cable Beach. Terms and conditions apply.