A world of ancient rock carvings, fossilised dinosaur footprints and horizontal waterfalls, the Kimberley Coast is a landscape lover’s paradise. Those who are intrepid enough to voyage from Broome to Darwin (or vice versa) will be rewarded with some of Australia’s finest geological sites.
Aurora Expeditions’ small-scale adventures along the Kimberley coast between Broome and Darwin enable our passengers to get up close and personal with the diverse geological wonders that the land Down Under has to offer.
To understand the present-day geology of the Kimberley Coast, we need to step back approximately two billion years in time, to a period of topographical upheaval. Continental collisions formed ranges that were eroded by water, creating sedimentary deposits. Volcanic activity pushed lava and magma into cracks in the deposits of sandstone, forming crystallised quartz. As a result of all this activity, the Kimberley region boasts an array of unique geology.
On our adventures into this Australian wilderness, we provide our passengers with an informative lecture program. Our expert naturalists and historians such as Steve Egan and Alasdair McGregor are on hand to educate passengers on their surroundings. Due to our limit of only 44 passengers per trip, there will be plenty of time to ask questions about what you’re seeing, as well as to observe the formations around you.
Here are a few of the geological highlights you’ll encounter:
The name ‘waterfalls’ is slightly deceptive; these natural phenomena are in fact a result of strong tides rushing through two narrow gorges located in Talbot Bay. When you travel with us, you can cruise through these currents in a Zodiac boat, experiencing the rush of navigating white-water waves and passing beneath towering cliffs. A former passenger was thoroughly impressed with these:
“Geology [is] writ large all around, with the striking Pentecost sediments tilted vertically some one billion years ago and then eroded to allow the twice-daily flood and ebb of seawater into and out of two narrow holding basins.”
Mitchell Falls is one of the highlights of the Kimberley region, no matter what angle you’re looking at it from. When you explore the falls with Aurora Expeditions, you’ll be given the opportunity to view it and the surrounding landscape from the air with a heli flight excursion. Another of our former passengers describes the sheer wonder of this experience:
“We flew above an intricate landscape where watercourses intersected at right angles, and sweeping whorls of stone were interspersed with narrow linear crevasses and cryptic chasms covered in dark green canopies. Within this daunting complexity, it wasn’t difficult to imagine the possibility of forgotten sites of spiritual expression within rock overhangs and sheltered stone walls”
Read more: Photography tips for your trip to the Kimberley Coast
King George Falls
At 80 metres, King George Falls are WA’s highest falls. We cruise along the King George River to this gushing deluge. These falls have cultural significance for the indigenous inhabitants of this area, the Balanggarra, who see them as the male and female incarnations of the Wunkurr (rainbow serpents).
Our cruises between Broome and Darwin don’t stop at Cable Beach, but if you make pre- or post-cruise travel arrangements, you can experience its red cliffs, white sand and clear blue waters that will captivate the most unromantic of hearts. The 130-million-year-old dinosaur footprints you can see at low tide at Gantheaume Point are a poignant reminder of just how primaeval this landscape is.
Read more: Top things to do in Broome before your Kimberley cruise
We invite you to come aboard our vessel Coral Expeditions I and experience all the geological beauty that Australia’s Kimberley Coast has to offer. Take a look at our Kimberley expeditions to get your adventure started!