Continuing north up the Dampier Peninsula from Pender Bay we reached the tip at Cape Leveque where we stayed 4 nights at the nearby Cygnet Bay pearl farm. This family run business has been going for 3 generations and now offers tours and hospitality and provided a good base to explore the area.
Cygnet Bay wildlife – mud skipper, soldier crab and broadbilled flycatcher
Some information on pearling around the Dampier Peninsula
From our camp at Cygnet Bay, we spent the next three days exploring around the tip of the Dampier Peninsula: Lombadina – a former mission now aboriginal community; Cape Leveque itself – with its lighthouse, famous red cliffs and white beaches and One-arm Point or Ardyaloon – an aboriginal community to the east of Cygnet Bay. We also took the boat out for a day in Cygnet Bay itself.
In Lombadina we visited the old catholic mission church with its paperbark roof and the community clinic shown in the photos above before driving to Lombadina’s stunning beach. We were shown around the clinic by the two nurses who work there and concluded that it is probably as well equipped as many medical centres around Sydney.
Hibiscus and Yellow white-eye at Lombadina
From Lombadina we headed back up to Cape Leveque itself (or Kooljaman in the local Bardi language). It has a well established camping area with restaurant and visitor centre. It was a bit over-crowded and bustling with activity and felt a bit out of tune with the atmosphere of other places we had visited on the Dampier Peninsula. While the beaches and sunset views were spectacular, we were glad we had chosen to stay at Cygnet Bay, and can only imagine how this place will change when the road is sealed all the way. However, if you can afford $350 per night (in shoulder season), the deluxe safari tent for couples is in a private part of the peninsula and looks amazing.
The Restaurant and shop at Kooljaman and nearby lighthouse.
The eastern swimming beach and a proud fisherman with his Spanish mackerel
The following day we visited Ardyaloon or One-arm Point, an aboriginal community that has a trochus shell hatchery. While selling the shells to the button and make-up industry used to be economically viable, more recently it has become necessary to operate it more like an aquarium and today they only sell tours and polished shells to visitors locally.