10 Night Kimberley Coastal Expedition, Broome to Darwin
Day 1: Depart Broome
A charter bus will pick you up in Broome at around 9am and transport you to board the vessel from Gantheaume Beach. The crew will welcome you aboard and after a safety briefing, an introduction and a light brunch we’ll depart Broome’s Gantheaume Bay and cruise up the Dampier Peninsula, heading into the heart of the Kimberley overnight.
Day 2: Buccaneer Archipelago
Ashore for a morning walk on one of the many beautiful Kimberley islands. The squeaky clean white sands caress your feet while the morning bird call welcomes you ashore. Cruising through Yampi Peninsula we will witness the past effects of the iron ore mining operations on Koolan and Cockatoo Islands. We’ll visit a freshwater swimming hole to enjoy a safe swim. Tonight we’ll arrive in Talbot Bay. The region’s 12 metre tides create an amazing spectacle. You’ll know you’re in Kimberley country now.
Day 3: Horizontal Waterfalls
This morning we can experience the awesome power of the Horizontal Falls. On a trip through the falls our attention will be taken by the incredible geology that abounds this area. The adventurous can cling on to the rails during an optional fast boat ride through the falls. The tour is included in your cruise package. We head off to see Montgomery Reef ‘rise’ out of the ocean as the tide ebbs. Join the excursion vessel for a reef cruise to study the marine life of Turtle Gully. On the high tide we explore Red Cone Creek for a refreshing swim at Ruby Falls.
Day 4: Aboriginal Art
After breakfast you will be taken ashore for a solid morning walk which reveals another spectacular Kimberley view. At the top of our trail we visit a hidden and very interesting Aboriginal Wandjina rock art gallery. We’ll then hop on the outgoing tide and cruise out of Collier Bay to Hall Point to try our luck at fishing or exploring the beaches.
Day 5: Prince Regent River & King Cascades
On the high tide we take our vessel many miles up the Prince Regent River to discover a picturesque waterfall cascading over terraced rock formations. We can nose the bow of our expedition tender under the cascading falls to indulge in an unforgettable wash in the cool fresh water. This afternoon a steep climb up the banks of the river will reveal a perfect fresh water swimming hole fringed with blue gums and pandanus.
Day 6: Careening Bay
Today we admire the work of an early European explorer P.P. King. King explored and chartered the Kimberley in 1820-22. His detailed and accurate charts form the basis of our modern electronic plotters, allowing us to safely cruise these waters. Unfortunately his early exploits didn’t come without problems as we’ll discover. Careening Bay was named by Phillip Parker King after his ship, ‘HMC Mermaid’, was careened during his first voyage of discovery in the Kimberley. Our Itinerary crew will lead you to the site of a large boab tree bearing the inscription “HMC Mermaid – 1820”, still clearly visible almost 200 years later. This afternoon we explore the famous Porosus Creek and its wildlife. This ecosystem is a favourite for bird watchers. On the turn of the tide fishermen can try their luck for a giant thread fin salmon.
Day 7: Porosus Creek
Today we explore Bigge Island. This afternoon our crew will lead you to a stunning display of the distinctive and relatively modern Aboriginal rock art in beach caves. The paintings include examples of first contact with sailing ships and pipe-smoking European seafarers of the 19th century. The lack of feral predators makes the Kimberley islands an ideal habitat for vulnerable mammal species. Tonight we steam to Vansittart Bay.
Day 8: Bradshaw Art & DC3 Plane Crash
Your guides will escort you ashore to a small island with some fabulous examples of mysterious Bradshaw Paintings (Gwion Gwion), thought to be some of the world’s oldest indigenous art. A short cruise across the bay and we’ll take an easy walk to witness the site of a crashed WW2 transport plane. Well preserved in the Kimberley bush, your guides will recall the fateful day in early 1942. Tonight we cruise to the mouth of the King George River.
Day 9: Koolama Bay
The best of the Kimberley ‘big’ rivers, the mighty King George. While entering King George River on the high tide we can enjoy the soaring cliffs and two breath taking falls of mammoth proportions. The best views are from the upper deck and bow. Feel the spray mist produced from billions of litres of water falling hundreds of feet as MV Reef Prince is steered expertly to the base of the majestic falls. Climb the escarpment to take in the views from above and take some fantastic photographs of the vessel and falls in the backdrop.
Day 10: King George River
This morning the Vessel Master sneaks us out of the King George River over the shallow sand banks. Relax while the amazing coastline disappears as we start our journey across the Bonaparte Gulf and sail into Northern Territory waters overnight.
Day 11: Disembark in Darwin
Farewell your fellow travellers and swap details. We disembark Darwin at around 10am, say goodbye to the crew. Guests can be transferred to their hotel of choice in the Darwin CBD.
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.