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EXPERIENCE

MAGICAL, MYSTERIOUS, TOUR DE FORCE The Ord Valley Muster is a once-ina-lifetime experience, says Dianne Bortoletto. Make next year the year you head to this extraordinary Kimberley event like no other.

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f I had a dollar every time someone said, “you’re going to love the Kimberley” I’d able to pay several helicopter flights to remote freshwater springs and a month-long stay at El Questro. My trip to Australia’s North West was not only to experience the Kimberley for the first time, but

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more specifically, to go to the ‘Best Regional Event in Australia’, the Ord Valley Muster. Winning the prestigious title at the Australian Event Awards last year, the Ord Valley Muster is a cluster of 30 varied events packed into a ten-day festival that includes international comedy, a rodeo, cooking classes, special dinners, art, talent quests, markets and a huge rock concert that this year boasted Bernard Fanning and Troy CassarDaley in the line-up, alongside a 500-strong black tie dinner. The event hub is Kununurra in far north Western Australia, the gateway to the Kimberley touted the world’s last true wilderness frontier. Kununurra itself is a small rural town set on Lake Kununurra, a section of the Ord River. The town seemed functional – a pub, service station, several cafes, travel agents, banks, souvenir shops and a Target Country. It’s not exactly the sort of town you’d travel 3,000km from Perth for. My love for the Kimberley was thus far unkindled. Plenty of people love the hallmark event, the Durack Homestead Dinner where a celebrity chef – George Calombaris (MasterChef) – cooked for guests who dined under the sparkling night sky in the company of boab trees and a windmill. The Durack Homestead Dinner is so popular that a ballot system had to be introduced to make it fair to the 500 people applying for just 80 seats. Transport to the Durack Homestead in the East Kimberley was included with the ticket. After a pre-transfer refreshment in the shady car park of the Kununurra Country Club Resort, the hourlong journey took us through true outback country; wide-open spaces, big bright blue skies, contrasting red earth dotted with fat boab trees and desert scrub. We passed through gorges as tall as skyscrapers, burnt red in colour, catching glimpses of Lake Argyle. Lake Argyle is so big that it’s classed as an inland ocean,

Profile for Premium Publishers

Marque Magazine Winter 2016  

Published on behalf of BMW AutoClassic, Marque Magazine is a quarterly magazine filled with luxury travel and lifestyle as well as BMW and M...

Marque Magazine Winter 2016  

Published on behalf of BMW AutoClassic, Marque Magazine is a quarterly magazine filled with luxury travel and lifestyle as well as BMW and M...