Horizontal Waterfalls, WA: Destination Guide

Horizontal Falls 960x 350

BBC’s David Attenborough has acclaimed the Horizontal Waterfall as one of the greatest natural wonders of the world, and now it is yours to discover.

Read on to discover the best things to see and do at the Horizontal Waterfalls or find and book accommodation at or around the Horizontal Waterfalls today.

About the Horizontal Waterfalls

The Buccaneer Archipelago (including the Horizontal Waterfall) is a natural phenomenon located deep within Talbot Bay which really must be seen to be believed.The archipelago is named for English buccaneer and privateer William Dampier, who charted the area in 1688 on one of his three circumnavigations of the world. Captain James Cook described him as a magnificent navigator, and it is interesting to ponder how he negotiated the hundreds of islands and ferocious currents in this area with its tidal range of up to 10 metres – hence the many rips, including the Horizontal Waterfall. 

Things to do at the Horizontal Waterfalls

You can only visit the waterfall in a plane or boat and there are several tour operators who are only too happy to help. Kimberley Extreme offers several alternatives, such as flying out from Derby or Broome, and overnight or extended boat cruises, and all trips include a boat ride through the falls on the purpose-built fast boat. The owner told us that RVers make up the vast majority of his guests. Weather permitting the season starts in March of each year.

Horizontal Falls Adventures is another option. Weather permitting the season for seaplane flights with this tour operator begins in early April and concludes in October. Tours range from half-day to full-day adventures and depart from Broome or Derby. Take a seaplane to the Horizontal Falls and then an exhiliarting fastboat through the Falls.

Attractions near the Horizontal Waterfalls

Talbot Bay

Talbot Bay is packed full of natural treasures apart from the unique Horizontal Falls. Take a journey up Cyclone Creek and enjoy the many red bluffs and escarpments. Or head to the marine province of Turtle Reef renowned as a unique environment for coral growth given the turbid conditions of the water and also the difficulty for light to penetrate the water.

The Horries

To see the Horizontal Falls at its most dramatic timing is important. There are technically two waterfalls which make up The Horries however most tours only travel through one due to safety reasons. However, the boat trips allow visitors to get up close and personal with the sheer power and ferocity of the second falls. The operators check tide times and know when things are suitable. At neap tides the falls are not so spectacular and the tours may not go, but when we went, there was an 11m tide at Derby, so there were waterfalls, whirlpools and great currents. We had many great photo opportunities.


Most air tours which leave from Broome fly over the Buccaneer Archipelago, known as the 1000 Islands on the flight toward Broome. Take in the epic landscape of this special area of coastline. See a number of islands, waterfalls, red cliffs, white sands and turqouise waters. For more things to do in Broome, check out Broome travel guide.

Where to stay at the Horizontal Waterfalls

While it isn't possible to stay at the waterfalls, Talbot Bay is only around 255km from Broome, making this a great base from which to explore the area. For more accommodation options around Broome, click here.

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