King George River

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April 25th 2015
Published: June 22nd 2017
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Tranquil Bay landingTranquil Bay landingTranquil Bay landing

Koolama Bay is named after an Australian ship that was bombed in these waters by the Japanese in WWII. Most of the 160 passengers and crew took refuge in local bays and eventually made it to safety at Wyndham.
Geo: -13.9477, 127.325

We had a brief Anzac moment at dawn today with the Ode, the Last Post (a recording) and a two-minute silence. Then we continued on our way to Koolama Bay at the mouth of the King George River. This is 170 NM from Darwin, across Bonaparte Gulf which is locally known as Blown Apart Gulf. Luckily we had good weather and cruised through the night, with only minor ship movement to remind us that we were underway.

In the morning we boarded the Explorer and went ashore at Tranquil Bay for a walk around. A pretty spot with a beach, a lagoon and small waterfall. After lunch the Explorer took us about 15km up King George River to the King George Falls. At 83m high, this is apparently the second tallest falls in WA.

The Kimberley geology is interesting. This area is mostly Warton Sandstone overlaying King Leopold Sandstones that are 3km deep and deposited 1,840 million years old - approaching half the age of the Earth. There has been little or no earth movements over time (except for uplift over the whole region and continental drift, I suppose) and the sedimentary layers are therefore pretty undisturbed and horizontal. It experiences
Foot and shoe washFoot and shoe washFoot and shoe wash

A clever and practical way to wash the sand off after a shore excursion.
very distinctly different wet and dry seasons.

Additional photos below
Photos: 6, Displayed: 6


King George FallsKing George Falls
King George Falls

The main falls on the left, and the "overflow" falls on the right.
King George FallsKing George Falls
King George Falls

An interesting rock bridge in front of the water, three quarters of the way up. We saw a small group of people standing on the rocks at the top. I'm not sure if they were dropped off by a helicopter we saw flying around, or if they came via an overland route to the falls.
Up close and personalUp close and personal
Up close and personal

The Zodiac took five of us at a time to have a closer look at each falls. The overflow falls had less water and we actually went through the curtain of water (just because we could). Obviously we got soaked but it was refreshing. Then we went to the main falls but the volume of water was too great to go through the falls - but close enough to get buffeted by the spray, and soaked again.
Launching the ZodiacLaunching the Zodiac
Launching the Zodiac

The inflatable accompanied us upstream to King George Falls with a driver and two of the ship's crew along for the ride.

26th April 2015

The weather looks great. How many people are on board. I hope you are getting lots of beautiful seafood.
26th April 2015

Yes, lots of seafood. We've had bugs, prawns and oysters and so far fish daily. I think there are one or two of the 25 cabins vacant, so about 48 passengers along with the 14 crew.
1st May 2015

Great you had water flow, magnificent sights to behold and as you say the geology and history is most interesting.
1st May 2015

In awe of the force of mother nature and the beauty in colours and the late sun on the cliffs is to behold.

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