Raft Point and Ruby Falls
Nestled in the southern entrance of Doubtful Bay, you’ll find Raft Point. This area of Dambimangari Country (the region spreads for 1.4m hectares) is home to one of the Kimberley’s most accessible outdoor art galleries.
Getting to Raft Point is easy. If, you’re on a boat! To see the legendary artwork, you need to climb up to an overhanging rock so make sure that you had your breakfast beforehand. While the climb is a little arduous, any effort and sweat are well worth it.
On finding the gallery, you will be rewarded with images telling stories of Wandjina spirits with haloes, The Great Fish Chase and pictures of crocodiles, dugongs and snakes.
The Dambimangari, the people who created these images, are considered ‘saltwater’ people. In the past, they used rafts (hence the name of this place) and canoes to go about their day to day lives. Hunting, fishing and trading were conducted all along this part of the coastline.
After taking in the artwork, you can enjoy some more visual gems, this time by Mother Nature. Standing by the gallery, you are afforded a wonderful view looking out over Steep Island.
As well as being home to the iconic Boab tree with its bulbous trunk and spindly branches, Raft Point is a superb spot for fishing. It is here that you will find Vinney’s Creek and hope to hook a Barramundi – famed for growing up to 1.8m in size. If you’re lucky, Threadfin Salmon could also be on the menu.
Alternatively, if catching fish isn’t your thing, Raft Point is an ideal place for crabbing and bird watching. You may spot some of the Mangrove Whistlers, Robins, Shining Flycatchers, Cuckoos, Kingfisher, Rail and Herons as well as birds of prey. So don’t forget to pack your binoculars.
Tours of this area often continue to Ruby Falls named after the daughter of Skipper, Chris ‘Tippy’ Tucker. It’s here that you can cool off with a refreshing swim or, if you’re exhausted from climbing up to the gallery, sit back on the water-worn rocks and take in the beauty of the area. Visitors often report that a dip at Ruby Falls is made all the more enjoyable as the pool is filled with water lilies.
If a trip to Ruby Falls has put you in a romantic mood (perhaps you feel like popping the question?) Or you just want to get the ‘souvenir of all souvenirs’, you’ll be interested in learning that there’s something suitable to buy from ‘Jewels of the Kimberley.’ Their Ruby Falls ring is made of an Argyle pink diamond set alongside dazzling white diamonds. A unique way to remember a trip to a ‘gem’ of a place.