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The Pilbara

The dry, vast Pilbara region of North Western Australia will surprise you. This ancient landscape holds many stories of Australia’s Aboriginal history, alongside dramatic rock formations, freshwater swimming holes and rich biodiversity. Connect with Martu people, the traditional owners of a large part of central Western Australia, live and learn on country with Martu elders and community members. Participate in meaningful service projects with local organisations and become immersed in the local culture.

Sample Pilbara Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to the Outback

Fly to Newman via Perth, your Rustic Pathways’ staff will meet you upon arrival into Newman.

You’ll receive a welcome and orientation about the week ahead, get to know your program leaders, play some games and sleep under the stars!

Accommodation: Camping, Newman

Days 2 to 6: Cultural Immersion on Martu Country

These five days will be spent with leaders and rangers from the Martu organisation Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa (KJs). KJs looks after Martu culture and help build sustainable Martu communities. Two of KJ’s main focuses are land management and leadership development; their team of rangers manage the Martu native title area spanning 15 million hectares.

This immersion requires a high ratio of Martu leaders, with approximately 15 – 17 Martu leaders on the camp with your group. The impact this has on visiting students is profound. As a group you will travel approximately 5 hours from Newman and set up camp on Martu country. Expect the unexpected, much of what happens on this program cannot be scripted. Spend your days with the Martu, hunting and gathering bush foods, cooking, hiking to waterholes and learning about Martu culture. Learn about Martu history and hear first-hand stories of the first contact Martu had with white people in the desert. Get to know Martu leaders on a personal level and build a deep understanding of their traditional and contemporary life. You’ll also be involved in community service work in community and assist the rangers with some environmental tasks.

Accommodation: Camping on Martu land

Days 7 & 8: Karijini National Park

These two days will be spent at the majestic Karijini National Park. Here you will explore and immerse yourself into rugged landscapes, stunning gorges, and breathtaking waterfalls and sparkling rockpools. Once we get there, we will talk about the history of the park, put on our hiking shoes and head off to hike through Dale’s Gorge to Fortesque Falls and Fern Pool. Then venture to Hancock Gorge and Weano Gorge to climb through chasms and swim in waterholes. It’s a day full of adventure with lots of exploring, so make sure have your camera and your water bottle handy!

On the final night we’ll wrap-up our trip with a Rustic Ties ceremony and reflect upon the incredible experiences and learning over the last week.

Accommodation: Camping or Cabins, Karijini Eco Resort

Day 9: Departure

Rising early, today we’ll make our way back to Newman, your Rustic leaders will farewell you in Newman as you begin the journey home.

*Snorkelling with manta rays on Ningaloo Reef off Coral Bay can be added to this itinerary.

**Please note all itineraries can be customised to suit schools’ curriculum requirements and ideal program length.