Perfected over three decades, this 10 day Kimberley cruise takes you on an unforgettable journey from Darwin to Broome. Expert guides interpret 40,000-year-old rock art, and retrace the history of Phillip Parker King who first charted this spectacular coastline almost 200 years ago. Later in the season, witness the Humpback Whales on their migration.
Board a Zodiac and touch the spray from the magnificent King George River and its towering 80-metre twin falls. Join an expert guide to learn about the history of the ancient Wandjina and Gwion Gwion rock paintings. Witness waterfalls cascading off Montgomery Reef as it rises out of the ocean on the ebbing tide, whilst discovering the reef’s diverse marine life.
Board your ship at 8.00am for a 9:00am departure. As you cross Cambridge Gulf and sail into Western Australian waters, join the expedition staff in the lounge for an informative introduction to the Kimberley. Meet and mingle with fellow guests and crew at the Captain’s Welcome Drinks.
No two Kimberley cruises on board the Coral Adventurer will be the same, with each expedition crafted by the experienced Masters and Expedition Leaders around the astounding 10+ metre tidal range, weather and sea conditions. Below is a selection of the key destinations you can expect to visit.
At over 80 metres, King George Falls are the highest twin falls in Western Australia. Feel humbled by nature’s awesome force as thousands of tonnes of water cascade over the ancient sandstone cliffs. Early in the season, you may cruise under the mist of the falls, while in later months get up close to the sandstone walls to view the honeycomb erosion patterns.
Vansittart Bay contains many sites of cultural and historical significance. Here you have the opportunity to view the remarkable Gwion Gwion galleries and Macassan sites at Jar Island. On the Anjo Peninsula, discover the wreckage of the downed C-53 Skytrooper, well-preserved since it crashed in 1942. With the Guest Lecturers, see fine examples of the Kimberley’s mysterious Bradshaw Paintings (Gwion Gwion), dating back some 20,000 years.
Carved through layers of sandstone, Mitchell Falls descends over four tiers, creating pools of emerald green on each level. The option to take a scenic helicopter flight which will give you a breathtaking view, or alternatively explore the sandstone caves of Hathway’s Hideaway or enjoy a catch and release fishing excursion. Swift Bay reveals a series of fine Wandjina art galleries. This evening enjoy a spectacular Indian Ocean sunset as you indulge in a gourmet BBQ on the sundeck or the beach.
At the southern end of the York Sound lies one of the most spectacular locations in the Kimberley: Prince Frederick Harbour. It is home to many islands, mangroves and monsoon rainforests, set against a backdrop of steep red escarpment. White-bellied sea eagles and other birds of prey are often seen here, and at low tide expansive mudflats reveal large populations of various mudskippers and mangrove crabs. Spot massive saltwater crocodiles on a cruise up Porosus Creek, visit art sites, and marvel at rock formations.
Running on a fault line, this straight river is a haven for native species. If the tide is right, there may be an opportunity for swimming at Camp Creek (Note: swimming at freshwater swimming holes is subject to group size and local conditions), and here you will visit the beautiful King Cascade. See the National Heritage Listed ‘Mermaid Tree’ at Careening Bay. It still bears the name carved by the crew of Phillip Parker King’s ship HMS Mermaid when the ship was careened here for repairs in 1820.
Montgomery Reef is a biologically diverse area covering over 300 square kilometres. Named by Phillip Parker King, this marvelous reef is home to several species of marine turtles, dolphins, dugongs, and crocodiles. As the reef emerges from the sea at low tide, you can get up close in the Xplorer and inflatables to witness the spectacle. Guides will share their knowledge on the formation of the reef and the myriad of wildlife here.
Raft Point guards the entrance to this iconic area, with a host of destinations such as the mighty Sale River, Steep Island and Ruby Falls at Red Cone Creek. There may also be an opportunity to meet the Worrora people and experience the wonderous Wandjina art of Raft Point.
The visual delight of the Buccaneer Archipelago reveals Talbot Bay. Here you will find the natural wonder of the Horizontal Falls. The changing tide thunders through narrow gorges in the McLarty Ranges, and you can experience the thrill of traversing the falls at high speed aboard inflatable tenders. At Cyclone Creek, view evidence of massive geological forces in the impressive rock formations, or take an Xplorer cruise through the Iron Islands, past Koolan Island, before enjoying sunset drinks at Nares Point.
Subject to weather and tides, visit the Lacepede Islands, a series of low islands consisting of coarse sand and coral rubble lying atop a platform reef. This nature reserve has been identified by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area as it supports up to 18,000 breeding pairs of Brown Boobies and Roseate Terns, possibly the largest such population in the world. Board the Zodiacs and explore the island’s lagoon, keeping an eye out for many species of marine birdlife including Australian Pelicans, frigate birds, egrets, gulls and terns. The islands are also renowned as Western Australia’s most significant breeding grounds for the Green Turtle, often seen nesting here. This evening you will enjoy the Captain’s farewell drinks.
Your adventure along the Kimberley Coast concludes in Broome this morning at 8:00am. If you’re not transferring directly to the airport why not spend the day visiting world-famous Cable Beach or stroll the historic streets of Chinatown in central Broome. Post cruise transfers included.