Australia’s wild frontier

by Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Kimberley in the far north-western corner of Australia would have to be one of my favourite places to wander through. I just love the stunning colours and dramatic landscapes. The place remains a wild frontier, especially along its remote coastline. This would have to be the most remarkable wilderness in Australia. Here you will find towering sandstone headlands, mangrove-lined inlets, far-reaching mudflats, countless uninhabited islands and coral reefs. Unlike the rest of Australia, there have been no animal extinctions so there is immense biodiversity. Everything from the dazzling Gouldian Finch to Saltwater Crocodiles and the smallest rock wallaby – the rare Monjon – can be found here.

David Bettini.

Something he always packs

I often travel and work in very remote places so I always travel very basic. I mostly drive or charter boats and helicopters to get to the Kimberley’s spectacular wilderness areas. But nothing gets left behind when it comes to camera gear! I’ll take everything from medium format landscape cameras through to large telephoto lenses and flash equipment for wildlife photography. Oh, and my trusty tripod too!

Embellished in glorious colour, a male Gouldian Finch drinks from a stream in the central Kimberley.

His future travels 

I am currently working on a new photographic book on Australia’s South West. That is, everything south west of a line from Shark Bay past Kalgoorlie to Eucla on the WA border. I’m just loving the cooler weather compared to the Kimberley. It’s spring now, so there is so much colour in the landscape at the moment. Wildflowers are everywhere!

Rival, blue-spotted mudskippers spar and jostle over a disputed patch of mudflat at Roebuck Bay.

About David Bettini & his current exhibition in Perth until 7 October

I am a nature photographer based in Perth, Western Australia. I spent much of my early life living and working on outback stations in the Gascoyne and Pilbara. Inspired by naturalist Sir David Attenborough, I quickly developed an interest for the natural world. I have loved landscape photography for as long as I can remember but my passion for wildlife photography developed about 10 years ago after working alongside world-renowned nature photographer Frans Lanting.

‘The Greatest Show on Earth’ exhibition by David Bettini is open every day until 7 October 2018 in Kings Park and Botanic Garden, Perth. The outdoor exhibition features the epic natural landscapes and exquisite flora and fauna of Western Australia, from the rugged Kimberley to the beautiful South West.

The exhibition is a highlight of the 2018 Kings Park Festival, which celebrates the remarkable natural spectacle of Western Australia’s wildflower season each spring. Thousands of beautiful wildflowers collected from every corner of WA are currently in full bloom in Kings Park.

The Kings Park Festival program includes guided walks, wellness activities, acoustic musicians, exhibitions and artists in residence. Most events are free. Full details are available on the Kings Park Festival website

Horizontal waterfall. Titanic 12-metre tides thunder between two narrow gaps in the McLarty Range adjacent to the Buccaneer Archipelago.

King George Falls. Wet season floodwaters tumble into a spectacular sea gorge along the Kimberley’s far north coast.

An inquisitive Northern Quoll and the rare Monjon cross paths on a remote rock ledge in the north Kimberley.

With its gaping mouth and wide frill, the Frilled Dragon portrays itself as a fearsome creature. But it is actually a rather timid lizard that would sooner run up a tree if approached.


Main image: Flatback Turtle. Against the backdrop of Cape Domett’s towering sandstone a female Flatback Turtle hauls herself ashore to lay her eggs.