The Experience

Kimberley Expedition

DAY 1-3: U.S./Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia/Embark
Depart for Darwin, cross the international date line (lose a day) and arrive on Day 3. Australia,™s tropical capital developed as a frontier town of crocodile and buffalo shooters and pioneer cattlemen, and this small town retains much of this flavor today. Make your way to National Geographic Orion and set sail. (D)

DAY 4-5: Com/At Sea
Settle into your cabin and prepare for amazing photographic opportunities in the Kimberley with talks and hands-on instruction by our National Geographic photographer and Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor. The ship makes a brief technical stop at Com, before continuing into the heart of the Kimberley. (B,L,D)

DAY 6: Wyndham & The Bungle Bungles
Wyndham is the perfect staging point to discover Purnululu National Park, home of the breathtaking Bungle Bungle Range. These ancient hills resemble giant beehives forming deep chasms with palm trees and long gorges. This strange landscape is even more remarkable from our included charter flightseeing. Alternatively, you can enjoy an Ord River Cruise to Lake Argyle. The Ord River is one of the most stunning river systems in Australia. You’ll navigate a massive stretch of river between Kununurra and Lake Argyle (Ord River Dam) and then view the Lake from a scenic lookout, and have a visit to the historical Durack homestead. (B,L,D)

DAY 7: King George River & Falls
National Geographic Orion will drop anchor here and Zodiacs will take us up the spectacular King George River, with its almost vertical sheer canyon walls. The river drains the Gardner Plateau here into the highest single-drop falls in the Kimberley. Early in the season, we will probably hang back in the thundering mist. Later in the year, we will get right up close, even under, the cool fresh waterfalls. For guests looking for even more adventure, there is a challenging walk to the top where you will have the opportunity to cool off with a swim in one of the freshwater rock pools. (B,L,D)

DAY 8: Vansittart Bay
Today our naturalists will lead us to an outdoor Gwion Gwion Aboriginal art gallery. Discovered by Joseph Bradshaw in 1891, the rock images are estimated to be up to 40,000 years old. Nearby there is a wreck of a DC-3 aircraft that became lost and crashed during WWII. If time allows, National Geographic Orion guests may have an opportunity to explore the crash site and the remains of the plane. (B,L,D)

DAY 9: Hunter River (and optional helicopter to Mitchell Falls)
This is one of the most scenic parts of the Kimberley coast, lined with green rainforest, mangroves and soaring red cliffs. National Geographic Orion will drop anchor near Naturalists Island, the proper name of which is Wunumpurramarra, a stunning backdrop to our day’s explorations. The Hunter River has many crocodiles and you may be lucky enough to see them on a Zodiac foray through the mangroves. For those wishing to explore some of the Kimberley’s vast interior, today presents a wonderful opportunity. The distance from Naturalists Island to the famous Mitchell Falls and Plateau is about 30 miles, and you may choose to take an optional helicopter excursion over some spectacular terrain. (B,L,D)

DAY 10: Montgomery Reef & Raft Point
Arriving at high tide, you’ll see very little of Montgomery Reef. However, if conditions are right, the tide 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 you 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. Next, we land by Zodiac at Raft Point, where we are guided on a climb up to a saddle of rock that forms nothing short of a spectacular outdoor Aboriginal art gallery. The art is an account of the Wandjina clan on the ,˜Great Fish Chase.’ There are images of the Wandjina spirits with their distinctive haloes, plus dugong, crocodiles, fish and snakes. (B,L,D) DAY 11: Talbot Bay / Horizontal Waterfalls
The Horizontal Waterfalls in the Buccaneer Archipelago are created by the rapid tidal fall on the ocean side of the cliffs. When conditions are right, a ,˜waterfall,™ up to ten feet high may form as the trapped landward waters cascade out through the narrow gap to the ocean side. Our Zodiacs will take you for an exhilarating trip to witness this extraordinary phenomenon. Later in the day, you can join our naturalists on an excursion to Cyclone Bay to explore the twisted geological folds of the ancient seabed. (B,L,D)

DAY 12: Nares Point & Crocodile Creek
Just off Koolan Island, this geological finger of sandstone protruding into the ocean provides great opportunities for Zodiac safaris and guided beach walks. Nearby Crocodile Creek defies its name, with several vertical embankments keeping it ,˜crocodile free,™ allowing us to take advantage of the cool freshwater natural swimming pool to relax and beat the Kimberley heat. (B,L,D)

DAY 13-14: Broome, Western Australia/Disembark/U.S.
Disembark in Broome and make your way to the airport for an overnight flight home. (B)

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