Passport to the World over 64 years. Pages from my Travel Diary

Broome, Western Australia, and a Seaplane landing at the Horizontal Falls. Friday the 7th. of August 1998.

Our seaplane
Having accumulated a suitable amount of Frequent Flyer Points with Qantas, we decided to use some of them and booked a round Australia flight for early August 1998. It left Melbourne to fly west across the continent to Perth, a few days there then up the west coast to Broome. On to Darwin at the Top End of Australia, across to Cairns, call in at Sydney, and thence home to Melbourne again.

The town of Broome is bordered by Roebuck Bay on one side and on the other by Cable Beach, which lays claim to about 22 kilometers of the most pristine white sandy beach that one might find anywhere in the world, and the azure Indian Ocean which stretches out before ones eyes, uninterrupted all the way to Africa.

Broome in its prime, was the pearling capital of the world, in the 1920's it was providing 3/4 of the world's pearl shell buttons and pearls, then by the 1950's the advent of the plastic button sounded the death knell for the pearling industry here. Pearls are still cultivated here, and may be bought somewhat cheaper than in other markets.

Western Beach at Cape Leveque
Western Beach at Cape Leveque
We booked a seaplane flight out of Broome to fly over the wild Kimberley area, and over the wonderful seascape vistas of the Buckaneer Archipelago. We landed on Talbot Bay close to two towering red cliffs, it is here that the outgoing tide will cause water trapped in this bay, to rush pell mell through the small gap between these two cliffs. One can view two separate levels of water during this process, a phenomenon which is known as the Horizontal Falls, a quite unique experience.

Taking off again we flew to Cape Leveque to land, and spend some time enjoying walking along the beach, enjoying the ocean views from this wild untamed area.

In the air again and heading back to Broome, just as the sun was setting, to turn the whole sea scape into a blaze of colour, I was in the co pilot's seat with a clear uniterrupted view all round the horizon. It was a truly amazing sight, the gorgeous reds all spread out before me, something to remember for a long time to come.

We landed after dark, well content with our flight and a chance to see at close range the tumbling waters of the Horizontal Falls as they answered the urgent call of the afternoon tide.

Horizontal Falls

Horizontal Falls


View of Horizontal Falls area where the water rushes through the 9 metre gap between the cliffs.

View of Horizontal Falls area where the water rushes through the 9 metre gap between the cliffs. It forms a 4 metre wide Horizontal Falls as the tide builds up faster in front of the cliffs than the water can flow through the gap. It is a spectacular sight, which we viewed close at hand from our float plane which had landed just inside the cliff gap. The pilot needed to gun his engine just to keep us in the same spot. A tourism operator is about to offer a twin hulled boat ride through this gap, when the water is rushing out from the inner body of water to exit to the sea. At the moment this site is one of the best kept secrets of the area, only accessible by air or boat. No doubt adventure seekers will soon change that as this dare devil site becomes known.


Our Seaplane

Our Seaplane

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