The magic of the Kimberley wet season

It’s 2017 and already this year I’ve been able to do something I’ve always wanted to do, which is see the Kimberley in the wet season.  Over the years I’ve lived in the Top End I’ve been lucky enough to go on several Kimberley tours in the dry season and see waterfalls such as Manning Gorge and El Questro Gorge flowing ferociously.  I really thought I’d seen all the Kimberley had to offer, but I was wrong. 

I’m now learning that no Kimberley tour is ever the same; every time we’ve travelled through, we’ve managed to discover another amazing waterfall or swimming hole, or have a new encounter with the native wildlife, or nature has thrown us a new challenge.  It’s what makes the Kimberley such a unique adventure and it’s why I keep going back.     

For the 2017 New Year Adam & I wanted another Kimberley adventure so we decided to go in the wet season.  We left Darwin and travelled along the highway to Broome before continuing down the west coast to Perth.  The Kimberley is a place we both love, so it was an easy holiday choice and even though Adam had visited in the wet season before, it was new for me and it was something I’d always wanted to do.  

We couldn’t travel the Gibb River Road, which cuts through the heart of the Kimberley because the rain during the wet season makes it impossible to cross; however it didn’t mean the Kimberley was off limits.  There is a highway still connecting Darwin to Broome and it allows you access to some parts of the Kimberley. 

It was the waterfalls on the outskirts of Kununurra that gave us the best day of our entire trip.  Adam knew there was a good chance they would be pumping but you can never predict exactly how much, so it’s always a surprise, which is part of the fun.  During the dry season from May - November these falls aren’t usually flowing, so by seeing them now we could view them at their full potential. 

The first waterfall we went to visit was Black Rock Falls.  I remember taking the short walk up the path and hearing water crashing down from a reasonable height.  When I peered around the rocky wall I got my first glimpse, water was pouring over the cliff and thumping into the pool below, it took my breath away.  No-one else was around, we had the place all to ourselves, and the water looked clear, refreshing and inviting.  Naturally we jumped in and swam to the falls to cool off from the morning sun.  I was beyond impressed and didn’t want to leave. 

Adam checking out a Kimberley waterfall in the wet season

Adam checking out a Kimberley waterfall in the wet season

Our next stop was Molly Springs and the Grotto.  They were both filled with water too and looked spectacular.  We knew we had to start making our way towards Broome as we had a deadline to get to Perth for my flight, but we couldn’t stop ourselves from exploring.  We continued searching for waterfalls and found some hidden gems, which would normally go unnoticed, however the large flow of water meant they grabbed our attention from afar.

We didn’t see many people on our travels and those we did bump into were from the Top End, making the most of the off-season and seeing what was on offer.  They agreed that having this amazing landscape all to ourselves in the wet season was certainly a great reason to live in northern Australia! 

Without a doubt this was the most memorable day of the whole trip and we ended up driving into the night to get to Broome because we were having such a great time.  The great thing about this trip is that it showed there has been plenty of rain so far this 2016/2017 wet season and there is a good chance these falls could still be flowing in May and June. 

It was hard not to be impressed by the show the Kimberley was putting and although the west coast of Australia was beautiful nothing could quite beat our Kimberley adventure.