12 Jan Why Cruising the Kimberley is a Once-in-a-lifetime Experience
The Kimberley is a truly unique travel destination – one which is hard to imagine unless you have witnessed it for yourself. Our Senior Cruise Specialist, Ross Quigly, recounts his experience of this magical place.
“I wonder what the rest of the world is doing on their Tuesday afternoon?” one of the passengers in our helicopter Skyped through their headset. “Is it Tuesday?” was another response. “And exactly what ‘rest of the world’ is that anyway?” she joked.
Our group of flight-seeing enthusiasts gazed to the west from a thousand or so feet up to soak in the vista of the sunset – now deep blood orange – closing yet another spectacular Kimberley day. So if you’re thinking of really getting ‘a world away’ from it all, the border to another world starts in Western Australia.
I have been fortunate to cruise in some of the greatest scenic locations the world has on offer: Chile, New Zealand, the Norwegian Fjords, Halong Bay in Vietnam, and Antarctica to name but a few. It was not until I cruised into the Kimberley coastal region for the seasons of 2005/6 that I truly realised the meaning of Australia being ‘the lucky country’. Admittedly, I was travelling in style with North Star cruises aboard their flagship, The True North.
Spanning over 400,000 square kilometres, the Kimberley is very much Australia’s last frontier. Whilst on a two-week sailing itinerary covering the region’s most scenic pocket – the coastline – it is unlikely that your vessel would pass 3 or 4 others. Imagine for up to a week at a time, you and your travelling companions are the only occupants of this ancient land, now your private pre-historic playground.
There are many reasons people answer the call of the Kimberley. For some, it’s the world class angling opportunities, with waters brimming with Barra and other prized variety of fish. For others, it’s the simple appreciation of some of the most pristine, rugged and remote scenery on the planet. Bushwalking to billabongs and exploring the countless cascading waterfalls is definitely a highlight for many. And for some it’s the opportunity to make real discoveries, in the true sense of the word – to sight Wandjina or Bradshaw art panels rarely or perhaps never seen before by non-Indigenous eyes. One thing is true for all – The Kimberley guarantees to impress.
I was fortunate to revisit the Kimberley and was very happy to see that little had changed since I left the region. Whilst accompanying a small group, it brought me great pleasure to witness the joy it brings people for so many different reasons. The term ‘kids in a candy store’ often sprang to mind when observing my enthusiastic travelling companions.
For the fortunate guests of The True North, the ability to also see the region from the cabin of their on-board helicopter adds a complete extra dimension to the Kimberley experience. Imagine flying into secluded billabongs with fishing rods strapped to the skids, a couple of mates… and don’t forget the chef. It’s once-in-a-lifetime experiences like these that have True North guests leaving with the ‘best holiday I’ve ever had!’ phrase often offered as feedback when stepping from the gangway after their cruise concludes.
There are many ways to see the Kimberley by both land and sea. In my book, however, unless roughing it over vast distances to see limited highlights is your cup of tea, cruising the Kimberley is the way to go. 2015 is already shaping up as a bumper year with many operators having their early dates almost sold out. Whilst there are some deals coming from operators on late September dates, given the strong sales of 2015, discounting is less applicable to this region and cruise style than larger ships in less remote regions.
At 1300 Cruise, we are pleased to be able to deliver some fantastic, exclusive deals, some of which will save you thousands. These relate to the Silver Discoverer and The True North, to name just a few. Call us on our toll free line of 1300 278 473 for further details on our fantastic offers.
There are so many important factors to take into account to ensure your Kimberley getaway is the best option to suit your individual needs and taste. With eight vessels to choose from, understanding the finer details of room and vessel choice, inclusions of your fare, seasonality and how to guarantee the very best fare are all key points to consider to ensure you receive the very best value for your getaway. Our professional advisers can provide the information you need to ensure your getaway is truly once-in-a-lifetime.
Ross @ Team 1300 Cruise