Mitchell Falls Pictures

Kimberley Photo Gallery

Photos of the famous multi-tiered Mitchell Falls can be found on any Kimberley travel site.

They all look pretty much the same because all were taken from the same lookout point, next to the helicopter landing pad.

Mitchell Falls picture

Below you can find more Mitchell Falls photos, but also pictures of all the other waterfalls, rock pools  and rock art which the helicopter tourists missed when visiting the Mitchell Plateau.

You need to dedicate a few days to this trip. The Mitchell Plateau is well off the beaten tourist path and not easy to get to. And then there is the actual hike to the Mitchell Falls themselves. Ideally you'd have a full day to make the most of that.

Of course, if you don't have the time you can fly to the falls by helicopter. You'll miss most of what I show on this page, but at least you will be able to see the Mitchell Falls for real in all their glory. And even that is worth it.

So lets first look at what you'll see as a helicopter visitor.

Mitchell Falls photo

Mitchell Falls Pictures

As I said above, most every other online picture of the Mitchell Falls was taken from a site near the helicopter landing pad. You can see that well in the photo below. On the right hand side is the helicopter, on the left hand side you see the two middle tiers of the Mitchell Falls.

Helicopter at Mitchell Falls

The following photos give you an impression of what it's like to walk to the edge and then follow the cliff downstream.
(You can only get right to the edge at a couple of marked lookout points.)

Initially you can not see all of the falls, the top tier is hidden behind the rocks.

First view of the falls

As you follow the path along the cliff the top tier appears, but now you are further from the edge, so the bottom tier is hidden behind the vegetation.

Top three tiers of the falls

If you continue and position yourself just right, you can get all four tiers in a picture. Don't worry, you will manage to get a perfect picture. One of the official lookouts is of course in the perfect location for that.

Classic Mitchell Falls view

Bored already with looking at a bunch of pictures all showing more or less the same thing?
I would be!

Classic Mitchell Falls view 2

It's the most photographed view of the falls. Because of the way the river winds through the rocks it's impossible to get photos that show all tiers from any other angle. 

As impressive as the Mitchell Falls look in those photos, the pictures can not convey the sheer size of the falls and they also can not capture the grandeur of the landscape that surrounds them. Photos are one thing, but actually being there is another.

So if you do come all the way up here, I strongly recommend you do some exploring. Let's do that, and do it properly, starting at the beginning...

A Trip to the Mitchell Falls

Rather than taking the helicopter we take the walk from the campground. Here you see examples of the landscape you will be walking through:
Lots of Mitchell Fan Palms...

Mitchell Plateau

... and lots of water and pandanus palms...

Mertens Creek

The photo below is very typical of the country that you will see: sweeping views of the Mitchell Plateau, steep cliffs, narrow gorges, streams and waterfalls...
(By the way, disregard my footwear. This is a serious hike.)

Looking at Little Mertens Falls

The first waterfall you come across is called (Little) Mertens Falls, which is not little at all.

Little Mertens Falls

Little Mertens Falls 1
Little Mertens Falls 2

Little Mertens Falls is a magical place. It's not far from the campground and it's easy to spend a couple of hours just here. 

You can swim above the falls ...

View from the top of Little Mertens Falls

...or sit in the natural spas ...

Swimming at Little Mertens natural rock pools

...or you climb down to the cave below the falls.

Entering the cave below Little Mertens
Standing behind the waterfall, looking out
Behind the waterfall, looking out
Waterfall from underneath
Enjoying the peace sitting below the curtain of Mertens Falls

Look to your left and high up as you enter the cave so you don't miss the ancient Bradshaw paintings.

Little Mertens rock art 1
Little Mertens rock art 2

Cooling Off

Little Mertens Falls is only one of many places where you can stop for a swim on your way to (or back from) the Mitchell Falls. I particularly like this rock pool.

Rock pool on the way to Mitchell Falls

It's great for swimming...

Swimming at a rock pool on the way to Mitchell Falls

...but also, just like at Mertens Falls, if you keep your eyes open you can find ancient rock art here.

View of cliffs above the pool© Photo by reader and filmmaker Gavin Gillet.
Rock art above the pool© Photo by reader and filmmaker Gavin Gillet.

Big Mertens Falls or Mertens Gorge

Here is another waterfall you will pass on your way: Big Mertens Falls (now called Mertens Gorge). 

First view of Big Mertens Fall

You will walk across the top of it to the other side.

Crossing the top of Big Mertens Falls
Crossing the top of Big Mertens Falls 2
View into Mertens Gorge

Once you reach Big Mertens you realise why Little Mertens is considered little... It's an aweinspiring landscape, isn't it? The whole walk is like that. It leaves you breathless, and not just because you may find it demanding.

Big Mertens Falls in all their glory

Arriving at the Mitchell Falls

It's not long after crossing the top of Big Mertens Falls that you arrive above the Mitchell Falls.  You may initially not realise where you are.

Here we are, standing at the Mitchell River, looking right...

Standing at the top of Mitchell Falls

... and this is what you see when you look left...

Looking up the Mitchell River

Yes, you are standing right atop the Mitchell Falls!

You will cross the river above the rapids and then make your way past the helicopter landing pad towards the official lookouts.

We already covered the view from the lookouts in exhausting detail, so we could end things here. But there is one more thing...

Few people do, but you can, walk right to the bottom of the Mitchell Falls...

Below The Mitchell Falls

And here we are, standing below the Mitchell Falls. Walking upstream along the right hand side of the river it's possible to get fairly close, close enough to feel the spray drift. (At least when the falls are flowing as strongly as in the photo.)

At the bottom of the Mitchell Falls
Bottom tier of the Mitchell Falls

Below is my mother, well over 60 years of age in that photo, looking forward to hiking all the way back to camp.

Which you don't have to do. Take a helicopter taxi. One-way that's ok. Just don't limit yourself to just the heli flight and the lookout. That wold be a crime.

Endpoint of the Mitchell Falls hike

Go here to learn more about the Mitchell Falls, including how to get there, the campground, more info on the walk etc.

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Read more about the Mitchell Plateau and the Mitchell Falls.

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