Singapore to Broome – Kimberley and Indonesia

Overview

DEPARTURES: MAR, DEC
From: AU$17,910

STYLE: EXPEDITION/LUXURY

Days: 20
Country: AUSTRALIA - KIMBERLEY, INDONESIA AND WEST PAPUA

From crystal waters to red rocks, this voyage is a chance to enjoy the lesser known – but not lesser impressive – parts of Indonesia and Australia. Hike the trails of the Komodo National Park and search for its eponymous dragon, snorkel and swim startlingly colourful seas and meet members of aboriginal groups who are the Kimberley’s traditional landowners. Voyage includes either a scenic flight over the magnificent Bungle Bungle Range or a cruise up the scenic, winding Ord River by local boat.

Singapore - Broome Silver Explorer

ITINERARY SUMMARY

Wyndham-Kimberley-shutterstock_1218900553

DAY 1 SINGAPORE

Singapore

Depart Singapore on the Silver Explorer at 5pm. Beforehand, explore the advanced, airy and elevated, Singapore. A spectacular, futuristic vision of utopian city life. A healthy population of almost six million call it home, but this is a city designed with space to breathe, and gorgeous outdoor parks, massive indoor greenhouses and beautiful recreational spaces spread between the City of Gardens’ skyscrapers and soaring structures. Once a quiet fishing village, now a glistening island city-state and an international beacon of science, education and technology. Singapore is almost intimidatingly clean – and the hyper-efficient public transport system whips residents and visitors across the city’s neighbourhoods in a heartbeat. Glorious fountains and audacious skyscrapers loom up – nodding to traditional feng shui beliefs – and putting on dazzling illuminated displays after dark. The lush green botanical gardens are a spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Site, covering 52 hectares and decorated with impressive colourful orchids. Or breathe in more of the freshest air by heading up to wander the canopy strung bridges of MacRitchie Reservoir Park. Head for the iconic Marina Bay – a landmark of the city crowned by three interconnected towers, which watch out over island sprinkled waters. Jaunt between Little India and the atmospheric Chinatown in minutes, where beautiful temples – like the Chinese Thian Hock Keng Temple and Hindu Sri Mariamman Temple add rich cultural intrigue. Singapore’s cuisine is a mouthwatering fusion of its Indian, Chinese, Indonesian, and Malay influences, taking and enhancing the best of each. Enjoy dishes in towering restaurants, or toast the glowing skyline with the city’s eponymous gin-soaked cocktail – a Singapore Sling.

DAY 2 AT SEA

Silver Explorer

Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

DAY 3 BELITUNG ISLANDS

School of Cardinal Fish

The island of Belitung is large, measuring roughly 4,500 square kilometres. Along with neighbouring Bangka and the many other surrounding small islands this is not just an archipelago, but a substantial province of Indonesia. Belitung used to have many tin mines, but today the island is better known for its nature. The most distinct features of Belitung’s many beaches are the fascinating granite rock formations along the shallow shores. These rocks can reach the size of houses and lie in bold contrast to the white sand. Swimming and snorkeling in the crystal clear waters reveals healthy corals and hundreds of fish.

DAY 4 KARIMUNJAWA (JAVA SEA), INDONESIA

Palm Trees, Indonesia

Covered by coconut trees and surrounded by white sandy beaches, Menyawakan Island lies some 118 kilometres off Java’s coast in the Karimunjawa archipelago. This tranquil and secluded setting offers tropical and laid back ambiance and good snorkeling.

DAY 5 AT SEA

Asmats, Indonesia SILVERSEA

Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. Whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

DAY 6 PULAU MOJO

DAY 7 KOMODO ISLAND & PINK BEACH

Aerial view, Komodo Island, Komodo National Park, Indonesia

Komodo, the volcanic island of giant lizards, lies 515 kilometres east of Bali. Komodo is 40 kilometres long and 19 kilometres wide; its parched hills ascend to a height of 734 metres. Komodo is home to a community of some 2000 people who make their living primarily from fishing. The island is the centrepiece of the Komodo National Park, where you will find the most tangible legacy left behind from the Jurassic Era. Komodo Island was little-known and the Komodo dragons were only a myth until the giant lizards were scientifically described in 1912 . Extinct almost everywhere else, the island attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world who come to see the Komodo dragons in their natural habitat. Komodo National Park has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve. The Komodo dragon’s great bulk and weight are its most unique characteristics; even hatchlings average 51 centimetres in length. The adult male can reach 3 metres and weigh up to 150 kilos. Females attain only two-thirds of this size, and lay up to 30 eggs at a time. With their saw-like teeth, these fierce creatures are able to rip apart a deer, goat or wild pig. The animals have an uncanny sense of smell, and are considered among the world’s most intelligent reptiles. They are quite agile over short distances, and can move swiftly to capture their prey. The Indonesian Directorate of Nature Conservation (PPA) administers Komodo National Park. Park Rangers must escort all visitors; independent exploration of the park is not permitted.

Pink beach Indonesia

Pink Beach earned its name for the way the beach can appear to have a rosy hue in certain lights. The colour comes from small flecks of red coral mixed in with the fine white reef sand. With a few trees along the beach for shade, this stretch of coast makes for a fine place to relax or enjoy a snorkel or dive in the crystal clear waters. It is possible to spot a striped clown fish nestled among the protective tentacles of its sea anemone host, or to see a grouper lazily swimming by a flamboyant soft coral. The reef here is now protected by law and the maturing corals are a joy to behold.

DAY 8 ENDE FLORES

Tricolour Lake Kelimutu, Flores, Indonesia

The town of Ende is found on the south coast of Flores, part of the Lesser Sunda Islands. Ende is also the capital city of Indonesia’s Ende Regency. Unlike many other places in Indonesia, the town and the island are predominantly Roman Catholic as they were under Portuguese rule for some 300 years. Ende is the gateway to the Kelimutu National Park to see the three coloured lakes of Kelimutu. To get there one will have to drive through the Indonesian rainforest and eventually climb up to see the “Lake of Young Men and Maidens”, the “Bewitched Lake” and the “Lake of Old People” –all of which not only have different colours controlled by the changes in chemical conditions, but also a distinctive physical structure, and a unique geochemical and hydrothermal regime.

DAY 9 SAVU, INDONESIA

Savu, Indonesia

Savu is a small island about halfway between Timor and Sumba. This little island is one of the most interesting destinations in Nusa Tenggara. The Savunese principally plant corn, but derive their staple nutrition from the lontar palm. The nutritious juice of this drought-resistant tree nourishes a relatively high population concentration on Savu’s 461 square kilometres. Approximately 80% of the Savunese are Christian, although animistic beliefs are still important. The tradition of textile weaving remains strong, with the women still growing the cotton, hand dyeing and weaving on backstrap looms.

DAY 10 AT SEA

Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

DAY 11 WYNDHAM, KIMBERLEY

Wyndham-Kimberley-shutterstock_1218900553

Wyndham is a small settlement with the spirit of a Kimberley outback township. It was established in 1886 with the Halls Creek gold rush and sits on the Cambridge Gulf where several rivers converge. Today Wyndham has a population of roughly 900 people and operates largely as a port exporting cattle, servicing the mining industry and hosting a few small ships. For these vessels Wyndham is a gateway to the breathtaking Bungle Bungle mountain range and the nearby Ord River. The Bungle Bungle Mountains in Purnululu National Park are now a World Heritage Site. In excess of 350 million years have shaped geological formations of giant orange and black striped domes rising out of the ground into a landscape unlike any other. Known to the local Aboriginal people for thousands of years, the Bungles were only discovered by the outside world in the mid-1980s. Conversely, cruising the peaceful and tree-lined Ord River is a chance to look for freshwater crocodiles, fruit bats, short-eared rock wallabies and a variety of birds, including Mangrove Herons and Mangrove Gerygones. Please note: All destinations on voyages in the Kimberley region, and the order in which they are visited, are subject to tidal variations and weather conditions.

DAY 12 KING GEORGE RIVER (KIMBERLEY, WESTERN AUSTRALIA)

The King George Falls is one of the Kimberley’s most magnificent natural wonders. At 80 metres, the thundering spectacle of twin cascades are among the highest in Australia. The river weaves through an amazing landscape of near vertical red rock formations and a parade of wildlife — carnivorous saltwater crocodiles and amazing birdlife, including giant raptors and the Brahminy Kite.

DAYS 13-14 HUNTER RIVER REGION, KIMBERLEY

The Hunter River is home to an immense mangrove system surrounded by soaring red sandstone cliffs. Narrow mangrove channels shelter numerous bird species, mudskippers, fiddler crabs and the infamous saltwater crocodile; the most aggressive crocodile species known to man. Naturalist Island at the mouth of the river has a stunning stretch of sandy beach that makes a perfect landing site for small helicopters that can pick up visitors wishing to explore some of the Kimberley’s vast interior. The highlight inland is the famous Mitchell Falls where four tiers of waterfalls plunge into deep pools that flow out into the mighty Mitchell River. The headwaters of the falls are cool and a dip in the fresh water is a welcome reprieve from the heat of the heartland.

DAY 15-17 BUCCANEER ARCHIPELAGO REGION, KIMBERLEY

Horizontal Falls Buccaneer Archipelago

Roughly 800 islands of the Buccaneer Archipelago surround and shelter the impressive spread of Yampi Sound (from the aboriginal word for water, “Yampee”). The area was named in 1821 by Captain Phillip Parker King, in commemoration of William Dampier’s visit in 1688. Pearlers began visiting the area in the late 1800s, and more recently mining operators established open-cut mines on Koolan Island on the east side of the Sound. Some of the richest iron ore in the world is extracted here to this day. The coastline of Yampi shows rock layers wildly twisted and contorted into great folds. White-bellied Sea Eagles, Brahminy Kites, Ospreys, Common Sandpipers and Eastern Reef Egrets inhabit the archipelago and the area is rich in fish life, which in turn is an attraction for bottlenose dolphins that come here to feed. Yampi Sound is also occassionaly a calving ground for humpback whales and mothers and calves can sometimes be spotted in the relatively shallow turquoise waters.

DAY 18 BROOME, KIMBERLEY

Broome Beach

Roughly 15,000 people live year-round in Broome perched on the edge of the Kimberley region of Western Australia. The population swells to over 45,000 during the tourist season as people from all over the world are drawn to the natural splendors of the Dampier Peninsula. Broome is surrounded by lush green mangroves and mudflats along Roebuck Bay, but the interior is dry and rugged like much of the Kimberley coast. The town of Broome started up around a nascent pearling industry that attracted Japanese, Chinese, Malay and Aboriginal divers to the area in an interesting mix of cultures. Chinatown is still the centre of town, but nowadays the pearls are produced in modern aquaculture facilities. The Silver Explorer will depart at 4:30pm.

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