We wake in a beautiful bay on Day 9 of our Kimberley cruise aboard the Reef Prince and I race onto the back deck to catch another sunrise.
Then it’s time for an early continental breakfast before we don swimsuits for a dip under King George Falls.
We take turns sitting on the front of a tender as First Mate Fritz nudges it under the falls. I squeal and giggle with delight as the cold water pours down over me. It’s such an endorphin rush and I declare it – naturally – to be “bulk fun”.
Fellow passenger Barry later says he could hear me from the Reef Prince, as he was on the loo when we departed and missed his spot on a tender. Fritz kindly takes him for a belated dousing a little later in the morning.
DD opts for a turn under the faster plummeting falls and I take a series of snaps as he is violently doused with water. We laugh at his shocked face as the water plunges over him.
We head back to the boat to dry off and have morning tea while gazing at the falls. A fruit platter and warm, homemade Vegemite scrolls are set out on the front deck. We’re not quite sure how we will return to normal life without morning and afternoon teas served up to us.
Then it’s back in the tenders for a scenic cruise along the river. We are surrounded by incredible beauty and the colours are sublime: the sky is vividly blue and the towering cliff faces are vibrantly streaked with red, orange and black. The prolonged wet season means the vegetation is lush and green. The captain tells us that in just a few months everything will be brown.
We all agree that we have chosen the right direction for the cruise – Broome to Darwin – as we have built up to this highlight of King George River and Falls. If we’d cruised from Darwin to Broome we’d have seen the trip’s big ticket item first and expected every day to provide such show-stopping beauty.
Each day has been breathtaking, but King George Falls steps things up a notch. Somehow, photos don’t do it justice. I stop snapping and simply sit back and capture the scenery with my eyes rather than a camera lens, while DD takes a photo of himself admiring the view with his feet up.
In the late afternoon we head to Calamity Bay for a swim and afternoon drinks in a waterhole. I pretend to drink a beer for a happy snap because our gorgeous – literally, she’s a part-time model – head hostess Jess confused my order and forgot to bring a Strongbow for me. She is completely mortified and offers to buy me a drink on her own tab when we get back to the Reef Prince.
I suspect 20-year-old chief hostesses don’t earn much by the hour so I refuse her sweet offer. I’m a little disappointed not to kick back in the wilderness with a bevvy, but it’s no biggie.
Read more about our adventures at King George Falls and the story behind why its called Calamity Bay by clicking here.
Song of the day: Iggy Pop “Real wild child”