We went on an adrenaline packed day trip today to the Horizontal Falls, in the Buccaneer Archipelago. The falls occur because of the massive tidal flow in this area (~12 metre tides) When the water flows through two narrow gaps in the land, 20 and 12 metres wide it looks like a waterfall. Also when you go through it on a boat there is an actual drop or rise in the water level.
To get there we went on a sea plane. Tom got the co pilots seat, I was behind the pilot and we managed to have the kids far away in the back row. The flight there (and back) took us over gorgeous scenery of tidal mud flats and the archipelago. There is almost no settlements up this way as it is so remote.
The sea plane finished with a few laps over the horizontal falls before we landed on the water of Talbot Bay. Disembarking onto the floating pontoon we quickly got on a jet boat for our first go through the falls. Ben and I got the prized positions at the front, and yes we did get soaked. The boat driver, Aido thought it would be fun to race the seaplane when it was taking off. On the sea we were winning but soon after take off it caught up. As a result of this blow wave Ben’s hair looked like something out of an 80s Duran Duran film clip.
We went through the falls a few times, zooming along the rock walls and doing lots of donuts. Aido informed us it was the fastest tour boat in Australia and he definitely enjoyed making the most of it. One of his tricks was backing it into the waterfall, we weren’t physically moving but the speedo was reading 50kph.
WE returned to the floating pontoon, fed the nurse sharks and then hopped into a cage in the water while they swam up and were fed at right next to the cage. There was also a very big groper.
Off for another boat trip this time a cruise around a few places nearby; a waterfall that only occurs straight after rain (they had rain here last night), a cave with bats, some beautiful inlets and lots of spectacular scenery. Aido also promised to catch us a fish but with his hands not a rod. Viola a fish, I believe a moon fish but can’t be sure.
Back for lunch – Barra burgers, and then off for some more trips through the falls. This time Tom and Sam were up the front, Ben whinged because he was at the back so Aido asked if he wanted to steer. The answer of course was ‘yes!’ So we had a 10 year old driving us through and he did a great job. Patrick had a short drive but considering he couldn’t see over the console this was a bit disturbing. Sam not one to miss out also volunteered and drove the boat back and even moored it. All done we returned to Derby on the seaplane, all boys were exhausted and slept at least part of the way home.