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Kimberley in Depth

Explore the rugged beauty of the Kimberley coast in-depth with Aurora cruises.

from

$16,375

per person, twin share
Enquire
Explore the rugged beauty of the Kimberley coast in depth. Marvel at the contortions of a rocky landscape that’s been sculpted across an implausible geological timescale. Be awed by the power of its waters, with massive tides, foaming whirlpools and rapid currents. Visit Aboriginal rock art galleries and the enigmatic beings of the Wandjina and Gwion Gwion traditions. Meander along mighty rivers and winding creeks while you search the banks for a sunning “saltie” saltwater crocodile, or catch a glimpse of a shy dugong in the waters around you. Sit quietly alongside lush mangrove forests listening to a morning chorus of birdsong. At sea, look for humpback whales, green sea turtles, manta rays, sea snakes and the endemic snubfin dolphin. At the end of each day’s adventure, savour the spectacular palette of the Kimberley’s sunset hues.
This expedition is subject to regulatory approval and only open to Australian residents.

Kimberley in Depth

Darwin to Broome or vice versa
Onboard Greg Mortimer
08 July 2021 or 19 August 2021 
13 days
from

$16,735

per person, twin share in a balcony stateroom
Price includes save 10%

Highlights

  • Explore the majestic King George River below towering sandstone cliffs to its 80-metre-high King George Falls
  • Contemplate the enigmatic Wandjina and Gwion Gwion beings at Aboriginal rock art galleries
  • Experience the remote northwestern reaches of the Kimberley coast, with its striking scenery and vast human history
  • Scan the shorelines, mangroves, woodlands and skies for an abundance of birdlife, including terns, herons, egrets, flycatchers, frigatebirds, boobies, pelicans and sea eagles
  • Discover Montgomery Reef – Australia’s largest in-shore reef – and the diversity of its lively marine life
  • Delight in Mother Nature’s artistry displayed in the contorted and weathered rock sculptures around Yampi Sound

Itinerary

You’re welcomed aboard the Greg Mortimer, and shown your cabin before mandatory safety drills are carried out. Enjoy a welcome drink and meet fellow expeditioners at our voyage briefing, and Captain’s Welcome Dinner. Enjoy the rich colours of a Top End sunset as we depart Darwin Harbour and set sail on our Kimberley adventures.
You’re welcomed aboard the Greg Mortimer, and shown your cabin before mandatory safety drills are carried out. Enjoy a welcome drink and meet fellow expeditioners at our voyage briefing, and Captain’s Welcome Dinner. Enjoy the rich colours of a Top End sunset as we depart Darwin Harbour and set sail on our Kimberley adventures.
Wake to your first Kimberley dawn in Koolama Bay, and make your first foray off the ‘mother ship’ with the expedition team as we head to the mouth of the King George River by Zodiac. Cruise this majestic waterway below towering, rust-red sandstone cliffs to its 80-metre-high twin falls, and enjoy explorations of these striking surrounds from water level.
Named by explorer Phillip Parker King due to the pottery shards he found there (likely from Macassan fishermen looking for trepang, or sea cucumber), Jar Island offers encounters with ancient rock art galleries, including the mysterious, human-like Gwion Gwion (also known as Bradshaw) figures. On the bay’s eastern side, land on a pristine white beach of the Anjo Peninsula and take a short walk across salt flats leads to the well-preserved wreck of a C-53 (a cargo variation of the DC-3) that crash landed here in World War II.
Sailing on to the remote north-western reaches of the Kimberley, we may explore either the treasures of either Swift Bay or Bigge Island. Both offer exceptional opportunities to explore rugged sandstone shelters, caves and overhangs whose surfaces are adorned with rock art of the Wunambal people, including the more recent Wandjina style.
Delight in the breath-taking scenery of Prince Frederick Harbour and the Hunter River – from the colossal sandstone escarpments and full palette of greens in the lush mangrove forests, to the rhythmic flitting of a friarbird, soaring flight of a white-bellied sea eagle, and flicker of a sunning saltwater crocodile’s eye. Join the expedition team to explore these dynamic waterways by Zodiac.

An optional scenic heli-flight may be on offer today (or possibly from Swift Bay), allowing for a visit to Mitchell Falls as well as spectacular bird’s eye view of the diverse colours, textures and patterns of the landscape – from the brilliant blue coastal waters to the rugged gorges of the Mitchell Plateau.
Careening Bay gained its name as the place where Phillip Parker King chose to careen and repair His Majesty’s Cutter Mermaid in September 1820. While there, the crew carved ‘HMC Mermaid 1820’ into a large boab tree. Visit this slice of early Australian history; look for vibrant mulla mulla, ancient cycads and spiralling pandanus in the surrounding woodland; and relax with a gentle stroll along the wide sandy beach.

Enjoy forays into the coastal fringes of the Prince Regent National Park, and discover the outstanding biodiversity that earned it ‘UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve’ status before sailing southwards into the waters of the Lalang-Garam/Camden Sounds Marine Park. Considered the most important humpback whale nursery in the southern hemisphere, it’s a seasonal sanctuary for an estimated 40,000 humpback whales returning from Antarctica to give birth in these warmer waters. Keep watch for the sea snakes, dugongs, sea turtles, and dolphins that also call it home.
Over these next expedition days, the nature and timing of our outings will be dictated by the tides and tidal currents.

The striking landscape and natural wonders around Collier Bay provide a myriad of adventures. Discover Montgomery Reef – Australia’s largest in-shore reef, covering some 400 square kilometres – and the diversity of its lively marine life. On a falling tide, witness the extraordinary phenomenon as the reef appears to ‘rise’ from the sea as foaming water cascades off it, and seabirds arrive to forage as the reef’s tasty inhabitants are exposed. Be equally enthralled by the unique geology and massive tides that create the Horizontal Waterfalls in Talbot Bay where you have the opportunity to take a thrilling boat ride through the falls*. Quietly cruise the meandering waterways of Cyclone Creek, and remain alert for glimpses of shy rock wallabies. Marvel at Mother Nature’s artistry in the contorted sculptures of the rocky landscape around Yampi Sound, and explore a maze of jewel-like islands encircled by foaming whirlpools and rapid currents.

*Please note that while Zodiacs are not permitted to pass through the Horizontal Falls, our explorations will include views from the outer waters of Talbot Bay. We plan to offer you the opportunity to pass through the falls on a fast boat with a local operator (included in expedition cost).
Weather permitting, delight in the thousands of brown boobies and that call the Lacepede Islands – a group of offshore sand and coral cays – their breeding grounds. The brown booby colony is possibly the largest in the world, with an estimated 18,000 breeding pairs. Other seabirds may also be spied, including lesser frigatebirds, crested and roseate terns, eastern reef egrets, and pied oystercatchers; as well as the bobbing heads of curious green turtles or sleek shovel-nosed rays in the waters around you. While landings are not possible on this designated Class A Nature Reserve, exceptional Zodiac cruising along the island’s shores will thrill.

As we set sail for Broome, toast your adventures in the wash of a final Kimberley sunset and celebrate with friends – both new and old - at the Captain’s Farewell Dinner.
In Broome, the ‘port of pearls’, farewell the crew, expedition team and fellow travellers before your transfer to the airport or your hotel accommodation.

Important note: In the spirit of expedition travel, we encourage exploration and adventure offering flexibility in challenging environments. This itinerary is only a guide and is subject to change due to tides, weather, sea state and other conditions beyond our control.

Inclusions

Arrival transfer from airport or hotel to Greg Mortimer on Day 1
Departure transfer from Greg Mortimer to airport or hotel on last day
Onboard accommodation during voyage including daily cabin service
All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage
Beer, house wine and soft drinks with dinner
Captain’s Welcome and Farewell reception including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages
All shore excursions and Zodiac cruises
Fast boat ride through the Horizontal Waterfalls
Educational lectures and guiding services from expedition team
Complimentary access to onboard expedition doctor and medical clinic (initial consult)
A spray jacket per person
Port surcharges, permits and landing fees
Gratuities for ship crew

Exclusions

International or domestic flights, not mentioned in the itinerary
Transfers not mentioned in the itinerary
Airport arrival or departure taxes
Passport, visa, and vaccination charges
Travel insurance or emergency evacuation charges
Hotels and meals not included in itinerary
Optional excursions not included in the itinerary
Optional activity surcharges
All items of a personal nature including but not limited to: alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (outside of dinner service), laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, Wi-Fi, email or phone charges

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Terms & Conditions

Pricing is correct as of 17/03/2021. Itineraries are subject to change and operation is subject to weather conditions, prevailing conditions and local arrangements may cause variation. Offer is subject to change or availability at the time of booking and may be withdrawn without notice. To confirm your booking, a completed booking form and a non-refundable deposit of AUD 2,500 per person is required within 7 days of reserved berth/s. All voyages are subject to regulatory approval and only open to Australian residents. Offer is only valid on new bookings and on select ship voyages only which must be booked and deposited by March 31st 2021. Promotion is subject to availability at the time of booking and capacity controlled. The promotion is only available in conjunction with the back to back voyage discount or the loyalty program offer, and not available with any other offer. The promotion can be withdrawn at any time and is not redeemable for cash. Prices and offers correct at time of printing and subject to change. Normal booking terms and conditions apply. To confirm your booking, a completed booking form and non-refundable deposit of $2,500 pp in the booking currency is required within 7 days of reserved berth/s. Additional terms and conditions may apply. Please visit www.auroraexpeditions.com.au/terms-and-conditions for full terms and conditions. Travel insurance is recommended please ask us for a quote. Payment by credit card attracts a merchant fee. Full terms and conditions provided at the time of booking.

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