In the course of my work, I go to some very remote places. Like Nyirripi, a tiny community about 160km from the West Australian border. The community itself was a little … umm…. messy. I suspect this is the result of the Howard government’s axing of CDEP and thus the municipal services (such as garbage collection) provided by this program. Otherwise, the people in the community were very nice to work with (they were Warlpiri people) and the landscape around the area absolutely spectacular.
On the way to Nyirripi, I drove through Papunya and then north past Central Mount Wedge:
In fact, Central Mount Wedge was so impressive, I took a whole series of photos of it (inspired by Monet’s 100 Views of Eido… not). Gary is still ribbing me about my Mount Wedge obsession.
The other thing that was really interesting along the way was the number of old cars. Not just the usual burnt out late model Fords and Commodores you see around so many Aboriginal communities, but really old, classic Australian cars like this EK Holden:
I also took photos of Valiants and this amazing old ambulance:
I stopped overnight at Newhaven Station, a private conservation area jointly run by Birds Australia and the Australian Nature Conservancy. Newhaven has an incredible bird list and very good camping facilities. Prior to becoming a conservation area, it was run by the Coppick family and very lightly stocked. Thus, the land is not cattle flogged and is in almost pristine condition. I had been so looking forward to going up here to look around, and I wasn’t disappointed. Gary and I will have to come back and explore some more.
Here is a view of the landscape on Newhaven going towards Nyirripi:
After leaving Newhaven, I drove west through grasslands thick with natives grass (in contrast to Buffel!) and dotted with Bloodwoods, Corkwoods and Ghost Gums. Nyirripi itself sits near some flat topped-mesas:
And finally, on the way out of the community once my consultations were finished, an old holden turned into a work of art: