The Giants Playground

Luxury Travel Magazine July 2013

by Belinda Wilkinson

In a remote bay in West Papua Whale Sharks jostle like puppies to be fed by hand by local fishermen. Belinda Wilkinson sailed North aboard the Whale Shark Cenderawasih Bay Cruiseluxury yacht TRUE NORTH to swim with them. Images by True North Mark.

Grab a map because I'm sure this is a place most of you won't be familiar with. From the tip of Darwin, focus your eyes 1,500 km's northeast and you'll hit Raja Ampat and Cenderawasih Bay in West Papua, the Indonesian province of the island of New Guinea. This is one of the most remote and undiscovered locations in the world. Yet it's so close to Australia.

Few charters boats have ventured here because of the distance, dangers of the seas and political hurdles. Tourist visas aren't handed out easily. It took staff from Australia's North Star Cruises more than two years to set up an itinerary for their only ship, luxury yacht TRUE NORTH, and obtain permission from the Indonesian government to allow them to take visitors into these waters. It was granted on condition of a very short timeframe to be in and out.

To read the full article please click here: Luxury Travel Magazine True North Article

The Whale Sharks of Cenderawasih Bay