Journey from Broome to Darwin on this exceptional expedition to the Kimberly, one of the world’s most grandiose landscapes. Taking in the magnificent scenery, remote wilderness and diverse wildlife, the journey into the Kimberley will allow you to delve into some of the region’s most breathtaking landmarks. From the picturesque Hunter River to Montgomery Reef and the famous King George River where you’ll experience the majestic twin falls; the highest falls in Australia. This 11-day expedition cruise will take you along one of the most remarkable coasts in the region. With their falls, abrupt gorges, savannah, calm waters and desolate mountain chains, the wild lands of Kimberley are the promise of an exceptional adventure. Special Offer: 500€ discount for first-time cruisers with PONANT. Book by the 31/12/2018.  

Trip highlights

Enrich your expedition as you are joined onboard by a National Geographic photographer and expert, of whom both are specialised in the destination.

Visit remarkable landmarks including pristine Mangrove rivers, the twin falls and the natural phenomenon which is Horizontal Falls.

Enjoy regular Zodiac® outings and shore visits to get closer to Kimberly nature and wildlife.

View ancient aboriginal rock art during your time in Vansittart Bay, where some discovered art is thought to date back to the ice age era.

Itinerary - 11 Days

1 Broome

Located in the northwest of the Kimberley region, Broome is a town famed for its rich history and glorious pearling era. Begin your journey in the diverse Chinatown district where you can explore Japanese history as your visit the Brooms’ famous Japanese cemetery. Step back in time as your visit Gantheaume Point, where dinosaur footprints more than 130 million years old can be seen. You may also be lucky to see the famous “Staircase to the Moon”, an optical illusion created by the moon that reflects upon the sandbanks at low tide, creating the effect of a staircase climbing up towards the sky.

2 Lacepede Islands

The Lacepede Islands are a collection of four islands located just off the Kimberley coast. The almost pristine environment supports a plethora of fauna and flora including the Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas), the islands are furthermore an Important Bird Area (IBA) where you may be able to spot Brown Boobies, Australian Pelicans, Lesser Frigatebirds, Pied and Sooty Oystercatchers. Join a guided Zodiac tour with the naturalist team to get a closer look at the magnificent wildlife who reside here however due to the sensitive nature of the environment, landings are prohibited on the Lacepede Islands.

3 Talbot Bay

Once described by Sir David Attenborough as “One of the greatest wonders of the natural world”, Talbot Bay is home to the iconic Horizontal Waterfalls. The “Horizontal Waterfalls” are created as seawater builds up faster on one side of the gaps than the other, creating a waterfall up to 4m high on a King tide. Today’s Zodiac® excursion will be timed, where possible, to coincide with the greatest tidal movement through the gaps. The amount of actual flow in the falls will vary depending on the tide movement on the day.

4 Collier Bay

Collier Bay is part of the Buccaneer Archipelago off the coast of Western Australia. The Buccaneer Archipelago is composed of about 800 to 1,000 rocky islands that posses secluded white sandy beaches and small embayments. The area can experience huge tidal ranges of up to 12 metres with a rich and diverse fauna.

4 Montgomery Reef

The Kimberley has the third largest tidal range of anywhere on the planet and Montgomery Reef is a perfect place to see the impact. An entire reef appears to rise from the ocean as the tide drops a raging torrent of water cascades off the top of the reef. At just under 400 km2 in size, it is Australia’s largest inshore reef, containing large areas of shallow lagoon, seagrass beds and corals. Your Zodiac® expedition today will take you to the exposed reef system with its cascading mini-waterfalls to witness the amazing tide-induced phenomena first hand. Please note the scale of the phenomena is strictly governed by the tides on the day.

5 Careening Bay

Careening Bay was named by Lieutenant Phillip Parker King in 1820 after his ship HMC Mermaid careened on the island. The ship has been badly damaged and was leaking so King set out for a shallow sandy bay on which to fix it. At high tide one September afternoon, King ran the Mermaid onto the sands where he and the crew worked on the vessel. The ship’s carpenter carved the name of the vessel and the year into a conspicuous boab tree. The famous boab tree is now 3 metres wide and National Heritage listed. A reminder of a bygone era of exploration!

6 Hunter River & Mitchell Falls

Hunter River is one of the most picturesque parts of the Kimberley coast. Lined with ancient, thick rain forests, pristine mangroves and mosaic sandstone cliffs, Hunter River and Prince Frederick Harbour are famed for their beauty. Considered to be some of the most pristine mangrove forests in the world, there are over 18 different species that support a rich and diverse fauna. Our expert Expedition Team will share their knowledge with you as you explore this pristine mangrove environment by Zodiac® keeping a constant lookout for wildlife.

7 Swift Bay

The Bonaparte Archipelago is a rugged maze of islands that stretch almost 150km along Western Australia’s remote Kimberley coast. Remaining relatively unspoilt and remarkably pristine, Swift Bay is landscaped by heavily fractured sandstone providing an abundance of rock shelters. On the walls of these shelters are examples of both Wandjina and Gwion Gwion style rock art. Join your expedition team ashore for a guided walk to a number of rock art galleries depicting these unique rock art styles.

8 Vansittart Bay

Vansittart Bay is a beautifully protected large bay with several islands and coves. Jar Island contains ancient rock art galleries depicting the Gwion Gwion style unique to the Kimberley region. Mainly neglected by, or unknown to, the early European researchers of Aboriginal culture in the Kimberley in favour of the dominant & more dramatic Wandjina art, Gwion Gwion art has in recent years gained world prominence. Join your Expedition Team ashore for a short walk, past some fascinating rock formations, to the site of the Gwion Gwion art galleries.

9 King George River

King George River is an iconic stretch of waterway that journeys through an 80m high gorge. The colours and textures of the gorge add to the striking nature of this stretch of journey of which the scenery changes as you continue upriver. The journey culminates at the King George twin falls; the highest single-drop falls in the whole of the Kimberley. Your Expedition Team will escort you in either the Zodiacs or ships tenders to the foot of the twin falls and explain all about the stunning geological formations of the canyon.

10 At sea

Spend this day at sea, taking in the magnificent surroundings of the Le Lapérouse ship. Make the most of the facilities onboard including a relaxing spa, infinity pool, Blue Eye lounge and stunning restaurant. Head to the top deck to enjoy spectacular views during your journey or take the time to seek out a National Geographic Expert or Photographer.

11 Darwin

Located in Australia’s Northern Territory, Darwin is the capital and most populated city in the Northern Territory. A melting pot of all people and cultures, Darwin a culturally diverse and eclectic city known for its laidback lifestyle, tropical architecture and picture-perfect waterfront on the Timor Sea.

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