Vansittart Bay & C53 Plane Wreck, The Kimberley

Discover unspoiled Vansittart Bay, protected for its cultural and historical significance. Explore open stretches of sand dotted with small rock formations as you walk through the arid terrain. This land is the country of the Wunambal Gaambera people, and it is referred to by them as Banjal.

This coastal woodland is home to unique flora and fauna including impressive boab trees, native wattles and vibrant birdlife such as the Yellow-tinted Honeyeater, Red-tailed Black Cockatoo and Rainbow Bee-eaters.

Visit the historic site of the C53 plane crash that now lies amongst the greenery. During WW2 on 26 February 1942 the flight was scheduled to return from Perth to Broome. Disorientated in the dark of night, the pilot resorted to an emergency wheels-up landing due to a depleted fuel tank some 600 kilometres from Broome. The plane was declared missing in action until discovered a few days later by the Qantas flying boat the Corinthian with all passengers and crew accounted for. Today, this intriguing sight is a great photo opportunity and draws fascination from visitors.

Learn About Our Voyages Visiting Vansittart Bay


“On arrival, the team noticed a Flatback Turtle track and Steve described the egg-laying process. We then headed to the wreck site, looking at shells, tracks and fiddler crabs along the way. At the wreck, David told the story of the circumstances leading to the wreck, before heading back to the Coral Adventurer, encountering a variety of birdlife including Red Wing Parrots and a gigantic termite mound en-route.”

Guest Lecturer David Keech aboard Coral Adventurer, September 2019

Read full trip log here