Welcome to the Far West !
Protected from the prevailing winds by the mountain chain, this area receives less rainfall than the East Coast. And a land of cattle breeding, farms and stockmen, the West Coast is rather arid but nevertheless fertile world of long plains where local agricultural products are cultivated and large herbs graze freely on properties of hundreds of hectares.
It offers scenery of long, wide grassy plains and savannah where the iconic tree is the niaouli, a type of melaleuca. Small series of hills and plateaux, covered with dry forest, gradually lead to the foothills of the central mountain chain. Open-cut mining has left and still leaves major traces on the mountains, which look as if they have white claw marks.
The coastal area, on the other hand, is dominated by the mangrove swamps that are often underrated and yet rich in assets. The local communities know this, and have learned to respect and make the best use of the ressources surrounding them.