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The second highest sand dunes in the southern hemisphere, Thurra Dunes blow the mind of this former black and white film photographer, struggling to make it in a digital world, on every visit to this pristine environment.

  • Thurra Dunes

Indeed it was in triumph that I once again climbed up and down steep, loose, mobile sand dunes to reach the summit where the best images are awaiting capture. As a younger man, I'd take two or three cameras, a tripod and monopod, plenty of food and water, spare clothes in case of bad weather, a torch, matches and whatever else may be handy. This time it was the bare minimum.

It was so pleasing to once again enjoy and photograph the magnificent sights that I'd long since given up as a young man's adventure.

The wind was blowing fairly well, a real worry with delicate electronic and optical equipment, but we got away with it this time. Lunch was in the lee of a sand dune, the winter sun pleasantly warm after battling the cold wind for some time.


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Thurra Dunes are constantly moving as the wind from the ocean to the south brings fresh sand up and over the sand hills. The dunes are encroaching on the Thurra River, damming it and so raising the level upstream. Whether the moving sand ever pushes the river back into the bush or the floods erode the encroaching sand and wash it back out to sea to start the mobile sand dune process afresh, remains to be seen.

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