Set sail on an impressive expedition cruise into Australia’s Kimberly where you’ll be able to enjoy the wild and grandiose landscapes which make up this iconic region. Journey from Broom to Darwin aboard the Le Lapérouse as you explore one of the last unspoiled regions on the planet. Off the coast, in the Timor Sea, the Rowley Shoals, Browse Island and the Ashmore Reef nature reserve will reveal you an extraordinary underwater life that abounds in beautiful coral reefs, perfect for an incredible underwater experience. Visit the Montgomery Reef and discover the natural tidal phenomena which you can explore by Zodiac. A true highlight of the trip will be the visit to the King George River where you will discover the twin falls, the highest falls in Western Australia and a truly spectacular sight. Special Offer: 500€ discount for first-time cruisers with PONANT. Book by the 31/12/2018.

Trip highlights

Journey aboard the Le Lapérouse with a National Geographic expert and photographer who are experts in the destination and will help to enrich your experience.

Venture to the sea and shore during regular Zodiac® outings which will allow you to get closer to the Kimberly nature.

Explore pristine mangrove environments, witness incredible wildlife such as saltwater crocodiles, a huge diversity of seabirds and the option for whale watching, visit tidal phenomena including the Horizontal Falls.

Take to the pristine waters and enjoy swimming and snorkeling in some of the world’s most spectacular waters.

Itinerary - 14 Days

1 Broome

Broome is a town historically famed for its pearling trade but today it is a popular holiday destination within the wild Kimberley region. Visit the historical Gantheaume Point, where dinosaur footprints more than 130 million years old can be seen and visit the famous Chinatown district where you can discover the history of Japanese immigrants in Broome’s famous Japanese Cemetery, which dates from 1896. Broome is also famous for its “Staircase to the Moon”, an optical illusion created by the Moon reflecting on the sandbanks at low tide, a unique spectacle provided by nature.

2-3 Rowley Shoals

Rowley Shoals is regarded as one of the most incredible diving and snorkelling locations in the world. Three coral atolls; Mermaid, Clerke and Imperieuse reefs rise near vertical, from the surrounding crystal-clear waters on the edge of the continental shelf. Spot an array of rare, wonderful and vibrant marine wildlife who live within the corals and make for an exceptional diving and snorkelling exploration. To take full advantage of the location, Le Lapérouse will spend one and a half days at the Rowley Shoals, allowing you to swim and snorkel from Zodiac®.

4 Lacepede Islands

The Lacepedes are a group of four islands, perfectly nestled off the Kimberley coast. The islands are imperative to Australia’s rich wildlife as they are key breeding habitats for Green Turtles and are home to a wealth of birds such as Masked Boobies, Australian Pelicans, Lesser Frigatebirds and the largest colony of Brown Bobbies in the world. Join your expedition team for a guided zodiac tour to view the prolific wildlife. Due to the sensitive nature of the environment, landings are prohibited on the Lacepede Islands.

5 Talbot Bay

Talbot Bay was once described by Sir David Attenborough as “One of the greatest wonders of the natural world” thanks to the magnificent Horizontal Waterfalls which act as the regions most celebrated landmark. The Horizontal Waterfall is 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.

6 Montgomery Reef

Montgomery Reef is home to a spectacular natural movement caused by the massive tides that define this region. In fact, the Kimberley has the third largest tidal range of anywhere on the planet and the results culminate at Montgomery Reef as in a spectacular show, the entire reef appears to rise from the ocean. 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. The actual scale of the phenomena is strictly governed by the tides on the day.

6 Raft Point

Raft Point is a large rock formation situated close to the mouth of Doubtful Bay. Reaching 188 metres high, Raft Point offers a breathtaking sight upon the approach. It is home to one of the spectacular outdoor Aboriginal Wandjina art gallery on the Kimberley coast and visitors will have the opportunity to take part in a challenging guided walk to the spectacular rock art gallery. Raft Point is a sacred place with the Worrorra, Wunambal, and Ngarinyin people believing that the Wandjina are the creator beings of the Dreaming, and that they made their world and all that it contains.

7 Careening Bay

Careening Bay was named by Lieutenant Phillip Parker King when he careened his ship, HMC Mermaid during a voyage of discovery in 1820. After a series of leaks onboard the Mermaid, King set out for a shallow sandy bay which to careen and carry out repairs. For ten days the Mermaid crew worked hard before refloating 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.

8 Hunter River & Mitchell Falls

Hunter River is arguably one of the most idyllic parts of the Kimberley coast. Prince Frederick Harbour and the Hunter River are lined with ancient rainforest pockets, pristine mangroves and mosaic sandstone cliffs making for a truly exceptional stop off. They are considered to be some of the most pristine mangrove forests in the world, containing up to 18 different species, supporting a rich and diverse fauna. The sandstone escarpment at the river mouth, known as “Kampamantiya” rises over 200 metres high before giving way to extensive mud banks and mangrove forests home to numerous bird species and the iconic saltwater crocodile. 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.

9 Browse Island

The uninhabited Browse Island sits 180 kilometres off the north-west Kimberley coast. surrounded by magnificent coral reefs, Browse Island is home to some of the countries most treasured wildlife including the Green Turtle which nests on the island and numerous species of seabirds. Join the onboard expedition team to explore this pristine, remote, seldom visited destination by zodiac.

10 Ashmore Reef

Ashmore Reef is a sanctuary for seabirds, shorebirds, marine turtles, dugongs, and many other marine species. Each year around 100,000 seabirds breed on Ashmore Reef including great knots, crested terns and white-tailed tropicbirds. The sanctuary zone provides the highest level of protection for wildlife.

11 Jar Island

Jar Island is a beautiful serene island located in the southern part of Vansittart Bay. With white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and sandstone outcrops, Jar Island is a magnificent island to explore. Jar Island is best known for its ancient rock art galleries depicting the Gwion Gwion style unique to the Kimberley region. Some of the ancient rock art of the Kimberley is thought to be an incredible 50,000 to 60,000 years old and much of the art on Jar Island is remarkably well preserved due to their location under rock ledges and inside caves which protects them from the elements. Join your Expedition Team ashore for a short walk, past some fascinating rock formations, to the site of the Gwion Gwion art galleries.

12 King George River

The King George River is a magnificent sight to behold as you journey through the passage between 80m high sides of the gorge that display varying degrees of weathering of the ancient Warton sandstone. The journey culminates at the King George twin falls; the highest single-drop falls in the whole of the Kimberley (80m or 260ft). 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.

13 At sea

Your last day at sea should be spent making the most of your surroundings aboard the magnificent Le Lapérouse. From world-class entertainment to a luxurious spa, infinity pool on deck and photo gallery, there is a wealth of things to do onboard. You’ll be joined by a National Geographic Expert and a Photographer onboard so why not make the most of this opportunity and get to know a little more about their work.

14 Darwin

Located in Australia’s Northern Territory, Darwin is the capital city and most popular town in the territory. The tropical city is thriving with life where it is home to over 50 different cultures who live and work side by side. Enjoy the bustling waterfront on the Timor Sea and take the time to explore this rich and diverse city.

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