The Kimberley – Australia’s Hidden Treasure
Australia’s extraordinary Kimberley Coast is one of the world’s last true wilderness areas, and quite unlike anywhere else on the planet.
It’s a destination that in one sense is raw, powerful and invigorating – yet at the same time incredibly tranquil. Somehow, its remoteness and scale doesn’t intimidate, it simply envelopes and energises.
Visiting the Kimberley on a cruise expedition is easily one of the most desired travel experiences in Australia, if not the number-one pick for a bucket list destination.
Traditionally, these barely chartered waters have been explored by longer cruises, however a new trend for snapshot cruising is emerging, still taking in many of the key sites, while making this remote destination more accessible.
Kimberley cruising is typified by small vessels – anywhere from 12 to 200 people on board boats that offer a range of five-star interpretations, from the barefoot luxury of communal breakfasts and beach bonfires to the more upmarket style of pre-dinner deck drinks and canapés.
While standards are high right across the board – think air-conditioned ensuite staterooms, high staff-to-guest ratios, laundry service, divine beverages and culinary flair. It’s interesting how this rugged landscape dictates a refreshing lack of formality.
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the Kimberley is the absence of human touch. With a distinct lack of Wi-Fi, mental pollution evaporates while our smartphones are restricted to photo opportunities allowing us to immerse ourselves in the peace and splendour that this rare occasion presents.
Whilst most cruise ships cover similar itineraries sailing between Broome and Darwin in both directions, seeing another is a rarity, allowing you to feel like the entire region, if not the world, is all yours.
Don’t be fooled by the term expedition. As I quickly discovered, you don’t need to be ‘Dora the Explorer’ to experience the wonder and delight of the magnificent Kimberley Coast.
So, what are you waiting for?
There is nowhere else I’d rather be, nothing else I would prefer to be doing.Tim Winton, Author