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August 16th 2010
Published: August 17th 2010
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Last NightLast NightLast Night

We drove onto Cable Beach for a final sunset in Broome.
Two weeks in Broome came and went very quickly. To round off the visit we decided to drive onto Cable Beach with our bottle of wine and watch the sunset as a backdrop to three teams of camels walking past and a couple of Pearl Luggers taking tourists on sunset cruises.

It is very difficult to find caravan sites in Broome. We can’t believe how lucky we were to get two weeks! Jason was keen to come up to go fishing and that would have been fantastic but the cost was horrendous. His dad has promised to do a separate trip with him!


We weren’t planning to go to Derby. That changed when we discovered that it was better to do the Horizontal Falls tour from there. We booked in for four nights . As with all destinations, Derby has its points of interest as well.

Boab Prison Tree[

Seven kilometers out of town is a huge Boab tree with a single entrance cut into the hollow centre. The tree was used as a holding prison when transferring prisoners to and from Derby.

Derby is famously a
Lemon SharksLemon SharksLemon Sharks

Being fed next to the viewing cage.
Boab tree area and there are lots of them. Boabs are not an indigenous flora item. They have probably self sown from seed that has floated over from South Africa.

Huge Tides

Derby has one of the biggest tides in the southern hemisphere and the eighth largest in the world. We happened to be in town for some of the bigger tides . It was amazing that the water would come in so quickly in less than six hours. The best way to see it is at the jetty by looking at low tide and high tide to see the difference. You can physically see the water rushing in and out.

Horizontal Falls

The bus arrived as scheduled to take us to the Derby Airport to board a twelve seat Sea Plane. The flight north to Talbot Bay took half an hour over mud flats, rivers, bays, islands and lots of water .

On arrival we flew over the Horizontal Falls before landing smoothly on a calm body of water. The falls are created by massive tides trying to rush through narrow openings in rockface to
Water PowerWater PowerWater Power

It took all of the 500 hp to manouvre through!
inner bays. The volume of water is so great that it can’t get through the openings quickly enough so it banks up on the side of tidal flow.

We alighted on to a floating barge warily watching the ‘pets’ of the staff. Sharks, and lots of them. Our tour guide advised us that we were going to have two viewings. One immediately so that we could go through both openings and one when the tide was higher but then we could not go through the narrow opening. We all straddled our seats on the 500 hp thrill boat and off we went. It is hard to imagine the power of the water and every one of those 500 hp were needed to get us up the falls. It is a wild ride and the boat was tossed around quite a bit.

We went back to the base and boarded a mother boat to head off for some fishing, swimming and lunch. I kept losing baits and Rhonda complained she had no action. Next thing her reel screamed and a little later she had reeled in a Threadfin Salmon of some size! Swimming took place in the same waters
TB has it under controlTB has it under controlTB has it under control

Rhonda had a tussle with this two metre Lemon Shark!
that house sharks and big old crocs. No-one was lost!

After lunch we went back to the falls and the change was incredible. Photos can’t capture the event fully but the boat rides through the opening were thrilling. Back at the base it was time for those who wanted to pop into the cage and watch the feeding of sharks under water through goggles. Rhonda had to represent us as I was the photographer! She even got to tail wrestle one. They were mainly Lemon Sharks and whilst the teeth are not as impressive as some, they are still dangerous. A Bull Shark was also in attendance.

The home trip was a take-off and scenic flight over the surrounding islands before heading for Derby. We had a great but long day and started to sag in the bus back to the park.


Derby to Fitzroy Crossing was an easy 259 klms. We have now done more than 16,000 klms. Apart from being handy stopover, we were keen to do the Geikie Gorge tour.

The Fitzroy River Lodge was an oasis in the bush. The caravan park was set in rolling lawns and the
Sea PlaneSea PlaneSea Plane

Our Sea plane landing to take us back to Derby
sites were spacious. We found a nice shady site and stayed for two nights. Neighbours were friendly and we really enjoyed the park. Not a lot to do in the area though so it is pointless to stay for long.

Geikie Gorge

Eighteen kilometers out of town on the Fitzroy River is the Geikie Gorge National Park. We arrived in time to board an elaborate punt to cruise three klms up the river. There was lots of wildlife including many Johnson Freshwater Crocodiles, hundreds of Bottle Swallows , dozens of Fruit Bats and many other varieties of birds.

The rock formations were picturesque and looked even better as the smooth water reflected them. The tour only went for an hour but it was well worth the visit.

Our next port of call is Halls Creek just an easy 290 klm east. Our Western Australian visit is drawing to a close.
We were thrilled to hear that Michael and Helen are bringing Elizabeth up to see us in Darwin. You can imagine how excited we are about that. They were lucky enough to get free flights through a friend.

Additional photos below
Photos: 28, Displayed: 26


Derby JettyDerby Jetty
Derby Jetty

Our arial view.
Low TideLow Tide
Low Tide

The jetty. See the car to imagine the extent of the tide!
Monster TideMonster Tide
Monster Tide

High tide at the jetty.

Derby is famous for its boab trees
Friendly MoonfishFriendly Moonfish
Friendly Moonfish

This guy allowed our guide to lift it out of the water!
Night Sky's TrioNight Sky's Trio
Night Sky's Trio

Sunset, moon and the evening star together!
Three riversThree rivers
Three rivers

Our arial view of rivers on the immense mud flats.
Horizontal FallsHorizontal Falls
Horizontal Falls

It is difficult to photograph the extent of the falls.
She's done it again!She's done it again!
She's done it again!

Rhonda - a Talbot Bay Threadfin Salmon. Peter - nothing!
Jetty SunsetJetty Sunset
Jetty Sunset

Derby jetty sunset from The Point restaurant.
Prison BoabPrison Boab
Prison Boab

Prisoners being moved to Derby were once held in this huge boab. It is hollow in the trunk,
Monster TroughMonster Trough
Monster Trough

Cattle trough at a bore just out of Derby.
Horizontal FallsHorizontal Falls
Horizontal Falls

Large opening in foreground and narrow falls in background flow in and out of Talbot bay [not visible here]
Unusual FormationUnusual Formation
Unusual Formation

An unusual rock formation in Cyclone Creek.

We saw lots of bats flying around while we were on the cruise.
Our CraftOur Craft
Our Craft

Large boat used for Talbot Bay travel and 500 hp speed boat needed to forge through the power of the tide.

17th August 2010

Sounds like you had a great time visiting the Horizontal Waterfalls...we also thought that was amazing! Our boat jumped up and down through the falls, a couple of boats later one turned and as it did so it tipped several passengers out...they were not impressed! Did you go on the hovercraft at Cable Beach?
17th August 2010

Those Boab trees are fascinating. Must say you have done a great variety of things on your trip, and good on you, you will probably not go that way again. It is very exciting for you both to be seeing Elizabeth shortly, if I don't speak to you before then have a great visit.
17th August 2010

No. We didn't get to it.
17th August 2010

Montgomery Reef
Maybe another time.

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