Kalumburu and Sunset Beach

From Munurru we followed the track north through the Aboriginal Community of Kalumburu and on another 20km to a beautiful laid back beach camping area with great sunset views called McGowans Sunset Beach where we have set ourselves up for 5 nights.  The photos below speak for themselves. Every night we all get our chairs and head down to the beach to see what colours we they will get at the sunset. It is a show every night. With all the “controlled burning” smoke in the air the sunsets are even more spectacular.


It’s all about fishing here. We are the only ones not fishing. Every man, woman and child has a rod in their hand or have a boat and are out in it when the wind settles down. It’s a good thing we still have fish in the freezer!

crocolidile sunset
Unfortunately the beautiful inviting waters are home to these guys too so swimming has to be approached very cautiously.
fending off crocs with your feet
Basically the procedure is to find a nice shallow bay with a rocky sentinel on one side where you could see crocs approaching, send someone up with polaroid glasses to keep watch and take a photo of the daring deed, then wade in up to your thighs and take a quick refreshing dip, but don’t stay too long.


On the first day we headed back into Kalumburu town and ended up getting the same two things we got when we visited the Ngukarr community a few weeks ago: a painting and a puncture. At least Steve’s auto garage had a great view of the beach!


While in town, Maddy also visited the women’s centre to discuss some secret women’s business, while I queued for some diesel.  On the way out we stopped for a look at the lower part of the King Edward river near town and some world war two plane wrecks at the end of the Kalumburu airfield.

kulumbaru womens centre
I spent an hour here chatting to the girls about life. They started out quite shy but it didn’t take long before we were chatting like a “bunch of girls”. No men allowed in here. The women do crafts and artwork here to sell and cook for the 11 people in the aged care facility. It is a “work for the dole” facility.


While it is interesting visiting such remote places the drawback is the lack of information available.  While the site was informally sign posted there was no background on why the planes were there and no-one seemed to know either.  There was a small museum at the mission in town which had an interesting collection, but again, the information was a bit patchy. We do know that the Japanese bombed the old Pago Mission near here thinking it was a military installation during WW2. 5 people died. The mission was moved to Kalumburu due to more reliable water.

health centre kulumburu
The Kalumburu health clininc is run by 2 nurses with a Dr visiting once a week.

health centre signlucky prizes for blood sugar check

flu vax sign
Enter a caption
bribes to get a health check
The nurses are trying hard to get the girls to come in, even giving away prizes!

We went for a few walks in either direction from our camp here. The Kimberly Coast is wild though and does not want humans to walk along it. It is mangroves and mud flats or rocky outcrops to get around or crocodiles along the shore to avoid. This is why the luxury cruise boats do so well here with few roads that lead to the coast line and those being pretty rough. It seems only fisherman are willing to make the trip overland. The fishing up here is like nowhere else we are told.mangrove walking

early morning on the mangrove mudflats
Low tide is good for a run across the mud flats to look for some oysters
shells in a huddle
These shells are on many of the paintings in the art centre as they are bush food. They seem to like to huddle together on the beach.
spiky vegetation
It’s either one type of spikey vegetation or another up here but interesting looking.


 Maddy takes photos of hospitals so I thought I better also show interest in my career and take photos of mobile phone base stations too. Here is one of Optus’s satellite base stations which does not work so well in this town with a population of 400.

Optus small cell

honeymoom bay
Honeymoon beach 15 min drive down the road
mcgowans island panorama
Mcgowan’s island where we went to find Oysters
looking for oysters
Looking for oysters
We were allowed 3 each. Glad we had a screw driver and a hammer.
Our catch!
oyster entree
Cooked in butter, garlic, salt and pepper with a squeeze of lemon! Great with a cocktail!




2 thoughts on “Kalumburu and Sunset Beach

  1. Stunning, stunning pics. Sunset beautiful, Courage to sit in the water knowing what maybe around the bend!! Love Glenda

    On Mon, Jun 24, 2019 at 8:14 AM Maddy and Steve Norman’s gap year wrote:

    > nomadicnormans posted: “From Munurru we followed the track north through > the Aboriginal Community of Kalumburu and on another 20km to a beautiful > laid back beach camping area with great sunset views called McGowans Sunset > Beach where we have set ourselves up for 5 nights. The p” >


  2. The seafood can’t get any fresher than those oysters, but I suppose the crocs are saying that about you too – great birding on number 300!!! Wazza


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