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The dramatic landscape of Kimberly

Kimberley Expedition: Australia’s Wild Northwest

11 Day Sample Cruise aboard National Geographic Orion
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Explore Australia's Wild Northwest on this 11-day Australian cruise. Visit the King George River and Falls, Vansittart Bay, and walk to see the aboriginal cave paintings of the region. Beautiful scenery and rich wildlife makes this cruise a must-do!

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Darwin, Australia / Embark
Days 2-3 : Com / At Sea
Day 4 : Wyndham & The Bungle Bungle
Day 5 : King George River & Falls
Day 6 : Vansittart Bay
Day 7 : Hunter River (and optional helicopter to Mitchell Falls)
Day 8 : Montgomery Reef & Raft Point
Day 9 : Talbot Bay / Horizontal Waterfalls
Day 10 : Nares Point & Crocodile Creek
Day 11 : Broome, Australia


National Geographic Orion

Places Visited

  • Asia
  • Australia
  • South Pacific
  • Broome
  • Com
  • Darwin
  • East Timor
  • King George River
  • Mitchell Falls
  • Montgomery Reef
  • Nares Point
  • Talbot Bay
  • Vansittart Bay
  • Wyndham


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

The dramatic landscape of Kimberly Take a zodiac to get closer to wildlife Take a zodiac past the dramatic landscape of Australia Admire the rock art found in the caves of Kimberly Appreciate the beauty of Kimberly's falls

Day 1 Darwin, Australia / Embark

Arrive in Darwin, a frontier town of crocodile and buffalo shooters and pioneer cattlemen. Retaining much of this flavor today, Darwin is also Australia's tropical capital and the starting point for your voyage. Transfer to the National Geographic Orion. Spend the night at sea.

Day 2-3 Com / At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Settle into your cabin and prepare for amazing photographic opportunities in the Kimberley with talks and hands-on instruction by an onboard National Geographic photographer and Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor. The ship makes a brief technical stop at Com before continuing into the heart of the Kimberley.

Day 4 Wyndham & The Bungle Bungle

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Wyndham is the perfect staging point to discover Purnululu National Park, home of the breathtaking Bungle Bungle Range. These ancient hills resemble giant beehives forming deep chasms with palm trees and long gorges. This strange landscape is even more remarkable from your included charter flight.

Alternatively, you can enjoy an Ord River Cruise to Lake Argyle. The Ord River is one of the most stunning river systems in Australia. Navigate a massive stretch of river between Kununurra and Lake Argyle (Ord River Dam), view the Lake from a scenic lookout, and have a visit to the historical Durack homestead.

Day 5 King George River & Falls

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Orion drops anchor here and zodiacs take you up the spectacular King George River. Featuring dramatic, vertical sheer canyon walls, the river drains into the highest single-drop falls in the Kimberley. Early in the season, it is best to hang back in the thundering mist. Later in the year, you may have the chance to get right up close - even under - the cool fresh waterfalls. For guests looking for even more adventure, there is a challenging walk to the top where you can cool off with a swim in one of the freshwater rock pools.

Day 6 Vansittart Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Join the naturalists on an exploration of an outdoor Gwion Gwion Aboriginal art gallery. The rock images, thought to be up to 40,000 years old, were discovered by Joseph Bradshaw in 1891. There is also the wreck of a DC-3 aircraft nearby, which became lost and crashed during WWII. If time allows, explore the crash site and the remains of the plane.

Day 7 Hunter River (and optional helicopter to Mitchell Falls)

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sail for one of the most scenic parts of the Kimberley coast: Hunter River. The area is lined with green rainforest, mangroves, and soaring red cliffs. The Orion drops anchor near Wunumpurramarra, or Naturalists Island, a stunning backdrop for the day. Many crocodiles live in the the Hunter River and you may see them on a zodiac trip through the mangroves. For those wishing to explore some of the Kimberley’s vast interior, today presents a wonderful opportunity. The distance from Naturalists Island to the famous Mitchell Falls is about 30 miles, which you may choose to visit via an optional helicopter excursion.

Day 8 Montgomery Reef & Raft Point

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Arrive at Montgomery Reef at high tide and, if conditions are right, the tide may drop rapidly enough for a raging torrent of water to erupt. This phenomenon allows miles of surrounding reef to rise out of the ocean. Take a zodiac into the reef to watch cormorants, egrets, and sandpipers forage for sea life trapped on the surface of the reef.

Next, land at Raft Point and take a guided climb up to rock saddle which forms an outdoor Aboriginal art gallery. The art is an account of the Wandjina clan on the ‘Great Fish Chase.’ View the images of the Wandjina spirits with their distinctive haloes, plus dugong, crocodiles, fish and snakes.

Day 9 Talbot Bay / Horizontal Waterfalls

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Horizontal Waterfalls in the Buccaneer Archipelago are created by the rapid tidal fall on the ocean side of the cliffs. When conditions are right, a ‘waterfall’ up to ten feet high may form as the trapped landward waters cascade out through the narrow gap to the ocean side. Zodiacs take you for an exhilarating trip to witness this extraordinary phenomenon. Later in the day, you can join the naturalists on an excursion to Cyclone Bay to explore the twisted geological folds of the ancient seabed.

Day 10 Nares Point & Crocodile Creek

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Just off Koolan Island, this geological finger of sandstone protruding into the ocean provides great opportunities for Zodiac safaris and guided beach walks. Nearby Crocodile Creek defies its name, with several vertical embankments keeping it ‘crocodile free’ allowing you to take advantage of the cool freshwater natural swimming pool to relax and beat the Kimberley heat.

Day 11 Broome, Australia

  • 1 Breakfast
Arrive in Broome and disembark the National Geographic Orion. Transfer to the airport for your connecting flights onward.

National Geographic Orion

Per person starting at
National Geographic Orion's Category 1 Cabin.
Category 1
Main deck with 1 or 2 portholes
National Geographic Orion's Category 1 Cabin.
Category 1 Single
Main deck with 1 or 2 portholes
National Geographic Orion's Category 2 Cabin.
Category 2
Main deck with window
National Geographic Orion's Category 3 Cabin.
Category 3
Main deck with window
National Geographic Orion's Category 3 Cabin.
Category 3 Single
Main deck with window
National Geographic Orion's Category 4 Cabin.
Category 4
Upper and veranda decks with window
National Geographic Orion's Category 5 Cabin.
Category 5
Upper deck with balcony
National Geographic Orion's Category 6 Cabin.
Category 6
Veranda deck - suite


Single supplement varies by itinerary. A solo traveler matching program may be available, but is subject to availability.

Aboard ship:
- All meals and non-alcoholic beverages
- Cappuccinos, lattes & filtered water
- 24-hour coffee, tea & soda on demand
- Hors d’oeuvres & snacks during Recap
- Fitness center or exercise equipment
- Fully stocked library, and other gracious public spaces
- The guidance and company of expedition staff

- Hotels ashore as indicated in itinerary
- Meals on land, as indicated in itinerary
- Sightseeing & entrance fees
- Special access permits, park fees, port taxes
- Transfers to and from group flights
- The expertise of expedition staff

- All excursions
- Zodiac & kayak explorations
- Presentations and guest speakers in the lounge

- International and internal airfare

Pre- and post-expedition:
- Additional hotel nights
- Private transfers
- Travel Protection Plan
- Passport, visa, and immigration fees
- Expedition extensions
- Gratuities

Aboard ship
- Alcoholic beverages
- Spa treatments
- Gratuities
- Scuba diving
- Laundry
- Internet and phone
- Gift shop items and any other items of personal nature


  • 9 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 9 Dinners
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Kassandra Miller
Kassandra M

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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