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Explore the beautiful coastline of northern Australia

Cape York & Arnhem Land: Darwin to Cairns

Example 12 Day Cruise aboard Coral Expeditions I
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Join the Coral Expeditions I on this incredible 12-day adventure experiencing the very best that Australia's spectacular northern coastline has to offer. Explore the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, the rarely visited Tiwi Islands, and meet fabulous artisans in some of the most remote villages in Australia. Reach the northern "Tip of Australia" on the Cape York Peninsula and enjoy the opportunity to swim and snorkel in clear tropical waters and coral gardens.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Darwin | Embark
Days 2-11 : Explore Northern Australia
Day 12 : Cairns | Disembark


  • Learn from the unique Tiwi people and visit their fascinating art center
  • Experience Gove's local culture, industry, and history
  • Explore Lizard Island, one of the most beautiful islands on the coast
  • Spend a day in Cooktown, where Captain Cook took refuge during his voyage


Coral Expeditions I

Places Visited

  • Australia
  • South Pacific
  • Cairns
  • Cape York
  • Cobourg Peninsula
  • Cooktown
  • Darwin
  • Elcho Island
  • Forbes Island
  • Hole in the Wall
  • Liverpool River
  • Lizard Island
  • Maningrida
  • Nhulunbury (Gove)
  • Stanley Island
  • Thursday Island
  • Tiwi Islands


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Explore the beautiful coastline of northern Australia Discover the beautiful landscape of Australia Zoom through the Horizontal Falls Waterfall in the Australian outback Snorkel at exclusive Great Barrier Reef sites

Day 1 Darwin | Embark

Board Coral Expeditions I at Darwin’s Fort Hill Wharf at 7:00am and depart at 8:00am.

Day 2-11 Explore Northern Australia

  • Ship
  • 10 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 10 Dinners
Visit remote Bathurst Island. With local Tiwi guides, You will learn of the unique culture and visit the art center. Be welcomed with a cultural performance, and see wonderful screen-printing, art, woodcarvings, and pottery. Witness a smoking ceremony, traditional basket weaving and morning tea with the locals, over freshly cooked damper and billy tea.

Discover Garig Gunak Barlu National Park on the Cobourg Peninsula. Join Park Rangers in Port Essington, famous for the failed Victoria Settlement, and explore the ruins while learning about the fascinating history of this early colonial outpost.

Anchor in the mighty Liverpool River and travel ashore to explore the Maningrida Art Center, museum, and the local boutique, where hand-painted textiles can be purchased.

The friendly locals of Elcho Island proudly welcome you to their community this morning. Meet some of the local artists who have their unique art exhibited in the famous art galleries of the world including the Louvre.
In the afternoon, visit the community and school of Gawa.

You will travel through the narrow channel between Raragala and Guluwuru Islands, known as the ‘Hole in the Wall’.  Arrive in the port of Nhulunbuy (Gove) and be transferred to the Walkabout Lodge, tonight’s accommodation.

Join your Expedition Leader to discover this frontier town of Nhulunbuy and experience local culture, industry and history. After lunch, you will visit the renowned Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Art Center at Yirrkala before transferring to the airport for our charter flight across the Gulf of Carpentaria to Horn Island. Tonight, you will stay at the historic and pioneering Gateway Torres Strait Resort.

Embark on a short tour of Horn Island prior to your transfer by ferry to Thursday Island where you rejoin Coral Expeditions I. Tour Thursday Island, and learn of the history of European settlement and the large pearling fleets. Following a short cruise to Cape York, you travel ashore and enjoy the sunset and champagne at the ‘Tip’ of Australia.

Go ashore at the northernmost point of the Australian continent, and sip champagne  to celebrate this special moment while the sun rises.

Enjoy a day exploring Forbes Island, an excellent spot for swimming or snorkeling from the pristine sandy beaches. Take a walk to the grave of beche-de-mer fisherman Frederick Lancaster.

Visit Stanley Island in the Flinders Group, and view the isolated Endaen Aboriginal rock art depicting the first sailing ships to visit Queensland shores. At Davie Reef, enjoy swimming and snorkeling and observe the large seabird rookery.

Explore secluded Lizard Island, one of the most beautiful islands on the Queensland coast. Venture into the crystal clear waters for swimming and snorkeling or take a walk along the sparkling white beach. An energetic guided walk leads to Cook’s Look – from this peak, Captain James Cook was able to sight a navigable passage through the treacherous reef after repairing the HMB Endeavour.

Visit historic Cooktown where Captain Cook took refuge during his voyage of discovery. This evening, join the Captain and crew for farewell drinks.

Day 12 Cairns | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Arrive in Cairns and disembark at 8:00am.

Coral Expeditions I

Per person starting at
Coral Expeditions I - Cabin Twin Share
Select a Date
Averaging 108 sq. ft. Five cabins located on Deck C & D, with private en-suite bathroom, circle portholes, air conditioning, ample storage space and twin bed configuration.
Coral Expeditions I - Stateroom
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Averaging 151 sq. ft. Four cabins located on Deck C, with private en-suite bathroom, picture windows, comfortable settee, desk, ample storage space and your choice of fixed double or twin beds.
Coral Expeditions I - Upper Deck Stateroom
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Upper Deck Staterooms
Averaging 151 sq. ft. Eight cabins located on Deck B, with private en-suite bathroom, picture windows, comfortable settee, desk, ample storage space and your choice of fixed double or twin beds.
Coral Expeditions I - Deluxe Stateroom Double
Select a Date
Deluxe Staterooms
Averaging 185 sq. ft. Six cabins located on Decks A & B, with private en-suite bathroom, picture windows, comfortable settee, desk, ample storage space and your choice of fixed double or twin beds.


Solo Travelers:
A 50% single supplement is charged or select the “Single Guest Match” program. Single Guest Match is available for guests who have flexible travel dates and are willing to share a cabin with another guest of the same gender. Passengers are placed on a standby list and notified if a match becomes available. Once confirmed, they are charged at the twin-share rate (no single supplement). Cabin category requests are accepted.

Important Fare Information:
Rates are posted based off of the current exchange rates from Australian Dollars. Please contact us for current exchange rates.

This itinerary is an indication of the reef, islands and coastal areas hoped to visit. While every effort will be made to follow this itinerary the Coral Expeditions Ireserve the right to vary this itinerary to make allowances for weather, tidal conditions and any other reasons whatsoever.

Cruise Inclusions:
  • Accommodation in selected room grade for the number of nights as listed in each itinerary
  • All meals
  • House beer and wine during lunch and dinner service
  • 24 hour soft drinks, tea and barista-style coffee
  • Captain’s welcome and farewell drinks
  • Access to islands, marine and national parks
  • Guided tours on Xplorer expedition vessel, Zodiacs, glass-bottom boat and kayaks
  • Touring as described in each itinerary
  • Services of expedition staff and lecturers including briefings and knowledge-sharing sessions
  • Port taxes and government charges imposed by government authorities
  • Pre and post flights, transfers and hotels
  • Entry visas/travel permits
  • Travel Insurance
  • Items of a personal nature including but not limited to phone and internet communications and bar charges (outside of the included drinks package as highlighted), laundry charges and souvenir purchases
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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This was my first experience with Adventure Life - and I couldn't have been more pleased with the trip. The guides and local staff in both Buenos Aires and Uruguay were terrific - extremely helpful and accommodating. I really enjoyed meeting the friendly staff in Buenos Aires in person (I left my bags with them for the afternoon).
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