Horizontal Falls: Western Australia (Video)

The Horizontal Falls or Horizontal Waterfalls is the name given to a natural phenomenon on the coast of the Kimberley region, Talbot Bay in Western Australia.

Location of the Kimberley region in Australia....

Location of the Kimberley region in Australia.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Despite their name, the Horizontal Falls are a fast-moving tidal flow through two narrow, closely aligned gorges of the McLarty Range, located in Talbot Bay. The direction of the flow reverses with each change of tide. As tides in the Kimberley can reach 10 meters, or 32.81 feet, a peak tide gives rise to a significant difference in the sea level on either side of each gorge.

The first video:  Go for a ride on a sea plane to the horizontal falls, and then go for a ride in a boat through the two gorges and across the horizontal falls.

The second video: A documentary (2.52) about how this natural phenomenon takes place, from the BCC.

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73 Responses to Horizontal Falls: Western Australia (Video)

  1. Amazing! I certainly wouldn’t want to fall out of the boat — you wouldn’t have a chance in the world!

  2. reb says:

    This was extremely interesting … perhaps even moreso to me, as here in Saint John, NB, we have the Reversing Falls! 🙂 Same thing, basically except for that big reef out in the ocean that created that huge suction in your case. Too bad that not too many people get to experience it! Yours is more spectacular, due to the narrow outlet between those big rocks!

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi reb,
      Yes it is in an area that you can’t just drive to unfortunately. It is amazing how these sort of things form just through sheer force of the water.

  3. niasunset says:

    WOW! I haven’t known this horizontal falls… This is so interesting… To be honest, I can’t make this travel like them… Made me afraid but to watch this video is so exciting… Thank you dear Mags, you always share with us so interesting things that I don’t know… With my love, nia

  4. susielindau says:

    That is amazing! I have never seen this! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Thirty-six feet is a huge tide!!! Twice a day… How thrilling it must have been for that family to experience the force of the currents the tide causes. Wow!

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Barbara,
      The force behind it all is unreal, you can just imagine that much water leaving a place all at once, I think it would be fun to tackle this in the boat, with an experienced driver of course. 🙂

  6. Thanks for another great video Mags. When will someone want to dam it up and create electricity from it? Then it will be gone forever.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Waldo,
      I certainly hope that never happens. It is a long way from anything, so hopefully cost may stop something like that from happening.

  7. elcampeador says:

    So many world wonders to see, not enough time to see them. Maybe next lifetime. 😉 Thanks Mags..

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi elcampeador,
      You are so right, there is a lot of wonders throughout the world, I think we would need a couple of lifetimes to see them all. 😀

  8. pixilated2 says:

    Good grief!!! Never ever. Nope. I’ll watch that last video again, and call it good enough…
    ~ Lynda

  9. Stepping My Way to Bliss says:

    Oh! This would be fun. Very beautiful area too.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Bliss,
      It is in a very remote area, so hopefully it will never change, not by humans anyway. 🙂
      I also think it would be a fantastic experience to have a go at this.

  10. It is now on the list. looks to be close to Port Hedland.

  11. Lynn says:

    How beautiful is Nature!!.Amazing!!

  12. Mags — so amazing! Nature at her finest. An all-natural rollercoaster, it looks like. What a ride! Thanks for the mini-adventure. 🙂

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi happykidshappymom,
      That is a good way of putting it, yes a natural rollercoaster, no doubt you would be getting tossed around a bit. 😀

  13. Tony McGurk says:

    It sure is amazing. I 1st saw it when Malcolm Douglas used to do his documentaries on TV

  14. I think your nature finds are my favourite, Mags. Amazing.

  15. I preferred the second video; I think that it gave a better idea of the phenomenon. It can’t be a very recent video because David Attenborough sounds VERY much younger than he is today.

  16. El Guapo says:

    Like you and John, this is now on my list of stuff to see!
    I wonder if they’ll let me do it on a jet ski?

  17. aFrankAngle says:

    I had no clue about this. I knew that Alaska had a significant tide differential, but I’m not sure if horizontal falls are there. Very interesting find Mags!

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Frank,
      The force of the water going out and coming in is very strong, and truly an amazing force of nature, I think you will find this one in Australia because of the force, the tide differential is a lot more than Alaska.

  18. Another new phenomenon that we get to experience through your wonderful videos. I love this. How in the world do they keep from slamming against the rock face? Wow.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi writingfeemail,
      That is a good question. 🙂 The skill of the driver on the boat has to be spot on, and I assume they have a lot of experience in going between the gorges, then you would have to make sure you got there at the right time when there was actually enough water on the other side, not a job I would like. 🙂

  19. Hi, Mags. I watched both videos, and feel like I have taken a field trip. This was really fascinating and fun.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Naomi,
      That is great that you had the time to watch both videos, it really is all very fascinating how the tide drops so far and the force of the water over the reefs causes this phenomenon, and also the fun people can have because of it. 😀

  20. jmgoyder says:

    I can’t believe I have never heard of these and I live here (well down south but still!) Thanks magsy

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi jmgoyder,
      There are most likely a lot of people that don’t know about the Horizontal Falls, it really is in the middle of nowhere. 🙂

  21. Wow how amaziing is this,..and to think very few people have actually seen it and no roads and hardly any boats( understandable)..loved it 🙂
    Nature thhas the best tricks in its bag 🙂

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Soma,
      It is hard to get to, but you can still get to it obviously, but I think it’s great that there are no roads to this place, all the better I feel, and you are right, Nature does have all the best tricks. 🙂

  22. malc50 says:

    Thanks Mags. Another place to add to the list of places to visit before I die, after Lord Howe Island, Edinburgh, the Mekong River River Cruise, ….

  23. hotlyspiced says:

    That’s incredible. Those people are lucky they didn’t fall overboard – that’s really frightening water xx

  24. starlaschat says:

    I’m having trouble with my internet I couldn’t watch the video’s. I am looking forward to watching them so I will be back! :+)

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi starlaschat,
      I’m sorry to hear you are having problems, I know what that can be like, hopefully your system will return to normal for you soon.

  25. These people took that ride in a Zodiak inflatable boat????? Call me crazy, but for that experience, I’d want something that might not POP if it hit a rock, or as someone else said, that couldn’t flip over. I must be getting old. I bet if I were 20 again, or even 40 again, I’d think this would be a blast. Love learning so much about your country Mags!

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi EOSR,
      Don’t forget they do use inflatables going over rapids these days as well, I don’t fully understand how they don’t rip apart either, maybe someone with more knowledge would know the answer. 😀
      I would love to have a go at this, it is on the bucket list. 🙂

  26. Linda Vernon says:

    I love your blog, Mags. I always learn new a fascinating things. And this is definitely one of them! 🙂

  27. lolabees says:

    Australia is full of so many cool things! I never cease to be amazed by how powerful this earth is!

  28. megtraveling says:

    Great information about these falls! I think I’d like to see them for myself…

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi megtraveling,
      They would be fascinating to see I feel, especially being in a remote area as well, that just adds to the mystery of these falls. 🙂

  29. Definitely one of the neatest things I have ever seen!

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Michael,
      It is amazing isn’t it how the force of the water over the reef can make such a huge difference in the tide, and create these falls that run either way, it is definitely one of Natures wonders. 🙂

  30. Selma says:

    It’s like something from another world. Now I really want to go there!

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Selma,
      They are totally different than anything else the way these falls run either way, and the amount the tide rises and falls it really is amazing.

  31. robincoyle says:

    Mother Nature is amazing.

  32. Randel says:

    Another wow item.

  33. dearrosie says:

    I love Richard Attenborough’s documentaryies and was thrilled you included footage from one of his shows in the second video. It’s hard to fathom the power of the ocean tides but just thinking of a thirty-six foot rise gives us some idea of how much water pours in….

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi dearrosie,
      The force of the water is just unreal. Richard Attenborough’s video was the best about these horizontal falls, and easy to understand as well.

  34. Pingback: Stairway To The Moon: Broome Australia | Magsx2's Blog

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