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Buccaneer Archipelago

Scenic flight to Horizontal Waterfalls

sunny 34 °C

Eventually we got a confirmed scenic flight charter this morning and we are pleased that we were patient to wait for it.

The Buccaneer Archipelago is a stunningly rugged area formed by a group of about 800 to 1000 rocky islands, with large mangrove forests, covering 50 square kilometers north-east of Dampier peninsula. The area has huge tidal ranges up to 12 meters and this created the phenomena of the horizontal, reversible waterfalls called Horizontal Waterfalls in Talbot Bay. The waterfall is caused by the differential created when massive tides rush through the narrow gaps between the two islands, creating two horizontal waterfalls flowing across the face of the ocean and then reversing at the turn of the tide. Another feature of the huge tidal flows are the massive whirlpools in the bays of the archipelago.

The area is remote and uninhabited except for bats, snakes, crocodiles, lizards, monitors and of course fish. Well, that is what we thought until we saw the open pit iron ore mines on two of the islands, Koolan and Cockatoo. At its peak Koolan island had a population of 950 people. Once mined by BHP Billiton but now taken over by minor mining groups, these mines are a real scar on this pristine, remote archipelago. But I should not be too hipocrytical, I am sure I saw at least two Atlas Copco drill rigs in the mine.

We invited two staff members from Kooljaman to join us and they enjoyed the flight as much as we did. I must admit this is almost as spectacular as flying over the Victoria Waterfalls.

We are back in Broome and our awning has arrived and will be replaced this afternoon. Tomorrow we will continue onto Derby and the Gibb River Road, although the Gibb River Road is still closed in the middle between Mt Barnett and Home Valley, but we will wait until it opens. We have given up on the Kalumburu road up to Mitchell Falls and Honeymoon Bay as it is completely washed away in places and the chances of that opening soon is very remote.

Horizontal Waterfalls, Buccaneer Archipelago

Horizontal Waterfalls, Buccaneer Archipelago


Horizontal Falls, Buccaneer Archipelago

Horizontal Falls, Buccaneer Archipelago


Buccaneer Archipelago

Buccaneer Archipelago


White beaches of Cape Leveque

White beaches of Cape Leveque


Buccaneer Archipelago

Buccaneer Archipelago


One Arm Point

One Arm Point


Boat heading into a huge whirlpool in Buccaneer archiplelago

Boat heading into a huge whirlpool in Buccaneer archiplelago


Buccaneer Archipelago

Buccaneer Archipelago


Open pit mine on Koolan island in Buccaneer archipelago

Open pit mine on Koolan island in Buccaneer archipelago

Posted by KobusM 00:23 Archived in Australia

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