Itineraries → Australia → Kimberley
08 - 20
Wild Kimberley Coast
With more than 2600 islands, cascading waterfalls, reefs and crystal-clear water, a visit to the Kimberley coastline is on many bucket lists. Explore with us the incredible nature, ancient rock art and pristine white beaches while perfecting the art of sunset drinks. The most relaxing way to experience the largely untouched Kimberley coastline is from a luxury yacht. Sit back and enjoy as the amazing landscape slip past from the comfort of a deck chair, get up close in one of our Zodiacs or take a guided hike ashore. For convenience your adventure starts and ends in Broome.
Welcome to Broome and your Wild Kimberley Coast voyage. You will find Island Escape and our crew waiting for you in the port. Boarding commences at 3 pm for a 4 pm departure. If you arrive early, there are lockers available at the airport to store your luggage and we recommend you explore the rich history of Broome or enjoy her 22km long Cable Beach.
Once boarded please make yourselves at home in your suite, then join your Captain, his crew and your fellow passengers for cocktails and canapés on deck. Our chefs have prepared a welcome dinner for you which will be served as we sail into the sunset towards adventure.
After a good night’s rest, enjoy an al-fresco breakfast on the aft deck of the yacht while you take in gorgeous views as we glide through some of the 1000 islands of the Buccaneer Archipelago. Be ready for your adrenaline to start pumping as we visit Australia´s largest tides at the ‘horizontal waterfalls’. The tidal movement in this area is huge, with some of the greatest tides on the planet. Here, an enormous measure of water endeavours to course through a small gap, creating a 4m wave rushing along at up to 20 knots. Another is Whirlpool Passage, which has the territory on one side and an island on the other, causing huge whirlpools, with some reaching the size of a football field. We will launch our Zodiacs and get ‘really close’ to these amazing acts from mother nature.
Wake up to the stunning views of Doubtful Bay, named by early explorer Phillip Parker King who thought Doubtful was an entrance to the Mythical Inland Sea. After breakfast, the crew are ready with the Zodiacs to take you on an adventure up the Sale River towards Red Cone Creek. Here you will find the small but impressive Ruby falls, surrounded by rock walls and we may be able to track over to reach crocodile-free freshwater swimming holes and waterfalls. After a day of exploring, enjoy the relaxing scenery as we sail to our next destination.
Overnight the crew have sailed the yacht to Careening Bay, an uninhabited raw natural beauty that has very limited access. Here you will find one of the most interesting historical features of the Kimberley, the ‘Mermaid’ boab tree. The carving on its bark, which is still well and truly visible today, is evidence of early European visits to the area. Philip Parker King careened HMC Mermaid on the beach in 1820. His crew inscribed the date and name of the Cutter on the large boab tree which is situated approximately 60 metres from the high water mark. Enjoy wonderfully crafted cocktails on deck as we sail with the sun setting on the horizon.
We anchor near the mouth of the Hunter River and in front of the beautiful beach of Naturaliste Island. From this beach we will embark on a scenic helicopter flight to the famous multi-layered Mitchell Falls where emerald-tinted rock pools cascade down the slopes. Mitchell River National Park is populated by many bird species, reptiles, mammals, and amphibians. Here you will also view the indigenous flora, fauna, and ancient Aboriginal rock art sites. The sandstone platforms are a wonderful way to relish in the peacefulness of the spectacular terrain. We sail at 3pm along this wild Kimberley coast for Jar Island. The views from the aft deck bar and lounge are amazing.
Vansittart Bay is a picturesque, cultural, and historical must-see destination, named by Phillip Parker on one of his surveys of Northern Australia in the 19th century. Not only will you see pristine white beaches and glistening aqua waters, but you will also visit the grave of a DC3 aircraft. During World War II, the plane was on its way from Perth but needed to crash land onto the saltpan after it veered off course and ran out of fuel. It was on a mercy mission, clearing four Dutch citizens from the island of Java and was a blessing that all lived to tell the story. Also on display are the ethnic shards of pottery and Gwion Gwion rock art galleries dating back 40,000 years – Aboriginals name the paintings Gwion after the bird whose blood was used to create these artworks.
Welcome to the spectacular King George Falls, Western Australia’s highest twin waterfalls which reaches approximately 100 metres. The King George River plunges down the red sandstone cliffs into flowing tidal water, creating the great King George Falls where our Zodiacs will take you close enough to be showered by the waterfall. You will spend the day exploring and savoring the overwhelming scenery the river has to offer and gaze in awe at the ancient wilderness coast that is only experienced by a small number of people. We sail to nearby Faraway Bay where we anchor for dinner before proceeding around midnight.
Today is dedicated to exploring the area further offshore. We arrive around the Sand and Cassini Islands for lunch. The area is well known as a turtle breeding area as well as a productive fishing location. We wind through the islands on the way to our anchorage at Swift Bay.
Swift Bay is home to a series of Wandjina art galleries, located only a short walk from the Zodiac landing. The area holds some of the largest aboriginal artwork dating back between 5,000 and 17,000 years. Birds, fish, turtles and Wandjina, the Aboriginal spirits who created the land and controlled the weather. After lunch, it is time to move and anchor at Winyalkan Bay and explore Hathaway’s Hideaway. Be prepared to see geckos, bats, and other signs of life, albeit a long time ago when it was used as an Aboriginal midden. The curves and segments inside the cavern project the sensation of an optical dream, explains why they are often described as maze-like. In the evening we can enjoy the sun setting over the Indian Ocean whilst sipping delicious, crafted cocktails.
This morning we will be sailing through one of Australia’s most important conservation sites, the Prince Regent National Park. Take breakfast on the aft deck whilst we pass some brilliant terrain as we sail to King Cascade, a traditionally beautiful, terraced waterfall said to be the most photographed in the Kimberley. Tumbling from an impressive height and around 50m across, water dives down a staggered patio of Kimberley sandstone – welcome to King Cascade. Here our crew will position the zodiacs under the falls for a wonderful showering experience.
Today we visit Montgomery Reef, a remarkable naturally assorted coral reef covering nearly 300 square kilometres. Watch in awe as the monstrous Montgomery Reef rises out of the ocean at low tide, the outward development of the tide frames a downpour of water, falling cascades and a plethora of marine life as they try to escape the emerging reef – octopuses, turtles, reef sharks and even dugongs, manta rays and dolphins. The reef and island were named by Philip Parker King, the first European to find the island, on board the Mermaid, whilst investigating the territory in 1818. King named the reef after the ship’s surgeon, Andrew Montgomery.
Wake up in beautiful Silica Beach, located on the remote Hidden Island, Silica Beach is an extraordinariness in these parts, known for its turquoise ocean and ivory sand, the only such beach on the entire Kimberley coast. The white sand slants seaward between the headlands to more profound stone reefs, allowing small boat access. Here you will have the opportunity to relax and indulge in the wonderful views of the clear blue glistening water. After breakfast on the aft deck, we raise the anchor and sail towards Mission Bay where we have our tour of the Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm. This tour gives visitors an insight into the fascinating history of pearling in Cygnet Bay and how they cultivate some of the most sought-after and beautiful pearls in the world. Their knowledgeable tour guides will demonstrate a pearl harvest giving a glimpse into a fully operational pearl farm.
Our incredible, memory-filled journey along the Wild Kimberley Coast concludes in Broome this morning at 9:00am. We serve a healthy brunch as we sail into Broome and it is now time to say goodbye to your new friends, captain, and crew onboard Island Escape. We look forward to seeing you onboard soon for another adventure in the near future.
Due to the nature of the areas where we are cruising, there may be alterations to activities and timings at the Captain’s discretion.