Seaplane, Talbot Bay, Horizontal Falls, our first helicopter adventure, the Derby Boab Prison tree.....
31.08.2016 - 02.09.2016 35 °C
Wow, where do I start? September 1st - a day to remember. We arrived in Derby the day before and camped ten km's out of town at Mike and Apples property sitting a k or so off the beginning of the Gibb River road. The unseasonal rain we'd just experienced on our way back from Cape Leveque had resulted in the closure of some of the side roads off 'the Gibb' meaning you could start on your 600k + adventure but wouldn't be able to get into some of the gorges....so it's great that we had plenty to do here before starting the next part of our adventure. The drive from Broome to Derby showcased the beautiful boab trees in their many shapes and sizes - but unmistakable with their distinct 'look'. Day 1 in Derby - Steve, Rory and I headed off on our amazing 6 hour adventure to Horizontal Falls - north of here only accessible by plane and boat. Wow....sensational. Megan dropped us at the airport at 08:30am and took on Buddy duty for the day. We flew in a seaplane to Talbot Bay - a 40 minute flight over Derby, the massive mudflats and the untouched country north of here. Amazing scenery unfolded below....finally leading us to the turquoise waters of Talbot Bay and its surrounds. Tonia, our young pilot, executed a smooth landing on the water - with Rory as her co-pilot. Not sure if it was his good looks or height that gave him the front position ahead of more than a dozen others on board. Nonetheless, it was a bonus. The plane pulled in alongside the Horizontal Falls floating hotel and that was our base for the day. Literally seemed like we we're floating in the middle of nowhere, but the word 'paradise' certainly came to mind. Feeding of tawny nurse sharks, bat fish and trevally off the floating platforms, boat rides over the Horizontal Falls, a boat ride through the in-land sea and channels, a helicopter flight over the area, a freshly cooked lunch of Barramundi....what else could one ask for? The Horizontal Falls are a geological wonder where the tidal movements through a single narrow gap into in-land sea areas results in a drop in the height of water between two adjoining areas that are separated by grand walls of Kimberley rockface - the effect is surreal - 'horizontal waterfalls' as the water tries hard to race through the narrow gap, but the entry point just isn't wide enough to keep up with huge tides that are common to the area. Tides of around 10 metres - second only to Nova Scotia, Canada. At one point the tides equalise, the water stops flowing for about a minute or so, before it reverses to head in the other direction. This particular example of horizontal waterfalls is a one-off worldwide, as there are actually two such narrow entry points between 3 divided in-land sea areas. A double whammy! Pristine is a word commonly used in the advertising of this region, and you can truly see why. Seems so untouched and the inaccessibility of it, adds to this impression. The flight back to Derby took us out over the Buccaneer Archipeligo, more stunning turquoise waters, multitudes of islands, a Barramundi farm, and back over the mudflats and Derby jetty. Couldn't tell you how many nomads we've encountered who have done this trip and have unanimously chorused that it's absolutely worth every cent. We concur!!!
Day following in Derby, we dropped in to see the Prison Boab tree just outside town - some interesting Aussie history with indigenous Augtralians being remanded when enroute to their final destinations. It was accompanied by one veeerrrryyyy long watering trough - metres and metres and metres allowing for many thirsty cattle to be satisfied at the same time.
From there, we day tripped 200k's back to Broome, for Megan and Steve to go out on a 4 hour whale watching adventure to encounter the amazing humpbacks - I'll leave it to them to fill you in on that adventure. This has been a jammed packed adventure part of our trip - hopefully one of the best to come..... the Gibb River road. Gonna be hard to beat the Horizontal Falls though - we'll be sure to upload some photos soon. Love to all our friends and family XxxOoo
PS Rory is now re-enrolled at Loyola for next year. Did our Skype interview from Broome, scanned and emailed the paperwork including subject selections for Year 10. Goodness he sounds keen about it!