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Swift Bay, The Kimberley

Best of the Kimberley and Tiwi Islands

Depart Broome & Darwin10 nightsAll InclusiveFrom $10,820.00* PP

Join us aboard Coral Discoverer on our new special culture-themed expeditions as we set sail across the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf to discover the rich modern community of the Tiwi Islands and the ancient rock art of the eastern Kimberley.

With fewer than 70 guests, this 10-night journey will connect you with the vibrant modern culture of the Tiwi Islands and take in the vast Kimberley coast and its ancient rock art galleries dating back over 40,000 years. Visit a local co-operative gallery at Munupi Arts Centre where guests can purchase art at the source, participate in workshops and view cultural performances.

Discover natural cave galleries and rock formations to reveal Wandjina and Gwion Gwion figures. Travel deep into the King George and Prince Regent River systems to witness a landscape carved by the powerful forces of tides and monsoon rains. Experience the majestic landscape and powerful natural forces of the Kimberley, on shore excursions to the King George Falls and the tidal phenomena of the Horizontal Waterfalls and Montgomery Reef.

  • Visit Munupi Arts and Tiwi Design centres to discover both traditional and contemporary Tiwi art where you can purchase directly from the source
  • Enjoy a hosted walk on country in the company of a local Tiwi guide and enjoy a traditional dance performance
  • Gain valuable historical and cultural insights from our expert expedition team and local guides, including Mike Donaldson OAM, who was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for his service to the Indigenous community of Western Australia
  • Partake in onboard art workshops under the guidance of a special guest artists Paulina Puruntatameri and Carol Puruntatameri and learn the skills of lino cutting, paper printing + more
  • Walk among ancient Indigenous rock art galleries at Swift Bay, Bigge Island, Wollaston Bay and Vansittart Bay and learn about Wandjina and Gwion Gwion art history
  • Experience wilderness cruising on our Xplorer vessels through the pristine marine sanctuary of the Lacepedes to spot rare seabirds, mating turtles and juvenile sharks and rays in the protected marine nursery
  • Relish in the thrill of a zodiac ride through the rapids of the Horizontal Waterfall at Talbot Bay and be amazed tidal phenomena of Montgomery Reef as it emerges from the ocean depths on the lowering tide

Itinerary

Coral Expeditions_Art of Kimberely and Tiwi_Darwin_Broome_10 NightsZOOM

Coral-Adventurer at sea

Darwin Departures: Arrive at Darwin Fort Hill Wharf for boarding at 8:00am, with time to settle into your stateroom before our 9:00am departure.

Broome Departures: Arrive at the designated meeting point (advised closer to your departure) before our transfer to Broome Deep Water Port for boarding at 4:00pm. Settle into your stateroom before our 5:00pm departure.

Take the time to become acquainted with all the facilities onboard before join the expedition team in the Bridge Deck Lounge for an introduction to the Kimberley. As dusk falls meet your fellow travellers, the Captain and crew for the Captain’s Welcome Drinks.

KIM Tiwi

Experience a traditional welcome ceremony and morning tea (damper and billy tea). On a guided tour, learn of the culture and history of the Tiwis as we explore the museum and the old mission precinct.

Visit Tiwi Design, one of the oldest and most artistically diverse art centres in Australia and produces ochre paintings on canvas and bark, ironwood carvings, screen printed fabrics, ceramics, bronze/glass sculptures and limited edition prints. Under the guidance of a local artist, enjoy an afternoon art session to create your own artwork to take home.

On Melville Island, learn about both traditional and contemporary art on a visit to wholly Indigenous owned Munupi Arts at Pirlangimpi. We will have the opportunity to purchase traditional Tiwi artworks including paintings, fabrics, carving, pottery and clothing at island prices.

King George falls - 420x250

Fed by the King George River draining across the Gardner Plateau, 80m tall King George Falls are the most impressive Kimberley waterfalls and the highest twin falls in Western Australia. Before reaching the mist-like spray rising from the base of King George Falls, we cruise through steep-sided gorges carved by a flooded river system that carved a swathe through the Kimberley landscape 400 million years ago.

Early in the waterfall season, we may cruise around the base of impressive King George Falls while in later months we take the opportunity to view the honeycomb erosion patterns of sandstone cliffs up close.

Jar-Island-Coral-Expeditions-The-Kimberley-Indigenous-Rock-Art

Vansittart Bay is home to many cultural and historically significant sites like the remarkable Gwion Gwion (Bradshaw) Aboriginal rock art galleries estimated to be up to 20,000 years old. Jar Island is so-named after the pot shards found here, brought to the island by Macassan fisherman harvesting sea cucumbers (also known as trepang).

Nearby, on the Anjo Peninsula lays the well-preserved wreckage of a US Airforce C-53 Skytrooper aircraft, the result of a pilot losing his bearings flying from Perth to Broome in 1942 and putting down on a salt pan near present-day Truscott Airbase. View the video of the C53 wreck > 

coral-expeditions-mitchell-falls-hathaways-hideaway

Tumbling down the Mitchell Plateau in a series of tiered waterfalls and emerald green rock pools, the Mitchell Falls are the photogenic poster child for the Mitchell River National Park. Take a scenic helicopter flight (additional cost) to multi-tiered Mitchell Falls where emerald-hued rock pools cascade down the escarpment and ancient rock art galleries are concealed in caves behind curtains of water.

Mitchell River National Park is inhabited by significant numbers of mammals, amphibians, reptiles and bird species which are lured by a year-round water source. Sandstone terraces beside tiered rock pools make a terrific viewing platform from which to savor the serenity of this ancient landscape.

An alternative option to Mitchell Falls is exploring the sandstone caves of Wollaston Bay or Wollaston Creek. This mass of weathered tunnels, arches and columns form a labyrinth-like maze and was once an Aboriginal midden. Another option while anchored at Winyalkan Bay is a visit to a series Wandjina and Gwion Gwion rock art galleries at Swift Bay.

In the evening we will enjoy watching the sunset over the Indian Ocean while indulging in a gourmet BBQ.

Prince Frederick Harbour & Porosus Creek

Prince Frederick Harbour is one of the Kimberley’s most spectacular locations at the southern end of York Sound. The harbour is dotted with islands lined with mangroves and monsoon rainforests, set against a backdrop of ochre-hued escarpment.

View our video from Hunter River > 

White-bellied sea eagles and other birds of prey are often seen here, and at low tide, expansive mudflats reveal large populations of mudskippers and mangrove crabs. We will take our Xplorer tender vessels on a cruise up Porosus Creek to view some striking rock formations.

Bigge Island’s Indigenous name is Wuuyuru, and the Indigenous Group of the area is the Wunambal people.

Boab-Tree-Careening-Bay-The-Kimberley

King Cascade is a classically beautiful terraced waterfall and is one of the most photographed waterfalls in the Kimberley. Falling from a considerable height and around 50m across, water tumbles down a staggered terrace of Kimberley sandstone. Layer upon layer of ochre-hued and blackened rock sprouts grasses, mosses and ferns in a sort of lushly vegetated hanging garden.

We reach King Cascade after cruising in our Xplorer tender vessels down the steep-sided Prince Regent River which is a remarkable anomaly as the river runs dead straight along a fault line.

Lt. Phillip Parker King named nearby Careening Bay after he beached his leaking vessel HMC Mermaid to effect repairs. While stranded on this remote coastline for 17 days the ship’s carpenter carved HMC Mermaid 1820 into the bottle-shaped trunk of a boab tree near the beach. 200 years later, the Mermaid Boab Tree has since split into two trunks and sports a mammoth girth of 12m. Significantly, the bulbous tree is listed on the National Register of Big Trees and the carpenter’s careful inscription now stands almost as tall as a person.

View our video from Hunter River > 

View our video from Lumbarni Island > 

Montgomery-Reef-The-Kimberley-Western-Australia

Montgomery Reef is a biologically diverse area covering over 300 sq km and was named by Phillip Parker King. Twice daily, as the sea recedes in mammoth 11m tides, Montgomery Reef rises from the Indian Ocean in a cascade of rushing water revealing a flat-topped reef pockmarked with rock pools and rivulets.

As the reef emerges, we get up close in our Xplorer and Zodiac inflatable tenders to witness the spectacle as our Expedition Team share their knowledge on the formation of the reef and the myriad wildlife. Opportunistic birds take advantage of the emerging reef, feeding on marine life left exposed in rock pools. Turtles, dolphins, dugongs and sawfish too are also attracted to feeding opportunities as the ocean recedes.

The ocean is awash in a swirl of eddies and whirlpools as the moon’s gravitational force takes hold. Then, a few hours later the entire water-borne drama is reversed as the tide comes in and Montgomery Reef disappears below sea level.

Learn more about Montgomery Reef >

Horizontal-Falls-The-Kimberley-Cruise-Coral-Expeditions

The Horizontal Falls are one of the Kimberley’s biggest attractions and are a result of the mammoth 11m tides the Kimberley is renowned for. Naturalist David Attenborough described the Horizontal Falls as ‘one of the greatest natural wonders of the world.’

This natural phenomenon has been created as the ocean thunders through a narrow gorge in the McLarty Ranges. Water builds up on one side and is forcibly pushed through the bottleneck, creating a rushing horizontal waterfall of swiftly flowing seawater. Riding the rapids on our Zodiac inflatable tenders is one of the highlights of our Kimberley expedition cruises.

Talbot Bay is at the heart of the Buccaneer Archipelago, where rocks on the 800 or so islands are estimated at over 2 billion years old. At Cyclone Creek, you will see evidence of massive geological forces in the impressive rock formations and cruise through the Iron Islands, past Koolan Island, before enjoying sunset drinks at Nares Point.

View our Iron Islands & Nares Point Video > 

View our Silica Beach, Hidden Island Video > 

Lacepede-Islands

The Lacepede Islands are a protected class-A nature reserve and are significant as a seabird nesting rookery for brown boobies and roseate terns. Other species often sighted at the Lacepedes include Australian Pelicans, frigate birds, egrets and gulls. The four low-lying islands are also an important breeding and nesting habitat for green turtles.

If weather and tide conditions are suitable, we will explore the lagoons by Xplorer and Zodiac tender vessels.

As our incredible Kimberley adventures draw to a close, on our last evening aboard we enjoy the Captain’s farewell drinks amongst new-found friends.

Passages at Sea Broome to Darwin

Our incredible adventure along the Kimberley Coast concludes. Bid farewell to new-found friends, the Captain and crew.

Broome Arrival: Arrive in Broome this morning at 8:00am. A post-cruise transfer to Broome CBD or Airport is included. If you’re not transferring directly to the airport why not spend the day visiting world-famous Cable Beach or stroll the historic streets of Chinatown in central Broome.

Darwin Arrival: Arrive and disembark at Darwin’s Fort Hill Wharf at 08:30am. Post cruise transfers to CBD hotels or the airport are included. If you’re not transferring directly to the airport why not spend the day enjoying the tropical city of Darwin with its landscaped waterfront and harbourside Wave Pool.

This itinerary is an indication of the destinations we visit and activities on offer. Throughout the expedition we may make changes 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. Coral Expeditions suggests that you do not arrive on the day of embarkation or depart on the day of disembarkation due to any changes that may occur in scheduling. 




Fares & Availability

Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom

Private Balcony - 20m2

Last Staterooms

Promenade Deck (Category A)

Picture Window - 18m2

Available

Promenade Deck (Category B)

Picture Window - 15m2

Fully Booked

Main Deck (Category A)

Rectangle Windows - 18m2

Fully Booked

Main Deck (Category B)

Porthole Windows - 18m2

Fully Booked
Book this Departure

Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom

Private Balcony - 20m2

Available

Promenade Deck (Category A)

Picture Window - 18m2

Available

Promenade Deck (Category B)

Picture Window - 15m2

Available

Main Deck (Category A)

Rectangle Windows - 18m2

Available

Main Deck (Category B)

Porthole Windows - 18m2

Fully Booked
Book this Departure

Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom

Private Balcony - 20m2

Fully Booked

Promenade Deck (Category A)

Picture Window - 18m2

Available

Promenade Deck (Category B)

Picture Window - 15m2

Fully Booked

Main Deck (Category A)

Rectangle Windows - 18m2

Last Stateroom

Main Deck (Category B)

Porthole Windows - 18m2

Fully Booked
Book this Departure

Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom

Private Balcony - 20m2

Available

Promenade Deck (Category A)

Picture Window - 18m2

Available

Promenade Deck (Category B)

Picture Window - 15m2

Available

Main Deck (Category A)

Rectangle Windows - 18m2

Available

Main Deck (Category B)

Porthole Windows - 18m2

Fully Booked
Book this Departure

Prices are per person twin share, listed in Australian Dollars (AUD) and include GST.  Booking Terms & Conditions >
For solo traveller rates see our Solo Traveller Program >

Additional Information

Inclusions:

  • All excursions with our Expedition Team
  • Use of Xplorer and Zodiacs
  • Daily lectures and briefings with Guest Lecturers
  • All meals, chef-prepared on board
  • Captain’s welcome and farewell events, and open bridge access
  • Selected wines, selected beers and house spirits, juices, and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner
  • 24-hour barista-style coffee and tea station
  • All entrance fees to National Parks, ports, traditional owner fees and charges imposed by governing authorities
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Use of all onboard facilities, incl. a reference library
  • Expedition diary, along with a photo and video gallery documenting the highlights of your voyage
  • Post-cruise transfers
  • Wifi Access – Standard speed connectivity enabling email, social image sharing, web browsing and messaging

Not Included:

  • Pre-cruise transfers
  • Pre and post cruise flights/charter flights
  • Pre and post cruise accommodation
  • Travel Insurance
  • Entry visas & travel permits for the country you are travelling to/from
  • Alcoholic drinks (including beer and wine) outside of lunch and dinner service
  • Premium Internet services (available at a cost)
  • Laundry service (available at a cost)
  • Items of a personal nature such souvenir purchases
  • Optional Extras (in some destinations)
  • Optional helicopter flight over Mitchell Falls is approximately $890 per person. Subject to a minimum of 12 passengers. Helicopter flights are booked once onboard, with a 24hr cancellation policy.

OTHER INFORMATION

Coral Discoverer is exceptionally nimble and manoeuvrable, with a shallow draught to get up close to destinations. Much loved by loyal Xplorers for its truly intimate onboard atmosphere, Coral Discoverer carries a maximum of 72 guests. More About Coral Discoverer >

Travel Insurance is not included in your cruise fare. We highly recommend all guests to obtain comprehensive travel insurance with remote area evacuation coverage. Please refer to our Pre-Cruise Checklist page for facts that should be considered and shared when speaking with Travel Insurance suppliers regarding travel insurance.

At Coral Expeditions dining is a celebration of great food and good company enjoyed in extraordinary destinations. People and place are key to enjoyable dining experiences, where food becomes the vehicle for conversation and creating memorable occasions.

We now offer two wine selections that guests may purchase in addition to our new house selection of wines. These packages showcase contemporary choices of Australian wines and French Champagne. More About Cuisine & Wine >

  • A Taste of Australia Selection | 6 Bottles | $280.00
  • Connoisseur Selection | 6 Bottles | $400.00

Our Cruise Collection Merchandise including expedition gear is also available for purchase in our onboard gift shop. View our Cruise Collection here >

When it comes time for the exciting time of packing for your cruise, our packing lists are available to assist you. More specific information regarding weather conditions in your destination will be included in your Cruise Documentation which you will receive prior to your cruise.

Find your Kimberley expedition packing list here.

Most walks are leisurely strolls along beaches, however, there are some more strenuous walks on offer. An alternative excursion will always be offered in place of higher impact walks.

The Expedition Team will advise walking conditions and requirements prior to each excursion. Should you have any physical limitations or mobility issues, please notify our reservations team in advance prior to your departure.

There are very limited swimming options in the Kimberley the saltwater regions are the home of large saltwater crocodiles and some freshwater holes flood with saltwater on high tides. The expedition team will offer this option when conditions and tides allow.

Scuba diving is not offered on this itinerary.

  • From Bradshaw to Wandjina - David M. Welch
  • Dreamkeepers - Harvey Arden
  • Rock Art of the Dreamtime - Josephine Flood
  • Far Country - Alan Powell
  • Australia's Kimberley Coast - Sandy Scott
  • Mariners are Wanted - Hordern & Marsden
  • Journey in Time - George Chaloupka
  • Gwion Gwion - Jillinya Mamaa
  • Kimberley at the Crossroads - Murray Milcox
  • First Footprints - Scott Cane
  • Flora of the Kimberely Region - B.L. Rye, B.L. Koch, A.J.G. Wilson
  • The Kimberley Adventure - Parker, Bradshaw, Done
  • Phillip Parker King - David Stewart

Broome Post Cruise Transfer: A complimentary transfer is provided to CBD hotels or the airport. We recommend allowing sufficient time to arrive for your flight in the event of any delays in disembarkation. If you’re not transferring directly to the airport why not spend the day visiting world-famous Cable Beach or stroll the historic streets of Chinatown in central Broome.

Darwin Post Cruise Transfer: A complimentary transfer is provided to CBD hotels or the airport. We recommend allowing sufficient time to arrive for your flight in the event of any delays in disembarkation. If you’re not transferring directly to the airport why not spend the day enjoying the tropical city of Darwin with its landscaped waterfront and harbourside Wave Pool.

We want to ensure that your journey with us is smooth and hassle-free. To help you prepare for your cruise, refer to our Pre-Cruise Checklist for more detailed information on the milestones leading up to your voyage.

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