Kimberley Barra Bonanza (7 & 14 Nights)
(See below for itinerary variations - the South and North itineraries can be combined)
A Kimberley Wilderness Adventure with more time for fishing! Stalk elusive barramundi when conditions are at their best. Arm-wrestle giant trevally, lure smashing mackerel and ‘fine-eaters’ such as mangrove jack and fingermark. And, at the same time keep everyone in the gang happy with stunning sojourns to many of the Kimberley coast’s iconic destinations.
This is a sample itinerary only. Prevailing conditions, local arrangements and indeed, what we discover on the day, may cause variation. Helicopter flights can be purchased additional to the indicated tariff as a package or individually.
Kimberley Barra Bonanza (South)
Your “welcome aboard” the magnificent TRUE NORTH is in the pearling port of Broome. Embarkation is at 1700 – time for a cocktail with your fellow adventurers before departing at approximately 1830. Dinner is served shortly after leaving port for the overnight cruise to Yampi Sound.
Awake to the majestic Kimberley and savour an irresistible TRUE NORTH breakfast as we glide past Cockatoo and Koolan Islands - our attentive crew will be happy to introduce the colourful histories of both! Then it’s time to ‘personally’ introduce you to a Kimberley icon – The Horizontal Falls. Experience the awesome power of the region’s huge tidal range in an exhilarating tender ride and then climb aboard your air conditioned helicopter for a view of the falls that very few experience!
The ‘Walcott’ is renowned for big barra and even bigger crocs! And, an opportunity to ‘ride the tide’ through the spectacular Charnley Gorge, to where the salt meets the fresh – is one of the Kimberley’s most hand-picked experiences! This is especially so if you then get a chance to sight-cast ravenous barra as they wait for the tide to spill into their billabong home away from home! Jacks, fingermark and threadfin will also be on the ‘list’.
Before you know it, your first day onboard will be coming to an end – but there’s still time to select a fine wine and to enjoy a leisurely evening meal as we head further-north along the Kimberley Coast.
The adventure boats will be away early for another ‘crack at the fish!’
Trolling around the Kingfisher Islands reliably produces hefty pelagics such as arm-wrenching trevally and lure smashing mackerel. A couple of good-sized goldens and some leaping queenfish will open the sashimi account!
Then it’s time to introduce another Kimberley icon – Montgomery Reef!
Montgomery is a unique eco-system that must be seen to be believed – and see it you will – as 140 square miles of coral rises out of the ocean right before your very eyes! Water cascades from the reef as the falling tide exposes a privileged glimpse of another world! Turtle, dugong, manta ray and every imaginable sea creature abound whilst the ship’s helicopter puts all in perspective!
Start the day with some more hot fishing action – this time at “Three Ways”. Join crew and guest alike for a moderate walk to Ruby Falls and be rewarded with a refreshing swim in the large rock pool below the falls. The keen anglers will take-off on a heli fishing adventure to another secret spot where the salt meets the fresh!
In the late afternoon, the adventure boats will be away again – this time in search of the Kimberley mud crab. Mud-crabbing is definitely a favoured activity on-board the TRUE NORTH but it might be a good idea to let your guide wrangle these feisty critters - as you keep equally busy with a chilled beverage in hand!
Some high adventure today!
This morning the adventure boats will ply St George Basin and Rothsay Water - the scenery will astound and there will be more ‘not to be missed’ fishing action as the TRUE NORTH graces the majestic Prince Regent River.
At King Cascade we manoeuvre the adventure boats under the falls. There is also a chance to stretch the laces on your hiking boots and opportunity to swim in yet another picture-perfect billabong, or perhaps you would like to venture further upriver to visit the spectacular ‘Amphitheatre’ waterfall.
Those with an interest in indigenous rock art might also take advantage of a dedicated rock art flight.
As the day comes to an end, make your way to the bar lounge for cocktail hour before experiencing another unique dining experience.
Its picnic day! A breathtaking helicopter flight this time to a picnic that you’ll never forget – the TRUE NORTH’s mouth-watering cuisine prepared alongside a crystal-clear billabong – in one of the most remote places on earth!
The helicopter will also be popular when the first group of intrepid explorers returns with stories from Jurassic Park!
The Roe River - another great opportunity to catch a barra as we explore a river that boasts one of the highest crocodile counts in the Kimberley! The Roe was named after the first Surveyor-General of Western Australia - John Septimus Roe.
Roe conducted numerous expeditions along the Kimberley coast between 1829 and 1849 and the ship’s helicopter will dramatically demonstrate the maze of creeks and endless coast that the early explorers encountered!
In the afternoon we will sail into Prince Frederick Harbour to visit a Wandjina art site on the aptly named Art Island! Enjoy a sunset over Prince Frederick Harbour - accompanied by cheese and bubbles no doubt!
Wake this morning in the magnificent Hunter River. The Hunter is about as far away as you can get in Australia – a stunning river system that is lined with dense mangrove forests and surrounded by rainforest encrusted mountains.
Guests who ‘signed-on’ for the Kimberley Barra Bonanza (South) itinerary will start the day early with another exhilarating helicopter experience – your transfer ashore will be over the mountains and onto the Mitchel Plateau. Then join your light aircraft flight to Broome and, our crew will already be looking forward to the next opportunity to welcome you aboard the TRUE NORTH.
Kimberley Barra Bonanza (North)
For guests joining the Kimberley Barra Bonanza (North), your “welcome aboard” the magnificent TRUE NORTH begins with a light aircraft flight from Broome to the Mitchell Plateau. Then join a scenic heli-transfer to your floating boutique hotel in the magnificent Hunter River. Once onboard there will be time to settle into your cabin and, to sample the True NORTH’s famous cuisine!
Then it’s back to the business of adventure – and, the Hunter has it all - fishing, mud crabbing, birdwatching and simply exploring “where few have been before!”
Day Eight / One
Another day in the Hunter!
There are stunning geological formations nearby and the waters are alive with light game species such as queenfish, giant trevally and mackerel.
Join one of our adventure boats for a closer look, enjoy a challenging hike to Jackson Falls and, there’s even more splendour from the helicopter!
There will also be more ‘mackie sessions’ at Cape Voltaire and the Montalivet Islands and, the opportunity to go heli-camping at Cherubin Falls promises to be a highlight.
Hopefully we’ll have time for a sunset drink on Naturaliste Island before you indulge in the delights of the TRUE NORTH’s revered dining saloon!
Day Nine / Two
Wake in the stunning turquoise waters of Swift Bay. No time to dally – after an early morning breakfast it’s time to join the ‘hunt for the black-lip oyster’. In fact – their much-talked about proportions render them not hard to find at all! Savour their unique taste direct from the rock – aside from some freshly squeezed lemon, you can’t get much more a la naturale than that! There are also some excellent examples of both Wandjina and Bradshaw art nearby and the waters are alive with light game species such as queenfish, giant trevally and mackerel.
Join the crew for a walk through a rock art gallery, followed by sunset drinks on the picturesque Winyalkin Island. Enjoy beach-prepared hors d’oeuvres and watch the sun descend on another action-packed day in the Kimberley!
Day Ten / Three
The Mitchell River is renowned for big barra and even bigger crocs!
The adventure boats will head up river to scenic Surveyors Creek – a great place for a swim (no crocs here!) The fishers will ‘hunt’ for barra and, there will be more opportunities for helicopter flights over an ancient land including the spectacular Mitchell Falls!
Then join us for a pearl and diamond party! Enjoy a glass of bubbly whilst trying on exquisite pieces created by the artistes at Allure, Jewels of the Kimberley and Kimberley Fine Diamonds.
Day Eleven / Four
Another opportunity to see “Bradshaws” - ancient rock art that pre-dates other examples of Aboriginal culture. In fact, they are possibly the oldest ‘paintings’ known to man. The heli-picnic at Eagle Falls is always a ‘big hit’ – a breathtaking helicopter flight and, the TRUE NORTH’s mouth-watering fare alongside a picture-perfect waterfall! Vansittart Bay often produces ‘monster’ mackerel and, the adventure boats will also be busy exploring the local beaches and creeks.
Day Twelve / Five
Explore the Drysdale and catch one of our favourite fish, the impressive mangrove jack! The adventure boats will then head “up-river” for scones and billy tea – a signature TRUE NORTH experience! This is another spot where the salt meets the fresh so the rods will be out in force!
In the afternoon there will opportunities to indulge in some beachcombing and mangrove fishing.
Day Thirteen / Six
Yet another mighty Kimberley river – The King George! As soon as the tide is high enough, we’ll cross the sand bars at the mouth to reveal even more breathtaking river vista.
The journey upstream will take us to the very ‘jewel in the crown’ - The King George Falls. Here we anchor at the base of the falls and you will find endless places to explore. Climb, or take the helicopter, to the top of the falls for a Kimberley highlight. Just the thought of leaving this magnificence will inspire mutiny! Learn about the bombing of a state-ship during WWII, then take a stroll at Tranquil Bay before we continue onto the frontier port of Wyndham.
Day Fourteen / Seven
Your courtesy coach will arrive at approximately 0800 hours for transfer to Kununurra and your crew will already be looking forward to the next opportunity to welcome you aboard the mighty TRUE NORTH!
Thank you everyone for the most special week. To be in this pristine environment with so much care & attention – a time I will never forget. I hope that this is not a goodbye but “Au-revouir” until we meet again.Janet Goss
WOW what a trip! Up with the Best! Great camaraderie amongst the guests and the team. No stone is left unturned. Will be back again! Thank you for a great holiday.Betty Croft