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Captured on expedition at Swift Bay Indigenous rock art gallery

Art of the Kimberley and Tiwis: Special Edition

Darwin to Darwin9 nightsAll InclusiveFrom $9,520.00* PP

Join us on a special art-themed expedition to ancient rock art sites, connections with traditional elders on country and vibrant art and cultural communities. This is a one-off departure on 2nd September 2022.

Study cave walls and rock formations to reveal Wandjina and Gwion Gwion figures. Travel deep into the King George and Berkeley River systems to witness a landscape carved by the powerful forces of tides and monsoon rains. See mother nature’s artistic influence in the intricate weathering patterns of sandstone and ochre escarpments with colour gradients ranging to deep purple. Be immersed in the rich culture of the Tiwi Islands by visiting Munupi Arts Centre for a gallery viewing and a hands-on workshop with a local artist. As we explore the Tiwis, there will be opportunities to purchase art from the source and interact with the artists themselves. Our expedition will be led by an experienced team who will help guests discover and interpret well-preserved rock art hidden in natural galleries. This art themed experience will be enriched by special guest led art workshops onboard.

Special Guest Lecturer and artist Brian Robinson with be joining this departure, with his knowledge and expertise enriching the journey through onboard art workshops and on-site interpretation along the way.

  • Walk amongst ancient Indigenous rock art galleries at Swift Bay, Bigge Island, Wollaston Bay and Vansittart Bay and learn about Wandjina and Gwion Gwion art history
  • View striking rock formations and intricate honeycomb weathering patterns up close on Xplorer tender cruises at the King George and Berkeley River systems
  • Visit Munupi Arts and Tiwi Design to view examples of both traditional and contemporary Tiwi art and experience these artistic traditions firsthand in a workshop with a local artist
  • Be immersed into the remote Tiwi Islands on a cultural walking tour in the company of a local guide and enjoy a traditional dance performance
  • Gain valuable historical and cultural insights from our expert expedition team and local guides
  • Partake in onboard art workshops under the guidance of a special guest artist Brian Robinson




Make your own way to the DoubleTree by Hilton Esplanade Darwin for SailSAFE check-in at 7:00am before your 8:00am transfer to Coral Adventurer for boarding at Darwin’s Fort Hill Wharf, and a 9:00am departure. Spend the day settling in and mingling with your fellow guests as we head west from Darwin towards the Kimberley coast.

King George River Sandstone Cliffs

Cruise down scenic King George River with its characteristic steep-sided gorges caused by the flooded river system that carved a swathe through the Kimberley landscape. We will take the opportunity to get up close and view the intricate honeycomb erosion patterns of the 80m tall sandstone cliffs by Xplorer and Zodiac tenders.


Swift Bay is home to historical Wandjina and Gwion Gwion Rock Art (Bradshaw) galleries. Stretch your legs and explore the magnificent sandstone structures, providing an abundance of rock shelters. On the walls of these shelters is where we will find examples of this rock art. If tide and time permit, we may also visit another art site at Wollaston Bay, a former sea-cave in the low sandstone cliff.


Discover Bigge Island, lying some 6 kilometres from the mainland separated by the Scott Strait. Walk along the cliffs and cave walls to admire the art works including depictions of Wandjina figures. The island plays an important role in future wildlife conservations as it is free from feral predators, which allows rare vulnerable species to thrive including the Northern Quoll, Scaly-tailed Possum and Monjon – the smallest member of the rock wallaby family.

Careening Bay is the site of the famous Mermaid Boab Tree, but it is also home to plenty of birdlife. Bar-shouldered Doves call throughout the day and Great Bowerbirds are common here. Also seen in the mangroves behind the beach are Shining Flycatcher, Red-headed Honeyeater, Brown Honeyeater, Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike and Little Friarbird.


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. 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. On our visit here, we will take our Xplorer tender vessels on a cruise up Porosus Creek to view some striking rock formations.


The sandstone caves of Wollaston Bay, with their weathered tunnels, arches and columns form a labyrinth-like maze that was once an Aboriginal midden. This wildlife haven is home to threatened specied including the golden-backed tree rat, monjon and golden bandicoot. While you explore the land, gaze at fascinating Gayarra Wandjina and Wandjina rock art.


At Jar Island, stretch your legs and explore the magnificent sandstone structures, providing an abundance of rock shelters. On the walls of these shelters is where we will find examples of rock art, the island is known to feature some of the most ancient human history records on the planet. Jalandal is another nearby rock art site. The under-hanging cave features examples of Wandjina and Gwion Gwion style art. We will meet with traditional owners who will provide interpretation to enrich the experience.


The remote Berkeley River cuts through the eastern edge of the Kimberley, draining into Joseph Bonaparte Gulf. This immense river is home to many saltwater crocodiles, rock wallabies and other wildlife, and is known for its steep-sided gorges. Enjoy cruising through the river and gorge to spot wildlife and take in the peace and grandeur of this isolated destination. Once back on board, guests can participate in art workshops and attend presentations by our Guest Lecturers.


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.


Disembark at Darwin’s Fort Hill Wharf at 8:30am where there will be transfers available to the airport or CBD accommodation.

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 Suite

Private Balcony - 55.8m2

Fully Booked

Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom

Private Balcony - 21.4m2

Fully Booked

Explorer Deck Balcony Stateroom

Private Balcony - 21.4m2

19 Available

Promenade Deck Stateroom

Picture Window - 17m2

12 Available

Coral Deck Stateroom

Porthole Window - 17m2

4 Available
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


  • Daily guided excursions and sightseeing
  • All meals throughout your cruise
  • Showcase wines and beer, as well as soft drinks, with lunch and dinner service
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Events
  • 24 hour coffee and selection of teas
  • Use of all onboard facilities, including a reference library
  • Access fees including Traditional Owner fees
  • Tips and gratuities

Not Included:

  • Flights and hotels
  • Pre-cruise transfers
  • Entry visas/travel permits
  • Travel Insurance
  • Items of a personal nature including but not limited to phone and internet communications and bar charges (outside of the included drinks package as highlighted), laundry charges and souvenir purchases

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