Waterfalls in Western Australia
The Western Australia Waterfalls (WA) can be categorized into two categories – those found in the tropical and deserts of Northern WA and those found in the temperate Southern WA. The state was big enough that the climate varied dramatically between these regions. The result was a waterfalling experience that was very different as we went from the Outback regions of the far north in the Kimberley and Pilbara to the wine regions of the Southwestern part of the state.
In the north, the waterfalls depended on the monsoonal rains of the Wet Season (i.e. the Australian Summer). The general pattern was that they’d gain most (if not all) of their moisture from the tropical downpours during the Wet, and then the drainages would flow until their water supply runs out as the Dry Season progressed. The pattern would repeat itself the following Wet Season as the waterfalls would once again experience the heavy tropical precipitation once again. Some of the more dramatic waterfalls that we came across here were Mitchell Falls and King George Falls. Then, there were surprising waterfalls where the flow was year-round such as Fortescue Falls.
In the south, the climate was more temperate. Thus, the waterfalls here depended on Winter rains. Our June 2006 visit probably was a bit too early in the Winter to see the waterfalls here flow with vigor (either that or the rains came late). Whatever the case was, most of the waterfalls we encountered had low flow or were dry altogether. However, some of the waterfall highlights in this region included Serpentine Falls and Beedelup Falls.
Of course with a state so vast and so varied, there was way more than the waterfalls. We were able to see the gorgeous red-cliffed gorges in Karijini National Park in the Pilbara Region, see some of the wildest places in the state in the Kimberley Region (including the Bungle Bungles), experience WA’s version of a barrier reef at Coral Bay and the Ningaloo Reef, see the eccentric Pinnacles at Cervantes, experience the caves as well as the food and wine at the Margaret River Wine Region, see a petrified “wave”, and even crank our necks looking up at the giant trees in the far southwest of the state. Indeed, waterfalls seemed to be merely the side attraction to all the surprises and diversity on offer here, and I’m sure we’re due for a return trip to experience more of Australia’s largest state.