| || The wild Kimberley Plateau, between the Timor Sea and the Gibson Desert, is one of the most thinly populated areas on the planet. It is the true outback: the remote back-country of Western Australia whose vast area—occupying almost one-third of the country, an area five times the size of France—is home to just 1.8 million people. UNESCO has designated the basin of the Prince Regent River a Biosphere Reserve because of its remarkable, intact habitats: in 2002 there was still not a single road through it. The reserve is surrounded by Aboriginal lands—the name “Aborigine” means “one who has been there from earliest times.” Killed in large numbers by European settlers, the Aboriginal population has recovered to stand at 265,000 people, of whom three-quarters are of mixed heritage. In Aboriginal culture, Mount Trafalgar symbolizes harmony between humans and the Earth, rocks, and other living things, all created by ancestral spirits.
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