Good Day at Black Rock Falls! Kununurra, Western Australia

Last Updated on March 26, 2017 by Red Nomad OZ

Reflections at Black Rock Falls, via Kununurra, Western Australia
Reflections at Black Rock Falls, via Kununurra, Western Australia

Bloated from a surfeit of mango smoothies from several Ord River irrigation scheme produce outlets and cafés during a mini-heatwave, we finally left Kununurra for the day and hit the Parry Creek Road eatery-free zone.

Going cold turkey was the only way to break the smoothie stranglehold, whether or not our abstinence caused the producers financial hardship.

Victoria Springs, via Kununurra
Victoria Springs, via Kununurra

While the significant cash spent on a scenic flight or boat tour as recommended by the Kununurra 7day tourist guide would be well worth it, we’d found the cheapskate self-drive tour of this part of the East Kimberley.

Which, as we found out, came with its own special entertainment.

Victoria Springs, via Kununurra, Western Australia
Victoria Springs, via Kununurra, Western Australia

Victoria Springs was easy to find as the road ran through its pleasant waterholes, so camera at the ready, I headed for the rocky bar above the waterhole to see what lay beyond. With a flourish, a grey nomad vehicle pulled up next to us. She alighted from the passenger seat and strode purposefully towards me. He stayed in the car.

‘What’s on the other side?’ she demanded, invading my personal space.

‘No idea,’ I replied and moved away, trying to shake her off. But that was clearly the wrong answer.

‘Well, climb over and tell me if it’s worth it,’ she snapped.

I checked the front of my shirt. Was it possible that I’d slidden into a nightmarish parallel universe where I was a tour guide?

BUT no.  NO ‘Amazing Australian Adventures’ tour guide badge adorned my lapel. That meant a) my quest to fail to become a tour guide was on track and, more importantly, b) this exacting oldster was just a rude cow. What a relief …

Black Rock Falls Gorge, via Kununurra
Black Rock Falls Gorge, via Kununurra

‘Why don’t you just get off your lazy butt and see for yourself?’ I DIDN’T say, opting instead for a more socially acceptable snub as I climbed the rocks to get away from her. ‘There’s another waterhole up here, but only you can judge whether or not it’s worth it,’ I flung back at her, moving further away.

The suspense was too great for her so she followed me up the rocks.

Sadly though, the view was apparently NOT worth it and resisting the urge to perform my first strangulation, I left her muttering to herself (and probably me) about how much better places X, Y and Z were …

Perhaps it was full moon.

Black Rock Falls Pool, via Kununurra, WA
Black Rock Falls Pool, via Kununurra, WA

By comparison, the short trek from the carpark to Black Rock Falls was uneventful.

Other than having to dive off the track to make way for the 4WD reversing erratically around the corner!

Why did they call it Black Rock Falls?
Why did they call it Black Rock Falls?

Our sense of adventure was clearly defective. It just hadn’t occurred to us to DRIVE down the narrow, rocky walking trail.

Then again, as we’d only spent about a third of what the lethal weapon ploughing its way backwards down the track towards us must have cost, we didn’t feel the same obligation to prove our 4WD credentials.

Possibly embarrassed about the shiny newness of his off-road vehicle, the driver reversed past us over a couple of small trees, rocks spinning off the wheels and undergrowth beating a tattoo on the underside of the car.

At that rate it wouldn’t stay so new-looking for long!

We continued down the newly-widened track and rounded the corner to find the falls only a few metres away through a thicket of scrub that even a 4WD driven possibly by a former bulldozer driver wasn’t able to penetrate.

Unlikely as it may seem, it’s possible there are those who would NOT immediately visualise black rocks and waterfalls upon hearing the words ‘Black Rock Falls’.

Black Rock Falls
Black Rock Falls

Such people therefore did NOT name Black Rock Falls as it’s a fairly unimaginative description of the actual falls, although not of the surrounding red cliffs or the blue sky above.

Or the magnificent reflections enhanced by the ‘magic’ setting on my camera!

As I manoeuvred my way around the rocks at the base of the falls, a small group of camera-toting grey nomads arrived. The designated photographer directed the others into position and started snapping.

‘I can’t fit the whole falls in the picture,’ she said after stepping back as far as possible. The other group members couldn’t help her. She turned to me, foolishly believing that just because I had a camera in my hand, I actually knew what to do with it.

And so it was that I unexpectedly found myself giving my very first photography ‘lesson’ as I showed her how to vertically stitch her photo. Scary, isn’t it?!

Does this mean I’m one step closer to being a – gulp – tour guide?

There was only one course of action possible to take under those circumstances.

So we broke the drought (of a few hours) and accompanied by sighs of relief from local producers, returned to Kununurra for yet another mango smoothie.

And to watch another magnificent sunset from our campsite, and the Kimberley full moon rise!

Want MORE?

Kununurra Sunset
Kununurra Sunset from our Campsite
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  1. @jenny – If the thought of Grey Nomads is too scary, do as I did and become a Red – or Blonde, or Brunette – Nomad!
    @Pieces of Sunshine – Thank you! It was even more fun to take them!
    @Cathy – You’re too kind … no, really!!
    @Betty – HHHMMMmmm… Perfect?? Yes, I believe you are right!!!

  2. incredibly beautiful reflections, and sights! those black stones are really stunning as well.

    i’d love to go here one day…journeys like this sound just about perfect!

    big hugs!

  3. thank you for your lovely comment on my weekend reflection at Gaylords in Texas. Without your visit I would not have found this wonderful post. Your photos are fantastic and the story is even better. Without bloggers like you and post like this one I would never get to see the world. Thanks for taking me on this armchair tour of your lovely country.

  4. @NixBlog – Thank you! It was a pleasure to take them!
    @NatureFootstep – It’s my pleasure! Drop by for a new adventure anytime!
    @TexWisGirl – I bet you get a lot of strong colours like this in your neck of the woods too!
    @Al – Yes! I’m still not sure which was the MOST incredible!
    @WW whatever – Haha! I’ll be sure and ask for the cash up front next time …
    @FrankieG – Oh, you’re SUCH a tease!!
    @Eden – It sure is beautiful – you won’t regret it!
    @Ebie – Thank you! You’re too kind!!
    @Rita – My pleasure! Seeing the world through someone else’s eyes is really the next best thing to being there yourself! It IS the best thing if you can’t get there!!

  5. @Dimple – I should have mentioned that there’s falls only during the wet season – when the road is often impassable!! The black rocks are where the water falls – but I daresay they fall down too!
    @TFG – Haha, there’s all sorts of ‘polite’ things I could have said to her, but until I develop some tact I’ll probably bite my tongue!! Don’t be so hard on your photographic ability – yes, all those things are there, but it took YOUR eye to see a photo and capture it!!!
    @Leovi – Thank you!
    @Sallie – How did you know about the name tags??!! And the wrong link? I wouldn’t have even noticed … but even if I did, there’s no way I’d lump you in as a GN!!!
    @Iris – Luckily, we’d headed further south before the really hot weather!! I’m sure you met a lot of ‘interesting’ people on your travels too!
    @EG Camera Girl – You got that right!

  6. @Rubye Jack – Armchair tourism has a lot going for it … especially with moronic GN’s on the loose!!!
    @Owen – A temptress, huh?? Well … if that’s the case, then my work is done!! I AM a female, so that term is quite appropriate – for the context you describe!
    @Aleah – Haha, I never thought of that! Next time …
    @Beach Bum – Tragically, not a bar (alcoholic or smoothie) in sight out at the falls!!
    @Hanne Bente – Thanx for dropping in and for your kind comments!
    @Loredana – Thank you! Come back anytime!

  7. @Carole M – Thank you! Magnificent spots like these are what we travel for!!
    @Zigazag – Actually, for some reason ‘when hell freezes over’ is the phrase that springs to mind …
    @River – It’s just a stitch or ‘panorama’ shot – but instead of doing it side to side, you can do it up & down as well! Just turn the camera around!!
    @’Tsuki – I couldn’t believe my luck when the photo sort of jumped out at me through the viewfinder!! So it’s my favourite too!! Thanx for following!
    @PDP – AARRRRGGGHHH!! My worst nightmare!! I think I’ve got the capacity, given the right circumstances, to become the tour guide from hell …
    @FruitCake – Nah, she was rude!! You don’t achieve that level of whiny & demanding self-entitlement from being dominated!! HHHMMMmmmm… perhaps I underplayed that??!!

  8. Your latest post about Black Rock Falls reminds me of another adventure around Kununurra. We drove to Secret Falls and I cannot tell you any more than that as it is an umm err secret! Needless to say we had to park our non high clearance vehicle when the going became too rough and trek the remaining half kilometre to the falls. Luckily the peace and serenity was unbroken by noises of people and cars, apart of course from our own quiet voices unwilling to break the spell. A Water Monitor slipped into the freezing water, forever dissuading us from doing the same. From above it looked like a Fresh Water Croc. Four hours of exploring eating and snoozing in the shade and not another tourist to break the spell. Sorry, I cannot recall how to get there so it may forever remain a secret. Cheers

  9. We´ve only visited the mini Bungle-Bungles there. It was so dang hot, I nearly passed out. So dry and hot, oh, my!!

    Hehe, some people…! 😉
    Are sure worth a post!

  10. Oh my gosh — after my rant above about old and forgetful people, I just realized I posted the comment with the wrong link (one I was saving for a completely different purpose). Just sign me up for a gray nomad tour group now (or just shoot me ;>)). Sorry.

  11. Oh those darn Gray Nomads …. oh, oops, yikes, that would be me wouldn’t it? If I were lucky enough to be at Black Rock Falls, though, I hope somebody who was aspiring NOT to be a tour guide would just shoot me if I behaved like the ones you met did. Did the camera group have name-tags? We have a very hard time not laughing when we see tour groups with name tags — they might as well say “if I’m lost return me to my tour group.” Oh well, I’ll probably be there myself tomorrow.

    You got great pictures in spite of the distractions; it’s a beautiful place.

  12. You have stunning photos. Love the reflections in the water. Your story made me laugh. Always good to jump out of the way of crazed 4×4 drivers, especially going backward, and that women was amazingly rude. Should have explained to her that the thrill of travel is self discovery, and then just walked away. Mango smoothies, yumm. You could be my tour guide any time.

    Thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog. I’d be proud to be an honorary Aussie, but I can’t take credit for the lake, sky or pelicans. They just jumped in front of my camera.

  13. Hi Red,
    Thanks for the visit.

    I really enjoyed the first shot and your commentary on your adventures. Then, at the end, I realized there was not one shot of any waterfalls! Maybe the black rocks are what fall?

    Great tour!!

  14. WAU-where some beautiful pictures you show.
    The latter is super nice.
    Thank you for visiting my blog.
    Wish you a good day 🙂
    Hanne Bente

  15. You do realize don’t you how much you are tempting some of us to come and see this place ? Sometimes a female may be called a temptress, but I’m not sure what the term for a male who does so is… 🙂

  16. Going cold turkey was the only way to break the smoothie stranglehold, whether or not our abstinence caused the producers financial hardship.

    There are several restaurants and outlet stores around Hilton Head, South Carolina that I am sure went out of business because my wife stopped going there. Now usually I don’t mind when my wife goes on a long duration shopping trip. I either stay at the resort and hang out on the beach or if I am forced to go there is usually a bar in the outlet mall I can hang out in.

    Great pictures as always!

  17. The first picture is stunning !

    The others are fine of course, and every interesting to go through that day in your company, but I really enjoed the first one : marvellous !

  18. Your writing does make me giggle, so do you adventures, Red! Seems like you’ve had some laughs in a beautiful spot and taken some awesome photos. By the way, Butlin’s red is a good colour for a tour guide uniform … if you’re ever thinking 😉

  19. The pictures are absolutely beautiful. I thought the first one was upside down at first glance. With all the people out there, I think I’m better off sitting here as an armchair tourist.
    The smoothies sound good!

  20. I suspect the rude woman was not really rude at all, just stupid. Sounds to me like it was the puppet master in the car who was rude.

    Maybe she was trying to work out which would be the lesser of two evils – climbing only to be disappointed, or just going back to the car and being disappointed without quite so much effort.

    Glad you two made the effort though, because the photos are not disappointing at all.

  21. You obviously have an air of authority about you Red, you ‘look’ like a tour guide the next step is the qualification! Can you just imagine the joy you felt with your GNP multiplied over and over haha! Your captures of the Black Rock Falls are really beautiful.

  22. Those black rocks are stunning!
    But that woman was definitely rude.
    Now, may I ask you, what is vertical stitching and how do I do it?

  23. @Barb – Thank you!! We thought we’d make it to SW WA this year, but ran out of time up north! Maybe next trip MJWC -…
    @MJWC – Yes, but you’re not a rude cow!! Are you?? I just KNOW I’d say something bad if I didn’t get along with the tour group!!
    @Stewart M – Actually, you CAN get away from the pollies – just head inland and find a place with no internet access!! Too easy!!
    @Mary – Thank you!

  24. I love the way you write. And the places you see. Great photos always.
    Have you been down south of WA? That’s where I am and am in the slow process of exploring bits of it.
    I blog about my, too few, adventures too but not half as interesting as you. lol.


  25. Wow, that looks like an absolutely stunning place! Sounds like you would make a pretty good tour guide, haha. But that woman sounded very rude, I would have just told her to check herself to be honest, but maybe that’s just me.

  26. Your photos are wonderful today. What a beautiful area! Re: pumpkin. A can of pumpkin would be fine. Have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  27. Splendid post! I’m going to have to organise some trips inland.

    Mr. A was not in Dubai (thankfully in my opinion!) – but he was on the internet. You can get away from polies these days!

    Cheers – Stewart M – Melbourne

  28. Speaking as an ex-tourguide I’d say you do a pretty good job. The correct answer, by the way, when people ask if a view is worth the climb is: “It’s always worth the effort to see something new” – they can’t really argue with the philosophy even if they find the scenery disappointing. Thanks for guiding me to such stunning country.

  29. Does this mean I’m one step closer to being a – gulp – tour guide?

    I told you if I ever come to Australia, I am looking you up to be my tour guide.

  30. @AreWeThereYet – Haha, actually my camera is surgically attached!! That’s what Pilchard thinks, anyway!
    @Andrew – Maybe if I looked more like a GN and less like a tour guide (!) I wouldn’t have got this reaction!!!
    @Holiday Nomad – I hope you can see it without the irritating people I met!!!
    @eileeninmd – Thank you! It was all the better for being unexpected as the surrounding countryside is so arid!
    @John – Haha, you’re WAAAAY too polite! I thought I was doing well to suppress my initial reaction!! I’d MUCH rather be a virtual tour guide!
    @TMWH – Ha! I’ll become a real tour guide when they invent a way to ‘delete’ the rude cows!!! See you at the smoothie bar …
    @Saz – Well … you saw my first reaction!! I guess that’s what you get from people who think they ought to ‘explore’ – but don’t want to make any effort!
    @Filip & Kristel – Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it!!

  31. You would make an entertaining tour guide, and we tourists certainly would have a blast, but only if we could make fun of the ‘rude cows’ at the smoothie bar later!

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