Kimberley wilderness cruise
The Kimberleys on the north-west coast of Australia is still one of the few true wildernesses that are left on planet Earth. Rugged rock formations and fascinating marine wildlife make the region popular for those looking to discover somewhere new.
The small expedition ship the Orion makes regular cruises around this coastline and close up observations and shore visits take place using its fleet of zodiac inflatables.
The Kimberley cruise departures are on:
From Darwin to Broome: 12th June, 2nd July, 22nd July, 11th August, 31st August.
From Broome to Darwin: 22nd June, 12th July, 1st August, 21st August, 10th September.
Each cruise has a slightly different schedule but an example of the 10 night Kimberley Wilderness cruise is:
Day 1: Darwin in the Northern Territories.
Depart from Australia’s closest city to the equator and the ideal gateway to the Kimberley wilderness area.
Day 2: Com, East Timor.
A dry landing at this port and thee’s an opportunity to go ashore and explore this fascinating port with its markets and culture.
Day 3: At Sea.
Day 4: Wyndham.
Wyndham is the northernmost town in Western Australia and is the gateway to the East Kimberley. A complimentary 2 hour 15 minute scenic flight over the World Heritage listed Bungle Bungle Range in Purnululu National Park is on offer to Orion passengers. The flight offers a breathtaking perspective of these unique formations.
Day 5: King George River and Falls.
The Orion will drop anchor in the bay and you take to the zodiacs to explore. The 12km journey up the King George River reveals some of the world’s most spectacular scenery and a wealth of bird species. The King George River drains the Gardner Plateau and the falls are the highest single-drop falls in the whole of the Kimberley (100m or 330ft).
Day 6: Vansittart Bay.
The landing at Vansittart Bay is classed as a wet landing, that is you take to the zodiacs for a beach landing. After landing ashore, you will head to an outdoor art gallery of Gwion Gwion (otherwise known as Bradshaw) Aboriginal art. The rock images are hard to date but it is believed they were created at least 17,000 yrs ago. Some theories indicating they could be even older, potentially up to over 50,000 years ago when humans first explored this continent.
Day 7: Hunter River.
Arguably one of the most scenic parts of the Kimberley coast, Prince Frederick Harbour and the Hunter River are lined with green rainforest, mangroves and soaring red cliffs. Cliffs at the river mouth are some 200 metres high and to the north Mt. Anderson rises to an impressive 480 metres. Orion will anchor just off Naturalist Island in Prince Frederick Harbour. From this location we will undertake Zodiac expeditions into the Mangrove environment of the Hunter River and its tributaries. Our expert Expedition Team will share their knowledge with you as you explore the area keeping a constant lookout for wildlife.
Day 8: Montgomery Reef.
Arriving at high tide, you’ll see very little of Montgomery Reef. However as the tide drops rapidly away a raging torrent of water, cascading off the top of this 400ha reef, erupts as miles of surrounding reef appears to slowly rise out of the ocean. A Zodiac will maneuver you into a channel in the reef as water cascades down on either side. It’s the perfect spot to watch cormorants, egrets and sandpipers forage for sea life trapped on the surface of the reef. Below the waterline opportunistic sea turtles, reef sharks and many larger fish also take advantage of this feast.
Day 9: Talbot Bay.
Today your Zodiac excursion will take you to witness the tidal phenomena of the Horizontal Waterfalls. You will also have the opportunity to view the stunning sandstone canyons of the nearby gorges. Your Zodiac excursion will be timed, where possible, to coincide with tidal movement through the gaps were the horizontal waterfalls are created. The amount of actual tide movement will vary depending on tide movement of the day.
Day 10: Nares Point and Crocodile Creek.
Located just off Koolan Island, and known for the BHP iron ore mine which operated for several decades on the island, this geological finger of sandstone protruding into the ocean provides great opportunities for Zodiac cruising and guided walks along the beach.
Day 11: Broome, Western Australia.
The end of the cruise is at the port of Broome in Western Australia.
Price are for cruise only and excludes flights based on per person with 2 sharing:
Stateroom A : £5460
Stateroom B : £6340
Junior Suite : £7530
Deluxe Suite : £8245
Balcony Suite : £9845
Owners Suite : £11435