Hunter River & Porosus Creek in the Kimberley
Take in the striking colours of nature at the mouth of the mighty Hunter River where turquoise waters contrast with steep ochre rock escarpments interspersed with pockets of lush green vegetation.
The Hunter River is home to an ecologically important population of mangroves located in Porosus Creek. The mangrove creeks form natural artistic patterns in the sand visible at low tide. Journey down the narrow creek while keeping your eyes peeled for the estuarine crocodiles for which it was named.
Hunter River, running 30 kilometres long, has been said to be home to the highest density of estuarine crocodiles in comparison to any other river in the vast Kimberley region. These impressive creatures are a direct link to Australia’s prehistoric past and are a protected species recognised for their significant role in our ecosystem.
Hunter River holds high cultural significance to the Wunambal Gaambera people as it houses the mythical Wunggurr, known as the creator snake. The Indigenous people of this land are the Wunambal people, and the Indigenous name for this area is Yirinni.
“Our morning cruise in the Explorers took us from Naturalist Island up the Hunter River past an unusual stone monolith which Navigator John Lort Stokes called ‘the Ninepin’ & into the mangrove-lined Porosus Creek. Towering sandstone escarpment faces formed a scenic valley sheltered from the strong weather systems of the wet season, allowing extensive tidal forests to develop on vast beds of accumulated sediment. This was home to many forms of wildlife, including Saltwater Crocodiles, which use these sheltered waterways as safe nursery zones for the more vulnerable sub-adults until they reach maturity. We were fortunate to observe some of these juveniles basking on the mudbanks or chasing mullet in the drainage gutters while Brahminy Kites & Sacred Kingfishers patrolled the mudflats for breakfast morsels.”
– Guest Lecturer Greg Watson aboard Coral Adventurer, 17 May 2021