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Kimberley Expedition: Northwest Australia & Indonesia

Kimberley Expedition: Northwest Australia & Indonesia

From AUD $19,520

Description

Discover dramatic landscapes etched with ancient human history in the Kimberley, and sail to remote island villages of Indonesia where history comes alive in traditional ceremonies. Search for spectacular wildlife, from the giant saltwater crocs of the Kimberley to prehistoric Komodo dragons. Snorkel and dive at pristine Rowley Shoals among untouched coral gardens. Zodiac to the base of King George Falls and learn the history of the Moluccas, fought over among English, Portuguese, and Dutch colonizers.

Trip Name
Kimberley Expedition: Northwest Australia & Indonesia
Days
16
Overview
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.

Itinerary



Day 1 - Day 1-2: Broome, Western Australia
Arrive in Broome. An important port in the pearl trade, Broome is edged by tidal flats and endless white-sand beaches, and characterized by a distinctly Asian flavor. Spend a night at our group hotel and on Day 2, board the National Geographic Orion and take to the waters of the Indian Ocean. National Geographic Orion for the entire voyage. (Day 2: B,L,D)
Day 2 - Day 3: Rowley Shoals
Isolated in the Indian Ocean northwest of Australia, the three coral atolls known as Rowley Shoals harbor abundant marine life and almost untouched coral. Spend a day exploring the atolls by Zodiac or under the sea. Snorkel and dive from the sand cays, encountering a dazzling array of species, from anemone fish to giant potato cod to shimmering schools of tuna. (B,L,D)
Day 3 - Day 3-4: At Sea / Montgomery Reef
Conditions permitting, the tide at Montgomery Reef may drop rapidly away and a raging torrent of water will erupt, as miles of surrounding reef appear to slowly rise out of the ocean. A Zodiac will maneuver into a channel in the reef as water cascades down on either side. It’s the perfect spot to watch cormorants, egrets, and sandpipers forage for sea life trapped on the surface of the reef. Below the waterline, opportunistic sea turtles, reef sharks, and many larger fish also take advantage of this feast. (B,L,D)
Day 4 - Day 6: Hunter River or Mitchell Falls (optional
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 5 - Day 7: Bigge Island
Tucked into Bigge Island’s lunar-like landscape of sculpted sandstone are cave systems filled with rock art that dates back through the ages. Follow guides into the caves to decipher scenes of Wandjina figures and what appear to be European ships and visitors smoking pipes. As we explore the rocky isle, keep an eye out for Monjon rock wallabies and the endangered northern quoll, a small carnivorous marsupial. (B,L,D)
Day 6 - Day 8: King George River and Falls
Enjoy the unique opportunity to ride Zodiacs up the King George River today, passing betweennearly 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 (B,L,D)
Day 7 - Day 9: Wyndham and the Bungle Bungles
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 8 - Day 10-11: Vansittart Bay / Jar Island / At Sea
Enter Vansittart Bay and go ashore at Jar Island to experience the mystical culture of Kimberley’sAboriginal 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 9 - Day 11: Savu Sea Marine National Park, Indonesia
Our first port of call in Indonesia the Savu Sea—a haven for marine life. The sea is an important corridor for migrating whales, and 14 whale species have been spotted here. Sea turtles and many species of fish can be found amid the vibrant coral reefs. Explore the area both above and below the sea as you kayak, stand-up paddleboard, or snorkel in these rich waters. (B,L,D)
Day 10 - Day 13: Larantuka
As Dutch influence spread throughout the “East Indies” in the 17th century, Portuguese colonists flocked to the trading post of Larantuka on Flores Island. Today Larantuka is a picturesque seaside town with a strong Portuguese colonial character and spectacular views. Explore the town, meeting the local people and learning about their history and customs, and swim and snorkel off white-sand beaches. (B,L,D)
Day 11 - Day 13: Komodo
Explore Komodo National Park, home to the world’s largest living lizard—the Komodo dragon. Learn about the conservation of these prehistoric giants from park rangers, who will join us on a hike to spot the lizards in their natural habitat. Then enjoy an afternoon of swimming, snorkeling, or beachcombing at Pink Beach, named for the coral fragments that lend their color to the sand. (B,L,D)
Day 12 - Day 15: Satonda / Sumbawa
Today we visit Satonda, a small circular island formed from an ancient volcanic cone. Snorkel or dive its vibrant reefs or hike inland to the sacred lake at its center. Continue to the island of Sumbawa, where villagers welcome us with a lively demonstration of their traditions, including a wedding ceremony and a ritual boxing match. (B,L,D)
Day 13 - Day 16: Bali
This morning, disembark in Denpasar on the lush island of Bali. Get a taste of this paradise, where nature, spirituality, and art are interwoven into daily life. After lunch, transfer to the airport for your flight home. (B,L)
Day 14 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
08-08-202323-08-2023AUD $19,520Category 1
08-08-202323-08-2023AUD $23,680Category 2
08-08-202323-08-2023AUD $27,450Category 3
08-08-202323-08-2023AUD $29,280Category 1 Solo
08-08-202323-08-2023AUD $30,300Category 4
08-08-202323-08-2023AUD $36,530Category 5
08-08-202323-08-2023AUD $41,180Category 3 Solo
08-08-202323-08-2023AUD $42,420Category 6

Inclusions

    • Zodiac up the King George River to explore it at water level and experience its towering red rock canyon walls.
    • Zodiacs land virtually anywhere and take you up close to the unique wildlife in this Region -
    • see crocodiles, migrating humpback whales, and endearing wallabies.
    • Visit the world-renowned Komodo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, to go in search of the legendary Komodo dragon.
    • Snorkel and dive remote reefs with galaxies of colorful fish in Indonesia and pristine Rowley Shoals in Australia.

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