Broome (Kimberley) to Darwin

Overview

Departs Duration Sail From Ship
29th July 2024 10 Nights Broome, Australia Silver Cloud
CRUISE LINE Silversea

Cruise

Date
Port
Arrive
Depart
29.07.24
Broome, Australia
16:30

Gateway to the oldest and most elusive of all Australia’s nine regions, Broome is where your Kimberley adventure begins. The ancient landscape has long held travellers spellbound: The Kimberley is three time larger than England but has a population of just 35,000, is over 65,000 years old and is home to 2,000 km of coastline. Almost impenetrable, incredibly remote, the red baked earth, prolific wildlife, majestic canyons and swimming holes are the stuff of Australian wilderness dreams.

English explorer William Dampier was the first explorer to set foot in Broome in 1668. However, the land had long been used as a trading route between east and west Kimberley for Aboriginal families. These semi-nomadic tribes respected strict unwritten rules regarding ownership of the land. The Yawuru people remain the Native Title holders for the township of Broome to this day. Broome itself has over 84 Aboriginal communities affiliated to it, 78 of which are considered remote. The city grew from its nascent pearling industry of the late 19th century. Pearl diving was dangerous in the waters surrounding Broome and for many years divers were limited to Aboriginal slaves, skin divers who faced cyclones, sharks, crocodiles, ear and chest infections in order to bring up as many pearl shells as possible for their masters. Natural pearls were rare and extremely valuable, and when found, were placed in a locked box. At the peak of its industry, around 1914, Broome was responsible for 80% of the world’s pearl trade.

30.07.24
Buccaneer Archipelago

Set off the coast of Western Australia, the Buccaneer Archipelago is one of the Kimberley’s finest secrets. The Archipelago, 50 k2 (19 sq mi), is made up of around 800 islands and protect the mainland from the huge 12 metre tides and astonishing speed of the Yampi (or, in traditional Aborigine, “Yampee”) Sound. The speed and power of the water many not make for pleasant bathing, but do however result in fantastic natural phenomena. One fine example is the horizontal reversible waterfall in Talbot Bay.

The tidal pull is responsible for the “reversible” nature of the falls, however, this also hides narrow gaps between the islands, making for treacherous sailing conditions. Isolated graves of sailors and divers are testimony to the danger. William Dampier sighted the Archipelago in 1688 but it would not be until 1821 that the Archipelago would become known as Buccaneer (a term coined by Captain Phillip Parker King) “in commemoration of William Dampier’s visit to this part of the coast “. Commander John Lort Stokes also noted the area in his 1838 record. Enterprising individuals were initially attracted to the Buccaneer Archipelago in the 1800s due to the superior pearling as well as the rich iron ore deposits. Pearling conducted by luggers in the 1880s was concentrated in Cygnet Bay, Cascade Bay, Cone Bay and Strickland Bay. More recently, mining operators established open-cut mines on Koolan Island on the east side of the Sound. Some of the richest iron ore in the world is extracted here to this day.

31.07.24
Buccaneer Archipelago

Set off the coast of Western Australia, the Buccaneer Archipelago is one of the Kimberley’s finest secrets. The Archipelago, 50 k2 (19 sq mi), is made up of around 800 islands and protect the mainland from the huge 12 metre tides and astonishing speed of the Yampi (or, in traditional Aborigine, “Yampee”) Sound. The speed and power of the water many not make for pleasant bathing, but do however result in fantastic natural phenomena. One fine example is the horizontal reversible waterfall in Talbot Bay.

The tidal pull is responsible for the “reversible” nature of the falls, however, this also hides narrow gaps between the islands, making for treacherous sailing conditions. Isolated graves of sailors and divers are testimony to the danger. William Dampier sighted the Archipelago in 1688 but it would not be until 1821 that the Archipelago would become known as Buccaneer (a term coined by Captain Phillip Parker King) “in commemoration of William Dampier’s visit to this part of the coast “. Commander John Lort Stokes also noted the area in his 1838 record. Enterprising individuals were initially attracted to the Buccaneer Archipelago in the 1800s due to the superior pearling as well as the rich iron ore deposits. Pearling conducted by luggers in the 1880s was concentrated in Cygnet Bay, Cascade Bay, Cone Bay and Strickland Bay. More recently, mining operators established open-cut mines on Koolan Island on the east side of the Sound. Some of the richest iron ore in the world is extracted here to this day.

01.08.24
Hunter River

The Hunter River is home to an immense mangrove system surrounded by soaring red sandstone cliffs. Narrow mangrove channels shelter numerous bird species, mudskippers, fiddler crabs and the infamous saltwater crocodile; the most aggressive crocodile species known to man. Naturalist Island at the mouth of the river has a stunning stretch of sandy beach that makes a perfect landing site for small helicopters that can pick up visitors wishing to explore some of the Kimberley’s vast interior. View less

The highlight inland is the famous Mitchell Falls where four tiers of waterfalls plunge into deep pools that flow out into the mighty Mitchell River. The headwaters of the falls are cool and a dip in the fresh water is a welcome reprieve from the heat of the heartland.

02.08.24
Hunter River

The Hunter River is home to an immense mangrove system surrounded by soaring red sandstone cliffs. Narrow mangrove channels shelter numerous bird species, mudskippers, fiddler crabs and the infamous saltwater crocodile; the most aggressive crocodile species known to man. Naturalist Island at the mouth of the river has a stunning stretch of sandy beach that makes a perfect landing site for small helicopters that can pick up visitors wishing to explore some of the Kimberley’s vast interior. View less

The highlight inland is the famous Mitchell Falls where four tiers of waterfalls plunge into deep pools that flow out into the mighty Mitchell River. The headwaters of the falls are cool and a dip in the fresh water is a welcome reprieve from the heat of the heartland.

03.08.24
King George River
04.08.24
Wyndham,Western Australia
07:00
17:00

Wyndham is a small settlement with the spirit of a Kimberley outback township. It was established in 1886 with the Halls Creek gold rush and sits on the Cambridge Gulf where several rivers converge. Today Wyndham has a population of roughly 900 people and operates largely as a port exporting cattle, servicing the mining industry and hosting a few small ships. For these vessels Wyndham is a gateway to the breathtaking Bungle Bungle mountain range and the nearby Ord River. View less

The Bungle Bungle Mountains in Purnululu National Park are now a World Heritage Site. In excess of 350 million years have shaped geological formations of giant orange and black striped domes rising out of the ground into a landscape unlike any other. Known to the local Aboriginal people for thousands of years, the Bungles were only discovered by the outside world in the mid-1980s. Conversely, cruising the peaceful and tree-lined Ord River is a chance to look for freshwater crocodiles, fruit bats, short-eared rock wallabies and a variety of birds, including Mangrove Herons and Mangrove Gerygones. Please note: All destinations on voyages in the Kimberley region, and the order in which they are visited, are subject to tidal variations and weather conditions.

05.08.24
At Sea
06.08.24
Matakus Island
12:30
19:30

The eastern part of Indonesia is a true paradise on Earth. Home to countless beautiful, unexplored destinations that have not enjoyed the tourism boom that many other parts of the country have. Matakus Island is one such destination. This makes it a perfect place for those who have a sense of adventure and truly want to explore off the beaten path. Matakus is a small island and part of the Tanimbar archipelago. View less At just over two miles in length and less than a mile across, it is one of the smaller islands but, despite its small size, its proximity to the regional capital city of Saumlaki just to the north ensures that the island is inhabited (current population 100). The tourism infrastructure is practically inexistent, so don’t expect to be souvenir shopping here – ordering a lunch of delicious freshly caught and grilled fish from one of the local fishermen that line the shore is about the maximum! The island is surrounded by fine, white-sand beaches and is a marine paradise, with fields of staghorn coral and schools of cardinalfish visible in its crystal clear waters. Grab your underwater cameras and snorkels and dive in! Wildlife is not limited to below the water however. Birds including the Tanimbar starling, Moluccan masked owl, Fawn-breasted thrush and Blue-streaked lorry all call the island home.

07.08.24
At Sea
08.08.24
Darwin, Australia
08:30

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