Australia's Kimberley: A Voyage to the Outback
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.
Based on the expeditionary nature of our trips, there may be ongoing enhancements to this itinerary.
Depart USA / Darwin, AustraliaApril 21 — April 23
Board your independent flight to Darwin, Australia, losing a day as you cross the International Date Line. Arrive in Darwin on April 23 and enjoy an afternoon at leisure. Gather this evening for a welcome dinner and overnight at the Hilton Darwin.
Darwin / Embark Coral DiscovererApril 24
Today explore historic Darwin with a visit to the George Brown Botanic Gardens, the Darwin Military Museum, and the impressive Darwin Museum and Art Gallery which celebrates Aboriginal art and the history of the region. This afternoon board the Coral Discoverer and set sail.
Tiwi IslandsApril 25
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 and screen-printed fabric.
King George River / King George FallsApril 26
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.
Jar Island / Woku-Woku IslandApril 27
View fine examples of ancient Bradshaw or Gwion Gwion art, thought to be 20,000 to 15,000 years old, on Jar Island, a rocky uninhabited island endowed with lovely white-sand beaches. Tides permitting, step ashore on Woku-Woku Island to search for the remnants of old Macassan trepang stoves that were used to boil sea cucumbers collected on their journeys through the Kimberley hundreds of years ago.
Bigge Island / Sterna IslandApril 28
A unique experience awaits us on Bigge Island, sacred to Aborigines for thousands of 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. Keep an eye out for Monjon (the smallest of the wallabies), they can often be seen sprinting from one rock ledge to another. In the afternoon step ashore Sterna Island to search for a variety of seabirds, including four species of terns, pied cormorants, white-bellied sea eagles, and osprey.
Hunter River / Mitchell FallsApril 29
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, mudskippers, and fiddler crabs, as well as the many bird species that make their home within the dense vegetation.
Montgomery Reef / Talbot Bay / Raft Point / Buccaneer ArchipelagoApril 30 — May 2
At Montgomery Reef, view the amazing array of marine life exposed at low tide. The 150-square-mile reef is home to an incredible number of green sea turtles and sharks are sometimes spotted in the surrounding waters. The fish that are trapped by the falling tide attract a plethora of birds including reef egrets and sea eagles.
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.
Join a bush walk at Raft Point to learn the traditions of the Worrorra people and view ancient Aboriginal cave paintings of outstanding quality, depicting the significance of the marine world to the Aboriginal way of life.
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, reefs, rugged gorges, and whirlpools.
Lacepede IslandsMay 3
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. Cruise the area by Zodiac for a closer look at the seabird colonies. 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.
Broome / Disembark / Sydney / USAMay 4 — May 5
Disembark in Broome with time for a bit of sightseeing. Transfer to the airport for your independent flight to Sydney with dinner and overnight at the Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel. Board your independent flight on May 5, arriving in the USA the same day.