In Buccaneer Archipelago, Western Australia Islands

Talking about island paradise at its best, the descriptions that may come into our mind are pristine, total isolation from human intervention, no hotels, no human settlements, no resorts and no roads to name a few. If you imagine these descriptions, added with saltwater and aged-old rock formation, then you just visualize Buccaneer Archipelago.

Located 54 kilometers (34 miles) west of Derby in Kimberly, Buccaneer Archipelago is a small extension of Western Australia that is composed of 800 islands. Historical records will tell you that this Western Australian Archipelago was discovered by an English Buccaneer, thus its name.

But do you know the meaning of Buccaneer? It simply means an “Adventurous Pirate”. Well, all of them are. Can you name a pirate who’s not adventurous? Maybe, a better question that can be brought out at this moment is: What could have been the experience of Pirate Dampier when he navigated the waters of Buccaneer Archipelago in the year 1688 given the fact that the vessels back then only use sail to move and doesn’t have engines? We’ll get back to this question in a bit as we go along the different tourist attractions offered in Buccaneer Archipelago.

A Great Getaway for a Week-long Vacation

The best way to spend a vacation in Buccaneer Archipelago is to allocate a week-long of adventure out in the wild, at least 5 days. Well, you have the option to spend just 3 days, like the weekends, but we guarantee you will miss a lot of things.

First thing to remember is that you need to travel to Broome which is located 2,240 kilometers (1,390 miles) north of Perth. This 24-hour car drive alone is quite adventurous as it gives you a glimpse of the Aussie Outback and the vast Western Australian coastline. Arriving at Broome, you will board your pre-arranged chartered boat that will ferry you around the pristine islands surrounding Buccaneer Archipelago. This will be your home away from home, regardless if you opt for 3 days or 5 days.

As the patches of small islands of Buccaneer comes to sight, you will be amazed on how pristine and secluded this part of Western Australia is. Most of the islands have a vertical limestone profile that houses a small rainforest in its canopy while some have mangrove coverage along the coast.

What you will definitely appreciate in the islands of Buccaneer Archipelago are the pristine beaches filled with powdery white sand that is being surrounded by bright turquoise-colored water. Beach bummers will go nuts on this. If you opt to stay dry, having a can of beer in your hand while sitting down in a highly reclined chair and listening to the natural soft sounds created by the waves will surely give you the much needed rejuvenating experience. So, it’s really up to you how long you want this relaxing experience to be: 3 days or 5 days? Just a thought to ponder: after this vacation, you will go back to your noisy work environment and fill up again the stress storage system within your body. So, if I were you, maximize your vacation.

Of course, we know that you don’t want your vacation to just go sleeping, eating, sitting while holding a beer and get drunk for we all know you can do that back home. The main reason why tourist come to Buccaneer Archipelago is to experience eco-adventure at its wildest form.

Ancient Rock Formation

Photo courtesy from Ocean Alliance

The moment you get close to one of the islands in Buccaneer Archipelago, the towering rock formations will initially impress you with how nature molded this  natural architectural masterpiece.  Although they are not as big as the ones you see in the Grand Canyons of Arizona in the US, they are as old where both structure dates back from the pre-cambrian period, and that is, 2 billion years ago.

While it may sound boring at first considering the general thought of spending your vacation just staring at rocks, but giving it a focus may totally change your perspective about this amazing geological feature. Aside from being old, I mean very very old, the structures are naturally carved out from the impact of energy brought about by the flooding and ebbing of tides plus the occasional occurrence of waves.

Secluded Beaches

Photo courtesy from Experience Oz

One of the effects on the constant carving by nature on the limestone islands of Buccaneer Archipelago is the creation of small embayments. This in turn creates secluded beaches where most of this isolated spots are fronted with white sand.

Although these areas are not as big and wide, most of the tourist who have been to the secluded beaches in Buccaneer Archipelago find it relaxing with the feeling of having your own private beach, where in most occasions only you, your partner or your group occupies this isolated spot.

While considered as isolated, the good thing with navigating in these secluded spots is that your chartered boat can go as near the coastline as most of the beach has a wide entrance from the sea. In cases of extreme low tide, small boats called dinghies will ferry your transfer from the mother boat to the shore. Spending a day or two of swimming in your temporary private beach will surely recharge yourself and drain out the stress away.

Horizontal Waterfalls

Photo courtesy from Australia For Everyone

If there is one thing that attracts tourists the most when visiting Buccaneer Archipelago, then nothing beats the waterfalls. But before we proceed, let us remind you that this is not your typical waterfalls where waters drops in a vertical way.

Instead, Buccaneer Archipelago has a Horizontal Waterfalls and is not found on the vertical walls of the limestone islands. Specifically located in Talbot Bay, the horizontal waterfalls occurs in the sea between two limestone islands during low tide. This is due to the fact that Buccaneer Archipelago has one of the world’s greatest tidal fluctuation that may reach up to 12 meters (39 feet).

During high tide, you will notice that some of the shorelines will be flooded with seawater. However, as the tide changes during ebb, water goes back to the depths of the ocean creating a displacement through a strong water surge, thus a horizontal waterfalls.

Mind you, the famous attraction being offered in Buccaneer Archipelago is you run across this strong tidal surge using high powered boats. And if you are lucky, you can do this twice a day as the Western region of Australia usually has a twin daily tidal fluctuation.

Now, going back to the question regarding the experience of Pirate Dampier when he navigated the waters of Buccaneer Archipelago in 1688 using non-motorized boats. Well, we can all presume that they use wind power to go against the strong currents created by the tidal surge or paddled hard on their way up to the shore. But a clever idea can also be considered where they entered the shores of Buccaneer on a high tide. Regardless of whatever the true story Pirate Dampier experienced, what is important is that you should never miss this high-adrenaline ride where you can only experience it in Buccaneer Archipelago.



Derby Visitor Centre:

Australia’s Northwest:


Video of Horizontal Waterfalls in Talbot Bay

Video courtesy from Graham Meyer

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