Arnhem Land birthplace of the didgeridoo, heart of Dreamtime Australia and 97,000 square kilometres of remote Aboriginal Reserve. It is home to the Yolngu people, one of Australia's largest indigenous groups, and one of the few successfully maintaining traditional culture.
It would be pleasing to think the precious area is pristine and beautiful, but it's a long way short of that. Major currents make constant deposits of unwelcome debris. Deliveries of old fishing nets, remains of trees, bottles, the ubiquitous plastic bag and general rubbish are diminishing the area's quality.
Water in the Gulf of Carpentaria moves slowly clockwise, dumping rubbish on the otherwise unspoilt tip of Cape Arnhem. To spoil and degrade the rugged and wild area is a tragedy. It has unending sweeps of wind-whipped white sand, dense forests of pandanus and palms, outcrops of hard, grey rock and a pounding turquoise ocean.
Six of the world's seven marine turtles call the area home but marine debris is affecting their habitat. They, and other creatures, are choking and becoming entangled in the rubbish, but help is at hand.
Arnhem Land Marine Rescue, run by World Expeditions, is working alongside the Yolngu people to restore one of the country's most beautiful coastlines. With the aid of volunteers and Aboriginal rangers of Dhimurru Land Management, they traverse the coast on foot and by 4WD to collect, catalogue and dispose of rubbish. Turtles and other marine wildlife are freed from nets where possible.
The rewarding project is a marvellous combination of high-tech and traditional knowledge and understanding of the land, sea and animals.
Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory.
World Expeditions has a seven-day Arnhem Land Marine Rescue Community Project for $2295 per person twin share. The company is based out of Gove. All meals, camping accommodation, permit fees and guides are included. The dates for 2008 are August 16-22 and August 25-31.
World Expeditions has 11 community projects in nine countries including Nepal, India, Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Peru, Venezuela and Tanzania. Log on to www.worldexpeditions.com for further information.
Virgin Blue has flights to Darwin.
There are limited seats which may not be available at peak times or on all flights. Fares are one way on the Net. An extra $15 will be charged for phone bookings. A credit card surcharge of an additional $2 per person per one way flight is applicable. Fares are correct at October 25, 2007 and are subject to change.
For more information
Ph: 1300 720 000
Ph: 13 6789