Mitchell Falls: When it did not have a name

by Anonymous

The Mitchell Falls

The Mitchell Falls

I was lucky enough to visit the Mitchell Falls on a number of times, first being in 1975 when working on the prawn trawlers out of Darwin. We would fish what we called the west coast which main catch area was from Admiralty Gulf down to York Sound. On spring tides in this area even the prawns dug into the mud. We would drop the pick and have a piss up with some other boats and do a bit of exploring in the dingies.

On one spring tide we entered the Mitchell River and steamed up until we saw a large rock, from there we used the dingies to explore the area. No one had heard of or seen the falls with us, so you can imagine how happy we were to find such a lovely place above the tidal flow.

Couple of things we learnt over the years 1975 to 1983: the last set of falls drops into a tidal section of the river, we often saw lots of crocs on low tide baking in the sun next to where we had left our dingies. We would often camp over night as to arrive and leave on a full tide, some great times were had camped out.

If you look at the falls, the largest pond is deep enough to jump of from the right hand side from the falls above, this we would often do, the more beers the easier it got. On the left hand side of the same pond be careful diving in on the down stream side of where you see the rock that looks like a big arrow on the ledge, one of my deckies crack his nut on a submerged rock.

Swimming at the very top of the falls can be fun, sliding on the slippery rocks. Be warned, these rocks are covered in blood sucking large leeches that seem to want to attach themselves to every private part of your body.

The whole area is such a special place, to those that go there: enjoy it and look after it.

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Swimming at Mitchell Falls
by: Birgit

Thanks for sharing your memories! I always love to hear about the old days, and so wish I'd been around to see the place back then...

Btw, swimming in the bottom pool, and with that of course jumping or diving into it, isn't allowed any more these days. You're still allowed to to share the pools above the falls with the leeches though :-).

Leeches
by: Brian

Wow! I was at the Mitchell Falls during a fantastic trip (2001) from Kununurra up the Gibb River Road heading to the Plateau, then onto Crystal Creek before heading over to Kalumburu for the last part of the trip. We had some lovely cooling dips in the pools above the Falls and I don't know how we managed to avoid the leeches but we weren't touched by one! It was a trip of a lifetime. 9/11 occurred while we were on this trip and we knew nothing about it until 5 days after the plane strikes. I'm sad that it's all opening up to A La Carte tourism nowadays. It was a privilege to be there when "tourists" were few and I hope the magic of the land is not lost.

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