- 6 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 6 Dinners
The Kimberley is famous for having the second largest tidal range in the world after the Bay of Fundy. A flexible itinerary allows you to take advantage of this natural phenomenon. In the true spirit of expedition cruising, each day the Expedition Leader and Captain determine your best course depending on tide, weather, and sea conditions. Here are some of the places you may visit during your time in this wondrous region:
Nares Point & Crocodile Creek, Kimberley, Western Australia
Nares Point is a long finger of sandstone protruding from the mainland alongside Koolan Island. With its convoluted photogenic rock formations, this is a superb location for Zodiac exploration and beach walks with your naturalists. In nearby Crocodile Creek — free of crocodiles despite its name — take a refreshing swim in the cool natural pool to relax and beat the Kimberley heat.
Talbot Bay (Horizontal Falls), Buccaneer Archipelago, Kimberley, Western Australia
The British naturalist David Attenborough described Horizontal Falls as “one of the greatest natural wonders of the world“. This group of over 800 islands was created millions of years ago by the erosive tidal changes. The region’s tides of close to 36 feet (or nearly 11 m) create an amazing spectacle. Depending on whether the tides are ebbing or flowing, board your Zodiac for an exhilarating ride through the falls. Then continue deeper into the sandstone gorge of Cyclone Creek and explore geological formations that were created over the last two billion years.
Montgomery Reef, Kimberley, Western Australia
At Montgomery Reef, which is over 400 square miles (1035 km2) in size, observe the amazing tidal changes that take place here. Timing of the tides is everything today; low tide reveals up to 13 feet (4 m) of reef exposing a river that allows access to this amazing semi-submerged world. As the tide continues to ebb, take Zodiacs to the edge of the reef where you are surrounded by cascading waterfalls up to 10 feet high (3 m), and continue up the river as you look at the abundance of reef birds and every imaginable sea creature including turtles, manta rays and, if you are lucky, the elusive dugong. A visit to Montgomery Reef is truly a once-in-a- lifetime experience.
Raft Point, Kimberley, Western Australia
At the Opening Ceremony of the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, the world saw an enormous Wandjina spirit rising out of the ground. It was a breathtaking moment, and for most spectators their very first encounter with Aboriginal mythology. The image was actually that of a 114-foot sculpture (35 m) created by an artist who lives at Raft Point, home to indigenous Wandjina paintings. Zodiac ashore and set out towards the top of Raft Point. Your hike takes you through the abundant Kimberley flora including the iconic baobab tree, also known by the local Aboriginals as the “upside down tree”. Upon reaching the top of Raft Point, enjoy the spectacular views of the bay in the shade of the overhanging cliff, which is home to the Wandjina Spirit and many other Dreamtime stories and images representing daily aboriginal life. Take a seat, or lie on your back and take in the Wandjina Spirit and listen to the Dreamtime stories associated with this extremely important Aboriginal spirit.
Hunter River, Kimberley, Western Australia
The Hunter River is home to an immense mangrove. Be sure to look for the image of the Indian Head in the soaring red sandstone cliffs as you set out in Zodiacs to explore the narrow mangrove channels, watching for numerous bird species and keeping an eye out for the Crocodylus porosous (saltwater crocodile), the most aggressive crocodile known to man.
For those wishing to explore some of the Kimberley’s vast interior, your on-board team can arrange an optional helicopter flight seeing excursion to the famous Mitchell Falls where four tiers of waterfalls plunge into deep pools that flow out into the Mitchell River.
Avid fishermen might want to take another optional helicopter excursion to exceptional fishing grounds.
King George River & Falls, Kimberley, Western Australia
The King George Falls is one of the Kimberley’s most magnificent natural wonders. At 260 feet (80 m), the twin cascades are among the highest in Australia. Drop anchor at the mouth of the river and ride Zodiacs up this waterway, weaving through an amazing landscape of near vertical red rock formations and a parade of wildlife — carnivorous saltwater crocodiles and amazing birdlife, including giant raptors and the brahminy kite. Arriving at the falls, you can cruise quite close to the base to contemplate the immensity of this thundering spectacle — a truly humbling experience.