The Kimberley region is home to some of the world’s most dramatic and astounding landscapes. Set sail on a 14-day Expedition Cruise that journeys from Broome to Darwin, aboard the new expedition ship, Le Bellot.

In search of ancient aboriginal rock art that depicts life millenniums ago, deserted islands where wildlife thrives and landscapes that never fail to take your breath away. Discover one of the last unspoiled regions on the planet.

Journeying to Montgomery Reef experience the unique phenomena of the cascading mini-waterfalls and the spectacular beauty of the “Horizontal Falls” in Talbot Bay. Sailing deep into the wilderness, experience the pristine mangrove forests of the Hunter River, where we search for the legendary saltwater crocodiles, lurking in the waters below as many species of birds dance above.

Arriving into the 90m high sandstone gorge of the King George River, witness the powerful Twin Falls, the highest single-drop waterfall in Western Australia.

This wild area is home to the oldest continuous culture on earth, whose ancient stories and traditions can be found on the walls of the many rock art galleries across the region. The Gwion Gwion are regarded as the oldest depictions of the human form on the planet and the magnificent Wandjina represent the creator spirits of the Dreamtime.

On the Tiwi Islands, thousand-year-old artistic traditions continue thanks to art centres dedicated to local artists and craftsmen. During land visits, you will have the opportunity to admire these works of art up-close and discover daily life in these remote communities.

Transfer in Broome from city to port

Trip highlights

Experience the phenomenal Horizontal Falls and Montgomery Reef.

Visit the World-renowned Tiwi Design and Manupi Art centres of the Tiwi Islands curated by local artists.

During guided walks, view ancient Gwion Gwion and Wandjina rock art galleries that depict life on the islands in its earliest forms.

Alongside a National Geographic Expert and Photographer; learn more about the fascinating and historic region of the Kimberley and improve on your photography skills.

Itinerary - 13 Days

1 Broome

Broome is a town historically famed for its pearling trade but today it is a popular holiday destination within the wild Kimberley region. Before embarkation, discover the historical Gantheaume Point, where dinosaur footprints more than 130 million years old can be seen. Visit the famous Chinatown district where you can discover the history of Japanese immigrants in Broome’s famous Japanese Cemetery, which dates back to 1896. The town is furthermore famed for its “Staircase to the Moon”, an optical illusion created by the Moon reflecting on the sandbanks at low tide, a unique spectacle provided by nature and a wonderful sight to behold if your schedule allows.

2 Lacepede Islands

The Lacepedes are a group of four islands, perfectly nestled off the Kimberley coast. The islands are imperative to Australia’s rich wildlife as they are key breeding habitats for Green Turtles and are home to a wealth of birds such as Masked Boobies, Australian Pelicans, Lesser Frigatebirds and the largest colony of Brown Bobbies in the world. 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.

3-4 Collier Bay

Situated on a rocky and deserted coast of one of the most remote regions in the Kimberley, Collier Bay is only accessible by ship. The ancient landscape has been shaped by the massive tidal movements the region is renowned for. 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 and an incredible experience for those lucky enough to witness it. This dramatic movement of water creates a unique phenomena that occurs nowhere else in the world. As the water moves in and out, this creates turbulent ‘rivers’ and mini waterfalls.

Containing large areas of shallow lagoon, seagrass beds and corals, Montgomery reef is Australia’s largest inshore reef. In this majestic landscape, you enter an aboriginal area. Outstanding open air painted cave galleries allude to the myths of creation and can be observed after a hike on the hills.

As we are at the mercy of weather and tide conditions in this region, the activities mentioned cannot be guaranteed.

5 Bigge Island

Famed for its incredible Aboriginal rock art, Bigge Island is a must-visit for travellers visiting the Kimberley region. Known locally as Wuuyuru to the Wunambal people of the Kimberley Coast, Bigge Island is a significant site for Aboriginal people as it is the resting place of the boss Wandjina Aarwarrndju. Delve into the numerous rock art galleries that can be found on cliffs and cave walls, depicting art that in some instances dates back over 50,000 years.

Join your expedition team ashore for a guided walk to a number of rock art galleries depicting the Wandjina style.

6 Hunter River

Hunter River is arguably one of the most idyllic parts of the Kimberley coast. Prince Frederick Harbour and the Hunter River are lined with ancient rainforest pockets, pristine mangroves and mosaic sandstone cliffs making for a truly exceptional stop off. 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 that are 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.

7 Swift Bay

Situated within the Bonaparte Archipelago, Swift Bay is one of many islands in the archipelago that stretches almost 150 km along Western Australia's remote Kimberley coast. This island offers pristine landscapes and a host of wildlife to observe with unique rock formations defining the T shaped bay.

Due to the unique nature of the bay, that provides an abundance of rock shelters, there are many examples of both Wandjina and Gwion Gwion style rock art.

With the Expedition Team, enjoy a guided walk to a number of rock art galleries depicting these unique rock art styles.

8 Vansittart Bay

Vansittart Bay is a beautifully protected large bay with several islands and coves. 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 & more dramatic Wandjina art, Gwion Gwion art has in recent years gained world prominence.

Join your Expedition Team ashore for a short walk, past some fascinating rock formations, to the site of the Gwion Gwion art galleries.

9 King George River

The King George River is a magnificent sight to behold as you journey through the passage between 80m high sides of the gorge that display weathering of the ancient Warton sandstone. 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.

10 Wyndham

The northernmost town in Western Australia, Wyndham is also the regions hottest and oldest town that boasts some of the most spectacular landforms, rivers and wetlands. Often described as the gateway to the Kimberley, the town is eerily desolate with only a few hundred residents and the many crocodiles that lurk in the mangrove swamps and mudflats.

11 Pulau Meatimiarang (Technical Stop)

Today is a day at sea and we encourage you to make the most of the amenities onboard Le Bellot. Enjoy a relaxing massage in the onboard spa whilst gazing out to sea or take a dip in the swimming pool. You may be able to catch up with our onboard National Geographic Expert and Photographer as they give greater insight into the destination via lectures and workshops or visit the photo gallery area where you can take a look at some of the professional photos that have been taken during your trip so far. Alternatively, venture to the upper deck to enjoy the spectacular scenery and you may be lucky enough to observe marine wildlife in the waters below alongside a naturalist.

Today the Indonesian officials will perform the necessary clearance formalities. Our stopover at Pulau Meatimiarang is for technical clearance purposes only. There is no opportunity for guests to go ashore.

12 Wurrumiyanga, Tiwi Islands

The Tiwi Islands are part of the Northern Territory, Australia, 80 km to the north of Darwin where the Arafura Sea joins the Timor Sea. They comprise Melville Island, Bathurst Island, and nine smaller uninhabited islands. Indigenous Australians have occupied the Tiwi Islands for centuries, with creation stories suggesting they were present at least 7,000 years ago. You will discover Wurrumiyanga, a village where you can see the Pukamani (wooden funeral posts with geometric hand-carved patterns) and beautiful paintings on canvas. Whilst ashore, enjoy a dance performance relating to the story of the Tiwi people.

13 Pirlangimpi, Tiwi Islands

Pirlangimpi is situated on Melville Island in Australia’s Northern Territory. This historic Aboriginal Tiwi settlement can date its history back hundreds of years and continues to practice ancient traditions. Home to around 350 people, the Tiwi people are culturally and linguistically distinct from those of Arnhem Land on the mainland just across the water. Most residents speak Tiwi as their first language and English as a second language.
Art is an essential part of life on the island and for 25 years Munupi Arts have been a vital meeting place for the Tiwi people of the Pirlangimpi community for employment, cultural pride and well-being. Munupi Arts and Crafts Association allows local artists to proudly celebrate Tiwi culture through both traditional and contemporary mediums.

Venture ashore for the opportunity to visit the Munupi Art centre and experience life in this small remote Aboriginal community.

14 Darwin

Located in Australia’s Northern Territory, Darwin is the capital city and most popular town in the territory. The tropical city is thriving with life where it is home to over 50 different cultures who live and work side by side. Enjoy the bustling waterfront on the Timor Sea and take the time to explore this rich and diverse city.

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