Western Australia & the Coral Coast

Explore above and below the turquoise waters of northwest Australia’s spectacular Indian Ocean coast.

Explore above and below the turquoise waters of northwest Australia’s spectacular Indian Ocean coast. Sail overnight from Broome to Rowley Shoals Marine Park, three coral atolls swept by nutrient-rich deep ocean currents. Kayak, snorkel and dive lagoons and spectacular drop-offs in crystal-clear waters shared with turtles, manta rays, whales and dolphins. Discover the Montebello Islands, once the site of nuclear weapons testing, now breeding grounds for ospreys, white-bellied sea eagles, terns, and oystercatchers. On Barrow Island spot rare mammals like the spectacled hare-wallaby, golden bandicoot, black-flanked rock-wallaby and more. Immerse yourself in Ningaloo, the world’s largest fringing reef, and Coral Bay, where humpbacks, whale sharks, manta rays and sea turtles swim. At Shark Bay, watch for the many dugongs feeding on extensive sea grass beds, then adventure throughout the exquisite Houtman Abrolhos islands, with its sea lion colonies, photogenic fishing shacks and perfect lagoons to swim, snorkel and kayak.
This expedition is subject to regulatory approval and only open to Australian residents.

Western Australia & the Coral Coast

Broome to Fremantle 
Onboard Greg Mortimer
19 September 2021
13 days
from

$15,596

per person, twin share in a balcony stateroom
Price includes save 20%

Highlights

  • Zodiac-cruise, snorkel or dive^ spectacular coral reefs, lagoons and canyons of Rowley Shoals Marine Park
  • Dawn birdwatching to spy red-tailed tropic birds, ruddy turnstones, white-throated needle-tails and more
  • Enjoy the Dampier Peninsula’s maze of waterways alive with hawksbill turtles, dolphins and shy dugongs
  • Snorkel and dive^ among the magnificent coral gardens of Ningaloo Reef
  • Discover sea lion colonies, seabirds and exquisite waterways in the adventure playground of Houtman Abrolhos Islands
  • Explore and learn about the unique marine ecosystems designated as “Hope Spots” by Sylvia Earle’s Mission Blue team, including the Exmouth Gulf and Ningaloo Coast and the Houtman Abrolhos Islands

    ^Optional activities at additional cost

Itinerary

Embark the Greg Mortimer in the afternoon. After boarding, take time to settle into your cabin before attending important safety briefings. Enjoy the thrill of departure as we pull away. In the evening, meet your expedition team and crew at the Captain’s Welcome Dinner as the sun sets over the Indian Ocean.
Sail overnight to Rowley Shoals Marine Park, three coral atolls rising from the seabed to the surface (and above at low tide). One of the world’s finest snorkelling and dive destinations, it features deep drop-offs festooned with soft coral, protected lagoons brimming with tropical fish and channels alive with larger marine animals, including sea turtles, manta rays, whales and dolphins. Spectacular kayaking and Zodiac-cruising await those who prefer their adventures above the sea. Beach walk to caves where seabirds nest including red-tailed tropicbirds and the rarer white-tailed tropicbird.
Named after William Dampier, an English buccaneer and explorer who visited in 1699, the 42 islands feature brilliant sapphire waterways, set against the Pilbara’s red and ochre-hued landscape, alive with hawksbill turtles, dolphins and shy dugongs. Snorkel, dive or kayak, or land on sandy beaches to discover amazing Aboriginal rock engravings of turtles, fish, kangaroos and wallabies.
Start the day in the Montebello Islands, an archipelago of some 174 small limestone islands about 130 kms off the Pilbara coast. The site of nuclear weapons testing in the 1950s, including the United Kingdom’s first ever atomic weapon, the islands are now the breeding ground for beach stone curlews, fairy and roseate terns, ospreys, white-bellied sea eagles and sooty oystercatchers. Mala, (rufous-hare wallaby) has been reintroduced to the islands. After lunch, we land on Barrow Island, one of the most important conservation reserves in WA where oil and gas fields coexist with rare and endangered mammals like the spectacled hare-wallaby, golden bandicoot and black-flanked rock-wallaby. Among the 43 species of reptiles on the island is the perentie, Australia’s biggest lizard.
Immerse yourself in UNESCO’s Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area and Sylvia Earle’s Mission Blue Hope Spot. It is the world's largest fringing reef and major migratory route for dolphins, dugongs, manta rays and humpback whales. Visit ruins of the Norwegian Bay whaling station harking back to the early 1900s, when a Norwegian whaling company ran whaling and factory ships before building the shore-based processing plant in 1915. After lunch, hike through stunning gorges of Cape Range National Park and swim in crystal-clear Turquoise Bay. Next day, swim, snorkel, dive and kayak Coral Bay’s prime spots like Asho’s Gap, where cleaner wrasse attend to the teeth and parasites of grey reef sharks, and loggerhead, green and hawksbill turtles nest nearby. A sunset walk to Point Cloates Lighthouse to finish the day
Wake to low-lying Bernier Island, one of three islands of the Bernier and Dorre Nature Reserve, two that hide a tragic past. In the early 1900s, the islands housed ‘lock hospitals’, where Aboriginal men, women and children were taken for treatment of venereal disease, many never to return to their homelands. Today these islands are home to some of the rarest animals in the world and we hope to go ashore to see the Shark Bay mouse, western barred bandicoot, banded hare-wallaby, and rufous hare-wallaby. After lunch we move to Dirk Hartog Island, to swim and snorkel, and learn of Dirk Hartog’s pewter plate, which now resides in the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. Next morning, visit Surf Point to snorkel and dive a marine sanctuary protecting vase and plate corals, a variety of staghorn species and tropical fish, including parrotfish, butterflyfish, wrasse, angelfish and snapper. After lunch, search for endangered banded hare-wallabies and hike to Steep Point to view magnificent Zuytdorp Cliffs.
Over three days, explore the Abrolhos Islands, another of Sylvia Earle’s Mission Blue Hope Spots. They are a stunning necklace of 122 islands surrounded by the southernmost coral reefs in the Indian Ocean. Beginning in the Wallabi Group of islands, puzzle how such a peaceful setting could be where the 1629 shipwreck of the Batavia, and the subsequent mutiny and massacre, took place. Enjoy swimming, snorkeling and diving, or kayaking past remote fishing camps, watching for tammar wallabies, successfully reintroduced on North Island. On day two, explore the Easter Group, its islands, like many in the Abrolhos, are breeding grounds for up to 100 bird species including the prolific wedge-tailed shearwater, lesser noddy’s, storm petrels, pacific reef herons, white-bellied sea eagles and osprey. Wake on the third morning in the Pelsaert Group, a wonderland of tern nests and scene of some of the worst shipwrecks in Australian maritime history, including the Zeewijk, the last of four Dutch East Indiamen to be wrecked there. The Zeewijk’s crew lived for 10 months off seals, seabirds, eggs, and supplies salvaged from the wreck before finishing an 18 m boat that, over nearly a month, they successfully sailed to Sunda Strait. Each day in the Abrolhos Islands promises to bring new and memorable adventures.
After breakfast, farewell your expedition team before you disembark for your transfer to the airport or 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 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
Snorkelling activities and use of snorkelling equipment
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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