IF YOU look at a map of Australia with Papua New Guinea to its north and put your finger on Cape York and run it north across Torres Strait, then the wide mouth of the Fly River and a bit further, you get to the town of Balimo.
Back in 1960 it wasn’t really big enough to call a town. It was just a small government station sitting alongside a mission establishment on a promontory projecting into a large, shallow, freshwater lagoon attached to the Aramia River.
All the flat land between the Fly River delta and the Aramia is dotted with lagoons totalling many square kilometres. The depth of the water depends on the season, varying from a collection of large pools in the dry to about three metres in a big wet.