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Col's Big Trip (6) Around Broome.

Discussion in 'WA Trip Reports' started by BIGCOL, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. BIGCOL

    BIGCOL Well-Known Member

    Hi everyone,


    This was Jens third time to Broome and my fifth so although it had changed a little since our last visit it was still nice to experience what it had to offer all over again.


    Our accommodation for the next four nights was a cabin in the Palm Grove Caravan Park it was located a very short distance from the famous Cable Beach. Swimming at that beach is one of life's great joys and a absolute must for all visitors, we also gave the pool at the park a bit of a work over during our stay as well.


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    Every night we would make our way down to the beach to watch the sunset, it is one of the iconic things that you must do whilst there, although on our first night it nearly turned into a disaster.


    For a short time I lost Jen, yes I couldn’t find here anywhere. I started to get a little frantic and started to panic; then a camel moved!!!!!


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    I haven’t shown you many churches on this trip so far, so here is a local one and then some wildflowers that were next to it.


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    Driving around Broome is a very low key affair, no traffic lights and even in peak season it is so easy to get around. Driving up Cable Beach is a unique experience, so if you thought the lack of people at the main beach is terrific, try driving 20 ks up it and then feel the isolation and solitude as you will be completely on your own.


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    On our return the camels were being positioned for that evenings stroll along the beach. There are three “caravans” that are used to cope with the tourist demand. We had to stop and let this group pass, they have right away as they could easily get spooked by someones car if you aren’t careful.


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    It had been a hard day, but someone had to do it. That evening to relieve some of the stress that had built up we again watched the sun disappear over the horizon.


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    It worked, we were so chilled after experiencing that beautiful end to another day in paradise. And just as well we were now in a laid back mood, for the next day would be filled with action packed thrills and adrenalin pumping excitement and a whole lot more.

    One thing that Jen and I had eagerly looked forward to on this holiday was a trip to the Horizontal Falls. We had booked it more than 6 months earlier and we both knew it was going to be one of the most amazing things we had ever done.

    We were picked up from our accommodation at 5.30 am, driven to the airport where we boarded a small Seaplane. We were soon flying north towards Talbot Bay in the Buccaneer Archipelago some 250 ks north east of Broome, roughly 1.5 hours later we passed over the falls.


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    These Falls are one of the most amazing natural features of the Kimberley region, if not the world. That’s just not me saying that, David Attenborough has said that often when referring to them and that dude has seen quite a few incredible places around the world over his life time.

    The tidal waterfalls (technically called “pinch neck rapids”) are located within Talbot Bay and are unlike any other as the water passes horizontally through narrow gaps in the rugged 1.8 billion year old McLarty Range.
     
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  2. BIGCOL

    BIGCOL Well-Known Member

    We arrived at this floating mooring in the bay, it was set up with everything the modern adventurer could wish for.


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    After a superb bacon and eggs breakfast complete with fresh fruit basket and juices to your liking we hopped aboard a little dinghy (I suppose the four 300 hp engines would be powerful enough).


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    Boy oh boy could that little skiff fly Ha! as we literally flew towards the first of the two narrow gaps that make up the Falls.


    This first pic is when we were lining up our entry to the first one, it was so well done as our driver approached it slow, even stopping to enable photos to be taken, the power and force of the water and the power of our boat just holding it’s position mid way through was something I will never forget.

    The gap which is just over 20 metres wide has had the amount of water passing through it at the peak tidal period recorded at around 1,000,000 litres per second, hence the need for the four powerful donks!!


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    And then once through he floored it, swung the mother around and powered flat out back down it and then again back up it but this time going flat out. There was no way you could take pics then as you were hanging on like grim death and the bumps and bangs as we flew through were absolutely sensational, what an amazing ride.


    We then approached the second narrower and more powerful fall. Due to the time of the tide and the amount of water being forced through the gap it was deemed too dangerous to attempt a passage through it. At the peak tidal period there can be a four metre difference from the bottom to the top, it can be up to five metres during a king tide.


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    As our driver nudged the nose of our boat up into the white water the noise power and turbulence of the water was just stupendous, that adjective says it all, what do you think Peter?.

    I’m sure our boat had enough power to force it’s way through but there was no way you could be assured you weren’t going to be flung into the side cliffs so it was a prudent move to do just what we did.


    We took it in turns with another boat to close in on the narrow gap, it was interesting to see just how much the other boat was flung about in the white water, as we were when it was our turn. It is only 11 metres wide, more than 45 metres deep, and the volume of water that passes through it was again enormous.


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    Our driver opened up the throttle even more on our way back to the pontoon, if that was possible.


    What we needed now was something to settle the nerves so coffee and tea was served and then to settle them even further we jumped into the shark cages and swam with the sharks!!!!!


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    We had brought our face masks from Melbourne and to eye ball those magnificent creatures was again another once in a life time type of experience. They looked at you with this look of disdain as if to say, mate if that mesh wasn’t there you’d be quite tasty. I can tell you that really settled the nerves after that boat ride Ha ha!!


    Back into the boat for what was this time a leisurely cruise up the bay and into more spectacular country.


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    It is easy to see the marks on the cliffs from the tidal variations that are a feature of this area. Around Broome the tides can vary between high and low by as much as 9 to 10 metres but out here one of the worlds greatest tide differences of up to 11 metres at certain times of the year can occur, mainly due to the nature of the wide bays and then narrow fiord like channels that force the water higher.


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    Not just the natural forces of the tides are on show here, look at the geological layers on this rock face that have been folded under extreme pressure and conditions hundreds of millions of years ago.


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    You don’t have to do the half day or full day tours from Broome or Derby, you can actually stay out here if you like. As we cruised back to our base we passed this floating accommodation boat with it’s tenders alongside.


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    How good was all that, we then boarded our plane, even taking off and the initial landing on water earlier in the day was something special, not something you do most days. We then flew in a wide arc over the many islands and estuaries of the archipelago, crocodile spotting was a past time that had us entertained for awhile.


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  3. BIGCOL

    BIGCOL Well-Known Member

    We then hit the coast proper, the sand patterns created by the strong currents, tides and estuaries of sorts were quite photogenic in their different ways.!!!!


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    We then passed over Cape Leveque, something that interested us as we would be staying there in a couple of days time. You get a far different perspective on things from up in the air than on the ground.


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    As we approached Broome there was one more feature that I’ll show you, Willie Creek Pearl Farm. Strangely it is located on the banks of Willie Creek which this next pic shows you, the tourist venture is located about half way up the creek on the right hand side.


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    After landing we were taken back to our accommodation, arriving in time for lunch, yes lunch. All that I have shown you from our Horizontal Falls experience took from pick up to drop off just under 7 hours. It was jam packed which is how I live life but at no stage did we feel rushed, one of the best half days of our lives, absolutely sensational.


    Swims at the beach and our parks pool for the afternoon and then fish ’n’ chips for tea as we again said good bye to the sun as it set over the Indian Ocean.


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    And that’s where this one ends, again heaps more to show from our/my trip.


    Col and Jen.
     
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  4. Toddyh

    Toddyh Well-Known Member

    Awesome Col. Thanks for sharing. Can't wait to get there myself.
     
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  5. ShaunOz

    ShaunOz Active Member

    Horizontal falls from the plane would have been awesome. Malcom Douglas did a really cool doco there, back in the day (before the commercial tourism).
    Great post and pics once again. Where to next I wonder????
     
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  6. sharkcaver

    sharkcaver Well-Known Member

    Awesome stuff Col. Reminds me of when I was lucky enough to take my own boat through there! I guess I am lucky - it was a trip of a lifetime.

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  7. Aaron Schubert

    Aaron Schubert Moderator

    Unreal mate. Such an amazing part of the world. Looks like the Horizontal falls trip was incredible

    Aaron
     
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  8. BIGCOL

    BIGCOL Well-Known Member

    Incredible, fantastic, brilliant, sensational.
    Did I tell you how much I enjoyed it!!! Ha.

    Col.
     
  9. Spooner

    Spooner Well-Known Member

    And it looks every bit as good as you said :)
     
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  10. discomatt

    discomatt Well-Known Member

    We are heading up that way next year and I was wondering if the cost of the horizontal falls was worth it, now I know it is!!! Thanks for sharing your experiences Col. Great read and photos as always. THANK YOU
     
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  11. BIGCOL

    BIGCOL Well-Known Member

    No probs mate, yes it is a bit pricey but that experience will be remembered for a life time. We did the half day trip as we were doing Cape Leveque a couple of days later and we were driving up.
    The full day was only a $100 bucks extra or there a bouts but for us we would be doubling up on doing the same thing and the flight back instead of the drive was better and we were able to swim etc back at Broome.
    One of the best days of our lives.

    Cheers Col.
     
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