York Sound Camden Sound Raft Point Talbot Bay The Gaps Cable Beach Broome Sheep Island PR IN C ER EG EN Mitchell Plateau VE R BER KELEY Bigge Island KIN G Jar Island Curran Point L DRYSDA E RIVER Vansittart Bay GEOR GE RIVER Koolama Bay RI Wyndham TR I VE R SA LE RIVER Doubtful Bay The complete Kimberley adventure: majestic scenery, picturesque beaches, croc spotting, historic legends and a myriad of Top End creatures from both sea and land... 14 day cruise of the Kimberley’s Captain duncan smith’s Mystic Tide itinerary The adventure begins with arrival at Wyndham Airport by charter flight – a small remote community perched at the top end of Australia’s vast Northern Kimberley region. Embark Mystic Tide at the port of Wyndham and after a warm greeting, cool drink and refreshing cold towel we set off for the Berkeley River and our first overnight anchorage. For the early risers and fishing enthusiasts, this will be the first chance “to wet a line” for one of the north’s finest fish, the barramundi. Enjoy a peaceful stroll ashore to a beautiful waterhole before sailing onward to Koolama Bay, our entry to the mighty King George River system and home to the majestic Twin Falls. Depending on the tide, we have a chance to anchor at Tranquil Bay and enjoy what many consider one of the most peaceful and picturesque beaches in the Kimberley. If venturing ashore, look for a variety of birds (including osprey, kites and sea eagles), rock wallabies, dingoes and an interesting collection of shells. Once having crossed the sand bar at the mouth of the King George River, we have the day to explore the river system, including a tributary on the way to Twin Falls, looking out for dugongs. If you’re feeling adventurous, climb one of the rope tracks to the top of the falls for a spectacular view and a fresh water swimming hole at the top. Imagine lunch encircled by 80m sandstone cliffs and listening to the sounds of a 100m high “water feature” whilst dining on locally, fresh-picked rock oysters. Continue cruising late evening to arrive at the Drysdale River. From the sheltered anchorage at Curran Point, we set off to fish and explore the Drysdale River region. Ensured of a great catch, be assured you’re being watched enthusiastically by some of the “prehistoric lizards” that are renowned not just in size, but also reputation in the area. Take a leisurely late afternoon stroll on one of the deserted beaches and enjoy sundowners to the sounds of the variety of birdlife. Cruising onward to Vansittart Bay. A sumptuous breakfast and laughs from last night’s entertainment, before heading off to Jar Island (named by P.P King – an explorer in the region in 1819) and the location of the Bradshaw rock art or Gwion Gwion cave paintings. These artworks reportedly date back to 17,000 years ago, first discovered by Joseph Bradshaw in 1891. The entire bay is lined with coves beckoning further exploration. Part of this includes the chance to visit the site of an intact DC3 aircraft, used as part of Truscott Airbase during WWII. The chance to explore the Mitchell River and waterfalls and take a breathtaking heli-scenic flight over the elevated Mitchell Plateau. Cool yourself off in the inviting waters at Surveyors Creek or continue the quest for that next envious barramundi or mangrove jack. Late afternoon cruise onward to Wary Bay at Bigge Island, Australia’s third largest island, home to more fantastic caves adorned with both historic indigenous Wandjina and Bradshaw art and the mystical Bora rings. On the approach to the bay, keep a keen eye out for humpback whales which frequent the area between the months of July to September. Once on the beach, watch for tracks from adult and hatchling turtles, echidna, dingo, monjon (rock wallaby), crocodiles and hermit crabs. Anchorage overnight is in the sheltered waters of York Sound. This area is arguably the most scenic along the Kimberley Coast with steep, rusty cliffs and deep, green rainforest. Nearby is the Hunter River system, including the gorgeous walk to towering Donkin’s Falls. Smattered with an array of flora and fauna, interesting rock formations and beautiful Naturalist Island with its endless white sand beach, clear waters and the perfect location for a remote beach BBQ. After the overnight anchorage in York Sound it’s a short breakfast sail to Careening Bay, site of an ancient boab tree, first visited in 1820 by Phillip King whilst ‘careening’ his vessel, the HMC Mermaid. After 19 days ashore working on much needed repairs, King and his crew decided to carve their stay into the trunk of the tree, which at that point was recorded with a 8.8m girth – today it stands at over 12.5m. On the other side exists another carving which may be from Macassan visitors. Late afternoon cruise to the entrance to the Prince Regent River. With the yacht anchored in St. George Basin, overlooking great views of Mt. Trafalgar and Mt. Waterloo, take the tender up the swirling Prince Regent river, croc spotting and showering under the majestic Kings Cascades. If the tide allows, sailing further up the river to Cathedral Falls, with its multitude of freshwater pools. On the way back, stop at Camp Creek freshwater area and waterfalls for a traditional picnic of damper and tea. For those feeling less active on the day, enjoy the total surrounds amidst the comfort of Mystic Tide and fishing right off the back deck. After the peaceful anchorage of Doubtful Bay, an early departure for Red Cone Falls and a chance for keen anglers to fish for golden snapper, mangrove jack, estuary cod and threadfin salmon. Good mudcrabbing can be found in the many mangrove creeks, but keep a wary eye for the very healthy population of large estuarine crocodiles keen to feed on your spoils – it’s quite common to have 3m ‘residents’ swimming around the vessel at anchor and especially towards the head of the falls. Lunch underway and a short cruise past Steep Island and onto Raft Point. This is home to some wonderful life-size examples of Wandjina style rock art that depicts the story of the clan’s “Great Fish Chase” and its place in their traditional roots. A somewhat challenging walk well rewarded for your efforts. Enjoy an early arrival to picturesque Talbot Bay with its varying colours and landforms. “The Gaps” or Horizontal Waterfalls are a highlight of any Kimberley adventure and a genuine attribute to the volume of water that passes with each tide and the unique feature it creates. Enjoy a visit to the Talbot Bay Pearl Farm for a stunning memento or just a brief introduction into this lucrative but lesser known industry. Local swimming holes include Crocodile Creek at the base of the falls and the “Hole in the Wall” for a photo opportunity. A chance late afternoon walk to caress your feet with the pure white sand of Silica Beach and with drink in hand, toast your complete Kimberley adventure so few will ever have the privilege to experience. After an overnight steam, the sun rises over the backdrop of Cable Beach as you head toward the port of Broome – home to a small resident fishing fleet, a beautiful resort and the region’s best airport for destinations both domestically or by charter flight overseas. Awake to Camden Sound – the area has been recognised as a breeding area for humpback whales and hosts the largest known population in season. Other resident mammals include blue whales, pigmy and pilot whales and large schools of bottlenose dolphins. The harbour is site to a failed government re-settlement in the 1860s and relics of the camp and a plaque are still present. On Sheep Island, marked by an interesting boab, we can pay our respects to the headstone of Mary Pascoe – the region’s first European settler buried in the Kimberley – and try to imagine the adversity the first pioneers faced. Slightly offshore we encounter Montgomery Reef, a 400sq km reef structure submerged at HW and exposed at low, and the spectacular array of sea life that “cascades” off the reef with the movement of water. Expect to see manta rays, species of turtles, dugong, whales and countless species of fish supported by this ecosystem. Onto the nearby Sale River for the afternoon and an exhilarating tender ride to take a closer look at the red sandstone landscape before walking amongst the Sale River rainforest environment. Fishing around the river is competitive and well worth the challenge. Mystic Tide, is a state-of-the-art expedition ‘go anywhere’ yacht; 1 x master suite with king bed, private outdoor deck, ensuite marble bathroom, 2 x queen cabins (two cabins convert to twins) each with ensuite bathroom, 1 x double cabin, with ensuite bathroom This sample 14 day itinerary can easily be shortened or lengthened. Maximum of 8 guests.
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