There’s literally hundreds of waterfalls to discover on this ancient 1,200 kilometre coastline, and there’s no doubt that small ship Kimberley cruises offer the very best way to experience them.
So which of the Kimberley’s falls are most impressive? The expert team at Kimberley Cruise Specialists have put their heads together to come up with the definitive countdown of the FIVE Most Spectacular Kimberley Coast waterfalls.
Number 5: Horizontal Falls
Technically, Horizontal Falls might not be a ‘waterfall’ in the truest sense of the word. But if it is good enough for legendary naturalist Sir David Attenborough to label them ‘one of the greatest natural wonders of the world’ then it’s good enough to make our list!
Located deep in Talbot Bay in the southern Kimberley, the Horizontal Falls are created by the region’s massive 13-metre tides (the second largest in the world) being pushed between the walls of two narrow channels, creating a huge backlog of water (up to four metres in height) rushing to escape on the turning tide. Ensure you’re there at the right time each day to take in this mesmerising spectacle.
Make sure you jump in the zodiac for a thrilling adventure ride through the falls. Or, for a bird’s eye view of the action take to the skies in a helicopter.
Number 4: Glycosmis Falls
Situated near Cape Londonderry in the northern Kimberley, Glycosmis Falls is one of the lesser-known waterfalls on the coast and could easily be described as King George Falls’ little brother! Although these falls don’t reach the same heights as their more famous ‘sibling’, Glycosmis Falls is well worth a visit in its own right.
But not all Kimberley cruises call in at Glycosmis Fall. If you’re keen to see them for yourself contact our expert team to find out the best options for you.
Number 3: King Cascades
Located 27 kilometres up the Prince Regent River, some of the larger cruise ships (100+ passengers) operating on the Kimberley coast aren’t able to access the King Cascades. That’s a pity as they are one of the most impressive sets of falls along the entire length of the Kimberley coast.
Although they are at their most impressive immediately after the wet season rains, King Cascades is also fed by an underground spring. This means they flow year-round which is great if you’re travelling later in the season.
The mist-covered falls cascade over 40 metres of rock ledges, and it certainly does look like an idyllic place for a swim. But unless you want to meet the same tragic fate as American model Ginger Faye Meadows (who was famously taken by a monster croc here back in 1987) we suggest a cooling dip in the lagoon above the falls might be a better bet!
If you cruise about eight kilometres further up the Prince Regent River, you will come across Cathedral Falls. This is one of the best kept secrets of the Kimberley Coast and one of our favourite places to spend a day exploring.
Number 2: Mitchell Falls
Mitchell Falls is among the most photographed of the Kimberley’s landscapes. It consists of four separate tiers, combining for a total drop of close to 100 metres.
Unlike most of the other falls you will experience during your Kimberley cruise, you cannot travel to the Mitchell Falls via ship as the Mitchell River is not navigable. Instead you’re going to need to helicopter in. Some of the smaller ships like True North and Great Escape have their own helicopter on board for these flights, whilst others call in sightseeing choppers that are based at the falls during the cruising season.
Depending on the ship you’re travelling on, in most cases you will be given the option of being dropped off at the top of the falls for an hour or two of adventure and exploration. We highly recommend this option as it gives you time to take a walk along the bush track to a rocky outcrop opposite the falls, an ideal platform for photography. You’ll also be able to take a swim in the Mitchell River; in the fresh water up the top you wont need to worry about any ‘salties’ planning on making you their lunch!
Number 1: King George Falls
The most iconic of the Kimberley’s waterfalls, King George Falls will take your breath away, particularly if you experience them at their most powerful right after the wet season. Located 12 kilometres upriver from the mouth of the King George River, you cruise between towering sandstone escarpments, the roar of the mighty falls reaching a crescendo as they come into view.
These twin 80-metre falls are the tallest single drop water fall in Western Australia and are super impressive. If you’re feeling adventurous you can even climb to the top for outstanding views.