At King George Twin Falls in the Kimberley region of Western
Australia, the King George River plunges 100 metres over a sandstone
cliff in two streams into tidal waters. They are Western
Australia’s highest waterfall at more than 50 metres high, with
180 feet of water beneath.
These falls are in full force from late December through to early
May each year and gradually recede to a small flow in September. They
are situated 8kms from the coast and if entering the river from the sea
the route up the river from the gorge to the falls is one of the worlds
most spectacular sights.
The surounding coastline is also spectacular, with coastal cliffs,
gorges, mangrove lined bays, enormous sand dunes and rugged sandstone
country. This remote coastline is known as the Diamond Coast. Access is
by boat or you can take a scenic flight to Faraway Bay airstrip and
stay at the wilderness retreat called the Bush Camp. There are similar
falls on Casuarina Creek, a tributary of the Berkeley River. The
surrounding coastline is also spectacular with coastal cliffs, gorges,
mangrove lined bays, enormous sand dunes and rugged sandstone country.
Along the coast to the King George River is Koolama Bay where the
Merchant Vessel Koolama was bombed by the Japanese in during World
War II, a part of Western Australian history that is rarely told. In
January 1942, following the outbreak of war with Japan, Koolama carried
members of the ill-fated 8th Division and their equipment to Ambon and
West Timor, in Netherlands East Indies. On the return voyage she
carried Dutch refugees to Darwin.
On 20 February 1942, a day after the first Japanese air raids on
Darwin, Koolama was off the coast of the Kimberley, when it was
attacked twice by a Japanese Kawanishi H6K flying boat near Cape
Londonderry. Three bombs hit the ship during the second raid, and it
was severly damages.
Later that afternoon, with the ship taking water at the stern, and
its steering and internal communications out of action, Captain
Eggleston decided to beach the ship in Rulhieres Bay (later known as
Koolama Bay). He sent an SOS by radio and ordered that the ship be
evacuated by lifeboat, but did not officially abandon Koolama. The
following day, as the evacuees awaited help in an inhospitable area of
mangroves, inhabited by many saltwater crocodiles, Japanese planes
attacked again, albeit without effect.