The region known simply as The Kimberley takes its evocative name from its most imposing landmark; an ancient mountain range visible from the rugged sea coast. Covering more than 400,000 square kilometres (an area three times larger than England) in North West Australia, it is a place universally acknowledged as the world's last - and possibly most beautiful - wilderness.
The Kimberley yields images to fill the frames of a lifetime. It is a place of magnificent vistas created by towering rock ridges, silent secluded gorges, wide savannah plains and waterfalls which defy both nature and belief.
Discover Broome, the still exotic capital of The Kimberley that was once the pearling capital of the world and is clawing back its claim by once again delivering the bounty of the seas to visitors from around the globe.
Discover the heartland of Australia's northernmost unspoilt outback. The Kimberley is a completely unique experience.
Onboard accommodation comprises 36 spacious modern staterooms. You can select from Bridge, Promenade or Main Deck staterooms.
All Cabins Feature: Air-conditioning, Private ensuite bathroom, Wardrobe, Suitcase cupboard, Windows or Portholes, Speaker, Hairdryer
Main Deck B: Size is 17.5-18.5m² (190-200sqft). Bedding is 1 King Bed OR 2 Single Beds. Maximum room capacity is 2 Adults.
Main Deck A: Size is 18m² (195sqft). Bedding is 1 King Bed OR 2 Single Beds. Maximum room capacity is 2 Adults.
Promenade B: Size is 13m² (137sqft). Bedding is 1 King Bed. Maximum room capacity is 2 Adults.
Promenade A: Size is 16-17.5m² (172-190sqft). Bedding is 1 King Bed OR 2 Single Beds. Maximum room capacity is 2 Adults.
Bridge Deck: Size is 17-18m² (180-195sqft). Bedding is 1 King Bed OR 2 Single Beds. Maximum room capacity is 2 Adults.
All meals during the cruise are included. Breakfast and lunch are served in the Dining Room located on the Main Deck and are buffet-style while dinner is table d'hote. Coffee and tea is available 24 hours. Meal times will be advised in the onboard daily bulletins.
Day 1: Board Coral Discoverer from 8.00am in Darwin for a 9.00am departure. Farewelling Darwin Harbour, cross Cambridge Gulf and sail into Western Australian waters. This afternoon join the expedition staff in the lounge for an informative introduction to the Kimberley before meeting your fellow travellers and friendly crew at the Captain¡'s Welcome Drinks.
Day 2: Today you will discover the first of the Kimberley's rivers, the mighty King George. Aboard Xplorer, the specially designed excursion vessel, you'll explore scenic gorges and in the inflatable zodiacs you'll cruise close to the base of magnificent King George Falls, the tallest single-drop waterfalls in Western Australia, towering some 80 metres above the river below. Later, visit secluded Tranquil Bay for beach walking and exploration.
Day 3: Join the Expedition Leader on a walk across salt flats to view the wreckage of a US Air Force DC3 which crash landed on the beach during World War II. Later, visit Jar Island and discover the islands outstanding rock art gallery. The Guest Lecturers will point out fine examples of the Kimberley`s mysterious Bradshaw Paintings (Gwion), dating back some 20,000 years.
Day 4: After anchoring in Winyalken Bay, travel ashore aboard Xplorer to explore the maze of natural sandstone caves known as Hathaway's Hideaway. Later, helicopters are available for optional scenic flights over the Mitchell Plateau for close up views of the mighty four-tiered Mitchell Falls (additional expense). This evening enjoy a spectacular Indian Ocean sunset as you indulge in a gourmet Aussie Beach BBQ.
Day 5: Discover the rock art gallery on Bigge Island featuring fine examples of both Wandjina and Bradshaw art. The Guest Lecturers will be on hand to explain these traditional art forms and the myths from the dreamtime that inspired them. Then, explore Careening Bay which was named by early explorer Phillip Parker King after his ship HMC Mermaid was careened for repairs during his second voyage of discovery in the Kimberley. The lecturers will lead you to the site of a remarkable boab tree bearing the inscription 'HMC Mermaid 1820', still clearly visible almost 200 years later.
Day 6: Cruise the mighty Prince Regent River aboard Xplorer to breathtaking King Cascades, an unusual and picturesque waterfall cascading over terraced rock formations. Enjoy a picnic lunch at beautiful Camp Creek, where there is also time for a cooling dip in the freshwater pools.
Day 7: Today savour a truly unforgettable moment as Montgomery Reef rises out of the ocean as the tide ebbs. Join the Expedition Staff aboard the Xplorer and zodiacs to experience this natural phenomenon up close and discover the reefs diverse marine life including turtles, manta rays and reef sharks. Later, cruise through scenic Doubtful Bay.
Day 8: Cruising through Kuri Bay, home of the south sea pearl industry, travel ashore at imposing Raft Point and visit a secluded and very interesting Aboriginal rock art gallery to view Wandjina art and some of the Kimberleys most well-preserved Bradshaw Paintings (Gwion). Later, explore Red Cone Creek and enjoy a leisurely swim at Ruby Falls.
Day 9: Cruise through the Buccaneer Archipelago, home to over 800 islands. In Talbot Bay the regions 12 metre tides create an amazing spectacle, the unique Horizontal Falls, described by legendary naturalist Sir David Attenborough as one of the greatest natural wonders in the world. The amazing power of the falls is revealed when the regions 12 metre tides turn, forcing millions of litres of water to rush through the narrow gaps between cliffs. Board the zodiacs for an exhilarating ride through the falls. Later, explore Silica Beach on Hidden Island with its stunning white sands and crystal clear waters.
Day 10: Cuise through Pender Bay and, subject to weather and tides, visit the Lacepede Islands, a series of low islands consisting of coarse sand and coral rubble lying atop a platform reef. This nature reserve has been identified by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area as it supports up to 18,000 breeding pairs of Brown Boobies and Roseate Terns, possibly the largest such population in the world. Board the zodiacs and explore the islands lagoon, keeping an eye out for many species of marine bird life including Australian Pelicans, frigate birds, egrets, gulls and terns. The islands are also renowned as Western Australia's most significant breeding grounds for the Green Turtle, often seen nesting on the islands. This evening we reflect on this wonderful expedition with new-found friends as we enjoy the Captains Farewell Cocktails.
Day 11: Arrive in Broome at 8.00am.
**This itinerary is an indication of the destinations Coral Expeditions Cruises visit and activities on offer. Throughout the expedition they may make changes to the itinerary as necessary to maximise your expeditionary experience. Allowances may be made for seasonal variations, weather, tidal conditions and any other event that may affect the operation of the vessel.**
Details: Length 63 metres, Speed 14 knots, Beam 13 metres, Cabins 36, Draught 3 metres, Passengers 72, Tonnes 1838, Crew 20
Facilities: Large sundeck, Spa pool, Wireless internet broadband access (additional cost applies), Comprehensive reference library, Phone and fax facilities, Lecture lounge with large plasma screen, Limited laundry facilities, Two fully stocked cocktail bars, Gift shop and dive shop, Air-conditioned public areas.
Expeditions: The "Xplorer" is a specially designed aluminium excursion vessel used for the majority of the excursions. This vessel has high horsepower engines and will accommodate all passengers at one time. The "Xplorer" will be used for landings and for extensive exploration of rivers and tributaries. For your added convenience and comfort, the "Xplorer" is equipped with an awning and toilet.
There are also two inflatable landing craft (Zodiacs). Designed for expedition work, these large and heavy-duty inflatables are extremely safe. Separate air compartments retain a large reserve of buoyancy even if the boats damaged. The flat bottom design permits these crafts to land directly onto the beaches.
7 & 28 April
09 & 30 June
06 & 27 April
08 & 29 June
10 & 31 August
Departs: 8.00am from Darwin
Arrives: 8.00am in Broome
Children: Under 12 years of age are not recommended
Excludes: Pre and Post flights and transfers; personal items such as telephone, facsimile charges, laundry, bar charges, travel insurance
Environmental Management Charge (EMC): Is additional and payable on board
Cancellation Fees: Apply for cruises cancelled inside 90 days of travel
Operated By: Coral Expeditions