Summary : This Western Australia expedition takes you to The Kimberley, one of the most remote and captivating regions on earth—a land of towering cliffs, plunging waterfalls, ancient cultures, and exotic wildlife. The 100-passenger Caledonian Sky easily navigates the mighty rivers and tiny inlets of the region throughout your Kimberley adventure travels. During numerous excursions throughout this Western Australia tour, travelers enjoy striking scenery and unusual wildlife—by boat, Zodiac, and helicopter, explore the region’s hidden treasures—narrow gorges, shallow tributaries, and cascading waterfalls. Your Western Australian adventure travels take you to the remote Tiwi islands, where you’ll witness the cultural traditions of the Tiwi people, gaze upon the dramatic gorges and pools of Mitchell Falls, search for an astonishing variety of wildlife in the Prince Regent Nature Reserve, discover forests of bizarre boab trees, and photograph the sublimely beautiful isles of the Buccaneer Archipelago.
Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking
$999,999,999 to $0
Depart on your independent flight to Broome, Australia via Sydney, 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 the Cable Beach Club Resort
Today explore Broome—a popular holiday destination graced with beautiful beaches and a laid-back atmosphere. Join a city tour that reveals Broome’s pearling history and multicultural past, or join a birding tour. This afternoon board the Oceanic Discoverer and set sail.
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. Join your naturalists on nature walks along the long, white-sand beaches. 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.
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, headlands, reefs, rugged gorges, and whirlpools. This area is known for its extreme tidal conditions—ranging up to 30 feet in places. Your daily activities are planned around the tides—a way of life in the Kimberley. 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. Talbot Bay is also the prime habitat for dugongs, herbivorous marine mammals found only in tropical coastal waters of the Old World. 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 leatherback turtles and sharks are sometimes spotted in the surrounding waters. At Raft Point, take a hike to view ancient Aboriginal cave paintings of outstanding quality depicting the significance of the marine world to the Aboriginal way of life.
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 that 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 the Xplorer 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.
From the 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 your anchorage, you may explore the small tributaries by Zodiac, searching the mangroves and tidal mud flats for crocodiles, mud skippers, and fiddler crabs, as well as the many bird species that make their home within the dense vegetation.
A unique experience awaits you on Bigge Island, sacred to Aborigines for more than 20,000 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. Warabis, or rock wallaby (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 a tiny island atoll known as Low Rocks. As you approach, the skies fill with the movements and sounds of thousands upon thousands of seabirds, including four species of terns, pied cormorants, white-bellied sea eagles, and osprey. The island is also a nesting site for green and flatback turtles, and has its own resident saltwater crocodile, which is often seen patrolling the waters around the island.
Cruise through this spectacular canyon where vertical cliffs, gorges, and mangroves line the shores of the mighty King George River. The final destination is King George Falls, a supremely photogenic area of 325-foot cliffs of rust-colored sandstone rising from the tidal waters.
Permission pending, go ashore on the Tiwis and join local Aboriginal guides for a tour of the small community of Nguiu, its museum, and the old Mission Precinct. You will also have an opportunity to visit the local arts center, to view and purchase high-quality Tiwi crafts, as well as screen-printed fabric.
Disembark this morning in Darwin with time for a bit of sightseeing. Transfer to the airport for your flight to Brisbane with dinner and overnight at our airport hotel. Board your independent flight to the USA on Friday, arriving the same day.
Accommodations in hotels and on board as outlined in the itinerary; all onboard meals; all group meals on land; soft drinks, wine, and beer with lunch and dinner; arrival and departure transfers on group dates; services of the expedition staff, including lectures, briefings, slide/film shows; all group activities and excursions; landing and port fees; all gratuities; $50,000 of medical expense coverage and $75,000 in emergency evacuation insurance.* Helicopter touring included in cost.
All air transportation; excess baggage charges; airport arrival and departure taxes; transfers for independent arrivals and departures; passport and/or visa fees; travel insurance; items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar charges, alcoholic beverages, e-mail/Internet/fax/telephone charges.
*Emergency Medical & Evacuation Insurance:
Emergency medical coverage to a maximum benefit per paying passenger of $50,000 is included in the cost of this expedition, as well as evacuation coverage to a maximum benefit per paying passenger of $75,000. Insurance is underwritten by National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA. The policy will contain reductions, limitations, exclusions and termination provisions. All coverages may not be available in all states. Please note this coverage does not cover you against trip cancellation or for additional days of travel prior to and/or after the expedition trip dates. ExpeditionTrips strongly advises all clients to purchase travel insurance which includes trip cancellation and interruption coverage for the entire duration of your trip.