Horizontal waterfalls of Australia. Description, photos, coordinates.

Horizontal Waterfalls Australia

Horizontal waterfalls (yes, they happen!) can be seen in northwestern Australia.

Not to mislead you, they aren’t exactly waterfalls in the usual sense. It is rather a natural phenomenon, which can be described as waterfalls.

At a certain angle, it seems that these are the most real waterfalls, which violate the law of gravity. They do not fall downward, but … sideways.

Where are the Horizontal Falls?

You’ll see them in the northern part of Western Australia on the Kimberley Coast. The waterfalls are deep in the unspoilt wilderness of Talbot Bay in the Bakkanir Archipelago.

Why the waterfalls are horizontal

The region’s geological features have created this incredible natural effect.

Two elongated freshwater bodies of water, Polton Creek, separate the small McLarty mountain ranges from Talbot Bay. And two gorges are formed in these mountain ranges. The North Gorge is located directly on the border with the sea bay and is about 20 meters wide. The second, the southern gorge connects the reservoirs themselves Polton Creek. It is no more than 10 meters wide. The gorges are about 300 meters apart.

Australia's Horizontal Falls

The effect of horizontal waterfalls appears at high and low tides. When the sea water rises or recedes, it simply does not have time to pass through the narrow passages. Water accumulates in front of the gorges faster than it has time to flow through them. This creates a difference in water levels in the bay and in Polton Creek and creates a waterfall effect. Usually the difference in height is about 5 meters, but it can be up to 10 meters. Naturally, the water rushes out of the bay at high tide and back in at low tide.

Waterfalls Horizontal Falls

The difference in water levels of Horizontal waterfalls is clearly visible on the rocks

However, unlike classic waterfalls, this natural phenomenon runs horizontally, creating the illusion that the water spills over the surface of the bay.

We recommend reading about the Underwater Waterfall of the island of Mauritius. At first glance it seems the most real, but it is only a natural 3D effect.

Horizontal waterfalls are characterized by repeated changes in the direction of water movement during the day. That is, during one day you can see how the water noisily flows into the bay and back again. The change in direction occurs approximately every 6.5 hours.

Lake Mckenzie on Fraser Island. Australia

Horizontal waterfalls

Naturalist David Attenborough called these waterfalls one of the great wonders of nature.

Horizontal waterfalls in tourism

Polton Creek Falls are elongated in shape and up to 8 kilometers long. When the water levels in them and in the bay compare, it is safe to boat here. The surrounding views will not leave you indifferent.

But tourists often come here and for the extreme passage of the gorges by boat at high tide.

That’s what tourists visit Horizontal Falls by boat Horizontal Falls

Boating down a waterfall

The vast majority of travelers take advantage of sightseeing tours from local travel agencies. They usually include the obligatory boat tour of Talbot Bay and a pass through the gorges.

You can see all the charm of the horizontal waterfalls from a helicopter or hydroplane.

The starting points for the tours are the town of Derby, 110 kilometers south of the Falls, and the town of Broome, 250 kilometers away.

For more information on tours, visit the official website of the Horizontal Falls tour operator.

Australia’s most famous and unusual waterfalls

Australia strikes the imagination not only with unique fauna and rare plants, but also with unforgettable landscapes. The continent of kangaroos and koalas has some mighty waterfalls, not inferior to its famous relative from Niagara.

Features of Australian waterfalls

Australian waterfalls are the pride of national nature reserves, but to get there is very difficult. Because of the complete lack of roads, you will have to walk a lot. There is a fee to enter the reserve or a permit from the state authorities. Local tourist companies have organized “aerial tours” – tourists are offered to see the majestic streams of water from a helicopter.

Australia Falls sunset

The waterfalls of Australia are located on the southern coast, which is loved by foreigners for its mild climate and full-flowing rivers. The water here is mirror clear, but not always blue. In this case, depending on the season, may take on a bright turquoise or reddish hue, which is caused by microorganisms. Swimming, making fires and fishing in the reserves is strictly prohibited, so you have to consider the beauty of nature only from the shore.

Australia’s most famous waterfalls

Listed below are the most famous water features that any traveler will enjoy. These natural attractions are worth putting on your sightseeing plan when touring the continent.

Puzzling World. Wanaka. New Zealand.

Horizontal Waterfalls

A rare natural phenomenon that is almost uncommon outside of Australia are horizontal waterfalls. They can be found in the northwest of the continent, in Talbot Bay. They appear when the water rushes back into the ocean at low tide, but the distance between the rocks is too small to let in the full force of the torrent. Huge sinkholes several tens of meters in diameter form, and the water level changes dramatically. This is how temporary waterfalls, created by the ocean itself, appear.

Horizontal Falls

Whereas in cascades the water runs down the rocks, here the stream spills over the sea surface. For this reason they are called horizontal. During the day you can see the water rises over the bay several times and then comes back down. Local residents have even organized rafting on boats and kayaks for tourists who love extreme sports. You can see the unusual natural effect from a bird’s eye view – by helicopter.

Mitchell Falls on multiple levels

Frequently photographed waterfall of Australia – Mitchell Falls – can be found in Kimberley County, in the western part of the continent. The total height difference is more than 80 meters. At the same time, the stream traverses multi-level platforms, creating a picturesque ensemble of water jets. The best time to visit Mitchell Falls is in winter, the rainiest season. In summer, the body of water dries up and is not very impressive. It is only accessible on foot, so the four-step waterfall of Australia is popular with tent campers. Its English name is Mitchell. Mitchell Falls photo:

Mitchell Falls Australia

Australia’s highest waterfall – Wallaman

Wallaman is known not only in Australia, but also worldwide as one of the highest water streams in the world. The height of the fall is 302 m, and if you take into account several straight areas – 340 m. The highest waterfall in Australia is located in North Queensland, on the Stony Creek. The formation of the Wallaman began more than 40 million years ago, when the Herbert River changed course from west to east because of a change in the position of one of the Earth’s plates. The rocks were gradually eroded by water, eventually forming a deep gorge with an equally impressive cascade of water.

Three-stage Wentworth Falls

Looking at the fabulous cascade lost in the rainforest, it’s easy to imagine yourself in a magical land – so magical and beguiling a sight. Here you can really relax and forget everything for a while, which is often used by many tourists who come here for the weekend to meditate, relax in silence and solitude.

This is one of the most equipped for travelers waterfalls, where there are special viewing platforms and walking paths. A visit to this attraction will also be interesting for history buffs: not far from the cascade, archaeologists have found traces of primitive people’s camps.

Wentworth Falls

McKenzie (Grampians)

McKenzie is very beautiful during the cold season, when it rains a lot and the rivers fill to the brim with water. Then it’s compared to a scaled-down replica of Victoria Falls: a mighty, wide rushing torrent plunging more than 70 metres. And when the weather gets hotter, the jets weaken, but you can see the unique natural phenomenon – a game of rainbow on the water droplets. Especially at sunset. There is a ladder attached to the rock that you can use to go down to the very bottom and bathe in the mountain stream.

Baldwin Street is the coolest street in the world. Dunedin. New Zealand.

“Apsley Falls

Apsley Falls are called “double” because of the two platforms, from which water jets fall at different heights. The first has a height of about 60 meters, and the second – 58. They are located at a distance of about 800 meters from each other. The natives of the Australian continent has a legend that both streams created the mythical Rainbow Serpent, and still occasionally appears on the river to look at his creation. At the foot of the cascade leads a picturesque staircase, which was opened more than 60 years ago. It is very convenient to get here from the parking lot.

Edith’s Cascade Falls Series.

Several not too tall but impressive streams of water are nestled among the unusual greenery and trees of the Australian continent. It’s one of the most popular tourist spots in Western Australia.

All affected by the development of infrastructure: there are plenty of campsites around, which offer lodging and breakfasts for a reasonable fee. You can also come here with your own tent or trailer, hike the winding 2 km trail, and enjoy the majestic panorama of Edith Falls on the way out.

Ebor Falls.

The whole river is divided into two halves by a huge rock and two mighty waterfalls fall from the top of the gorge, almost 200 meters high. This is Ebor Falls. The natives of this land call it Martiam. In translation, it means “the great waterfall. The nature here has remained almost untouched – you can still see rare animals, such as the eagle’s whiptail. Wild orchids bloom along the river mouth in the fall and spring.

“Vanishing Falls

It is located on the island of Tasmania. It gets its name from the fact that at the foot of the mountain it splits into tiny streams, which fall further into the reservoir in the form of water vapor. Because of the lack of water, the channel often dries up, so you can enjoy the view only during the rainy season. Wenishing lies in the heart of the wilderness rainforest, so this is where you can feel truly isolated from other people and at one with nature.

The beach with the whitest sand in the world - Hyams Beach. Australia

Fitzroy Falls


One of Australia’s most spectacular natural wonders is in Morton National Park, nestled amongst the wild bushland. Stormy stream falls from a height of 80 meters. The object is located south of Sydney. However, you can get directly to the waterfall only on foot. Nearby is a village of about 200 local residents, where you can stay overnight. The miraculous natural phenomenon was named after Governor Charles Fitzroy.

Liffey Falls, a four-cascade waterfall.

Liffey is an incredible place in the heart of Tasmania. Australia’s famous four-stage waterfall is located in a national park near Davenport. Four tiered platforms divide the streams of water into tiny, rock-breaking streams. The ancient forest surrounding the cascades is also worth a tourist’s attention – it’s a relict preserve where the trees and land have never known human intervention. Not far away are the heathlands, which are included in the world heritage of UNESCO as a natural monument. Australia’s famous four-stage waterfall can be seen in the picture in almost any wall calendar.

Liffey Falls

Tin Mein – Wallaman’s rival

One of the biggest waterfalls on the continent and in the world – has a height of 421 meters. It is located in the state of South Wales, in the Kosciusko National Park. The title of the highest in Australia was prevented by an unfortunate accident: the stream of water breaks into two cascades of different levels. But this does not detract from the spectacle, because all the power of falling water can also be felt on the lower viewing platforms.

Famous Waterfalls in Oxley National Park

Oxley National Wildlife Refuge has been called Wild Rivers Park, and for good reason. No other place on the planet offers so much scenic river scenery. Especially memorable are the cascades of the Tia on the river of the same name, which have made a rapid stream of their own way in the rock and with primitive power rushed down to the ocean.

Unfortunately, Tia is one of the most difficult sights on the list, but it has the merit of being away from the crowds of tourists.

Popular waterfalls in Kakadu Park

Kakadu National Park is part of the Northern Territory state. Number one on the list of attractions is Jim Jim, with a water flow falling from a height of about 200 meters. The river channel runs in a deep canyon, which makes the view especially impressive: such power and pressure in a confined space of rock will not be forgotten. The deep pond at the foot of the mountain stream looks like a diamond sparkling in the sun. The trees growing around it are reflected in the smooth surface like a mirror.

Christmas Island and the migrating red crabs

waterfalls in Kakadu Park

Russell Falls in Tasmania

This beloved Tasmanian landmark has been called an elfin, or magical, landmark because of the feeling it gives visitors. Visitors report a fantasy world feel, like hobbits crawling out from behind a rock or a magical unicorn. The tiniest jets of water, crashing on the uneven rock, form several picturesque cascades.

Blanco in Girringun National Park

Blenko is the pride of Queensland County. The place is hard to reach – there is no way to get there by car. You have to walk several kilometers from the parking lot, so it’s best to download a map to your phone beforehand. The stream with a height of 90 meters further along the stream forms a full-flowing river. And then it splits into several streams again, flowing further on the rocks. Such a spectacle will be forgotten for a long time.

The list of waterfalls in Australia is long. The continent continues to attract thousands of travelers and nature lovers. Australia’s rivers, lakes and waterfalls are a distinctive sight not seen in other parts of the world.

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