Arrive in Broome and board the National Geographic Orion for your South Pacific adventure through Kimberly and the Spice Islands.
Explore three coral atolls with crystal clear waters off the Kimberley Coast. With abundant marine life and untouched coral, Rowley Shoals is one of the world’s most pristine marine environments. National Geographic Orion gives you access to snorkeling and diving from the sand cays that make up the shoals as well as sea kayaking, weather permitting.
A day at sea is an opportunity to sit back, relax, chat with new found friends, read or attend a lecture, or take advantage of life aboard Orion: have a massage to unwind, a sauna for sore muscles, or enjoy a good book and a refreshment on deck. The day is yours to do as you wish.
Wandjina tour guides join you on a scenic walk to view Wandjinas and Gwion Gwion rock art in ancient caves. Here you can also see distinctive Boab trees with carved Wandjina figures on them. Today is a fascinating walk back in time.
After a failed attempt at settlement by Victorian sheep farmers in 1864, this area is rarely visited from the sea. Nature has gradually reclaimed the ghostly ruins, leaving fragments of a hard life from long ago. Colonial history buffs are sure to enjoy the atmosphere here and we can also visit nearby Sheep Island with its graves of the ill-fated settlers.
Land by Zodiacs on this rocky island jutting out of vividly colored aqua seas. Small monjon rock wallabies and the northern quoll thrive here free of predators found on the mainland. The island is famous as a site for some amazing rock art. Join the expedition team as they point out the Wandjina figures, distinctive for what appear to be haloes around the head of each figure. Painted by the Wunambal people, you may also see images of sailing ships and figures smoking pipes, which have been interpreted as representing seafaring European visitors in the 19th century.
Today Zodiacs take you up the King George River, revealing spectacular scenery and a wealth of bird species. The almost vertical sheer canyon walls have been eroded over millions of years and look like stacks of sandstone reminiscent of a child’s building blocks. The river drains the Gardner Plateau and the falls are the highest single-drop falls in the whole of the Kimberley. For guests looking for a bit more adventure, you can take a steep walk to the top of the falls and have the opportunity to enjoy a refreshing swim.
These are relaxed days, cruising south as National Geographic Orion makes an operational stop at Wyndham to clear customs in Australia before proceeding north to East Timor. Listen to informal talks from our staff, preparing us for the exciting days ahead.
This small uninhabited island is considered by the traditional Timorese to be Lulic, a sacred place. Here you receive a traditional welcome and can see endemic bird species. With dazzling white-sand beaches and crystal-clear blue waters, you are able to swim, snorkel, dive, and explore.
Explore the evolving cosmopolitan capital of East Timor, where there is still much evidence of its 500-year history as a Portuguese colony, and a strong Catholic population. See the giant Cristo Rei statue as we approach the harbor. Visit the local craft market and see the colorful local woven fabrics called tais.
In the 1600s, Flores was an important Portuguese trade center, particularly for sandalwood coming from Portuguese Timor. As Dutch influence spread throughout the 17th century, Portuguese populations from other areas, such as Malacca and Makassar, moved to Larantuka. Today Larantuka is a neat little seaside township with spectacular views. Your visit allows you to meet the local people and learn of their history and customs, as well as swim, snorkel, and dive off the white-sand beaches.
At the world renowned Komodo National Park, go in search of the world’s largest living lizard: the Komodo dragon. These prehistoric creatures can grow up to ten feet long and weigh 300 lbs. Learn about the conservation of these giants from park rangers, who join us on a hike to spot the lizards in their natural habitat. Just a short distance away is Pink Beach, named for the red coral fragments that lend their color to the sand. Swimming, snorkeling, diving, sea kayaking or just relaxing on the beach are all options today.
Experience the strong culture of the Pamulung villagers, who may delight you with an elaborate cultural display of a mock traditional wedding ceremony and a local boxing match.
Arrive this morning to the island of Bali. Following breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home.