Kimberley Expedition: Australia’s Wild Northwest

Kimberley Expedition: Australia’s Wild Northwest

From AUD $13,940


Stretching along Australia’s northwest coast, the Kimberley plateau is a vast landscape of plunging waterfalls, wild sandstone formations, emerald rainforest and deep gorges. Explore this immense and complex landscape: examine Aboriginal rock art, see otherworldly geological formations, and witness fascinating phenomena from “horizontal” waterfalls to the spectacular—and remote—King George Falls.

Trip Name
Kimberley Expedition: Australia's Wild Northwest
Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition Length: 103 metres Passenger Capacity: 102 (in 53 cabins) Built: 2003 / Refurbished 2014 Engineered for maximum comfort and safety, Orion is equipped with the latest technology including large retractable stabilizers, sonar, radar, and an ice-strengthened hull. A shallow draft plus bow and stern thrusters provide the convenience of being able to maneuver close to shore. 14 Zodiacs ensure quick disembarkation and offer the ideal transport for up-close exploration. National Geographic Orion meets strict specifications for environmental protection and the on board waste management systems meet the stringent Antarctic operational standards enabling us to travel to the most pristine environments. A host of advanced design features and technology ensures sustainable marine environmental practices. National Geographic Orion accommodates 102 guests in 53 cabins, including several with balconies. She is spacious and modern, with a variety of public rooms that offer panoramic views of the passing landscape. Friendly and informal, Orion fosters a welcoming atmosphere where like-minded guests share in exceptional experiences and enrichment. Her public rooms include a dramatic window-lined main lounge, as well as an observation lounge and library perched at the very top of the ship, with plentiful observation decks. The spacious lounge is the heart of our expedition community, and is suited for spirited cocktail hours, informative presentations and our nightly tradition of Recap. In addition, a dedicated theater provides a unique setting for specialist presentations or films and slideshows. Both the main dining room and outside buffet easily accommodate all guests at once for open seating dining. On selected nights, weather permitting, our dining room menu is also available on the outside deck. While Orion interiors are elegant, life aboard is always casual, with no need for formal clothing. And you’ll find shipboard services like laundry, in-room cabled internet, and public-area wifi.


Day 1 - Day 1-2: Darwin, Australia
Arrive in Darwin. The capital of Australia’s remote Northern Territory, Darwin began as a frontier townof gold miners, and has developed into a thriving multicultural city. Spend a night at our group hotel and on Day 2, board the ship and cast off in the afternoon. National Geographic Orion for the entire voyage. (B,L,D)
Day 2 - Day 3-4: Timor-Leste (East Timor) / At Sea
Settle into your cabin and prepare for the amazing photographic opportunities ahead with talks and hands-on instruction by our certified photo instructor. The ship makes a brief technical stop at Com, before continuing into the heart of the Kimberley. (B,L,D)
Day 3 - Day 5: Wyndham, Australia / Bungle Bungle Range or Lake Argyle
Wyndham is our base for exploring the UNESCO World Heritage site of Purnululu National Park, home of the breathtaking Bungle Bungle Range. These ancient hills resemble giant beehives,surrounded by deep chasms filled with vegetation. Enjoy incredible views of this otherworldly karst landscape during a chartered flightseeing excursion. Alternatively, cruise the Ord River to Lake Argyle, keeping an eye out for crocodiles, wallabies, jabirus (black-necked storks), and kookaburras in the remarkably lush ecosystemthat has developed above the Ord River Dam. Take in views of the lake from a scenic lookout, and learn about the area’s pioneers on a visit to the Durack homestead and museum. (B,L,D)
Day 4 - Day 6: King George River and Falls
Enjoy the unique opportunity to ride Zodiacs up the King George River today, passing between nearly vertical canyon walls. Our destination is the dramatic and remote King George Falls, where water drains off the plateau in twin cascades, dropping some 260 feet. Depending on the conditions, we’ll hang back in the refreshing mist to watch the thundering water, or get right up close —and even behind—the falls.
Day 5 - Day 7: Vansittart Bay
Enter Vansittart Bay and go ashore at Jar Island to experience the mystical culture of Kimberley’s Aboriginal people at an outdoor gallery of prehistoric Gwion Gwion rock art. The elegant images were recorded by Joseph Bradshaw in 1891, and date back tens of thousands of years. If time allows, visit the wreck of a DC-3 aircraft that crashed nearby during World War II. (B,L,D)
Day 6 - Day 8: Hunter River or Mitchell Falls
With crimson cliffs jutting toward the sky and thick mangroves along the water’s edge, Hunter Riverboasts some of the most spectacular scenery on the Kimberley coast. Drop anchor near Naturalist Island and set off to explore Hunter River by Zodiac. Navigate the mangroves, on the lookout for crocodiles and numerous bird species. Or choose to embark on an optional helicopter ride to Mitchell Falls, and enjoy a unique perspective on the Kimberley’s vast, rugged, and hard-to-reach interior. (B,L,D)
Day 7 - Day 9: Montgomery Reef
The Kimberley coast is known for its dramatic tides. Conditions permitting, we’ll arrive at Montgomery Reef at the turn of the tide and position ourselves to watch the water drop rapidly and miles of reef appear suddenly, as if rising from the sea. This is a fantastic opportunity to spot wildlife such as egrets, sea turtles, and reef sharks as they forage for creatures trapped on the reef. (B,L,D)
Day 8 - Day 10: Talbot Bay and Horizontal Waterfalls
Sail into the Buccaneer Archipelago to witness an extraordinary phenomenon: the Horizontal Falls ofTalbot Bay. The rapid rise and fall of the tide unleashes a surge of up to 36 feet as trapped water pushes through two narrow gorges. We’ll ride Zodiacs to experience this exhilarating event firsthand. Later in the day, join our naturalists on an excursion to Cyclone Bay to explore the twisted geological folds of the ancient seabed. (B,L,D)
Day 9 - Day 11: Nares Point / Crocodile Creek
Just south of Koolan Island, Nares Point is a long finger of sandstone that protrudes from the mainland, providing great opportunities for Zodiac outings and guided beach walks. In nearby Crocodile Creek—which despite its name, is free of crocodiles—take a refreshing swim in cool natural pools. (B,L,D)
Day 10 - Day 12: Broome, Western Australia
Disembark in Broome and make your way to the airport for flights home. (B)
Day 11 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
09-07-202320-07-2023AUD $13,940Category 1
09-07-202320-07-2023AUD $16,920Category 2
09-07-202320-07-2023AUD $19,620Category 3
09-07-202320-07-2023AUD $20,920Category 1 Solo
09-07-202320-07-2023AUD $21,640Category 4
09-07-202320-07-2023AUD $26,090Category 5
09-07-202320-07-2023AUD $29,420Category 3 Solo
09-07-202320-07-2023AUD $30,300Category 6
19-07-202330-07-2023AUD $19,620Category 3
19-07-202330-07-2023AUD $20,920Category 1 Solo
19-07-202330-07-2023AUD $21,640Category 4
19-07-202330-07-2023AUD $26,090Category 5
19-07-202330-07-2023AUD $29,420Category 3 Solo
19-07-202330-07-2023AUD $30,300Category 6
19-07-202330-07-2023AUD $13,940Category 1
19-07-202330-07-2023AUD $16,920Category 2
29-07-202309-08-2023AUD $13,940Category 1
29-07-202309-08-2023AUD $16,920Category 2
29-07-202309-08-2023AUD $19,620Category 3
29-07-202309-08-2023AUD $20,920Category 1 Solo
29-07-202309-08-2023AUD $21,640Category 4
29-07-202309-08-2023AUD $26,090Category 5
29-07-202309-08-2023AUD $29,420Category 3 Solo
29-07-202309-08-2023AUD $30,300Category 6


    • Zodiacs take you up the spectacular King George River, where you’ll feel dwarfed by the towering red rock canyon walls, then cooled by the mist of King George Falls.
    • View an outdoor Aboriginal art gallery, portraying images of the Wandjina spirits.
    • Take a scenic flight over the famous Bungle Bungle Ranges, a natural wonder.
    • Visit Montgomery Reef, where the tide drops so rapidly that waters trapped atop the reef create a raging torrent as they escape.