Like may others, our lap of Australia was cut short due to Coronavirus. While we safely wait it out back at our home, we can reflect on so many positive experiences that we have had over the last 18 months.
For us, the most memorable of all was our tour of Horizontal Falls in WA.
We obviously spoke with lots of other travellers throughout our journey and the expense of this tour divides us. Some simply can not afford or justify the cost. Some are undecided and wonder if other travellers opinions are “over rated” These people often make a last minute decision – either yes or no – when they are in the area. Then there are people like us, who had heard so much positive feedback that this tour was always going to be a definite. We included the additional $2000 needed in our overall travel budget.
$2000 dollars is a lot of money, but the memories are priceless!
The scenery over The Buccaneer Archipelagos on the flight to the falls is breathtaking.
The view from the air shows the true speed and force behind the falls.
We chose the overnight tour from Derby rather than the day tour from Broome. The day tour from Broome was the same price. We would be traveling through Derby after completing the Gibb River Road, so it was not out of our way. The tour needs to be booked in advance, and I must admit, when I handed over the credit card, I was hoping it would be as good as others had told us, the thought of blowing almost 3 weeks budget in one day was scary!
The tour started with a sea plane taking us over the Buccaneer Archipelago Islands, an amazing sight. We landed at the private jetty to our luxury houseboat accomodation in a remote are of The Kimberley before quickly changing into our swimwear to get close and personal with the sharks (safely within our shark cage)
After feeding the sharks there was time for a quick hose off to remove the salt water before we boarded the boat. No ordinary boat either, 1200HP is needed to work against the massive tides here! Then we continue on a scenic cruise around the marsh and muddy areas downstream a little, spotting crocs and watching the changing colours as the setting sun gives the cliffs a golden glow, eventually heading back to our houseboat at sunset.
We disembarked the boat and were greeted with cheese, biscuits and fruit while we chatted excitedly with our fellow travellers. The tour was BYO alcohol, and kept extremely cold in a massive shared icebox. Dinner of locally caught barramundi and salads was included. It was wonderful to watch the sun go down in such a remote area of Australia while enjoying the whole experience, the local food, other travellers company, extremely attentive staff, and watching thousands of fish in the clear waters below. We sat on our floating pontoon enjoying the night, but looking forward to what was instal for us in the morning.
Our rooms were very comfortable with shared bathroom facilities. We slept well, the water was extremely still.
It was an early morning for those who took the optional helicopter ride at sunrise. It was all thumbs up from those who paid out the extra cash. We were happy to watch.
With the overnight tour, you get an extra trip through the horizontal falls in the morning. This was a real buzz, as we knew what to expect this time, and everyone was pumped! We arrived back to the pontoon to the smell of bacon and eggs cooking on the bbq. A full cooked breakfast was the perfect way to complete our overnight trip before jumping on the sea plane again for a scenic trip back to Derby.
While traveling Australia there are so many choices to make in regards to tours, there is no way you could afford to do everything.
You need to have a list of “must do’s” and work the other choices out as you go. This was one tour that we do not regret one little bit and was always on our “must do” list!
We are glad we listened to all the positive feedback from fellow travellers!