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The Complete Guide to the Kimberley’s Waterfalls

Aerial view of Kimberley Waterfalls

The Kimberley region is home to some of the most beautiful natural wonders the world has to offer. Vast and ancient, its landscape is renowned for its raw and untouched features, and among its most captivating… the Kimberley waterfalls.

These natural wonders are not just waterfalls; they are masterpieces of nature, carved over time into the Kimberley terrain. The beauty of these waterfalls is magnified by their surroundings; they are often nestled within deep gorges or are the centrepiece of vast, open landscapes.

But it’s not just their beauty that makes the Kimberley waterfalls so special; their remote location means they remain largely untouched by mass tourism, offering a sense of exclusivity and adventure that few get to experience.

Here are the Kimberley waterfalls guaranteed to wow you – and can all be seen on a True North Kimberley cruise!

Horizontal Falls

Nestled in the heart of the Kimberley region, the Horizontal Falls are a breathtaking natural phenomenon that stands as a testament to the untamed beauty of the area. Located in Talbot Bay, these ‘falls’ are unlike any other in the world… and are definitely not your traditional idea of a waterfall.

Instead, they’re a fast-moving tidal flow through two narrow, closely aligned gorges within the McLarty Range. The immense force of the water rushing through these gorges creates a horizontal water effect, especially visible during the region’s high tides, which can vary dramatically.

The area surrounding the Horizontal Falls is a stunning showcase of the Kimberley’s rugged landscape, characterised by pristine waters, ancient cliff formations, and a rich red hue that dominates the terrain.

And it’s more than just scenic beauty; it’s a gateway to a myriad of adventures and experiences. Wildlife enthusiasts can revel in the diverse marine life, including large schools of fish, sharks, and occasional sightings of crocodiles basking on the sun-soaked banks. Bird watchers will also find themselves in paradise with a variety of bird species thriving in this unspoiled environment.

The area around the Horizontal Falls is also rich with Aboriginal rock art and sacred sites, offering a glimpse into the lives and stories of Australia’s first people.

Whether it’s the thrill of exploring the Horizontal Falls themselves, the serenity of the surrounding wilderness, the rich tapestry of wildlife, or the deep cultural heritage, this remarkable corner of the world offers a truly unique experience.

Related Article: Why a Horizontal Falls cruise from Broome is a bucket list item

King George Falls

King George Falls - True North

Situated at the end of the King George River, King George Falls plunges over an ancient sandstone cliff into a deep gorge below, creating a twin drop of around 100 metres – one of the tallest waterfalls in Western Australia. The most striking feature of King George Falls is its twin drop, where the river splits in two, creating parallel waterfalls during the wet season.

Surrounding King George Falls is an awe-inspiring landscape, characterised by rugged red cliffs, verdant rainforests, and a diverse range of wildlife. The area is a haven for nature lovers and adventurers alike. You can marvel at the abundant bird life, including sea eagles and ospreys, and the rich biodiversity thrives in this untouched environment.

The journey to King George Falls is an adventure in itself, with a scenic cruise along the King George River. This journey offers breathtaking views of the towering cliffs and diverse flora along the riverbanks. For those looking for a more immersive experience, a True North helicopter flight provides a unique aerial perspective of the falls and the surrounding Kimberley wilderness, offering a glimpse into the sheer scale and beauty of this remote landscape.

Mitchell Falls

Mitchell Falls is a stunning four-tiered waterfall and one of the Kimberley’s most iconic natural attractions. Located in the Mitchell River National Park, the falls cascade over four distinct tiers, the total drop being around 80 metres.

Referred to as Punamii-Uunpuu by local Indigenous groups, Mitchell Falls are carved out of the ancient Precambrian sandstone typical of the region. This sandstone, formed over 1.6 billion years ago, has been slowly eroded by the relentless action of the Mitchell River. The river’s journey across the Kimberley plateau, combined with the region’s heavy wet season rains, has gradually shaped these spectacular falls.

The surrounding area is characterised by more rugged landscapes, dense tropical forests, and a rich tapestry of native flora and fauna. With Eucalyptus, boab trees, and a range of unique wildflowers, the falls create a unique microhabitat that is lush in contrast to the surrounding rocky landscape. It’s also a haven for wildlife enthusiasts, with opportunities to spot unique Australian animals like wallabies, dingoes, and a variety of bird species, including the elusive Gouldian Finch.

Accessing Mitchell Falls is an adventure in itself. For many, it involves a hike through the national park’s challenging yet rewarding terrain, but for those aboard the TRUE NORTH, helicopter flights offer a spectacular aerial view of the falls and the surrounding wilderness.

King Cascades

King Cascades - Kimberley Cruises True north Luxury Cruise

Located in the pristine and remote Prince Regent River region, the King Cascades are a highlight of the Kimberley’s landscape, offering a different but equally stunning spectacle compared to the region’s more famous vertical waterfalls.

Unlike the sheer drops of other vertical waterfalls in the region, the King Cascades are characterised by their tiered, multi-level structure. Water flows over a series of natural rock steps, creating a myriad of small waterfalls that combine to form the overall cascade. During the wet season, the volume of water increases and transforms the cascades into a powerful display. In the dry season, the flow is gentler, revealing the intricate patterns and pools in the rock.

The geology of this area is ancient, with sandstone and basalt formations dating back hundreds of millions of years. The river has slowly carved its way through these formations, creating the cascading effect we see today. The riverbanks are lined with dense mangroves while, further inland, the landscape shifts to more open woodlands. This rich habitat is home to an array of wildlife and is also steeped in Indigenous culture. The Prince Regent River and its cascades are an important part of their heritage, featuring in many of their stories and cultural experiences.

Eagle Falls

Eagle Falls is something of a hidden gem. This relatively lesser-known waterfall, compared to its more famous counterparts like Mitchell Falls or King George Falls, is situated along the Drysdale River, and is renowned for its picturesque beauty and tranquil surroundings.

The falls are formed as the river cascades over a series of sandstone ledges, creating a stunning drop into a deep, clear pool below. The Kimberley’s sandstone, formed over billions of years, is characterised by its striking colouration and rugged texture, which is beautifully showcased at Eagle Falls.

Around the falls you’ll see a variety of bird species, freshwater crocodiles, and native fish, and you’ll have plenty of opportunities for swimming, fishing, and taking photos.

Emma Gorge

Emma Gorge is renowned for its breathtaking beauty and serene atmosphere. Located within El Questro Wilderness Park, Emma Gorge is part of the Cockburn Range and offers a quintessential Kimberley experience, combining rugged landscapes with a tranquil, picturesque setting.

Carved into the Cockburn Range, Emma Gorge is the result of millennia of erosion by water and wind, which has sculpted the sandstone into smooth, curved walls. The towering cliffs that enclose the gorge create a dramatic backdrop for the waterfall at the end of the gorge.

It’s this waterfall that is the true highlight. Water cascades down into a large, clear pool, creating a refreshing oasis to swim in after your walk through the gorge. The waterfall varies in intensity with the seasons, ranging from a gentle flow in the dry season to a powerful cascade in the wet season.

The ecosystem within the gorge is diverse and lush, a contrast with the arid landscapes typical of much of the Kimberley. The area supports an abundance of plant life, including unique ferns and palms that thrive in the microclimate created by the waterfall and pool.

Experience the Kimberley waterfalls on the TRUE NORTH

The best way to see all of the magnificent Kimberley waterfalls the region has to offer is aboard our luxury cruises. A journey through the Kimberley during wet season with True North is an experience of a lifetime. You’ll not only experience the natural wonders of the waterfalls, you’ll also see other iconic Kimberley locations, like the Hunter River, Swift Bay, Koolama Bay, the Bradshaws, and more.

Check out our Kimberley Australia waterfalls cruise, or explore our other Kimberley cruise itineraries to start your adventure.

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