Kuri Bay, Western Australia, Australia
This lovely bay is located in the remote fjordlands of Australia’s northwest Kimberley region, some 140 miles from the nearest town of Derby. The name springs from the fact that the bay houses Australia’s first pearl farm, started in 1956 by Tokiuchi Kuribayashi, who perfected the techniques of cultivating silver-lip pearl oysters in the warm Indian Ocean waters after Australia authorized production of cultured pearls. Today the aquatic farm is operated by the Paspaley company, and at one time produced about 60% of the world’s large white South Sea pearls. The bay is alive with other sea life, including sharks, turtles and huge saltwater crocodiles. It is part of the Prince Regent Nature Reserve, as well as the Kumunya Aboriginal Reserve. The nearby Camden Sound Marine Reserve is the most important humpback whale calving grounds in the world, attracting up to 1,000 whales during the season from October to June. Another famous sight is the “horizontal waterfalls” created by the huge Montgomery Reef, Australia’s largest inshore reef, when the 10-meter tide change creates immense cascades of water off the sides as the reef-top “island” appears above the receding sea. A visit to Sheep Island reveals the ruins of a 19th century settlement, along with the graves bearing silent witness to the settler’s failure. The rugged cliffs glow red at sunrise and sunset.