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Horizontal Falls

Hold onto your hats, thrill seekers. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to witness and, perhaps even ride, the world’s only Horizontal Falls. Here’s why…

Although called a Falls, the rapid surging of water at The Horries (its nickname) is actually caused by tidal currents squeezing through a division in the McLarty Ranges – and what tidal currents they are! The Kimberley is well-known for experiencing tidal ranges of up to 12 metres.

Gaps between the Ranges have created a gorge that runs parallel for about 300m. The smallest of these crevices is 10m wide and provides a challenging obstacle for the rising and rushing water to get past, creating the optical illusion of a waterfall. Unlike any other ‘waterfall’ in the world, the flow of water in the Horizontal Falls changes direction every six and a half hours, depending on an incoming or outgoing tide.

Now, you’d expect that merely seeing the Horizontal Falls would be spectacular, but many visitors take it one step further by opting to ride a high-speed powerboat that zips between the gorges. Effectively riding the rapids, this is not the additional extra for those who prefer the sedate things in life. It is, however, just the ticket for those who love roller coasters and exhilaration!

Although the waters flow all year round, those hoping to witness the Falls at their mightiest should discuss the best dates with a guide. As the waterfall is inaccessible by road, you need to visit by seaplane or as part of a cruise itinerary. A trip to The Falls will, in all likelihood, include seeing some more of the beautiful Buccaneer Archipelago.