After checking the condition to road to Beagle Bay at the Visitors Centre we decided we would go out to Beagle Bay. The road is nearly a hundred kilometres of dirt road deemed only suitable for four wheel drive vehicles. Once you get to Beagle Bay there is another one hundred kilometres of sealed road that will take you to Cape Leveque and Bardi (One Arm Point)
Sacred Heart Church Beagle Bay
Beagle Bay is the home of the Nyul Nyul people who are the traditional owners of the land. The Catholic Church set up a mission in 1890 by Trappist Monks. There first churches were timber and paperbark which fell foul of the cyclones, fires and termites in the area. During WWI the monks that were of German origin were interned and in a statement of faith of the German Priests and brothers and the local people began to build the present church in 1918 while under house arrest. Modelled on a photograph of a German country church the church took two years to build and one year to decorate. 60,000 clay bricks were hand made. As cement was not available lime was made by burning shells for mortar and Plaster. The interior is decorated with Mother of Pearl and other shells
Sanctuary decorated in Mother of Pearl Shells
Decoration carries on throughout the church
The Beagle Bay Community seemed a great place to live. Tourist had to negotiate 90Km of 4WD road or come by organised tour group. As a tourist you could go to the church and the general store but not in to other areas. Kids are encouraged to go to school here by targeting parents. Drugs and grog is discouraged and them seemed to be a general calm in the area. The school was running and the kids got a decent lunch at the store nearby.
Sacred Heart School
On the sealed road we continued on to Cape Leveque here there is a resort Kooljaman. There are several others along the road and these would be some of the remotest resort’s in Australia. The Kooljaman having its own airstrip. We got as far as Bardi But you have to get a permit to go into this community so we turned around and headed back to Broome. It was amazing the amount of traffic using the unsealed road it seemed we passed more on this road then on the main highway to Broome. this road also passes a site that was to be a land based natural gas processing plant, James Price Point. After protests and the break down of negotiations with the land owners and government the developers have opted for a sea based unit elsewhere.