A Voyage to the Outback aboard the Coral Discoverer

Overview

The fabled Kimberley is one of the most remote and captivating regions on earth, a land of towering cliffs, plunging waterfalls, ancient cultures, and exotic wildlife. By boat, Zodiac, and helicopter, you’ll explore the region’s treasures, from the dramatic gorges and pools of Mitchell Falls and the astonishing wildlife of Prince Regent Nature Reserve to austere desertscapes dotted with baobab trees and the sublimely beautiful isles of the Buccaneer Archipelago.

Note: This cruise is not exclusive to, nor operated by, Wilderness Travel, who acts solely as agent in booking your reservation with the ship operator. The itinerary, lecturers, and all other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the cruise line.

Itinerary

Days 1-3, May 3- 5, 2019
Depart USA / Broome, Australia

Board your independent flight to Broome, Australia, losing a day as you cross the International Date Line. Arrive in Broome on Sunday and enjoy an afternoon at leisure. Gather this evening for a welcome dinner and overnight at a hotel.

Day 4, May 6, 2019
Broome / Embark Coral Discoverer

Today explore Broome—a popular holiday destination graced with beautiful beaches and a laid-back atmosphere. Join a city tour to discover innovative museums and browse galleries that showcase the region’s rich indigenous art, or take a tour of the lovely botanical gardens. This afternoon board the Coral Discoverer and set sail.

Day 5, May 7, 2019
Nares Point

Take a cruise around Nares Point, a long finger of ancient sandstone protruding from the mainland. Step ashore on a sparkling strand of pure-white sand at Silica Beach. Take a walk with your naturalists, or relax on the beach and soak in the amazing view.

Day 6, May 8, 2019
Montgomery Reef

At Montgomery Reef, view the amazing array of marine life exposed at low tide. The reef is home to an incredible number of green sea turtles, and sharks are sometimes spotted in the surrounding waters.

Day 7, May 9, 2019
Prince Regent Nature Reserve / Camp Creek / Careening Bay

The Prince Regent Nature Reserve is one of Australia’s most remote areas, and the rugged sandstone and volcanic landscape helps to protect its scenic grandeur. This is pure wilderness, accessible only by air or boat, and you can truly say you have been to a place seen by few others. The area boasts more than half of the mammal and bird species found in the entire Kimberley region, and more than 500 species of plants. With the ship at anchor in St. George Basin, board Zodiacs to cruise up the Prince Regent River. With near-vertical cliffs on either side, make your way to the face of King Cascade, an unusual and picturesque waterfall cascading over terraced rock formations. Tidal conditions permitting, you will also explore nearby Camp Creek in search of local fauna such as estuarine crocodiles, red-tailed black cockatoos, and galahs. At Careening Bay visit a large boab tree with the inscription “H.M.C. Mermaid – 1820” still clearly visible. The Mermaid was a British Navy hydrographic survey ship under the command of Lt. Philip Parke King, who stayed at the bay for six weeks while repairing his ship

Day 8, May 10, 2019
Bigge Island / Sterna Island

A unique experience awaits on Bigge Island, sacred to Aborigines for thousands of years. Well-preserved Aboriginal paintings grace the walls of caves, depicting mythical figures and offering visual evidence of the European entrance into the Aboriginal way of life. Monjon (the smallest of the wallabies) are numerous on this island and can often be seen sprinting from one rock ledge to another. In the afternoon, step ashore on Sterna Island to search for a variety of seabirds, including four species of terns, pied cormorants, white-bellied sea eagles, and osprey.

Day 9, May 11, 2019
Swift Bay

Visit a pearl farm to learn about the intriguing process of “growing pearls.” Then take a walk to view some excellent examples of Wandjina and Bradshaw art nearby.

Day 10, May 12, 2019
Hunter River / Mitchell Falls

From Hunter River, fly via helicopter to the Mitchell Plateau to visit Mitchell Falls, a series of waterfalls and pools culminating in a deep gorge carving its way through the Outback. Explore the surrounding area on foot and enjoy a refreshing swim in the rushing freshwater pools. In the vicinity of the anchorage, you may explore the small tributaries by Zodiac, searching the mangroves and tidal mud flats for crocodiles, mudskippers, and fiddler crabs, as well as the many bird species that make their home within the dense vegetation.

Day 11, May 13, 2019
Raft Point / Buccaneer Archipelago

At Raft Point, join a bush walk to learn the traditions of the Worrorra people and view ancient Aboriginal cave paintings of outstanding quality, depicting the significance of the marine world to the Aboriginal way of life. The Buccaneer Archipelago consists of more than 800 islands. The shorelines of these rarely visited isles are among the most photogenic in the world, and include mangrove estuaries, secluded bays, untouched beaches, cliffs, reefs, rugged gorges, and whirlpools.

Day 12, May 14, 2019
Talbot Bay

At Talbot Bay visit the Horizontal Waterfalls, one of the most unusual regional attractions. The falls, created by a phenomenon resulting from the mammoth tides, actually reverse as the tide turns.

Day 13, May 15, 2019
Lacepede Islands

The Lacepede Islands are a group of four low, sandy islands lying on a coral reef. The islands are an important nesting site for green sea turtles and several species of seabirds including frigatebirds, brown boobies, crested terns, sandpipers, and ruddy turnstones. Cruise the area by Zodiac for a closer look at the seabird colonies. Be on deck this evening as the sun sets and the night sky comes alive—far from the city lights, stargazing in the Kimberley is simply spectacular.

Days 14-15, May 16-17, 2019
Broome / Disembark / Sydney / USA

Disembark in Broome with time for a bit of sightseeing. Transfer to the airport for your independent flight to Sydney with dinner and overnight at the Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel. Board your independent flight on Friday, arriving in the USA the same day

Highlights

Highlights

Fly via helicopter to explore the dramatic gorges of Mitchell Plateau and swim in the crystal-clear pools above photogenic Mitchell Falls
Discover Australia’s unique wildlife—rock wallabies, turtles, and mighty saltwater crocodiles
Take a guided bush walk that reveals Aboriginal cultural traditions and view well preserved rock art at Raft Point and Bigge Island
View the amazing spectacle of the Horizontal Falls, created by massive tidal currents
Join an optional pre-voyage extension to Arnhem Land, Kununurra, and Bungle Bungle

Details

Length: 15 days
Cost From: $14,580  
Arrive: Broome, Australia
Depart: Broome, Australia
Lodging: 10 nights aboard 65-passenger expedition vessel, 1 night hotel, 3 travel days
Meals: All meals included aboard ship and with the group ashore, including house wine, beer or soft drinks with lunch and dinner onboard (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Small Ship Cruising, Cultural Adventures, Walking, Wildlife & Natural History, Hiking / Trekking
Trip Level:

11-day cruise, nature walks, cultural explorations
Cruise collection 2019 brochure

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