Here in Australia we are very fortunate to have some amazing adventure holiday cruises to exciting destinations that include Western Australia's outback Kimberley region.
There’s no doubt that seeing the giant waterfalls of the Kimberley is a major drawcard for travellers with a Kimberley cruise on their travel bucket list. Some of the region's most recognisable landmarks include King George Falls, Mitchell Falls, King Cascades and the Horizontal Falls. If you haven't heard of these locations before don't despair, in fact it's a true indication of the remoteness of the Kimberley region - and lack of travellers who make their way there - that these incredible waterfalls remain somewhat a secret in global terms. But they are well and truly ready to be discovered.
The Best Time To Experience The Falls On A Kimberley Cruise
So, when is the best time to experience the waterfalls at their loudest and proudest?
King George Falls and Mitchell Falls in particular are fed by the Kimberley’s prolific wet season rains, which in the period December to February can often total almost 700mm.
These massive wet season rains send torrents down the big rivers of the Kimberley, creating towering waterfalls right along the coast.
To make sure you see these wet season fed waterfalls at their best you really want to be cruising in late March through April and into May. After that, river levels are normalising as flood waters recede, with the once raging torrents reducing to a trickle.
Often, by July some of the bigger falls have completely come to a standstill, and you will need to use your imagination to picture them in full flight.
As you go further South though, you’ll come across more waterfalls that are fed by not only the wet season rains, but also springs beneath the ground. A good example of a spring-fed waterfall is King Cascades on the Prince Regent River, which offers the spectacle of flowing falls year-round.
If you’re travelling mid year or later and have a particular interest in seeing waterfalls, some of the shorter week-long Kimberley cruises aboard the likes of Kimberley Quest II and Great Escape focus on the southern Kimberley and are a great option to see some flowing falls.
However, if you’re particularly keen on seeing the waterfalls at their best the team at Kimberley Cruise Specialists suggest an April or May cruise, with Coral Discoverer offering an excellent early season itinerary full to the brim with the best falls.
Some small expedition ships (such as the luxurious Great Escape and True North) even offer special expedition itineraries at the start of their Kimberley cruising seasons built around seeing the best of the big falls and it’s hard to go wrong with these.
Here’s a taster as to what you can expect to see on an early season Kimberley waterfalls cruise:
King George Falls - King George River
As you cruise the 12 kilometres between towering escarpments from the mouth of the King George River you will hear the power of the waterfalls long before you see them.
These twin 80-metre twin 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.
Mitchell Falls - Mitchell River
Four-tiered Mitchell Falls is one of the most photographed landmarks along the Kimberley Coast. Whilst you need to chopper in (the river below is not navigable by ships) all ships offer the chance to land and explore next to the falls.
You can even take a dip in the croc-free freshwater Mitchell River above the falls. Take a walk along a bush track to the rocky outcrop opposite the falls for some great photo opportunities.
King Cascades - Prince Regent River
King Cascades is a serene 40-metre waterfall in a stunning location 27 kilometres along the mighty Prince Regent River. The misty falls cascading over the 40 metres of rock ledges looks like the idyllic location for a swim.
However, remember to stay out of the water below the falls unless you want to meet the same fate as American model Ginger Faye Meadows who was famously taken by a monster croc here back in 1987.
Horizontal Falls - Talbot Bay
Ok, so Horizontal Falls might not be a waterfall in the truest sense of the word, but if it is good enough for Sir David Attenborough to label ‘one of the greatest natural wonders of the world’ then it’s good enough for us!
These falls are created by the Kimberley’s massive 13 metre turning-tides being pushed between the walls of two narrow channels, creating a huge backlog of water rushing to escape. Make sure you Jump in the zodiac for a thrilling ride over the falls. Best of all, you can experience Horizontal Falls in all its glory at any time of year!
We've still got a selection of cabins available aboard 2019 waterfall season Kimberley cruises. Call the expert team at Kimberley Cruise Specialists today on 1800 90 20 80.