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, AustraliaMay 4 — May 6
Board your independent flight to Darwin, Australia, losing a day as you cross the International Date Line. Arrive in Darwin on May 6 and enjoy an afternoon at leisure. Gather this evening for a welcome dinner and overnight at the Hilton Darwin.
Darwin / Embark Coral DiscovererMay 7
After breakfast, transfer to the port to board the Coral Discoverer and set sail.
King George River / King George FallsMay 8
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 IslandMay 9
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. There may also be an opportunity to view the wreckage of a US Air Force C-53 Skytrooper aircraft.
Prince Frederick HarbourMay 10
Prince Frederick Harbour boasts spectacular scenery, with islands, mangroves, and monsoon rainforests set against a backdrop of steep red escarpment. 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, including white-bellied sea eagles, that make their home within the dense vegetation. Cruise up Porosus Creek to spot wildlife and later explore rock art sites.
Prince Regent Nature Reserve / Careening BayMay 11
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. 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, surrounded by grasses and ferns. At Careening Bay visit a large boab tree with the inscription “H.M.C. Mermaid – 1820” still clearly visible. The Mermaid was a British Navy hydrographic survey ship under the command of Lt. Philip Parke King, who stayed at the bay for six weeks while repairing his ship.
Buccaneer Archipelago / Raft Point / Montgomery Reef / Talbot BayMay 13 — May 15
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.
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. Visit Red Cone Creek and beautiful Ruby Falls and climb up the rock formations to reach the freshwater swimming hole. Other sites you may visit here are the Sale River and Steep Island.
View the amazing array of marine life as the sea recedes in mammoth tides, and Montgomery Reef rises from the ocean in a cascade of rushing water. Opportunistic birds, such as reef egrets and sea eagles take advantage of the marine life left exposed in rock pools. The 150-square-mile reef is home to an incredible number of green sea turtles, and sharks are sometimes spotted in the surrounding waters.
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.
Lacepede IslandsMay 16
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 17 — May 18
Disembark in Broome and 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.