Coast and Coral (13 Nights)
Kununurra / Wyndham – Rowley Shoals – Broome
An adventure that combines the very best of two equally stunning destinations – the Kimberley coast and the Rowley Shoals! In the beginning your vista will be framed by layers of ancient geology and then your every moment will be awash in the vibrant colours of a coral wonderland. See all of the coastal icons and then immerse yourself in one of the world’s most-rare habitats!
This itinerary is provided as example only – prevailing conditions, local arrangements and indeed, what we discover on the day, may cause variation. Helicopter flights can be purchased additional to the cruise tariff as a package or individually.
Join our coach transfer in Kununurra - your “welcome aboard” the magnificent TRUE NORTH will be in the frontier town of Wyndham. Embarkation is at 1700 – time for a cocktail with your fellow adventurers before departing at approximately 1830. Dinner is served shortly after leaving port and then it’s an overnight cruise to the King George River.
As soon as the tide is high enough, we’ll cross the sand bar at the mouth of the mighty King George to reveal a breathtaking river vista. Our journey upstream will take us to the very ‘jewel in the crown’ - The King George Falls. Here we anchor at the base of the Twin Falls and you will find endless places to explore. Climb or take the helicopter to the top of the falls for a cruise highlight. In the afternoon discover the wreck of the Koolama and take a stroll in Tranquil Bay.
Today you will have an opportunity to see the “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’ - another breathtaking helicopter flight and, TRUE NORTH’s mouth-watering fare alongside a picture-perfect waterfall in remote far-north Western Australia! The tenders will be busy exploring the local beaches and rivers and, we also visit an isolated site in the rainforest where a lone bomber crashed during WWII.
The Mitchell River is renowned for big barra and even bigger crocs! The adventure boats will head upriver to scenic Surveyors Creek - a great place for a swim (no crocs here!) The fishers will stalk the elusive barramundi and, there will be more opportunities for helicopter flights over an ancient land including the spectacular Mitchell Falls! Then, join the crew for cocktail hour before experiencing another unique dining experience.
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, surrounded by rainforest encrusted escarpments and home to the infamous saltwater crocodile. And, the Hunter has it all - fishing, mud crabbing, bird-watching and simply exploring “where few have been before!” Join one of our adventure boats for a closer look, it’s only a short hike to Jackson Falls and, there’s even more splendour from the helicopter! In the afternoon we will sail into Prince Frederick Harbour and enjoy sunset drinks on picturesque Crystal Beach - enjoy delicious hors d’oeuvres as you watch the sun descend on another action-packed day in the Kimberley!
Be amongst the first on deck and join an early morning fishing expedition, see more stunning rock art or join the ship’s naturalist in one of the adventure boats – all before a breathtaking helicopter flight to another picnic to remember – this time at beautiful Melaleuca Falls! Then join us for our pearl party! Enjoy a glass of bubbly and a taste of pearl meat, whilst trying on exquisite pieces created by the artistes at Allure, Jewels of the Kimberley and Kimberley Fine Diamonds.
The scenery will astound and there are some not to be missed fishing spots as the TRUE NORTH graces the majestic Prince Regent River. At King Cascade we manoeuvre the TRUE NORTH right under the falls. Then it’s time for more ‘adventure in the tender’ - a chance to stretch the laces on your hiking boots and an opportunity to swim in yet another picture perfect billabong. And the helicopter will be popular again when the first group of intrepid explorers returns from Jurassic Park!
Start the day with some hot fishing action at “Three Ways”. Then a short cruise will deliver all aboard to the impressive silhouette of Raft Point. Here, join crew and guest alike for a moderate climb to an art gallery with a difference and, the well-preserved Raft Point Wandjina paintings.
You will probably be enjoying lunch as we weigh anchor and set sail for 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 reef rises out of the ocean right before your very eyes! Water cascades from the reef as the tide falls exposing a privileged glimpse of another world! Turtles, dugong, manta rays and every imaginable sea creature abound, and the helicopter again puts all in perspective!
Even more high adventure today – the opportunity to ‘ride the tide’ through 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 returning to the TRUE NORTH for your overnight cruise to the magnificent Rowley Shoals!
We will arrive early at glorious Clerke Reef.
Sample the fruit platter and maybe indulge in a cooked breakfast before discovering the atoll’s huge lagoon and extensive outer reef. Snorkellers and divers will marvel at the crystal-clear waters teaming with life – clouds of fish and corals of every imaginable colour and shape. There will be plenty of opportunity for beach combing on Bedwell Island, relaxed snorkelling in tropical waist deep water, world-class SCUBA diving on the outer reef or perhaps some “catch and release” lagoon fishing using eco-friendly tackle. Our qualified and experienced crew will be on-hand to personally introduce everyone to the delights of this pristine environment. When you’re not on excursion, relax on-board TRUE NORTH and indulge in our renowned cuisine – the alfresco bar and lounge will definitely be ‘the spot’ to witness your first spectacular Rowley sunset.
Start the day with a visit to the Aquarium! Forget the Great Barrier Reef – this is world-class snorkelling at its very best! Even if you’ve never put your head under water before – this is an absolute must. The water is only waist deep however the experience is literally “out of this world”! Brilliantly coloured corals, giant clams and more than 600 of the world’s most beautiful fish species at your fingertips! Don’t forget your underwater camera!
After another sumptuous lunch we’ll “crank-up the action” with something unique – high-speed snorkel drifts through the outer reef! Again our friendly crew members will be on hand to ensure that everyone gets to try this once-in-a lifetime experience – as many times as you like! Our anchorage tonight is in the “swimming pool like” waters of Clerke Lagoon – 300 kilometres off the coast of Australia!
Another day in paradise and now it’s time to experience the thrill of snorkelling on the outer reef!
Outer reef snorkelling is a totally different experience – the sheer coral walls will take your breath away! Close encounters with humpback whales, manta rays and sailfish are also on the agenda. Finish the day with sunset drinks on the beach and one of our famous Island Parties! Then it’s back to the ultimate comfort of TRUE NORTH and another perfect night in Clerke Lagoon – 360° stars reflected in a glassy ocean!
By now you will be addicted to snorkelling on the outer reef and your wish is our command! We’ll spend the entire day exploring the outer reef of this remote and untouched wilderness.
Then all too soon, it’s time for our overnight steam to Broome. Re-live what is guaranteed to be an experience of a lifetime as the Rowleys merge into a blazing western sky! Join the crew at the Captain’s Party and then enjoy “the best sleep of your life”.
Early morning arrival in Broome in-time to disembark at 0800 hours and transfer to the airport or your accommodation.