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Reef Prince, Luxury Kimberley Cruise

11 Day Kimberley Coastal Expedition

Broome to Darwin

Day 1: Depart Broome

Your Kimberley cruise from Broome begins today from the beautiful pearling town of Broome. We will arrange a charter bus to pick you up between 8am & 9am and transport you to board the vessel from Gantheaume Beach. This is the first of many beach landings and tender rides you will encounter on your 11 day expedition.

Our crew will welcome you aboard and after a crew introduction we will depart Broome. On our way north there will be a safety briefing, morning tea and a vessel induction. After lunch we may have a fishing session by trolling lures from Reef Prince’s two custom game fishing chairs located in the two rear corners. Your trip director will also have discussion with you about the trip’s itinerary.

Overnight we’ll cruise up the Dampier Peninsula and into the Kimberley.

Our crew will welcome you aboard and after a crew introduction we will depart Broome. On our way north there will be a safety briefing, morning tea and a vessel induction. After lunch we may have a fishing session by trolling lures from Reef Prince’s two custom game fishing chairs located in the two rear corners. Your trip director will also have discussion with you about the trip’s itinerary.

Overnight we’ll cruise up the Dampier Peninsula and into the Kimberley.

Day 2: Buccaneer Archipelago
For breakfast we stop at Myridi Bay and marvel at the incredible geology of Yampi Sound.
Yampi Sound is nestled within the Buccaneer Archipelago that has over 800 Islands so the area is visually stunning. It’s then only a 45 minute steam to Croc Creek where we cruise up to a waterfall system and hike to the top of the waterfalls and swim in a crystal clear freshwater pool. Retiles, birds and some unique fauna are also in the area.

After lunch we cruise past the iron ore mining operations on Cockatoo Island and Koolan Island before transiting through the “Gutter” and down into Talbot Bay. This area is scenic overload and most guests are outside taking in the amazing vista during the transit.

Day 3: Horizontal Waterfalls & Montgomery Reef
If we missed Cyclone Creek as a sunset tour the day before, we might even do it as a sunrise tour today. We also experience the awesome power of the Horizontal Falls. Your attention will be taken by the incredible geology that abounds this area. David Attenborough called it the eighth wonder of the natural world!

Your cruise director will point out the changes that have occurred in this region over the last 2000 million years to form the water ways we now enjoy. The adventurous can cling on to the rails of our tender “Regent” during the fast boat ride through the falls.

We head off to see Montgomery Reef ‘rise’ out of the ocean as the tide ebbs. Jump in the tenders for an extended reef cruise to study the marine life of Turtle Gully, described by many of our guests as the most memorable moment of their Kimberley experience.
For the evening we anchor at the iconic Raft Point and marvel at the incredibly high rock formation of the area. Other alternate options in the area include the Kingfisher Islands (during turtle nesting season), the 3-ways (for excellent fishing) and the scenic Sale River.

Day 4: Steep Island, Ruby Falls and Sampson Inlet
After a healthy breakfast we explore the rocky islands of Bird Rock and Steep Island. These areas are bird rookeries and are culturally significant areas to the local indigenous people.

Ruby Falls lies at the end of Red Cone Creek and the area is home to a large population of saltwater crocodiles. The falls are stunning and we climb to the top to enjoy a magnificent swim in the long freshwater pools and some incredible views on the way back down.
After cruising up the coast we will stop at either Deception Bay or Sampson Inlet and if time permits conduct a scenic cruise of the area.

Other alternate options in the area include, Hall Point for a swim and sightseeing, Wilson Point which is a popular calving area for humpback whales in season, Kuri Bay (the home of Australia’s first cultured pearl farm) and Camden Settlement/Sheep Island (the first European settlement in The Kimberley).

Day 5: Prince Regent River & King Cascades
Tide permitting we take a sunrise tour to view the morning rays shine onto the Valley of the Palms. There is also an excellent rock art site further along and the area is a hotspot fishing for large Golden Snapper.

Then it’s out onto the foredeck as we cruise through the scenic St George Basin and into the mighty Prince Regent River. Whilst there is so much to do and see in this river system, the highlight is the amazing Kings Cascades waterfalls. For the adventurous, there is a walk to the top of the falls and a fabulous swimming area at the top fringed with blue gums and pandanus. On the other side of the swimming hole is a multi-layered rocky area offset with mini waterfalls and smaller splash pools to enjoy a dip. Kings Cascades is one of the cruise highlights and a favourite amongst the guests.

Other alternate options in the area include Hanover Inlet with its beautiful scenery, many beaches, brolga rock art & bower bird nests and Saint Andrews island with its incredible scenery in the St.George Basin.

Within the Prince Regent River system are scenic locations such as Camp Creek, Cathedral Falls (the highest in the region), two rock art sites and fabulous bottom fishing.

Day 6: Careening Bay, Porossis Creek and The Hunter River
In the morning we admire the work of an early European explorer Phillip Parker King. King explored and chartered the Kimberley in 1820-22. His detailed and accurate charts form the basis of our modern electronic plotters, allowing us to safely cruise these waters. Unfortunately his early exploits didn’t come without problems as we’ll discover. Careening Bay was named by Phillip Parker King after his ship, ‘HMC Mermaid’, was careened during his first voyage of discovery in the Kimberley.

We visit the site of a large boab tree bearing the inscription “HMC Mermaid – 1820”, still clearly visible almost 200 years later. The area is filled with other interesting flora such as a cycad grove and tamarind trees.
In the afternoon we explore the famous Porossis Creek and Hunter River systems and its wildlife. This ecosystem is a favourite for bird watchers. We have a chance to spot a Great Billed Heron, or a Chestnut Rail. On the turn of the tide fishermen can try their luck on a multitude of species that are regularly caught here. The area is visually stunning with its jagged mountain ranges and high rocky escarpments. It’s also popular with our crew as a sunset drinks cruise location.

Other alternate options in the area are numerous and include Ivy Cove (with another iconic boab tree), Dolphin island with its swim beach and Wandjina art site, Naturalist Beach and surrounding waterways, the Roe River and York Sound with its multitude of beaches, sea caves, crystal coves & Rainforest Ravine. **Optional Helicopter Flight to the Mitchell Plateau.

Day 7: York Sound, Prudhoe Island and Swifts Bay 
If we didn’t get to York Sound the previous day due to the tides and optional Helicopter flights, then we can explore the area in the morning.

In the afternoon we can head out away from the coast and explore Prudhoe Island. The island has a multitude of things to do with some of the highlights being a walk to the peak at Petroglyph Point and marvel at the stone engraved petroglyphs that are estimated to be up to 60 000 years old and possibly the world’s oldest form of art. Around the corner is a beach that is full of turtle tracks and turtle nests during the laying season.

Inside the bay is a wonderful beach that is great for a walk and a shallow swim and further around into the bay is a crystal creek that is filled with large clumps of quartz crystals. This site is super popular with the ladies and was only discovered by our tour director Paul when has was exploring the area in his own vessel.

If time permits and if we visited Prudhoe Island in the morning, then we can head back into the mainland to Swifts Bay and explore the rock art sites of the area in the afternoon. There are four main sites with two of them giving a very good cross section of Kimberley rock art both in the Gwion Gwion (Bradshaw) or the more recent Wandjina style.

Other alternate options in the area are the Osbourne Island Group that has a shipwreck, more rock art, a wall of hexagonal basalt columns, a natural stone arch, stunning views from the peaks and a working pearl lease.

Day 8: Vansittart Bay
With tide permitting, we might stop for an early walk at Woku Woku Island. This area has a massive Boab Tree (also inscribed by Phillip Parker King) and a large Boab Grove on the opposite shore. The area is rich in Macassan history as it was a popular area for Macassan fisherman to harvest and process Sea Cucumbers. The remains of many hearths can be still seen today.

Vansittart Bay is a popular area and is filled with many things to do. The fishing is superb, particularly for Spanish Mackerel which cruise around the edges of the many pearl leases in the area.
We will take you on an easy walk across a salt flat to witness the site of a crashed WW2 DC-3 transport plane. Well preserved in the Kimberley bush, your guide will recall the fateful day in early 1942.

It is only a short cruise across the bay to Rocky Cove, where can go ashore to a rock art site that has some fabulous examples of mysterious Bradshaw (Gwion Gwion) Paintings and a special cave full of the more modern Wandjina rock art. The Bradshaw rock art is thought to be some of the world’s oldest indigenous art, dating back over 20,000 years.

Other alternate options in the area include Jar Island with its two art sites and rocky headlands, the Anjo Peninsula and the Drysdale River.

Day 9: Glycosmis Bay, Pangali Cove and the mighty King George River
In the morning and depending on the tide, we can visit The Lost City in Glycosmis Bay. This is the most extensive art site that we know of along the Kimberley coast. It has a mixture of Gwion Gwion and Wandjina art and is the longest walk of the tour. It’s not visited all that often but is popular for those super keen on the local rock art.

Earlier in the season Pangali Cove is the preferred morning stop with its WW2 history (the Koolama Incident), a waterfall and freshwater swimming hole. The best of the Kimberley’s ‘big’ rivers is the mighty King George! While entering the King George River on the high tide we can enjoy the soaring cliffs and two breath-taking falls of mammoth proportions.

Feel the spray mist produced from billions of litres of water falling hundreds of feet as MV Reef Prince is steered expertly to the base of the majestic falls. We then enter the tenders and go back into the falls and down the river in the smaller boats which enable us to get right up the falls, into the smaller side tributaries and stop to admire the wildlife both above and below the water. There is also a third waterfall in a smaller offshoot that is accessible at high tide and usually has a couple of crocs floating around.

That night we usually have one heck of a party on board within the river system as we enjoy the last night in the Kimberley.

Day 10: King George River
This morning the captain sneaks us out of the King George River over the shallow sand banks. Relax while the amazing coastline disappears as we start our journey across the Bonaparte Gulf and sail into Northern Territory waters overnight.

Day 11: Disembark in Darwin
This morning we head into Darwin Harbour. It’s a stunning view to watch the sun come up over the city skyline as we transit towards Fisherman’s Wharf.

This itinerary is an indication of what destinations are usually visited and activities are usually on offer. Throughout the expedition changes may be made to the itinerary as necessary to maximise your expeditionary experience. Allowances may be made for seasonal variations, weather, tidal conditions and any other event that may affect the operation of the vessel.

For bookings:  1300 550 144  |   Click to email


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