Highly adventurous and capable, Bruce Maycock divides his time between guiding visitors and soaking up the beauty and isolation of his Kimberley camp.
Story By Chris Pritchard
Heavy rain pelts down as Bruce Maycock eyeballs floodwaters racing to the sea. The maelstrom extends to the opposite bank, 300 metres away. Stifling fear, he hurls his sinewy body into the torrent.
The experience was during 2004’s wet season, with Cyclone Fay rampaging across the Kimberley, and Bruce remembers it as if it were yesterday. Woken by water rushing through his swag and ankle-deep in slush, he cursed his optimism that a spot under a rock would remain dry. “My main concern was my boat, beyond the other bank,” he says. It was super risky to retrieve it. But a surge sweeping him downstream might have helped. “I was sucked under but crawled out on the other side,” he recalls. “I lay there, realising how terrifyingly close to death I’d come.”
These days Bruce is a guide at remote Berkeley River Lodge (reached by seaplane from Kununurra), starting in mid-February and finishing in November. Co-workers jokingly nickname him ‘Crocodile Dundee’, but he downplays similarities to fictional characters. Guiding guests through the hinterland and running deep-sea fishing trips, he believes an affinity for the region, its wildlife and art helped him land the job. Around campfires he captivates guests with dramatic tales. Resort general manager Leith Graham is “amazed by Bruce’s Kimberley knowledge. His enthusiasm is addictive – guests can’t get enough”.
This Story is from Issue #103
Outback Magazine: Oct/Nov 2015