Top Secrets of the Kimberley and Northern Territory
From Geikie Gorge to Horizontal Falls, Lee Atkinson explores five fascinating sights across the Kimberley and NT.
The Kimberley is one of our country’s most remote regions. Drive the Kimberley’s rugged inland roads to reach ancient gorges that will take your breath away. Here are five magical waterways where you feel the spirit of the land pulse from the rock walls.
The Bunuba call it Darngku, and according to Dreaming stories, a blind elder drowned in Geikie Gorge
. Before he sank to the bottom, he sighed and sneezed and, they say, you can still hear his sighs when it’s quiet. It’s just one of the stories you’ll hear as you cruise through the gorge, tracing the mark of aeons of floods on the pocked cliff faces: cream below the high-water mark; rich rusty red above.
Emma and Chamberlain Gorges
Time your visit to Emma Gorge
, just one of several must-see spots in El Questro Wilderness Park, and chances are you’ll be on your own, floating in the water as you gaze up at the ramparts of the red-rock cliffs that encircle this deep waterhole; the only sound the splashing of the waterfall that spills over the rim high above. Another unmissable El Questro landmark is Chamberlain Gorge, which is only accessible by boat. Cruise through this three kilometre-long waterhole’s steep red-rock escarpments and try and spot a little local fauna, including barramundi and archerfish.
You definitely won’t be the only living thing floating on the water while you cruise the Ord River from Lake Argyle to Kununurra on Travelmarvel's 18 Day Last Frontier tour. There are estimated to be more than 35,000 freshwater crocodiles in this river – the highest density in the country – and you’re guaranteed to lose count of how many you see, along with the huge variety of birdlife and some spectacular scenery.
Nitmiluk Gorge in Nitmiluk National Park, also known as Katherine Gorge, is one of the Top End’s most impressive sights and can be explored on our 10 Day Top End and Kimberley tour. The Katherine River carves a deep gorge through towering red sandstone cliffs to form 13 smaller gorges – best seen in the late afternoon when the walls of the gorge glow in the setting sun.
Horizontal Falls, the one sight no one wants to miss, is the logic-defying horizontal waterfall in Talbot Bay north of Broome. Huge tidal variations create one of nature’s most awesome daily shows, when the water rushes between a narrow island gap. Get up close to the torrent on a Zodiac. However you see it, it will defy all your expectations. The Kimberley’s like that: it lingers in your imagination much longer than you’d think.