The Kimberley in western Australia is home to an array of stunning waterfalls, which have formed due to many centuries of heavy rainfall descending on the land. The dramatic falls such as Emma Gorge in El Questro, Manning Gorge and Bell Gorge in King Leopold Conservation Park, are brought to life during the wet season when the monsoonal rains arrive, and water gushes over the escarpment creating nature’s very own swimming pool below. In April, the dry season rears it’s head and tourists begin to venture into the Kimberley, where they are greeted by these amazing waterfalls performing at their very best.
The Kimberley is classified as having a tropical climate because it has two seasons - the wet and the dry. The wet season or monsoon season runs from November until April, and is when the area expects to receive the majority of it's annual rainfall; the dry season runs from May to October and, as the name suggests, no rainfall is expected during this period.
The past couple of wet seasons in the tropical north have delivered a disappointing amount of rainfall and the Kimberley has dried up much sooner than anyone would like. The 2014-2015 season saw the East Kimberley region receive 300 millimetres less than their average, and the 2015-2016 wet season was mostly dry apart from the month of December. This ultimately resulted in significantly less than average rainfall totals and was in fact the hottest wet season on record for the Northern Territory.
If we look at the predictions of the Bureau of Meteorology for this coming wet season, anyone planning to travel the Gibb River Road in 2017 can expect plenty of water to be flowing. They are predicting an early wet season this year and September has already seen an unusual amount of rainfall for this time of year. Areas around Katherine and Mataranka plus the Kimberley gained more then 100 millimetres of rainfall over just a few days. There is also the potential for a La Niña weather event; this basically means increased wet weather due to extensive cooling of the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.
The prediction of a great wet season is not only good for farmers but tourists as well. It’s a fantastic opportunity to capture the Kimberley at it's best, by witnessing the dancing wildlife, lush scenery and over-flowing, glistening waterfalls. The perfect chance to experience the natural magic of this vast, untouched land. It could be THE year to visit.