Karijini Experience showcases the Pilbara

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The Shire of Ashburton was delighted to once again sponsor the Karijini Experience, providing local residents and visiting tourists with the opportunity to enjoy the unique highlights of our beautiful region.

With excitement building for months in advance, attendance figures that surpassed all expectations and extensive media coverage right across Australia, it truly was a wonderful way to showcase the Inland Pilbara.

An eight-day program saw patrons from near and far converge on Karijini National Park to immerse themselves in the very special cultural and environmental assets brought to life in the family friendly event.

The Spinifex Express, a free theatre piece for the under 5’s and the grown-ups travelling with them, was definitely a program highlight. Inspired by the historic train that ran from Port Hedland to Marble Bar and taking the audience on a journey through Country, its vibrant and engaging performance will be remembered by many.

Fine dining experiences presented by roving restaurant sensation Fervor brought out the taste of the Pilbara, with each course carefully crafted with locally sourced produce and sustainably foraged native ingredients. The Culinary Experience was the first of these events to appear on the program and certainly set the bar for the remainder of the week, providing food loving patrons with an incredible way to connect with the land.

This year’s event saw the emergence of Karijini Experience Place, a beautiful shade solution nestled nicely into the landscape, organic seating and even grass under foot. The Place provided a versatile location for hosting many of the program’s events and welcomed many a memory making experience.

One of the few program items to occur away from the carefully crafted Place was the stunning Opera in the Gorge. With three outstanding singers on a stage like no other, Kalamina Gorges’ natural acoustics were brought to life, leaving even the usually vocal corellas speechless.

As part of a week-long camp developed in partnership with IBN Corporation, the Short Black Opera worked with children to compose and produce an original song in language, culminating in a live performance at the magnificent Moonrise Lounge. Along with an outstanding line-up of Indigenous musicians this final event was the perfect end to a spectacular week of activities, with the rising of the full moon setting the scene for a great evening of musical talent.

Camp Kurlungka gave participants an opportunity to engage in cultural activities and interaction with their Elders. Targeted at children 10 to 15 years of age the IBN children were offered an opportunity to connect with Country and traditional cultural understandings while also engaging in music, sport and the culinary arts. Highlights include bush-tucker cooking classes with Indigenous celebrity chef Mark Olive, and traditional painting workshops with Newman artist Jacinta Lane, who at just 15 years of age has received international acclaim and become a wonderful role model for the students.

Opportunities to engage with and learn from Traditional Owners were also in abundance for visitors, with traditional tool and weapon making, spear and boomerang throwing, the astronomy of the Pilbara night sky and bush tucker talks just some of the activities on offer throughout the eight days.

The 2016 Karijini Experience was certainly one to remember, with our perfect Pilbara weather playing host to language groups from across the region as well as international stars and talented artists who helped create many intimate, authentic, once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Be sure to keep the April school holidays free in 2017 so you too can join the celebration.



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