Wet season access to Home Valley Station as Balanggarra launches new culturally focused tour

Stephanie SinclairThe Kimberley Echo
The tour area is known as one of the best fishing spots in the Kimberley.
Camera IconThe tour area is known as one of the best fishing spots in the Kimberley. Credit: Landi Bradshaw Photography

Home Valley Station will for the first time be accessible to tourists over the wet season, with a new culturally-focussed air tour to be launched early next year under new managers Balanggarra Ventures.

Balanggarra has teamed up with Kimberley aviation company HeliSpirit and Wyndham-based Nulla Nulla Aboriginal Corporation to offer a three-night package that aims to showcase the region’s scenic landscapes while educating guests about the culture of traditional owners.

The tour includes guided barramundi fishing, stargazing, and a rock art tour of Australia’s oldest known rock shelter painting, believed to be 17,000 years old.

Home Valley is traditionally inaccessible during the wet season due to high water crossings and road damage along the Gibb River Road caused by heavy and consistent rainfall.

The new offering will include a guided rock art tour.
Camera IconThe new offering will include a guided rock art tour. Credit: S Harper

It comes after Balanggarra Ventures — a subsidiary of traditional custodian group Balanggarra Aboriginal Corporation — took over management of the popular East Kimberley station from the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation in June.

Balanggarra chair Cissy Gore-Birch said the corporation was pleased to be partnering with Nulla Nulla to encourage more traditional owners to enter the tourism sector.

“This is our country, and we are proud to be finally able to showcase its magnificent features on our own terms,” Ms Gore-Birch said.

HeliSpirit general manager Paul Cripps said after 38-years in operation, HeliSpirit was excited to offer a wet season tour in partnership with traditional owners to showcase the best of the region.

“This air safari is unlike any other offering in the East Kimberley during the wet season, and it’s extremely exciting for us to be able to offer this unique cultural experience for travellers to the region,” he said.

The tours will run throughout February and March.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails