Australia's Kimberley: A Voyage to the Outback
Before You Go
For most activities, a moderate level of exertion is required. You will need to climb into and out of Zodiacs for excursions ashore. Ashore, you must be able to walk one to three miles, unaided, over sometimes rough terrain. There will be opportunities for leisurely strolls and more active hikes. This expedition is timed during the beginning of the dry season. However, occasional showers can be expected. Average daily temperatures will range from the low 80s°F to the low 90s°F, though high humidity can make it seem warmer.
Please pay close attention to the following sections: Passport and Visa Requirements, Health Information, and Baggage Allowance.
Activity Level & Accommodations
For most activities, a moderate level of exertion is required. You will need to climb into and out of Zodiacs for excursions ashore. While ashore, you must be able to walk two miles unaided, over sometimes rough terrain to view aboriginal art. Please note that there might be an occasion to walk through standing water which can, at times, reach mid-shin (weather dependent). There will also be opportunities for leisurely strolls and more active hikes. Flexibility is a must, as itineraries are subject to change and landings may be tidal or weather dependent.
Arrivals & Departures
Departure / Airport Check-In Procedures
Please arrive at the airport for your international flight three hours prior to departure and have access to your passport and airline E-ticket confirmation. Do not pack your passport or other travel documents in your checked luggage. Be certain that the check-in agent properly tags your bags through to your final destination, if allowed, and that you have all baggage and E-ticket receipts.
Arrival / Departure Transfers
Transfers and assistance between airports and group hotels are arranged for participants arriving and departing on group dates. However, if you are arriving prior to the group arrival day and have booked additional night(s) at our group hotel, a transfer from the airport to the hotel will be provided.
Airlines change flight times frequently and our air department will send you any updates for flights booked through Zegrahm as they are received from the carrier. Still, we recommend reconfirming the departure time of your flights with the airline directly within 24 hours of departure. This can be done easily online and will ensure you arrive at the airport with plenty of time to board your flight.
Zegrahm Expeditions would be happy to assist in organizing any independent, private travel plans that you may want planned immediately before or after the group itinerary. If you want to request any additional pre- or post-hotel nights or tours, please contact your Expedition Advisor directly. If you want to plan a custom package, with a minimum of three nights’ accommodation that includes transfers and tours with a guide, please contact our Custom Travel Team by emailing Ciara.Sampaio@zegrahm.com.
If you are booking your own flights or accommodation, please forward a copy of your flight itinerary to Zegrahm, as well as contact information where you can be reached prior to and after the program.
For your international flights to Darwin and from Broome, please check for luggage weight restrictions with your airline provider or our air department if you are booking your international air arrangements through Zegrahm.
PLEASE NOTE: Most airlines strictly enforce their baggage regulations. Excess baggage charges, whichcan be substantial, are the personal responsibility of each participant.
We recommend the use of soft-sided luggage as it is easier to store. Your carry-on bag should include anything you may need in transit. We recommend that you carry essential toiletries and prescription medications on board the flight, as well as a change of clothing appropriate for the initial activities of our itinerary, so that you will be more comfortable in the unlikely event that your baggage is delayed in transit or is slow to be delivered to your room upon arrival.
During the months of April and May, there is a chance we may encounter an isolated rain shower, so we recommend bringing a lightweight rain jacket. As we travel through Australia, expect it to be warm, with average temperatures ranging from the high 60sºF (15ºC) to the 90sºF (26ºC) during the day and dipping into the high 50sºF (10ºC) in the early mornings and evenings. Please keep in mind that these temperatures will decrease when cruising by Zodiac and exposed to other factors like wind and rain.
The following are average high/low temperatures in April & May for selected locations on our itinerary:
|Darwin, Australia||90ºF (32ºC)||71ºF (22ºC)|
|Broome, Western Australia||92ºF (33ºC)||69ºF (21ºC)|
|Mitchell Falls, Northern Australia||66ºF (19ºC)||50ºF (10ºC)|
The Australian dollar is the standard currency on board the Coral Discoverer. Your voyage includes most necessities; therefore, we strongly recommend that you carry most of your spending money in smaller denominations.
As of December 2019, the exchange rate is as follows:
|$1 U.S. dollar (USD)||1.47 Australian dollars (AUD)|
ATMs are a good option for obtaining local currency in some countries if you have a Visa or MasterCard debit or credit card, although access to ATMs varies greatly from region to region. Please carry smaller denominations as most merchants will require local currency. Also, ensure you know your four-digit PIN (Personal Identification Number) for your debit or credit card if you wish to obtain currency at ATMs.
As a reminder, itinerary related expenses have been included in the price of your trip. Therefore, we recommend that you carry most of your money in smaller denominations.
You will receive your pre-departure information—including a complete packing list and gear certificate—approximately five months prior to departure. Final documents—including a final itinerary, contact list, and staff biographies—will be sent approximately one month prior to departure.
The electrical current is the following:
- Australia & Coral Discoverer: 230V/50hz with electrical outlet type I
PLEASE NOTE: Most modern electronics (cell phones, computers, and tablets) are dual voltage. Some appliances, such as video camera battery packs, require heavy-duty converters rather than the normal travel type. Please check your equipment to be sure you bring what is necessary for your personal needs.
International flights are not included in the cost of the expedition; however, Zegrahm has a fully-staffed air department that can assist you with flight arrangements. You will need to purchase airfare from your home city/Darwin, Australia and Broome, Australia/home city. For more detailed information, please contact our in-house air department for fare quotes, reservations, or other air-related questions.
No gratuities are accepted by the Zegrahm expedition team. All gratuities for group arrangements including hotel staff, local guides, and drivers associated with our itinerary are included in the cost of your expedition. However, gratuities for extra services outside of group arrangements are your own responsibility.
A yellow fever vaccination is required for Australia, if arriving from or transiting in the last 6 days through countries with risk of yellow fever transmission. Yellow fever vaccinations, valid for life, must be given at official centers designated by your state’s health departments. The International Certificate of Vaccination must be validated by the center that administers the vaccine and carried with you on your trip. However, please consult with your physician before receiving the yellow fever vaccination. You may refer to the following World Health Organization link for more information on yellow fever: https://www.who.int/csr/disease/yellowfev/en/
Be sure to bring a sufficient amount of your personal medications, as we will not have access to pharmacies while in the remote areas of this expedition. Please prepare accordingly if you are prone to motion sickness.
If you are traveling with a CPAP machine and require distilled water, please notate your request in the Personal Information Form or notify your Expedition Advisor. The Coral Discoverer must be informed in advance as they do not readily have distilled water on board.
To prevent dehydration, drink plenty of fluids whenever you can, not just when you are thirsty as this can help prevent a range of medical problems associated with traveling. Take precautions to avoid overexposure to the sun by bringing a sun hat with a wide brim, polarized sunglasses, and a high-SPF sunscreen.
We suggest that you contact your physician or local health center for current and other information concerning health precautions, immunizations, and prescriptions based on your physical condition and medical history. Your doctor may recommend a flu shot, Hepatitis A, Tetanus, and other routine vaccinations. This will vary by guest and can only be advised by a medical professional.
In case of serious injury or illness while traveling, it is important to understand that satisfactory medical facilities may not exist nearby. Should you require emergency medical care, it may be necessary to depart the country by international medical evacuation services. The cost of our expedition includes
$100,000 of emergency evacuation and $25,000 for medical expenses. If you would like to request more information about this policy, please contact our office at 206.285.4000, or review the pamphlet included in your final documents package.
The information herein is a guideline and is subject to change without notice. Contact your physician or local health center for current and other information concerning health precautions, immunizations, and prescriptions based on your physical condition and medical history.
Internet & Phone
Your final documentation will include contact information for our hotels. Wi-Fi access is available on the Coral Discoverer. However, please note that the internet connection on board the ship is low-bandwidth and intermittent at best. Phones are located within each stateroom for guest use during the expedition, but please note that charges will apply for international calls.
Following are local times that apply to this expedition when it is 7:00 a.m. on the North American west coast:
|7:00 a.m.||Seattle, WA (PDT)|
|10:00 a.m.||New York, NY (EDT)|
|10:00 p.m.||Broome, Australia (AWST)|
|11:30 p.m.||Darwin, Australia (ACST)|
The dining room features the finest fresh seafood of the region and a comprehensive selection of Australian and New Zealand wines. It can accommodate all guests at one seating and features large windows so guests can enjoy their natural surroundings. Afternoon tea is served in the lounge, and coffee and tea are available throughout the day/night.
Should you have any particular dietary needs, or life-threatening allergies, please let us know on your Personal Information Form, and we will do our best to prepare for them. Unfortunately, kosher meals cannot be accommodated.
It is essential to maximize the versatility of your travel wardrobe by packing clothing that can be layered. Wash-and-wear, lightweight fabrics are recommended. As you pack, consider your own internal thermostat and adjust accordingly.
Laundry service is available on board the ship for a fee, and by using it you can limit yourself to just four or five outfits and not be inconvenienced by an overabundance of clothing. Laundry bags are provided in your cabin. Turn around for laundry service is usually 24 hours.
Clothing on Board
The ship is air-conditioned and heated throughout with individual controls in each cabin. Comfortable and casual clothing, in the expedition spirit, is recommended. Normally, there are two shipboard occasions when you may wish to wear slightly more formal attire: the captain’s welcome aboard and farewell cocktail parties, followed by dinner. On these two occasions, women may choose to wear a dress or other appropriate attire, and men may choose to dress business casual. The degree of dress is in accordance with one’s personal preference.
Sporty, summer-weight clothing is a good basis for your wardrobe. Loose, lightweight, wash-and-wear slacks, skirts, blouses, shirts, and T-shirts made of natural fibers and wick-away fabrics are recommended. The sun can be strong, so bring adequate sun-protective clothing and gear, wear hats, and use sun block, as we will be out in the sun for extended periods of time. Also, keep in mind that we may encounter a rain shower or two on our excursions.
Shore excursions involve walking or hiking over uneven trails. Sturdy walking shoes with thick soles or light hiking boots are recommended. Make sure your shoes or boots are broken-in before your trip.
The sun can be strong, so bring adequate sun-protective clothing and gear, wear hats, and use sun block, as we will be out in the sun for extended periods of time. Also, keep in mind that we may encounter a rain shower or two on our excursions.
For transportation from ship to shore, we use Zodiac boats and the ship’s Xplorer, a powerful excursion boat that provides a more comfortable experience for longer excursions. You will need to walk up the beach in shoes that can get wet, have a good tread, and protect your feet. We recommend sport sandals with a sturdy sole such as Tevas, Keens, or Chacos. Please note that flip-flops are not appropriate for wet landings. You will also want to wear pants that are easy to roll up for wet landings.
Passport & Visa Requirements
A valid passport is required for participation in this program. It must be valid for six months after you return home, through November 5, 2020. If you do not have a passport, or if it is not valid for the correct length of time, you should apply for one as soon as possible. You need to have a minimum of one blank page available for entry/exit stamps in your passport.
For entry into Australia, an electronic travel authority (ETA) is required. An ETA provides quick and convenient authorization to travel to and enter Australia and is electronically linked to your passport. It is available to US nationals, and other approved countries, for a small service fee.
For more information and to apply, visit https://www.eta.immi.gov.au/ETAS3/etas. Passengers will be denied entry into Australia if they do not acquire the ETA in advance. Please note that an ETA is valid for 12 months from the date the ETA is granted or until the expiry of your passport, whichever is earlier. While you can visit multiple times during this period, the maximum length of stay at any given time is three months.
Please Note: Any specific questions regarding the ETA or visa application process should be directed to the customer support service provided by the ETA or visa website. For further clarifications, contact the relevant visa issuing authority in your region for details regarding validity, duration, and entry requirements.
Citizens of countries other than the U.S. should check with the nearest consulates for specific visa and entry requirements for their entire itinerary, including both the group arrangements and any travel prior to or after the program.
Payments & Cancellations
A deposit totaling 25% of the expedition fare will reserve a place for you on this Zegrahm program. The balance of the expedition fare is due 120 days prior to departure. Air fare is due at the time tickets are issued. All prices are quoted in U.S. dollars and must be paid in U.S. dollars.
Cancellation & Refund Policy
Notification of cancellation must be received in writing by Zegrahm. At the time we receive your written cancellation, the following penalties will apply:
- 180 days or more prior to departure: $750 per person
- 120 through 179 days prior to departure: 25% of expedition fare
- 1 through 119 days prior to departure: 100% of expedition fare
Please note, fees associated with cancelled airline tickets are in addition to this and will be clearly outlined for you on your flight itinerary.
Trip Cancellation & Interruption Insurance
We strongly advise that all travelers purchase trip cancellation and interruption insurance to protect themselves from an unforeseen emergency that may force you to cancel or leave an expedition while it is in progress. Information describing coverage will be sent to you upon receipt of your deposit for the expedition. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer insurance to guests residing outside the United States.
With Our Compliments
We are pleased to offer complimentary amenities to our explorers so they can be fully prepared before departing on one of our expeditions. A gift certificate to our Zegrahm Store will offer you the opportunity to purchase essential trip gear from our store. The certificate will be emailed to you approximately five months prior to departure. Please refer to the gift certificate for more details.