Visitor safety at Garaanngaddim (Horizontal Falls)
The force of the water from Garaanngaddim (Horizontal Falls) can create treacherous conditions that are dangerous for boaters to navigate.
Safety is a major concern around the falls as environmental conditions create dangerous tidal movement. Skippers are reminded they are responsible for the safety of their vessels and passengers.
In addition to offshore marine safety standards detailed by the Department of Transport, visitors can stay safe when travelling through Garaanngaddim (Horizontal Falls) by:
- checking the weather, tide and state of flow before entering
- not travelling through the falls when the tide is rushing through
A 7km drone exclusion zone surrounding Garaanngaddim (Horizontal Falls) has been created for the safety of seaplanes and helicopters (see image opposite). The area surrounding the falls can become very busy with helicopters and seaplanes landing.
It is important to avoid seaplane landing areas and monitor marine channel 16 when in the vicinity of the falls.
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Horizontal Falls in Talbot Bay
The park’s most celebrated attraction is created by massive tides of up to 10 metres. Narrow gaps in two parallel tongues of land mean the tide falls faster than the water can escape, producing ‘horizontal falls’. When the tide turns the falls flow in the opposite direction.
There are islands with fringing coral reefs and mangrove-lined creeks and bays. Spectacular tidal currents and whirlpools are also seen in Walcott Inlet, which extends for about 30km from Collier Bay and is up to 11km wide.
Experiencing the park
Visitors arrive by boat or seaplane and can enjoy ever-changing ocean views; experience the Horizontal Falls; see whales, snubfin dolphins, sea turtles and other wildlife; fish for barramundi; and experience the incredible Dambimangari culture.
Lalang-garram is a Dambimangari name that evokes the saltwater as a spiritual place of great natural abundance. Significant cultural sites in the park include middens, stone arrangements, important camping beaches and important mythological areas. Visitors are encouraged to view Dambimangari Aboriginal Corporation’s Code of Conduct for visitors to Dambimangari country before entering Lalang-garram/Horizontal Falls Marine Park.
Enjoying the park safely
Estuarine crocodiles and box jellyfish are present in the park and there may be strong tidal currents, high winds and infrequent cyclones. Please seek advice from the Parks and Wildlife West Kimberley District Office if you are unsure about the safety of an activity you are planning to undertake.