Montgomery Reef has been described as ‘the 8th natural wonder of the world’ by Sir David Attenborough and for good reason – it truly is a spectacular place.
Montgomery Reef located in the Camden Sound Marine Park is one of the most spectacular places on the Kimberley Coast. Covering some 300 square kilometres across the Indian Ocean the reef seems to rise from the water as the ten metre tide recedes.
It is with great excitement we board the zodiacs as we head out to witness this natural phenomenon that is created by the impressive tidal conditions of the Kimberley. Navigable channels through the reef allow boats to tour the area and view the sea water cascading down the walls of the exposed reef, lagoons and islets created by the receding waters.
The marine park is the most important humpback whale nursery in the Southern Hemisphere. Whale species recorded in the marine park include the humpback whale, the minke whale and the false killer whale. From June to November each year humpback whales migrate from their Antarctic feeding grounds to their breeding grounds in the Camden Sound.
The marine park is also home to six species of threatened marine turtles, Australian snubfin and Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins. The reef is surrounded by several small islands which support mangroves, crocodiles, turtles, and bird life.
When the tides fall, it is a sight to behold with the water cascading off the rocks with fish, turtles and sharks rolling and thrashing in a mad dash to escape. On the reef, scores of egrets are poised, ready to grab a mouthful of food and two White-bellied Sea Eagle soar above. These magnificent birds of prey are also on the lookout for exposed fish and crustaceans. Besides these avian companions, the whole place feels completely wild and isolated.
We notice gentle ripples appearing in the water around us, then we stop the zodiac and turn off the engine. The sea is still for a moment and suddenly a tiny brown head pops up to take a breath, then another and we realise we are surrounded by green sea turtles.
More than just a scene from a pretty postcard, Western Australia’s Montgomery Reef is a wonder of nature.
This was day nine of Alan & my Silversea Kimberley cruise with one more day of exploring to go – Talbot Bay and magnificent Horizontal Waterfall but that is another story.
If you haven’t visited the Kimberley as yet, I highly recommend you do – I guarantee you won’t be disappointed! Call Travel Centre Coffs Harbour on 6652 1833 for more information.