The white quartz flank of New Harbour Point juts through the wild breakers stretching hundreds of metres out to sea.
A setting sun gilds its reflective canvas, throwing it into cheerful contrast with the grey hulk of De Witt Island and the bleak swells queuing up for their death dance on Hidden Beach.
For nine days the sun has hibernated deep in cloud cover and now its sweeps across the storm-washed beach and out to sea over the frothing wavecrests which have welded together in a turmoil of foam.
On the beach the noise is numbing, not unlike the roar of a steam locomotive at full bore — going nowhere.
That was the opening paragraph of the Tasmanian chapter of my book: Australia the Beautiful — Wilderness [Weldon, Ure Smith].
For the remaining two weeks of my journey through the bottom fringe of the Southwest National Park, the weather was a little kinder.
Click the link below for a small portfolio which hopefully gives a taste of the wild diversity and beauty of this, one of Australia’s last wildernesses. Allan Moult
Explore the South West Wilderness portfolio.
Welcome to the first of a new series of mini-portfolios of worldwide destinations salvaged from a repository of nearly 90,000 colour transparencies filed away in six filing cabinets at a long-suffering friend’s home.
They’re the carefully-culled selection of a four-decades’ long career as a freelance writer/photographer.
Below is a small selection taken on assignment in the Fitzgerald River National Park in southern Western Australia.
The 250,000 hectare park is about 300km east of Albany.
Click here to see the gallery
It is a harsh environment encompassing a bleak landscape of spongolite cliffs honeycombed by the elements; scraggly dry streambeds outline with salt tidemarks; bronze-toned granite flecked with red flashes of weathered flaking rock; a coastal barrier of sand dunes as white as snow; broad valleys carpeted with low scrub, paperbark, rough mallee and wiry melaleucas; and three low ranges each topped with a small barren summit named Barren.
The three peaks — West, Mid and East Mount Barren — are remnant islands, once barely 90 metres about sea level.
Their existence is responsible for the botanical abundance found in the threatened boundaries of the National Park,
While still islands in an ancient sea, they provided refuge for the fertile flotsam of the plant world seeking anchor during the mammoth upheavals of the Proterozoic period some 3000 million years ago.
This was the age of Gondwanaland, the super continent formed when the world’s land masses were one and the fertile Fitzgerald River area was joined to Antarctica.