Excursión de día completo a las cataratas horizontales desde Broome

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If there is one thing you do in Australia besides Uluru/Ayers Rock, it’s the Horizontal Falls. Located at Talbot Bay in the Kimberley region of northern Western Australia, I don’t think there is anything quite like this anywhere else. For the Kiwi’s, this is like Sonido dudoso, remote, hard to reach, and uniquely beautiful. Unlike Doubtful Sound, though, it’s hot, and the water is full of sharks and saltwater crocodiles, so you don’t want to fall in!

Horizontal Falls Seaplane at Broome Airport
Hidroavión horizontal cae en el aeropuerto de Broome

There is one tour company operating to the Horizontal Falls called Horizontal Falls Seaplane Adventures.

Our full day tour itinerary was:

  1. 5:50 am pickup at our caravan park
  2. Beagle Bay Community and snack
  3. Cape Leveque and breakfast
  4. One Arm Point Hatchery tour
  5. Seaplane to Talbot Bay
  6. Swimming with the sharks and fish feeding with replace trolling motor battery
  7. Almuerzo
  8. Horizontal Falls speedboat
  9. Cyclone Creek cruise
  10. Horizontal Falls speedboat
  11. Seaplane to Broome
  12. Bus drop off at our caravan park just before sunset

As you can see it was a full day. I think the only thing more we could have asked for was a pearl farm tour which is available on some of the full day tours instead of the hatchery tour, but the hatchery tour turned out to my much more interesting than we expected so we really have no complaints at all.

The Price

I’ll warn you, it isn’t cheap. At AUD$1080 per person for adults, this is the most expensive thing we did on our road trip by a long way. It was even more costly than our campervan hire for the entire time. However, before we made any other trip plans, this is the one thing that we decided to splurge on, and are so glad we did. Yes, it is expensive, but it is absolutely worth it. The trip is fantastic, and you are looked after so well by the team. There is nowhere else you can do anything like this. So if there is one thing you spend the extra money to do, make it this. I can’t recommend it enough!

Now, let’s get into the tour.

5:50 am Start

We were picked up right on time at 5:50 am with two other couples that were going on the same tour as us. There were already a few others on the 4WD bus and a few more we still had to pick up before heading out of Broome. The bus that picked us up is a big 4WD vehicle called Big Foot.

Inside Big Foot, the 4WD Bus we took for our Horizontal Falls Tour
Dentro de Big Foot, el autobús 4WD que tomamos para nuestro Tour Horizontal Falls

It is very similar to other 4WD buses, including those used as school buses in some of the more remote parts of Western Australia.

Big Foot Stopped at Beagle Bay Community
Gran pie parado en la comunidad de Beagle Bay

It is a vehicle that has been chosen for its ability to smooth out the rough dirt roads heading north from Broome.

The Rough Dirt Road Between Broome and Beagle Bay
El camino de tierra áspera entre Broome y Beagle Bay

Within moments of entering the dirt section of Beagle Bay-Broome Road, we appreciated the fat tyres and suspension a great deal.

Even on the big bus there are lots of vibrations
Incluso en el gran autobús hay muchas vibraciones.

Even with these features, the road is so corrugated that you are still bouncing around a bit. I imagine it would be a very rough, slow ride in a car. The car and caravan graveyard along the side of the road certainly makes me think bringing a car through here is not the best idea.

Since we left our campsite before sunrise, we got to see it rising from the bus.

Watching the sunrise from Big Foot
Viendo el amanecer desde Big Foot

The height gave us good visibility, but it was pretty harsh on the eyes with it flashing through trees.

Soon, the dirt road became a bitumen road, and before we knew it, we were at Beagle Bay.

Comunidad de Beagle Bay

We arrived in Beagle Bay Community bright and early, parking between Sacred Heart Church, also known as the Pearl Shell Church, and the only public toilet in the community.

Sacred Heart Church aka Pearl Shell Church at Beagle Bay Community
Iglesia del Sagrado Corazón, también conocida como Iglesia Pearl Shell en la Comunidad Beagle Bay

Now, being the only public toilet in town and 24 or so people on the bus, there will be a queue.

Toilet paper grows legs, so it's in limited supply in the one public toilet at Beagle Bay Community
Toilet paper grows legs, so it’s in limited supply in the one public toilet at Beagle Bay Community

Fortunately, between checking out the church and having some of the provided snacks and drinks, it is easy to space it out, then you aren’t standing in a line unnecessarily.

Sacred Heart Church aka Pearl Shell Church at Beagle Bay Community
Iglesia del Sagrado Corazón, también conocida como Iglesia Pearl Shell en la Comunidad Beagle Bay

The Sacred Heart Church, also known as the Pearl Shell Church, was built in 1917 by missionaries to the region with the help of the Aboriginal community.

A brief history of the pearl shell church
A brief history of the Pearl Shell Church

It got the pearl shell nickname because of the pearl shell used all through the church and its decorations.

The beautiful, pearl inlaid altar inside the pearl shell church at Beagle Bay
The beautiful, pearl inlaid altar inside the Pearl Shell Church at Beagle Bay

It really is quite remarkable.

One of the pearl decorated windows at the pearl shell church in Beagle Bay
One of the windows decorated with pearls at the Pearl Shell Church in Beagle Bay

The snacks and drinks provided are a simple morning tea style snack before breakfast. Cookies and fruit to eat with tea, coffee and water to drink.

The morning tea buffet at Beagle Bay
El bufé de té de la mañana en Beagle Bay

It’s not much, but enough to tide you over until your breakfast at the next stop, Cape Leveque.

Cabo Leveque 

Turning off the north-bound bitumen road, a rough dirt road brought us into Cape Leveque where we were greeted with a dirt airstrip and the Kooljaman Cafe.

The Kooljaman Cafe at Cape Leveque
El café Kooljaman en Cape Leveque

The cafe seems to appear all of a sudden out of the trees, and beyond it is the ocean, bordered by vibrant red ochre cliffs and brilliant white sand beaches. Breakfast time.

Looking from the cafe over the red ochre cliffs to the white sandy beach.
Mirando desde el café sobre los acantilados de color rojo ocre a la playa de arena blanca.

The Kooljaman Cafe is owned by the Aboriginal community, with proceeds going back into the community.

Our seats at the Kooljaman Cafe
Nuestros asientos en el Kooljaman Cafe

It serves as a general store for the nearby campground, and as a very nice restaurant for travellers and locals.

Breakfast is almost ready!
¡El desayuno está casi listo!

The Horizontal Falls tour includes a scrumptious breakfast here, and I’d say it’s almost worth doing the tour just to experience the delightful food and accompanying view!

Pastries and muffins were available in addition to hot food.
Pasteles y magdalenas estaban disponibles además de comida caliente.

We were served what I would describe as a cafe style “Aussie big breakfast” that included baked beans, scrambled eggs, a hash brown, bacon, butter mushrooms, grilled tomato and focaccia bread.

Our Cape Leveque
Our Cape Leveque “Big Breakfast.”

Meanwhile, we also had access to a buffet style continental breakfast that included amazing fresh muffins, cereal, pastries, and fresh fruit.

A fruit platter our Kooljaman Cafe breakfast
Un plato de frutas nuestro desayuno Kooljaman Cafe

Drinks included water, juices and regular hot drinks. However, speciality drinks were extra.

Raugi's Specials at the Kooljaman Cafe
Raugi’s Specials at the Kooljaman Cafe

Once we finished our breakfast, we had a little bit of free time to explore the shop, purchase souvenirs if we wanted, and take in the beautiful view.

Tables with a view at Kooljaman Cafe
Mesas con vista en Kooljaman Cafe

The cafe is situated at the top of one of the ochre cliffs, so the dining area has a gorgeous ocean view, and the outdoor seating provides a great spot to sit and take it all in.

The ochre cliffs at Cape Leveque are such a brilliant red
Los acantilados ocres en Cape Leveque son de un rojo tan brillante

Back on the bus, our driver and guide took us past the cafe and showed us the campground and the beaches before taking us down to the water where we got out and had a bit of a splash.

The luxury suite at Cape Leveque
La suite de lujo en Cape Leveque
One of the camping spots at Cape Leveque
Uno de los lugares para acampar en Cape Leveque

Make sure you take a hat, and if you can, sunglasses are worthwhile too as the sun reflecting off the sand is intense.

The view is entirely different from the water edge looking up and seeing the white sand turn into red rocks and cliffs. I’ve never seen anything quite like it before.

Soon though we were back on the bus, with a cold drink in hand provided by our driver, and we are climbing back up the sandy track towards the main road and One Arm Point.

Having a cold drink back on the bus as we left Cape Leveque
Tomamos una bebida fría en el autobús cuando salimos del cabo Leveque

One Arm Point & Aquaculture Hatchery 

One Arm Point was our next destination.

Ardiyaloon Hatchery
Criadero Ardiyaloon

Here, as we made our way through the Ardiyaloon community to the hatchery, our driver told us a little about the history of the area and explained that it is run by the elders of the Bardi people with local laws enforced by the Aboriginal rangers.

A shy turtle at Ardiyaloon
Una tortuga tímida en Ardiyaloon

It was fascinating to learn about.

Clown Fish at the One Arm Point Hatchery
Pez payaso en el criadero de un brazo

We didn’t know what to expect from the hatchery.

Fish at the One Arm Point / Ardiyaloon Hatchery
Pescado en el punto de un brazo / criadero Ardiyaloon

It didn’t seem to us that fish hatching would be all that exciting, but to our pleasant surprise, it was fascinating.

The hatchery is divided by tanks.

Tanks all lined up at Ardiyaloon Hatchery
Fish tanks all lined up at Ardiyaloon Hatchery

Each aquarium contains different types of fish and sea life in various environments.

This one was a biggy
Este era un biggy

Our friendly and extremely knowledgeable guide took as around each aquarium, explaining to us what was in it, and what each of those things does that contributes to the biodiversity of the bay.

Coral at the Ardiyaloon Hatchery
Coral en el criadero de Ardiyaloon

She explained to us how each of the sea creatures is caught or bred, why, and at what point they are returned to the ocean.

There are so many different kinds of fish!
¡Hay tantos tipos diferentes de peces!

She also told us a little about why the hatchery was started and how successful they had been at breeding the trochus shell and re-introducing it to the surrounding reefs.

The touching tank where you can stick your hands in and touch things.
El tanque conmovedor donde puedes meter las manos y tocar cosas.

While the whole hatchery tour was fascinating, I’d say the highlight would have to be the archerfish.

Archer Fish and Coral
Archer Fish and Coral

These remarkable little fish spot potential prey outside of the water and squirt a jet of water at it to knock it in. Our guide showed us a few demonstrations of it, and these fish never missed – though the food in her demonstrations was already dead and unmoving.

A clown fish chilling
Un pez payaso escalofriante

Some that were there tried holding their hands over the edge of the tank and moved them around a little bit. The fish got them, even squirting one in the face!

An assortment of fish in a tank
Un surtido de peces en un tanque

After the hatchery tour had finished, a local craftsman was selling handmade pearl shell jewellery and sculptures, and we had some free time to browse the hatchery at our leisure.

Hand made jewellery for sale
Handmade jewellery for sale

Back on the bus, we made our way around to the One Arm Point airstrip where a pair of seaplanes were awaiting our arrival.

Ready to board the seaplane at One Arm Point
Listo para abordar el hidroavión en One Arm Point

Bahía Talbot 

Our pilots went through safety and boarding instructions with us before we got on the seaplanes, and then loaded any bags we didn’t need on the plane into the floats. I took on my camera gear, but I wouldn’t want to carry much onto the aircraft at all.

Seaplane take off!

Unless you happen to be the really tall person that gets the back seat with extra leg room (aka the exit row), there is not much space between each row.

Flying low over Buccaneer Archipelago
Flying low over the Buccaneer Archipelago

Unfortunately for us, there happened to be one man that was taller than me on our plane, so he and his partner got that row.

Islands of the Buccaneer Archipelago
Islas del archipiélago de los Bucaneros

The tiny space aside, the seats were comfortable, and the plane was quite nice inside.

Inside the Seaplane
Dentro del hidroavión

So once we were all in and had our harnesses worked out, we took off from the airstrip.

Islands and clear water of the Buccaneer Archipelago
Islas y aguas cristalinas del archipiélago de los Bucaneros

The plane, while loud, was not so noisy that we couldn’t talk fairly comfortably, and enjoy the sights as we flew low over the hundreds of islands that make up the Buccaneer Archipelago as it stretches across King Sound.

There are hundreds of islands scattered along the archipelago
Hay cientos de islas dispersas a lo largo del archipiélago.

Crossing low over the mountains to Talbot Bay was also stunning, and our pilot brought us in at such a low altitude that it seemed our shadow was getting perhaps a little bit too close!

First sight of the Horizontal Falls from the sky!
The first sight of the Horizontal Falls from the sky!

Then we were headed over the Horizontal Falls and looped around a second time to get a good view from the air before coming in to land at Talbot Bay.

The Horizontal Falls on the second pass
El horizontal cae en el segundo pase

What an experience! We’ve never been in a seaplane before, let alone landed on water! It was breathtaking!

Circling the Horizontal Falls
Rodeando las cataratas horizontales

Once we had touched down our pilot brought us over to the Horizontal Falls house boats where we debarked our floating plane. We were given a quick run down on the houseboats, where things are, some safety guidelines, and an overview of the plan for the rest of the day.

Aboard the Horizontal Falls Houseboats
A bordo de las cataratas horizontales

Shark Feeding and Swimming with the Sharks

This was pretty cool. There are grey nurse sharks and huge batfish in Talbot Bay that are quite friendly and come to the surface for a feed along with a lot of other smaller fish.

Shark Feeding Time
Hora de comer tiburones

Apparently saltwater crocodiles also come in for a feed sometimes. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see any while we were there.

Feeding the bat fish
Alimentando al pez murciélago

From what I read and hear elsewhere about the impact of feeding wild animals, it does make me wonder whether this might affect them negatively if they get too used to it, but I guess these tours are not all year round so it may not be as harmful as places where it occurs all the time.

A friendly grey nurse shark
Una amigable tiburón nodriza gris

After the sharks and fish had a feed, there is one particular shark that is quite happy to be patted, so we were invited to give him a pat in the area instructed.

Matt giving a grey nurse shark a scratch
Matt giving a wild grey nurse shark a scratch

Then we had 10-15 minutes of time to get into the shark cages and have a swim with the sharks which was pretty cool.


Then it was time to feed the tourists! The menu, BBQ barramundi with assorted salads. The barramundi is morish, served in huge chunks that were moist and cooked to perfection. Possibly the best that I’ve ever had!

The buffet selection on the Horizontal Falls houseboat
La selección de buffet en la casa flotante Horizontal Falls

The salads were a little more hit and miss with the tomatoes appearing to have been frozen or partially frozen. I’m not surprised, though, with the heat up there, and the flight time to bring supplies in, it probably has to be at the very least kept almost frozen just to prevent it from spoiling. I wouldn’t let that ruin your day!

My lunch at the Horizontal Falls
Mi almuerzo en las cataratas horizontales.

Onto the Falls 

After a good feed and a bit of time to let it digest, we were taken to the speedboat, where we got life jackets and set off.

Our ride through the Horizontal Falls
Nuestro paseo por las cataratas horizontales

Our driver and guide was very knowledgeable and shared a lot of information about the falls as we were heading towards and through them.

Matt about to go through the Horizontal Falls
Matt a punto de atravesar las cataratas horizontales

The falls weren’t rough to go through, but the ride was exhilarating and provided a close-up view of the falls.

Lining up to go through the second falls
Lining up to go through the inner falls

We went back and forward through the outer falls a few times before making our way to the narrower inner falls.

Making waves!
¡Haciendo olas!

We went through them a couple of times as well and spent a few minutes with the boat maintaining its position as the water roared past. It’s a pretty amazing experience!

Going through the outer falls
Pasando por las cataratas exteriores

Back through the outer falls a few more times and then we were back to the houseboat for a drink of water and tea or coffee with some biscuits.

Back to the Horizontal Falls houseboat
Volver a la casa flotante Horizontal Falls

Then to our surprise, we were back on the speedboat for a scenic cruise up Cyclone Creek, the naturally protected creek used for weathering cyclones.

Cruising into Cyclone Creek
Crucero en Cyclone Creek

Our driver was hoping to spot a saltwater croc for us, but unfortunately, none wanted to be found.

Some of the fascinating, diagonal rock belts surrounding Cyclone Creek
Algunos de los fascinantes cinturones de rocas diagonales que rodean Cyclone Creek

He shared a lot of info about the creek and the unusual cliff formations that surround it before taking us back to the horizontal falls for another run through.

Warped rocks in the cliffs
Rocas deformadas en los acantilados

He took us through the outer falls and went to the inner falls but unfortunately they had gotten too shallow to go through safely.

Cruising Cyclone Creek
Crucero Ciclón Creek

So we went back to the outer falls and went through them a few more times before returning to the houseboat.

One last ride through the Horizontal Falls
Un último viaje a través de las cataratas horizontales

Back to Broome

We weren’t back for long before it was time to board our seaplane again for the flight back to Broome.

Our seaplane, ready to take us back to Broome
Nuestro hidroavión, listo para llevarnos de regreso a Broome

The flight itself was higher than the flight there, with less to see.

In the air, heading back to Broome
En el aire, volviendo a Broome

After a long day of excitement we were pretty tired anyway, but even so, it was beautiful to watch the wilderness passing below us with the sun starting to set in the distance.

Watching the sun set out our window
Watching the sunset out our window

It was still daylight when we landed in Broome, and we were transferred onto a mini-bus.

Coming in to land at Broome Airport
Coming in for landing at Broome Airport

The driver was handing out DVD’s of the experience, not from our day, but of what we saw.

One of the mini buses that took us back to the caravan park - I'd say the slogan on the front is true!
One of the mini buses that took us back to the caravan park – I’d say the slogan on the front is correct!

To our surprise the DVD’s were free! A very pleasant surprise when you usually have to pay for this sort of thing!

Ahora, si eres como yo, quizás te preguntes qué pasó con el conductor y el autobús 4WD. Bueno, hay una segunda gira que se realiza a la inversa. Así que vuela directamente desde el aeropuerto de Broome hasta Talbot Bay, y luego desde la bahía hasta Ardiyaloon. Después del criadero, tomaron el autobús 4WD hasta Cape Leveque, Beagle Bay y finalmente regresaron a Broome aproximadamente al mismo tiempo que nosotros.

Nuestro conductor nos llevó de regreso a nuestro parque de caravanas alrededor de las 6:00 pm, justo antes de que se pusiera el sol y con el tiempo suficiente para conducir hasta Cable Beach.

Playa de cable

Decidimos salir de nuevo a Cable Beach para ver el atardecer.

Sunset at Cable Beach
Atardecer en la playa de cable

Era tan hermoso como la noche anterior, y con muy pocas nubes no era muy diferente en absoluto.

Sunset at Cable Beach
Atardecer en la playa de cable

A pesar de la similitud entre las dos noches que estuvimos allí, lo volveríamos a ver si volvemos. ¡Es tan hermoso y pacífico!

Mercados nocturnos de Broome 

En nuestro camino de regreso al parque de caravanas notamos que algo estaba encendido. ¡Resultó ser el mercado nocturno de Broome!

The Broome Night Markets
Los mercados nocturnos de Broome

Decidimos pasar a echar un vistazo y estamos muy contentos de haberlo hecho.

Some of the market food
Algunos de los alimentos del mercado

Los mercados eran como una reunión comunitaria con vendedores de comida y música en vivo.

Enjoying the Broome Night Market atmosphere
Disfrutando del ambiente de Broome Night Market

La mayoría de la gente se relajaba en el césped con una comida y disfrutaba del ambiente, ¡fue genial! Conseguimos algo para comer ya que aún no habíamos cenado, y pasamos un rato allí experimentando la vida nocturna de Broome antes de regresar al parque de caravanas y un merecido descanso.

Si este artículo le ayudó a hacer su vida un poco más fácil, considere reservar o comprar a través de uno de nuestros enlaces. No le costará nada, pero le ayudará a mantener este sitio en funcionamiento.

Ahorre dinero en sus vacaciones

Conversión de moneda y dinero de viaje: Usamos ambos Up Bank y Sabio para obtener las mejores tasas de conversión de moneda con soporte para Apple Pay y Android Pay, además de una excelente atención al cliente en la aplicación mientras viaja.

Vuelos: Verificamos algunos sitios para conocer los diferentes precios. Viajando desde Australia, siempre verifico Qantas directamente para ver si hay vuelos de recompensa, pero de lo contrario, verifico y comparo el costo de los vuelos con SkyScanner. Siempre vale la pena consultar rutas y días alternativos, especialmente cuando hay varias opciones de escala o aeropuertos alternativos cercanos.

Alojamiento: Normalmente reservamos a través de Agoda ya que encontramos que sus precios son los más bajos y las políticas de cancelación + los beneficios de lealtad funcionan mejor. También usamos Airbnb de vez en cuando.

Alquiler de coches: Usamos AutoEurope para comparar los precios de los coches de alquiler con las de las grandes marcas internacionales como Europcar, Budget, Hertz y Avis. Por lo general, terminamos usando Avis o Europcar ya que ofrecen las mejores ofertas (asegúrese de consultar sus ofertas actuales para obtener descuentos adicionales) y ambos mantienen bien sus vehículos con flotas relativamente nuevas.

Tours y actividades: Por lo general, intentamos reservar actividades a través de uno de estos sitios de terceros. ViatorObtenga su guía Y Klook debido a sus políticas de cancelación flexibles (nos ahorraron mucho dinero tratando de viajar después de COVID) y garantías de precio (a menudo mejores precios que reservar directamente). También reservamos a través de Globo rojo en ocasiones para actividades más exclusivas en Australia y Nueva Zelanda.

¿Quién soy?

Matt in Noumea

Matt trabaja casi a tiempo completo dirigiendo su negocio de marketing digital, TerraMedia. Sin embargo, en su tiempo libre, le encanta viajar con su esposa, por lo que generalmente terminan haciendo mucho.
El hogar es Australia, y aunque no pasan todo el tiempo viajando por el mundo, a Matt y a su esposa les gusta tomarse el tiempo para explorar y conocer un lugar, incluso si eso significa pasar mucho más tiempo allí de lo que los turistas normales podrían .

Puedes leer más sobre Matt y su historia AQUÍ.

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