Kimberley Coast & The Top End
Your fly, stay and cruise package includes:
- Flight to Darwin, return from Broome
- 2 nights accommodation in Darwin
- Private transfers in Darwin
- 10 night Kimberley Coast & Top End cruise onboard Le Laperouse, Darwin to Broome
- Includes daily excursions on Zodiacs
- Locally inspired dining - a total of 29 meals and a wide range of onboard beverages
- Services of an APT cruise director and expert 12-member expedition team
- 2 nights accommodation in Broome with breakfast
***Rate is based on twin share for travel 30 August to 13 September 2023***
***Alternative dates available, a surcharge may apply***
Day 1: Darwin
Welcome to Darwin, a great starting point for your Kimberley Coast adventure. After your arrival, we will transfer you to your luxury ship, Le Laperouse. Get to know your expedition team and APT cruise director at a welcome briefing before dinner.
Day 2: Koolama Bay, King George River and Falls
Anticipation builds as your Zodiac approaches King George Falls, which plunge 80 metres over a soaring sandstone cliff. Edge closer to this epic cascade and learn how it turns to a raging torrent during the monsoonal wet season.
Wake this morning as your ship cruises into Koolama Bay. Hear how this harbour was renamed following the Japanese bombing of the MV Koolama in 1942. Next, it’s onto the King George River. Join your expedition team and jump aboard a Zodiac to meander through the river’s gorge system, passing mangrove-fringed coves and sheer red cliffs.
Day 3: Vansittart Bay, Jar Island
This morning join your expedition team on an intriguing discovery. Walk across salt flats to view the wreckage of a US Air Force DC3 which crash-landed near Vansittart Bay during World War II. Later, visit Jar Island and discover the island’s outstanding rock art gallery. During your exploration here, you’ll see more examples of Gwion Gwion (Bradshaw) paintings, dating back more than 20,000 years.
Day 4: Ashmore Reef
Pay a special visit to Ashmore Reef Marine Park. Located in the Timor Sea and spanning 583 square kilometres, the reef is a sanctuary for many marine species. Every year, more than 100,000 seabirds breed here, including crested terns, white-tailed tropicbirds and greater frigatebirds. It was recognised as a wetland of international importance in 2003 for its vital role in providing a haven for the tens of thousands of migratory shorebirds which turn up to feed each year. In addition to the prolific birdlife, beneath the clear tropical waters, the coral reefs, seagrass meadows, sandflats and lagoons of Ashmore Reef are home to a colourful array of marine life including 255 species of reef building coral, the greatest number of any reef on the Western Australian coast. Ashmore Reef provides a unique opportunity to combine a zodiac tour to view the abundant birdlife and marine life with the opportunity to experience a magical moment snorkelling or a refreshing swim.
Day 5: Careening Bay
Visit Careening Bay, the home of the historic Mermaid Boab Tree, where in 1820 Lieutenant Phillip Parker King used the area’s massive tides to beach his damaged ship, the HMC Mermaid to repair a leak in the ship’s hull. One of King’s crew members carved the ship’s name in a Boab Tree that overlooks the bay, and today you have the chance to see for yourself a living piece of Australian colonial history.
Day 6: Swift Bay
Explore this maze of islands, inlets and peninsulas, believed to have been named by explorer Lieutenant Phillip Parker King after novelist Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver’s Travels. Most significant here are extraordinary examples of Wandjina and Gwion Gwion (Bradshaw) rock art, estimated to have been created between 5,000 and 13,000 years ago. They can be seen in caves close to the water’s edge, mainly painted on rock overhangs.
Day 7: Prince Frederick Harbour, Hunter River, Mitchell Fall
You are transported to Prince Frederick Harbour today, which is home to towering red cliffs and tangled mangroves. With its extreme tides and pristine ecosystems, the harbour is rich in wildlife including mudskippers and saltwater crocodiles. Keen birdwatchers should keep a careful eye out for kingfishers, egrets, herons and white-bellied sea eagles. Stepping out from the sleek comfort of Le Laperouse to your trusty Zodiac, it’s hard to believe you’re at Australia’s final frontier, this time to explore the Hunter River and Naturalist Island. As your day of discovery draws to a close, you might choose to set out on a thrilling helicopter flight to see the Mitchell Falls in all its splendour from above (flight at own expense).
Day 8: Raft Point, Montgomery Reef
Depart with your expedition team to discover Montgomery Reef by Zodiac. The reef ‘rises’ out of the ocean as the tidal waters cascade rapidly down into the surrounding channels. By Zodiac you’ll get up close to see this natural phenomenon for yourself.
Step onto dry land at Raft Point to visit an ancient Wandjina rock art site. The unique figures depicted in these artworks are ritually repainted each year, but scientific estimates date the originals as far back as 5,000 years. You’ll be joined by a local Indigenous guide when available.
Day 9: Talbot Bay, Horizontal Falls
Today your ship cruises through to Talbot Bay, known for its massive 12-metre tides that create the unique Horizontal Falls. Subject to tidal conditions, board a zodiac with your Expedition Team to view this incredible natural phenomenon.
Explore Talbot Bay and Cyclone Creek. Accompanied by your Expedition Team Leader, you’ll weave nimbly past the dramatic folds of rock formations, keeping a look out for local wildlife. You might also choose to take a thrilling ride through the falls aboard a high-powered fast boat (own expense).
Day 10: Buccaneer Archipelago, Lacepede Islands
This morning, your ship charts a course into the stunning Buccaneer Archipelago on route to the Lacepede Islands. Made up of more than 800 islands, and filled with stunning scenery and an incredible array of wildlife, the remote region remains relatively untouched. The Lacepede Islands are Western Australia’s most important breeding habitat for Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas) and have been named by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area. The breeding colony of Brown Boobies is possibly the largest in the world. Up to 20,000 Roseate Terns have also been recorded here. Other birds breeding on the islands include Masked Boobies, Australian Pelicans, Lesser Frigatebirds, Eastern Reef Egrets, Silver Gulls, Crested, Bridled and Lesser Crested Terns, Common Noddies, Pied and Sooty Oystercatchers. Join your expedition team for a guided Zodiac tour to view the prolific wildlife.
Day 11: Broome
Arriving into Broome today means it’s time to say goodbye to your ship.
* Conditions apply. Offer is limited, subject to availability and change without notice. Promotion is correct and valid at the time of publication. Booking and full supplier terms and conditions apply. Valid for new bookings only and not combinable with any other offer (unless stated).
Prices listed are per person in Australian/New Zealand Dollars, based on twin occupancy, including all discounts unless otherwise stated. The offer is subject to availability at time of booking and shown on the lowest Inside category available at the time. Fares are capacity controlled and are subject to change at any time without notice. Prices/Offers are correct as at 2 February 2023and can be withdrawn without notice. Cabin categories include prepaid government fees and port taxes unless otherwise stated. Hotels may charge resort or parking fees not included in this package, payable direct upon check in. Hotel location and inclusions may vary depending on availability and alternative dates of travel. Visas are not included. Airfares are based on economy class flights from Sydney and are subject to the carriers’ flight schedules and conditions, please call us for prices from other cities. Payments made by credit card will incur a surcharge.