Mitchell Falls Scenic Flight
So...You want to take a virtual tour by air from Drysdale station to the Mitchell Falls, to see how incredible this scenic Flight really is? Well, Garth and Ann have offered to be your virtual tour guides. They are happy to take you with them on their scenic flight, which is leaving Drysdale for the Mitchell Falls...right now!
"Hi Folks! We are Garth and Ann. It's 6:30 am in the morning and we're at Drysdale Station Airport. As you can see we are just about to board the aircraft to take a scenic flight up to the Mitchell Falls and back. When making enquiries about the approx. 2 hour flight it turned out it was very expensive at over $800 each, if only the two of us flew. The good news is that the shop at Drysdale takes down names of others wanting to fly, and we also canvassed the caravan park. The more passengers the lower the cost. With 5 passengers on board the price came down to $325 each. Knowing the difference it makes to the price, the way to go is to pre book the flight. If the folks at Drysdale can’t get others to share the flight with you, you are not obligated to fly, so there is no risk it will cost you more than you want to pay."
"This is our pilot Dean. The aircraft is well suited for a scenic flight; the wing is located on top of the plane and everybody has a window seat."
"Well here we are up in the air...following the Drysdale River as it carves it's way across Drysdale River Station. After the river leaves the station it runs right through the Drysdale River National Park. Up here we get the chance to soar above untouched Kimberley wilderness, looking down upon woodlands, gorges, cliffs, ranges, waterfalls and creeks."
"Folks!..This is Mt Hann, named after Frank Hann who was a gold prospector and explorer. He undertook an epic expedition through the Kimberleys in 1898. Mount Hann is 853 meters, 2799 feet high. Our flight path will now go past Deep Gorge, which is one of the headwater tributaries to the Prince Regent. We follow this gorge down into the Prince Regent River. We then follow the river through the Prince Regent Nature Reserve past King's Cascade, and then over Saint George Basin, where the river enters the Indian ocean."
"Well folks!...We are now flying over a sandstone mountain range, within the Prince Regent Nature Reserve, which is one of Australia's most remote, untouched wilderness areas."
"Ann, I've researched this area of the Kimberleys. It was claimed a reserve in 1964, and covers a total area of 633,825 hectares (1,566,216 acres). The reserve contains spectacular gorges, waterfalls, sandstone cliffs, and mountain ranges. It adjoins The Mitchell River National Park, creating a protected area of over 750,000 hectares (1,853,290 acres). These reserves are essentially 'crown land', owned and managed by The Department of Environment and Conservation."
"Wow Garth! You really did do a whole heap of research, before taking this trip!"
"...We are now flying over the Prince Regent River, which runs a uniquely straight course because it follows a fault line for nearly it's whole length..."
"That's another Deep Gorge down there with the waterfall isn't it Garth...?"
"...We are now flying over the beautifully terraced waterfall known as The King Cascades..."
"It really is an incredible site to see all that water cascading over those tiered rock formations down there, isn't it Garth?"
"Sure is Ann! Did you know The King Cascades are named after Phillip King who chartered this section of the Australian coastline in 1820. King's crew careened the vessel HMC Mermaid for repairs at Careening Bay, were he carved his vessel's name into a boab tree."
"Wow, Garth! You sure are a waterfall of knowledge!"
"Folks!...We are now flying over the lower end of the Prince Regent River before it opens out into St George Basin."
"Well here we are Folks! Flying over The Saint George Basin, which is a vast Inland Sea...You can see Saint Andrew Island in the foreground"
"Wow Garth...Look at the cliffs along that section of coastline. Arn't they spectacular!"
"Truly breathtaking Ann...The colour of those cliffs is so vivid in the sunlight"
"...To give you an idea of our bearings Folks, Kunmunya Mission and The Macdonald Ranges are located South West of our current position. We are about to turn in a north easterly direction and fly along the coastline to the Mitchell Falls..."
"We are now flying over Mount Trafalgar. And you can see Mt Waterloo in the distance."
"Ann...Did you know Mt Trafalgar is a really important landmark along the coastline up here. It stands out for miles and miles, due to it's unique shape and straight sides."
"It really is incredible Garth...It sure would be hard to miss, from land, air or sea!"
"...Well Folks! Here we are, coming up to the Prince Frederick Harbour. Right now we are passing over Boongaree Island..."
"...Now we're soaring right above The Prince Frederick Harbour. This harbour flows out into the Bonaparte Archipelago..."
"Ann, did you know when the French first explored the Kimberley coastline in the early 1800's their ships were quite large, and not able to approach too close to the treacherous Kimberley coast. Therefore the naming of landmarks usually took place from afar. That's why many French names adorn the Kimberley coast; Joseph Bonaparte Gulf, Bonaparte Archipelago, Cape Chateaurenaud and Cape Leveque being just a sample..."
"...This spurred the British government to send Phillip Parker King to survey the coast in a much more detailed way in 1819. It was feared the French would come and lay claim to parts of Northern Australia they had already chartered. The French and British were fierce rivals and enemies at this time. Hence, the name Prince Frederick Harbour, which we are flying over now!"
"So Garth, the names Mt Trafalgar and Port Nelson must commemorate the famous French defeat. And there are other great British names bestowed on the Kimberley coast, obviously to further push the point!"
"Right Ann! Prince Regent River, Prince Frederick Harbour, Admiralty Gulf and Port Warrender are just a few examples!".
"...If you look down below you, you'll see the Mitchell Falls. This is the best known feature in the North Kimberley area. The falls are a three tiered series of drops, nearly 80 metres high."
"They truly are spectacular, arn't they Garth!"
"We are now looking down on Merten Falls and Merten Gorge. When you do the walk in to the Mitchell Falls, you have to walk across the top of this waterfall."
"..Well Folks!..The rest of the journey back to Drysdale, from here, will take us over the Mitchell Plateau, and the King Edward River..."
"Ann...did you know The Mitchell Plateau comprises the only occurrence of its kind of vast ancient palm forests (400 sq. kms. plus) to be found anywhere in Australasia. The Livistona Eastonii palms are believed to be the last remnant population of the original founding Livistona palm species? There are no other palm forests of this kind anywhere else! Plus The Mitchell Plateau is the only place left in Australia (and one of very few in the world) with no recorded extinctions of any flora or fauna. There are many rare and endangered species of flora and fauna found only in the Mitchell Plateau region."
"That's amazing Garth...this sure has been one memorable flight!"
"Well, after around a 2 hour flight, we're now circling Drysdale station coming into land..."
"Now we're back on the ground, Garth is going to grab us some lunch from Drysdale's Restaurant, and a couple of cold beers from the bar..."
"...While I use Drysdale's fridge phone, to touch base with the family back home! Then we are going to go out to Miner's Pool at Drysdale Station for a swim, and stay the night at the campsite. We really hope you enjoyed the flight as much as we did! We might see you up at the restaurant later on tonight for dinner, hey?! Catch ya later!"
Click Here For: More Information On Booking This Scenic Flight