Buccaneer Archipelago Kimberley WA
The Buccaneer Archipelago is a collection of about 1,000 islands, with secluded white sandy beaches, patches of rain forest, mangrove estuaries, towering cliffs, indigenous rock art and an amazing array of wildlife. The islands of the Buccaneer Archipelago were created by rising sea levels following the end of the last ice age, approximately 19,000 years ago and a wide variety of fossils have been found all over the country. The rocks themselves are over 2 billion years old. Captain Phillip Parker King named the Buccaneer Archipelago, to commemorate William Dampier’s visit to the Kimberley coast in 1688.
The Kimberley has seen one of the best wet seasons for 20 years, so it was a photographers dream, everywhere I looked there were waterfalls cascading down the sides of 100 feet rock faces. This area is truly remote, no internet or phone service (except if you have a satellite phone), which the Karma IV does. We saw the occasional boat, but for those few, it seemed like we had the whole Kimberley top end to ourselves.
Our days were filled with fishing, swimming in rock pools atop the waterfalls, exploring isolated beaches, and discovering rock art thousands of years old. We visited the Berkley River, the Drysdale River, Vansittart Bay and the King George River. The skippers and crew know every fishing spot and it was with amazement that we were throwing back barramundi, mangrove jack, salmon and finger mark snapper, all top table fish. Not that our chef on board didn’t make use of the ones that we kept.
The Buccaneer Archipelago’s other inhabitants are a diverse range of unusual animals .. snake, gecko, monitors, lizards and dragons, bats, sea snakes, rock rats and crocodiles. Most of this country is inaccessible by car and although you can see it by flying over it, by far the best way, is up close and personal. Flying from Derby will take you 35 minutes. Fly from Broome and it will take you 65 minutes. Take a holiday there and it will last you forever!
Have a peek at my Buccaneer Archipelago Photo Gallery to see more stunning photos of this truly pristine and timeless country.
The Horizontal Waterfalls, has been described by David Attenborough as “one of the great natural wonders of the world”. The Kimberley experiences some of the biggest tidal movements in the world, up to 11 metres. The amount of water moving around is truly staggering and this is made most apparent at the Horizontal Waterfalls. Unlike any other waterfall, the water passes horizontally.
There are twin gaps, which are part of the McLarty Ranges, which have two ridges running parallel approximately 300 metres apart. The first and most seaward gap is about 20 metres wide and the second, most spectacular, gap is about 10 metres wide. The effect of the waterfalls is created by the tide building up in front of the gaps faster than it can flow through them and there can be a four metre high waterfall between the bays.
There are many scenic charter flights operating out of Broome and they will advise you the best dates to view this spectacular phenomenon.