Day 1 – WEDNESDAY 19 JULY
This morning you will be transferred by private vehicle to the airport for your flight to Broome (included – TBC). On arrival in Broome, you will be met and transferred to your hotel (TBC). The rest of your day is at leisure to explore Broome.
Day 2 – THURSDAY 20 JULY
This morning you are free to continue exploring more of Broome, or perhaps relax and use the hotel’s facilities. In the afternoon you will be transferred to your vessel, departing at approximately 1700.
Broome is the gateway to Australia’s spectacular and ancient Kimberley region. To put its sheer size and remoteness into perspective, it is roughly three times larger than England with a population of just 35,000. This magical landscape is home to an incredible array of wildlife, towering canyons and secret hidden swimming holes bordered by 2,000 kilometres of superb coastline. The first European to set foot in Broome was English explorer William Dampier in 1688. However, the Yawuru people still remain the Native Title holders for the township of Broome, which has over 84 Aboriginal communities affiliated with it. It wasn’t until the late 19th century that the city grew as a result of the pearling industry. At the industry’s peak, around 1914, Broome was responsible for close to 80% of the world’s pearl trade. B D
Days 3/4 – FRIDAY 21 & SATURDAY 22 JULY
The Buccaneer Archipelago is one of the Kimberley’s (and Australia’s) best kept secrets. This impressive and beautiful archipelago is about 50 square kilometres (19 square miles), made up of around 800 islands. It acts as a protective barrier to the mainland from the huge 12 metre tides and astonishing speed of the Yampi (‘Yampee”, in traditional Aborigine) Sound. The combination of the islands and the power of the water create some incredible natural phenomena, such as the horizontal reversible waterfall in Talbot Bay. The tide creates the “reversible” nature of the falls from the narrow gaps in-between the islands. Though impressive, the tides create treacherous conditions, which are marked by the graves of numerous sailors and divers.
The archipelago became known as Buccaneer in 1821, a term coined by Captain Phillip Parker King in commemoration of William Dampier’s visit in 1688. Many entrepreneurs were initially attracted to the Buccaneer Archipelago in the 19th century due to the superior pearling as well as rich iron ore deposits. Mining operators have more recently established open-cut mines on Koolan Island on the east side of the Sound, extracting some of the richest iron ore found in the world. B L D
Days 5/6 – SUNDAY 23 & MONDAY 24 JULY
Hunter River Region
The Hunter River is home to an immense mangrove system surrounded by soaring red sandstone cliffs. The mangroves provide shelter for numerous bird species, mudskippers, fiddler crabs and saltwater crocodiles. In the mouth of the river, Naturalist Island has a beautiful stretch of sandy beach ideal for helicopter landings if guests wish to explore some of the Kimberley’s interior (additional cost). Inland, Mitchell Falls is another highlight, a four-tiered waterfall that plunges into deep pools. The headwaters of the falls offer a perfect place to take a dip in the fresh water. There are chances to explore the region both on foot and by zodiac. B L D
Day 7 – TUESDAY 25 JULY
King George River
The King George Falls is one of the Kimberley’s most magnificent natural wonders. At 80 meters (260 feet), the thundering spectacle of twin cascades is among the highest in Australia. The river weaves through an amazing and dramatic landscape of near vertical red rock formations. You will get the chance to explore the are by zodiac or on a guided hike. Keep an eye out for wildlife including carnivorous saltwater crocodiles and amazing birdlife, such as giant raptors and the Brahminy Kite. B L D
Day 8 – WEDNESDAY 26 JULY
A small settlement established in 1886 with the Halls Creek gold rush, Wyndham sits on the Cambridge Gulf where several rivers converge. Today Wyndham has a population of roughly 900 people and operates largely as a port exporting cattle and servicing the mining industry. Wyndham is the gateway to the breathtaking Bungle Bungle Mountain Range, a World Heritage Site in the Purnululu National Park and the nearby Ord River. The incredible geological formations of giant orange and black striped domes rising out of the ground are thought to have been formed over 350 million years ago, creating a landscape like no other. Known to the local Aboriginal people for thousands of years, this unique landscape was only discovered by the outside world in the mid-1980s. Today offers a chance to enjoy a scenic flight over the Bungle Bungles as well as a cruise along the peaceful and tree-lined Ord River. There is a chance of seeing freshwater crocodiles, fruit bats, short-eared rock wallabies and a variety of birds, including Mangrove Herons and Mangrove Gerygones. B L D
Day 9 – THURSDAY 27 JULY
Day at Sea
Today the vessel sails towards Indonesia’s Matakus Island. It provides the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with some photo-editing or other tasks you’ve been meaning to do. There is always the chance of coming across whales or seabirds on days like today. B L D
Day 10 – FRIDAY 28 JULY
Matakus Island is located in the eastern part of Indonesia. A true paradise on Earth home to countless beautiful, unexplored areas that have not enjoyed the same tourism boom other parts of the country have. A small island part of the Tanimbar Archipelago, Matakus is a small island just over two miles in length and less than a mile across. Despite its small size, the island is inhabited by approximately 100 people. As a result, there is practically no tourism infrastructure – ordering freshly caught and grilled fish for lunch from one of the local fishermen is about the limit.
Matakus Island is about as postcard perfect as you can get, surrounded by fine, white-sand beaches, fields of staghorn coral and schools of cardinalfish visible in its crystal clear waters. Make sure you don’t forget to grab your underwater cameras and snorkels. The island is also home to birdlife including the Tanimbar starling, Moluccan masked owl, Fawn-breasted thrush and Blue-streaked lorry. B L D
Day 11 – SATURDAY 29 JULY
Day at Sea
After the adventures of Matakus Island it’s time to head south to Darwin. Today offers you one last change to make the most of the facilities and enjoy life onboard; workout in the gym, pay a well-earned visit to the spa or find a cosy spot to read your book. B L D
Day 12 – SUNDAY 30 JULY
On arrival in Darwin this morning you will be met and transferred to your hotel (TBC). The rest of your day is at leisure to explore the city. A unique, tropical city, Darwin is the isolated northern frontier of Australia. The city was named in honour of Charles Darwin by the British settlers who established a frontier outpost here. Mindil Beach and the adjoining market is filled with souvenirs and crafts stands and is the perfect place to enjoy some fiery Asian flavours. It may be remote, but Darwin found itself on the front line during the Pacific War, as the Japanese air force unloaded their bombs onto the city in 1942. This relaxed unassuming city has a deeply resilient backbone, however, and you can explore the museums to learn more of the war’s impact on Darwin, as well as the devastating effects of one of Australia’s worst natural disasters, Cyclone Tracy in 1973. B
Days 13-15 – MONDAY 31 JULY TO WEDNESDAY 2 AUGUST
This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your light aircraft flight to Bamurru Plains, situated on the edge of Kakadu National Park amid coastal floodplains on the Mary River. A member of Luxury Lodges of Australia, Bamurru Plains has just 10 safari-style bungalows, built on stilts overlooking the floodplains. Over the next three nights explore this famous region home to a profusion of bird and wildlife. Expert guides lead you on a fantastic variety of daily activities, including river cruises, guided walks, birding and open-top game drives through the exclusive 300 square kilometre area. Guests can also experience the 6-metre high hide overlooking the Mary River floodplain or criss-cross the terrain on a quad bike adventure. A highlight of any stay at Bamurru Plains is the signature experience, a chilling ride across the floodplains by airboat. B D (day 13 only) B L D (days 14 and 15)
Day 16 – THURSDAY 3 AUGUST
Tour Ends, Darwin
Enjoy a final morning at this beautiful safari lodge before your return light aircraft flight to Darwin. On arrival in Darwin, transfer to the airport for your flight home (included – TBC). A private transfer is included from the airport to your home upon your return. Tour ends. B
Please note: All destinations on voyages in the Kimberley region, and the order in which they are visited, are subject to tidal variations and weather conditions.
B = Breakfast | L = Lunch | D = Dinner
TBC = To be confirmed