Swift Bay and Mitchell Falls

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April 27th 2015
Published: June 22nd 2017
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Bell 206 LongrangerBell 206 LongrangerBell 206 Longranger

It was very blowy and exciting beside the door openings. One passenger up front beside the pilot and four in the back, two by two facing each other.
Geo: -14.5461, 125.56

20 passengers opted for the helicopter trip to Mitchell Falls today. Our aircraft seated four or five and ferried us the 20 minute journey to and from the top of the falls. The pilot flew a figure eight in front of the falls so we all had a good view, and he gave a bit of commentary along the way.

Because we also wanted to go on the later fishing trip at 11am, we were in the first group to fly to the falls. The Coral Princess (and therefore my camera) is operating on central time, so we arrived at the falls at about 6:45am WA time, a little early for the sun to fully light the falls. The local roads are in the final stages of grading after the Wet and will be open to general traffic soon. We spoke to a ranger who said the Gibb River Rd is now like a highway and may as well be sealed for the challenge it presents! There's still the Kalumburu Rd and the final Mitchell Falls track to navigate to get to the falls. He said about 10,000 people a year visit the falls, plus another 2,000 via helicopter from
Mitchell FallsMitchell FallsMitchell Falls

At over 80m high down the four steps, these falls are the highest in WA. Apparently the last big wet season was in 2012, and this is a relatively low flow for this time of the year.

After a quick morning tea, we were off again in the Explorer to do some fishing. Ten fished at a time and we released all of our catch. I was the champion fisher with five (small) fish - a couple of stripy ones, a mangrove jack, a red rock cod and a tiny brown cod. We used hand lines and fished on the bottom in about 7m depth of water, and it was fun.

In the afternoon I opted for a nap while Robyn joined the others to view some more rock paintings. Then we headed off on the 7hr trip to Careening Bay, around Bigge Island. The Captain tells me we'll use about 17,000 litres of fuel getting to Broome - the boat can carry 30,000 litres.

Additional photos below
Photos: 6, Displayed: 6


Ground lookoutGround lookout
Ground lookout

We had hoped to see some of the recently discovered Monjon wallabies during our 30 minutes on the ground. These are domestic cat-sized rock wallabies that were found in the 1970s. Alas they were too shy today, but it is not unusual to see them.
Swimming above the fallsSwimming above the falls
Swimming above the falls

The water was warm in the race, and a little cooler out in the middle.

30th April 2015

Looks terrific. Did you feel that you wanted to stay longer in this spectacular area? Congratulations on the catch Sel. Richard will be envious.

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