The Kimberley – Day 9 – Montgomery Reef

Our final excursion was to the Montgomery Reef. We gathered en masse at 5:30 AM so that we could watch this massive 150 Sq. Mi. of reef emerge from the ocean as the tide ebbed.

There is as much as 10M of tidal change in sea level in this area. This exposes as much as 4M of the reef at low tide. This first shot is of an Egret standing on the reef when it is barely exposed.


As the tide receeded and the reef emerged we traveled up a “river” in the reef. It is basically a low spot in the reef that turns into a river as the reef grows on each side. What you see in many of these pictures is the water cascading off the reef into the river as it emerges.

The water flowing off top of the rising reef causes hundreds of waterfalls all of which expose prime fishing territory for the Eastern Reef Egret.

What appears to be an expanse of water behind the Egret in the last two photos is actually the side wall of the reef. It this point it is more than two meters high. The receeding tide also exposed a sand bar at the delta of the reef’s river. We hopped off the zodiac and explored this island that didn’t exist an hour before.


On the last day we departed the ship in Broome, flew to Perth, on to Sydney and then back to the US (LAX to SFO). This was about 24 hours of actual air time and 36 hours elapsed, 11,000 miles. On the ship we sailed 1685 Nautical miles (1940 miles). It was a trip we will never forget.

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