Exploring the Kimberley – with Nat Geo


    enquire now 14 Days From NZD $19,995 pp twinshare
    Cruise
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    In partnership with National Geographic Expeditions

    Set sail for the wild and grandiose landscapes of Kimberley, following this exceptional PONANT itinerary. From Broome to Darwin, embark aboard Le Lapérouse for a 14-day expedition cruise. The highpoint of this cruise will undoubtedly be the discovery of the King George River and the majestic Twin Falls, the highest falls in Western Australia.  Le Lapérouse will take you along one of the most spectacular coasts in the entire region. With their falls, abrupt gorges, savannah, desolate mountain chains and incredibly rich seabed, the wild lands of Kimberley are the promise of an exceptional adventure.

    Highlights

    • A cruise in partnership with National Geographic Expeditions offering enrichment with a National Geographic Photographer and an Expert specialised in the destination onboard.
    • Join our highly qualified local expedition team.
    • Enjoy regular Zodiac® outings & shore visits to get close to Kimberley nature.
    • Discover billions of years-old landscapes & ancient rock art.
    • Listen to stories of the dreamtime from the oldest continuous culture on the planet.
    • Explore pristine mangrove environments, home to the world’s largest living reptile.
    • Witness unique tidal phenomena such as the Horizontal Falls.
    • Possibility of swimming or snorkelling.


    Itinerary

    Exploring the Kimberley - with Nat Geo mapDay 1 BROOME
    Located in the northwest of the Kimberley region and in the far north of Western Australia, the town of Broome is reputed for its history and its glorious pearling era. Broome is also famous for the “Staircase to the Moon”, an optical illusion created by the Moon reflecting on the sand banks at low tide, like a staircase climbing up towards the sky, a unique spectacle provided by nature…

    Days 2 – 3 ROWLEY SHOALS
    Regarded as one of the world’s most spectacular diving and snorkelling locations, the Rowley Shoals lie 260 kilometres west of Broome in the Timor Sea. The shallow lagoons inhabited by a diverse array of corals and abundant marine life are ideal for exploration by snorkellers and divers. To take full advantage of the location, Le Lapérouse will spend one and a half days at the Rowley Shoals, allowing you to swim and snorkel from Zodiac®.

    Day 4 LACEPEDE ISLANDS
    The Lacepede Islands are Western Australia’s most important breeding habitat for Green Turtles, and have been named by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area (IBA). Join your expedition team for a guided zodiac tour to view the prolific wildlife. Due to the sensitive nature of the environment, landings are prohibited on the Lacepede Islands.

    Day 5 TALBOT BAY
    Described by Sir David Attenborough as “One of the greatest wonders of the natural world” the “Horizontal Waterfalls” are an iconic location and one of the premier tourist attractions of the West Kimberley. With massive tidal differences of up to 10.8m on a spring tide, the “Horizontal Waterfalls” are created as seawater builds up faster on one side of the gaps than the other, creating a waterfall up to 4m high on a King tide. Today’s Zodiac® excursion will be timed, where possible, to coincide with the greatest tidal movement through the gaps.

    Day 6 MONTGOMERY REEF & RAFT POINT
    Montgomery Reef is a spectacular example of the massive tidal movements in the Kimberley as the entire reef appears to rise from the ocean. Your Zodiac® expedition today will take you to the exposed reef system with its cascading mini-waterfalls to witness the amazing tide induced phenomena first hand. Join your Expedition Team for a challenging guided walk to visit this spectacular rock art gallery.

    Day 7 CAREENING BAY
    Careening Bay was named by Lieutenant Phillip Parker King after his ship, HMC Mermaid, was careened there during his third voyage of discovery in 1820. The ship’s carpenter carved the name of the vessel and the year into a conspicuous boab tree. The famous boab tree is now 3 metres wide and National Heritage listed. A reminder of a by gone era of exploration!

    Day 8 HUNTER RIVER & MITCHELL FALLS
    Arguably one of the most scenic parts of the Kimberley coast, Prince Frederick Harbour and the Hunter River are lined with ancient rainforest pockets, pristine mangroves and mosaic sandstone cliffs. Our expert Expedition Team will share their knowledge with you as you explore this pristine mangrove environment by Zodiac® keeping a constant lookout for wildlife.

    Day 9 BROWSE ISLAND
    The 14-hectare uninhabited Browse Island lies 180 kilometres of the north west Kimberley coast. It is surrounded by extensive coral reefs and is an important nesting site for Green turtles as well as numerous species of seabirds. Join your expedition team to explore this pristine, remote, seldom visited destination by Zodiac®.

    Day 10 ASHMORE REEF
    Located in the Timor Sea, the Ashmore Reef Marine Park is a sanctuary for many marine species. In addition to the prolific birdlife, the lagoons of Ashmore reef are a haven for snorkellers wishing to explore the spectacular coral reef systems, home to an incredibly diverse array of marine life: a magical moment that you may experience during a full day dedicated to snorkelling, unless you prefer to have a refreshing swim.

    Day 11 JAR ISLAND

    Day 12 KING GEORGE RIVER
    The journey up the King George River is nothing short of breathtaking. The journey culminates at the King George twin falls; the highest single-drop falls in the whole of the Kimberley (80m or 260ft). Your Expedition Team will escort you in either the Zodiacs or ships tenders to the foot of the twin falls, and explain all about the stunning geological formations of the canyon.

    Day 13 AT SEA
    During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board.

    Day 14 DARWIN
    Darwin is a beautiful tropical city, a melting pot of people and cultures, over 50 different cultures live and work side by side that prides itself in its unique and friendly laid-back lifestyle. Discover the new Parliamant House opened in 1994, a magnificent example of tropical architecture and Admiralty House declared heritage place, a tropical-style home elevated on stilts that has survived two cyclones and numerous air raids. You will also enjoy the bustling waterfront on the Timor Sea.

    Le Laperouse

    Featuring innovative and environmentally-friendly equipment, elegantly designed cabins, spacious suites with large windows, and lounge areas that open onto the outside, this new limited-capacity luxury yacht boasting just 92 cabins and suites will offer you a truly unique cruising experience.

    Aboard this ship that flies the French flag, you will experience the incomparable pleasure of an intimate cruise, with the possibility of exploring an ever-increasing range of destinations in an ethnic-chic ambiance with luxury service.

    WE-2020
    Images courtesy of WildEarth Travel