One of the last unspoilt regions in the word, The Kimberley awaits your discovery. This spectacular region stretches from Darwin, along the north-western coast line to Broome and is approximately two-thirds the size of France. Remote and wild, some areas are only accessible by boat, allowing the region to remain uncommercialised and untouched.
Remnants of early civilisations dating back thousands of years can still be seen in the form of rock art in remote caves and the history of these early, isolated inhabitants is fascinating. The landscape is seriously spectacular with red, sunburnt cliffs plunging into abrupt ravines and rivers snaking through the scorched land to tumble over cliffs in dramatic waterfalls. Here you will find several of Mother Nature's works of art with the Horizontal Falls and Montgomery Reef, which seems to rise magically out of the ocean on an
Saltwater crocodiles, endemic birdlife and native flora and fauna can all be sighted on your travels and with the naturally stunning landscape for a backdrop, you won't be able to help reaching for your camera! For some truly amazing photo opportunities, scenic flights over the waterfalls and canyons are a great option as seeing the sheer size and majesty of The Kimberleys from the air will give you a whole new perspective.
This is the Australia that greeted the early intrepids. Unforgiving and robust, yet breath-takingly beautiful, The Kimberley will hold you spellbound. This is the Australia of yesterday... unspoilt, rugged, red and resplendent and incredibly resilient. You simply have to see it to fully appreciate it.
KIMBERLEYAustralia's Iconic Kimberley 2023
Set sail for the wild and grandiose landscapes of Kimberley, following this exceptional PONANT itinerary.
From Darwin to Broome, embark for an 11-day expedition cruise.
In one of the most picturesque parts of the region, the Hunter River, you will see wild mangrove forests where saltwater crocodiles live along with many species of birds.
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.
You will also visit Collier Bay, where you will be able to admire the Montgomery Reef, home to vast expanses of lagoons and immense coral reefs.
Your ship will take you along one of the most spectacular coasts in the entire region.
With their falls, abrupt gorges, savannah, calm waters and desolate mountain chains, the wild lands of Kimberley are the promise of an exceptional adventure.
This itinerary is given as an indication only. Based on tide times and weather conditions, the Captain and the Expedition Leader may need to switch the order of certain ports of call around to ensure guests have the best possible experience.
Your Kimberley cruise package includes:
- 10 night luxury expedition cruise aboard PONANT's Le Soleal or Le Laperouse
- All meals on board
- Open bar: from the moment your step onboard and throughout your cruise, a wide selection of drinks (mineral water, soft drinks, wine, beer, Charles Heidsieck champagne, spirits, coffee and tea) are served on request and at any time of the day. Certain top-shelf premium alcoholic beverages are not included in the open bar.
- Zodiac outings and shore visits with your expedition team
- Free Wi-Fi internet access 24 hours a day
- Transfer from port to airport in Broome
PLUS! SPECIAL ULTIMATE CRUISING OFFER**:
- Return economy class airfares ex AKL/WLG/CHC to Darwin and return from Broome
- 1 night accommodation in Darwin pre-cruise
- Chauffeur driven luxury car transfers from your home to the airport and return (within 35km).
LE SOLEAL / LE LAPEROUSE
Like the other ships in the PONANT EXPLORERS series, Le Soleal and Le Laperosuse have been designed to provide absolute comfort for their passengers, even at the heart of the world's most remote and isolated regions.
Racy lines, state-of-the-art equipment, a refined design, a softly muted and at the same time convivial ambiance together with a deliberately restricted number of cabins all contribute to the modernity of Le Bellot and Le Laperouse, unique in the world of cruising.
Darwin is located in Australia’s Northern Territory which is also known as the “Top End”. It is the capital city and the most populated town of the Northern Territory. 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. Come discover the town’s still recent history through its emblematic buildings such as the new Parliamant House opened in 1994, a magnificent example of tropical architecture or Admiralty House declared heritage place, a tropical-style home elevated on stilts that has survived two cyclones and numerous air raids.
Wyndham is the northernmost town in Western Australia and in many ways is the gateway to the Kimberley. It is surrounded by some of the most spectacular landforms, rivers and wetlands in the Kimberley.
3 possible excursions here
KING GEORGE RIVER
The journey up the King George River is nothing short of breathtaking. The 80-metre-high sides of the gorge display varying degrees of weathering of the ancient Warton sandstone. The colours and textures of the gorge change with the light as you travel further up the river creating a continual changing scenery that is simply stunning. The journey culminates at the King George twin falls; the highest single-drop falls in the whole of the Kimberley (80 m or 260 ft). Fed by wet season run-off the level of water cascading over the falls varies from year to year. 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.
Jar Island contains ancient rock art galleries depicting the Gwion Gwion style unique to the Kimberley region. Mainly neglected by, or unknown to, the early European researchers of Aboriginal culture in the Kimberley in favour of the dominant and more dramatic Wandjina art, Gwion Gwion art has in recent years gained world prominence. It is generally thought that this art may extend back to over 30,000 years before our time and represents the first wave of seagoing colonisers of the Australian continent. As it is, these are the oldest detailed depiction of human figures in the world. Join your Expedition Team ashore for a short walk, past some fascinating rock formations, to the site of the Gwion Gwion art galleries.
The Bonaparte Archipelago, is a stunningly rugged maze of islands stretching almost 150 km along Western Australia's remote Kimberley coast. Its colour and scale conspire to take ones’ breath away. Its distant location has meant it has remained an unspoilt and remarkably pristine location to explore and experience. Phillip Parker King named “Swift's bay" after Jonathon Swift (1667-1745) the author of Gulliver’s travels. The ‘T’ shaped bay is composed of heavily fractured sandstone providing an abundance of rock shelters. On the walls of these shelters are examples of both Wandjina and Gwion Gwion style rock art. Join your expedition team ashore for a guided walk to a number of rock art galleries depicting these unique rock art styles.
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. They are considered to be some of the most pristine mangrove forests in the world, containing up to 18 different species, supporting a rich and diverse fauna. The sandstone escarpment at the river mouth, known as “Kampamantiya” rises over 200 metres high before giving way to extensive mud banks and mangrove forests home to numerous bird species and the iconic saltwater crocodile. 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. You will also have the opportunity to reach the Mitchell Falls by helicopter from Naturalist Island beach.
Lying to the east of the Buccaneer archipelago, the ancient landscapes of Collier Bay have been shaped by the massive tidal movements the region is renowned for, creating a photographer’s paradise. With a tidal range exceeding 14 metres, recorded near Yule entrance at the southern end of the bay, they are among the largest in the world. This massive daily movement of water creates unique phenomena that occur nowhere else in the world. Nestled in the centre of the Bay is Montgomery Reef, the world’s largest inshore reef system. As the tide falls a raging torrent of water cascades off the top of the reef, creating turbulent ‘rivers’ and mini waterfalls. At the Southern end of the Bay, Talbot Bay is home to the world’s only ’Horizontal Falls’ described by Sir David Attenborough as “One of the greatest wonders of the natural world.” Hidden in the many caves and grottos of this ancient landscape are a multitude of ancient Rock Art galleries. Here you can find spectacular examples of the Wandjina and Gwion Gwion styles.
As we are at the mercy of weather and tide conditions in this region, the activities mentioned above are only possible experiences and can’t be guaranteed.
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 (IBA). 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. Due to the sensitive nature of the environment, landings are prohibited on the Lacepede Islands.
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. The fascinating Chinatown district, which is the historic city centre, and the famous Japanese Cemetery, dates back to 1896, and has a past marked by the immigration of numerous Chinese and Japanese workers, attracted by the prosperous pearl industry at the end of the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century. 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…
NOTE: ITINERARY ALSO OPERATES IN REVERSE FROM BROOME TO DARWIN WITH SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT ITINERARY - PLEASE ASK FOR DETAILS.
DEPARTURE DATES AND PRICING
DARWIN TO BROOME:
24 May 2023
13 June 2023
23 July 2023
12 August 2023
01 September 2023
Prices start from NZ$16,000 per person share twin, subject to availability including a 30% Early Booking Bonus.
NOTE: Pricing varies for each departure date - please ask us for best available pricing for your preferred departure date.
Terms and conditions apply
- Luxury Expedition
- Soft Adventure
- Solo Traveller
- 24 Hr Room Service
- All meals
- Boutique &/or Salon
- Drinks All Day
- On-Board Lecturer
- Pool &/or Spa
- Built Date 2018
- Crew TBA
- Capacity 184
- Luxury Expeditions
Featuring innovative and environmentally-friendly equipment, elegantly designed staterooms, spacious suites with large windows, and lounge areas that open onto the outside, Le Lapérouse embodies the unique atmosphere that is the cruise line’s hallmark: a subtle blend of refinement, intimacy and comfort. Le Laperouse is the first ship to offer the underwater passenger lounge, allowing guests to see and hear the undersea world. Images Courtesy Ponant.
24 Hr Room Service
Boutique &/or Salon
Drinks All Day
Pool &/or Spa