Things to Do in Dampier Peninsula
One Arm Point (also known as Ardyaloon or Bardi) is an Aboriginal community on the Dampier Peninsula, close to Cape Leveque. Like much of the surrounding area, it stands as a natural wilderness, virtually untouched by modern civilization.
The traditional Aboriginal community that calls One Arm Point home embraces tourism, and visitors to the point come to be immersed in the local culture as much as to marvel at the sweeping views of the Buccaneer Archipelago. The community on One Arm Point is the Bardi Aboriginal Community. Community members teach visitors traditional hunting and fishing techniques, demonstrate how to find and use bush foods and medicines, show how to catch mud crabs, and aims to share with visitors the relationship between the people and the land that exists in many Aboriginal communities. The Bardi also sell local art and jewelry, including jewelry hand carved from trochus shells.
You would think that a place with the world’s largest amount of rock carvings would be popular and swarming with visitors. Murujuga National Park, however, in Australia’s northwestern corner, wasn’t even protected until 2013 (when it became Western Australia’s 100th National Park), and even today is sparsely visited because of its remote location. Located on the Burrup Peninsula outside the town of Dampier, Murujuga National Park spans 12,000 acres and houses rock art up to 30,000 years old. As is the case with ancient drawings, there’s far more here than what meets the eye when briefly glancing at the drawings—which in this case often depict wildlife and plant life that lived on the Burrup Peninsula. Look a little bit deeper, however, and visit with a local guide, and it’s possible to weave a human history of tens of thousands of years, from the types of weapons and tools used to hunt, to the changing proximity of land from the coast, caused by a rise in the seas. This corner of Australia—while largely industrial, with nearby chemical and gas plants —is truly fascinating for its wealth of drawings and windows into the past, and still remains largely under the radar, just waiting to be enjoyed.