Day 5 - May 6, 2014 - Koolama Bay, King George River, Kimberley
By Thomas Hammerich, Geologist
Air Temperature: 34ºC
Pressure: 1013 hPa
Wind: SE 11-15 knots
The day started at sunrise with preparing the Zodiacs for the upcoming 6 hour ‘Zodiac ride and hike up to the King George River twin falls Tour’. I checked that everything was ok with Zodiac “Gjoa” and began the morning tour with 6 guests - our group consisted of 6 Zodiacs in total.
It was a very beautiful morning when we were ascending the King George River. At the river mouth we looked out for birds and other wildlife. We were able to spot a couple of oystercatcher. The day was just beautiful -very good light and clear blue sky with mild temperatures during the early morning. The surface of the water was like a mirror, reflecting the gorge’s walls on the surface of the river.
We spotted several very beautiful waterfalls at the rock walls on both sides of the King George River for the first time. These waterfalls had not been present during our previous voyages and were new! What a change and surprise on our fourth Kimberley voyage…every visit is different.
We arrived at the twin waterfalls and started the ascending hike up the steep wall onto the plateau. It was not an easy track but we managed it in very good time. At the top we continued our way towards the rock face of the first waterfall to take a look from a breath-taking, stunning look-out. What a view over the waterfall, into the gorge, onto the 1,8 Billion years old steep sandstone walls.
I took a few photos for friends and family at home and continued with our guests on the trail towards the second waterfall. Here we took a relaxing swim inside a pool quite close to the waterfalls. A very refreshing reward after the hike!
The way back down to the Zodiacs was done without any problems and soon we headed back to Silver Discoverer to have lunch.
In the afternoon I started my second trip to the King George River. This time I had 8 guests in my Zodiac. During the Zodiac cruise we spotted a lot of wildlife: one crocodile lying on a rock bank near a small waterfall in one of the side arms of King George River. We also spotted a Rock Wallaby. During the afternoon the sunlight turned the colour of the sandstone into a bright red brown, looking like Indian summer but on sandstone rocks! What a beautiful day it was. The two waterfalls of the King George River had increased water and also looked more impressive today. We drove the Zodiac close to the waterfall and the water spray gave us a refreshing splash. Everybody enjoyed the experience, the water tasted slightly salty! That was a surprise.
We took lots of photos and everybody was enjoying the scenic Zodiac cruise back to Silver Discoverer at sunset.
Might this have been the highlight of our voyage? We will find out tomorrow when looking at rock art and another expedition day …
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