Australia's Kimberley: Voyage to the OutbackApril 24, 2015 - May 8, 2015
Based on the expeditionary nature of our trips, there may be ongoing enhancements to this itinerary.
Below please find the day-by-day itinerary for this expedition. Unless otherwise noted, daily excursion options are included in the cost of the trip. We do our best to adhere to the scheduled itinerary, but in the spirit of our expeditionary style of travel we may deviate slightly to take full advantage of encounters with the destination and its people, culture, and wildlife.
Apr 24 - Apr 26 USA / Broome, Australia
Depart on your independent flight to Broome, Australia via Sydney, losing a day as you cross the International Date Line. Arrive in Broome on Sunday and enjoy an afternoon at leisure. Gather this evening for a welcome dinner and overnight at the Cable Beach Club Resort.
April 27 Broome / Embark Oceanic Discoverer
Today explore Broome—a popular holiday destination graced with beautiful beaches and a laid-back atmosphere. Join a city tour that reveals Broome’s pearling history and multicultural past, or join a birding tour. This afternoon board the Oceanic Discoverer and set sail.
April 28 Lacepede Islands
The Lacepede Islands are a group of four low, sandy islands lying on a coral reef. The islands are an important nesting site for green sea turtles and several species of seabirds including frigatebirds, brown boobies, crested terns, sandpipers, and ruddy turnstones. Be on deck this evening as the sun sets and the night sky comes alive—far from the city lights, stargazing in the Kimberley is simply spectacular.
Apr 29 - Apr 30 Buccaneer Archipelago / Talbot Bay / Montgomery Reef / Raft Point
The Buccaneer Archipelago consists of more than 800 islands. The shorelines of these rarely visited isles are among the most photogenic in the world, and include mangrove estuaries, secluded bays, untouched beaches, cliffs, headlands, reefs, rugged gorges, and whirlpools. This area is known for its extreme tidal conditions—ranging up to 30 feet in places. Your daily activities are planned around the tides, a way of life in the Kimberley. At Talbot Bay visit the Horizontal Waterfalls, one of the most unusual regional attractions. The falls, created by a phenomenon resulting from the mammoth tides, actually reverse as the tide turns. At Montgomery Reef, view the amazing array of marine life exposed at low tide. The reef is home to an incredible number of green sea turtles and sharks are sometimes spotted in the surrounding waters. At Raft Point, join a bush walk to learn the traditions of Worrorra people and view ancient Aboriginal cave paintings of outstanding quality depicting the significance of the marine world to the Aboriginal way of life.
May 1 - May 2 Prince Regent Nature Reserve / Camp Creek / Careening Bay
The Prince Regent Nature Reserve is one of Australia’s most remote areas, and the rugged sandstone and volcanic landscape helps to protect its scenic grandeur. This is pure wilderness, accessible only by air or boat, and you can truly say that you have been to a place seen by few others. The area boasts more than half of the mammal and bird species found in the entire Kimberley region and more than 500 species of plants. With the ship at anchor in St. George Basin, board the Xplorer to cruise up the Prince Regent River. With near-vertical cliffs on either side, make your way to the face of King Cascade, an unusual and picturesque waterfall cascading over terraced rock formations. Tidal conditions permitting, you will also explore nearby Camp Creek in search of local fauna such as estuarine crocodiles, red-tailed black cockatoos, and galahs.
May 3 Hunter River / Mitchell Falls
From Hunter River, fly via helicopter to the Mitchell Plateau to visit Mitchell Falls, a series of waterfalls and pools culminating in a deep gorge carving its way through the Outback. Explore the surrounding area on foot and enjoy a refreshing swim in the rushing freshwater pools. In the vicinity of our anchorage, you may explore the small tributaries by Zodiac, searching the mangroves and tidal mud flats for crocodiles, mud skippers, and fiddler crabs, as well as the many bird species that make their home within the dense vegetation.
May 4 Bigge Island / Low Rocks
A unique experience awaits us on Bigge Island, sacred to Aborigines for more than 20,000 years. Well-preserved Aboriginal paintings grace the walls of caves, depicting mythical figures and offering visual evidence of the European entrance into the Aboriginal way of life. Warabis, or rock wallaby (the smallest of the wallabies), are numerous on this island and can often be seen sprinting from one rock ledge to another. In the afternoon step ashore on a tiny island atoll known as Low Rocks. As you approach, the skies fill with the movements and sounds of thousands upon thousands of seabirds, including four species of terns, pied cormorants, white-bellied sea eagles, and osprey. The island is also a nesting site for green and flatback turtles, and has its own resident saltwater crocodile, which is often seen patrolling the waters around the island.
May 5 King George River / King George Falls
Aboard the Xplorer, cruise through a spectacular canyon where vertical cliffs, gorges, and mangroves line the shores of the mighty King George River. The final destination is King George Falls, a supremely photogenic area of 325-foot cliffs of rust-colored sandstone rising from the tidal waters.
May 6 Tiwi Islands
Permission pending, go ashore on the Tiwis and join local Aboriginal guides for a tour of the small community of Nguiu, its museum, and the old Mission Precinct. You will also have an opportunity to visit the local arts center, to view and purchase high-quality Tiwi crafts, as well as screen-printed fabric.
May 7 - May 8 Darwin / Disembark / Brisbane / USA
Disembark this morning in Darwin with time for a bit of sightseeing. Transfer to the airport for your flight to Brisbane with dinner and overnight at our airport hotel. Board your independent flight to the USA on Friday, arriving the same day.