10 Night Sacred Lands of the Kimberley, Darwin to Broome
Day 1: Depart Darwin
8:00am: Board Coral Adventurer for a 9:00am departure. Farewelling Darwin Harbour, cross Cambridge Gulf and sail into Western Australian waters. This afternoon, join Expedition Staff for an informative introduction to the Kimberley before meeting your fellow travellers and friendly crew at the Captain’s Welcome Cocktails.
Day 2: King George River and Falls
Today discover the first of the Kimberley’s ‘big’ rivers, the mighty King George. Aboard Xplorer, a specially designed excursion vessel, you’ll explore scenic gorges, and in the inflatable zodiacs you’ll cruise close to the base of magnificent King George Falls, the tallest waterfalls in Western Australia towering some 80 metres above the river below. Later visit Tranquil Bay for beach walking and exploration.
Day 3: Vansittart Bay DC3 and Jar Island
Join the Expedition Leader on a walk across salt flats to view the wreckage of a US Air Force DC3 which crash landed on the beach during WWII. Later, visit Jar Island and discover the island’s outstanding rock art gallery. The Guest Lecturers will point out fine examples of the Kimberley’s mysterious Bradshaw Paintings (Gwion), dating back some 20,000 years.
Day 4: Hathaway’s Hideaway and Mitchell Falls
After anchoring in Winyalken Bay, travel ashore aboard Xplorer to discover the maze of natural sandstone caves known as Hathaway’s Hideaway. Later, helicopters are available for optional scenic flights over the Mitchell Plateau for close up views of the mighty four-tiered Mitchell Falls. This evening, enjoy a spectacular Indian Ocean sunset as you indulge in a gourmet Aussie Beach BBQ.
Day 5: Bigge Island and Careening Bay
Discover the rock art gallery on Bigge Island, featuring fine examples of both Wandjina and Bradshaw art. Then, explore Careening Bay which was named by Phillip Parker King after his ship ‘HMC Mermaid’ was careened during his second voyage of discovery in the Kimberley. The lecturers lead guests to the site of a large boab tree baring the inscription “HMC Mermaid – 1820”, still clearly visible almost 200 years later.
Day 6: Prince Regent River and King Cascades
Cruise the mighty Prince Regent River aboard Xplorer to breathtaking King Cascades, an unusual and picturesque waterfall cascading over terraced rock formations. Enjoy a picnic lunch at beautiful Camp Creek, where there is time for a leisurely swim in the fresh water pools.
Day 7: Montgomery Reef and Doubtful Bay
Today savour a truly unforgettable moment as Montgomery Reef ‘rises’ out of the ocean as the tide ebbs. Join the Expedition Staff aboard the Xplorer and zodiacs to experience this natural phenomenon up close and discover the reef’s diverse marine life including turtles, manta rays and reef sharks. Later, cruise through scenic Doubtful Bay.
Day 8: Raft Point and Ruby Falls
Cruising through Kuri Bay, home of the south sea pearl industry, travel ashore at Raft Point and visit a secluded and very interesting Aboriginal rock art gallery to view Wandjina art and the mysterious Bradshaw Paintings (Gwion). Later, explore Red Cone Creek and enjoy a cooling dip at Ruby Falls.
Day 9: Horizontal Falls and Buccaneer Archipelago
Cruise through the Buccaneer Archipelago, home to over 800 islands. In Talbot Bay, the region’s 12 metre tides create an amazing spectacle, the unique Horizontal Falls, described by legendary naturalist David Attenborough as “one the greatest natural wonders in the world”. Board the zodiacs for an exhilarating, ride through the falls. Later, explore Silica Beach on Hidden Island with its stunning white sands and crystal-clear waters.
Day 10: Lacepede Islands
Cruise through Pender Bay and, 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, frigatebirds, egrets, gulls and terns. The islands are also renowned as Western Australia’s most significant breeding grounds for the Green Turtle, often seen nesting on the islands. This evening farewell new-found friends as you enjoy the Captain’s Farewell Cocktails.
Day 11: Depart in Broome
8:00am. This unforgettable cruise along the Kimberley coast concludes in Broome this morning.
This itinerary is an indication of what destinations are usually visited and activities are usually on offer. Throughout the expedition changes may be made to the itinerary as necessary to maximise your expeditionary experience. Allowances may be made for seasonal variations, weather, tidal conditions and any other event that may affect the operation of the vessel.