Talbot Bay & Horizontal Falls

Hidden at the heart of the Kimberley are a group of one thousand islands, known as the Buccaneer Archipelago. This is the area where Alan and I spent the last full day of the amazing Silversea cruise from Darwin to Broome.  We woke at sunrise in stunning Cyclone Creek in beautiful Talbot Bay, excited about what the day would have install for us.

We spent the early morning in a zodiac cruising around the Cyclone creek checking out the spectacular geology of the ancient rocks which look like they have been folded into place, just amazing. The early morning is filled with birds of prey looking for their morning meal, adorable rock wallabies scooting along the cliffs, lots of fish and a few cheeky tawny nurse sharks cruising around.

The cliffs in Cyclone Creek are evidence of huge geological uplifting and said to be 1.7 billion years old – very hard for me to get my head around this fact!  I have so many questions I don’t even know where to start.

While much of the Kimberley coastline is made up of horizontal layers, the Talbot Bay region is in an area where there has been considerable twisting and buckling; the layers are folded up into synclines and anticlines. Sometimes they have moved so far up they are almost vertical.

After a relaxing early morning in the zodiac, it is time for a bit of excitement in the jetboats and the Horizonal Falls. High tide has been and now it is as though somebody has pulled the plug on the ocean. Millions of litres of ocean sucks through a narrow sea gorge, the water brawling and churning as it goes. And we are about to head through this in a boat!

In the turquoise water of the bay the fast moving tidal current squeezes through two narrow gorges of the McLarty Range, pushing the water into rapid like formations which rush through the twin gaps at an astonishing rate, producing waterfalls turned on their side.

The twin gaps are part of the McLarty Ranges, which have two ridges running parallel approximately 300 metres apart. The first and most seaward gap is about 20 metres wide and the second, most spectacular gap is about 10 metres wide.  It is through these gaps we take a very exhilarating ride in a 900-horsepower fast boat.

Described by David Attenborough as “Australia’s most unusual natural wonder”, Horizontal Falls is a natural phenomenon that is as intriguing as it is stunning. The Horizontal Falls are one of the premier tourism destinations of the Kimberley.

I am so happy I have had the pleasure of visiting this incredible piece of the world.  I’m sure it will remain a favourite destination for me, forever!