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Witness unique tidal phenomena such as the Horizontal Falls. • Encounter ... published in a long list of travel and ... Lacepedes, Montgomery Reef, Horizontal.
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THE KIMBERLEY, Western Australia.

This wild land of spectacular scenery is one of the world’s last great Wilderness areas. At 424,517km², it is twice the size of Victoria, two-thirds the size of France, yet there is only one sealed road traversing the region… It is an ancient land built on 1.8 billion year old sandstone that has been uplifted, contorted and eroded to form spectacular gorges, desolate mountains and magnificent waterfalls. Here is a living indigenous culture dating back more than 40,000 years, and Australia’s oldest rock art galleries contained within the rocky outcrops. The isolated coastline boasts more than 2,633 islands, extensive mangrove forests, wild rivers and important seabird breeding colonies. It is a national biodiversity hotspot listed in the top 3.7% of least impacted marine environments worldwide. YOUR COMPLETE KIMBERLEY EXPEDITION WITH PONANT • Experience a refined adventure on board L’Austral, 132 staterooms & suites, 95% with private balcony: French lifestyle, unique comfort & service, Open Bar, Sophisticated Cuisine & Fine Wines, and the facilities of a 5-star yacht including a pool • Join our highly qualified local expedition team • Enjoy regular Zodiac® outings & shore visits to get close to Kimberley nature • Discover billions of years-old landscapes & ancient rock art • Listen to stories of the dreamtime from the oldest continuous culture on the planet • Explore pristine mangrove environments, home to the world’s largest living reptile • Witness unique tidal phenomena such as the Horizontal Falls • Encounter the world’s largest population of migrating humpback whales • Travel on the most environmentally sustainable vessel in the region, certified “Green ship”

YOUR EXPEDITION TEAM Each voyage is accompanied by 12 Expedition Guides. Travelling with a team of renowned anthropologists, marine biologists, historians, botanists, geologists, naturalists and ornithologists, enables you to gain a greater understanding of the destination, for a rewarding and memorable experience. Selected for their knowledge and expertise, they enhance your experience on board and in the field, providing fascinating lectures and valuable insight into the Kimberley culture, history and wildlife. Each journey is different, planned daily by the Expedition team and ship’s Captain to take advantage of the local conditions. Accompanied by our regional experts, enjoy regular commentated Zodiac outings and discover the Kimberley hidden treasures.

MARK “HARRY” CHRISTENSEN Harry is a Marine Biologist with extensive experience in educating people about Indo-Pacific Coral Reef biodiversity. For over 25 years, he has provided educational programs to visitors in many regions including the Kimberley, and also led several Expeditions in this area. His passion is based on watching Malcolm Douglas adventures throughout this rugged & remote coastline. He says “I love the contrast of the red colour of ancient Kimberley sandstone, the greens of the woodlands & mangroves, all set upon cloudless blue skies. It gets into your blood. When I am in the Kimberley, I am at home; when not, I crave to return.”

MICK FOGG, EXPEDITION LEADER As an award-winning wildlife photographer and adventurer, Mick has spent the past 17 years leading expeditions and photographing some of the world’s most remote destinations from Antarctica to South East Asia. He has contributed to articles on the Kimberley to newspapers and magazines around the world. His photographs have been published in a long list of travel and natural history publications. Mick joined PONANT in 2014 as Expedition Manager Asia Pacific, bringing his years of experience in itinerary design and operation. Having led more than 120 expeditions through the Kimberley, he will be the perfect Expedition Leader.

MARK WATSON Mark has been working as a Naturalist & Field Guide for more than 20 years. After watching a Malcom Douglass documentary on the Kimberley, he packed his bags, landing a job as a Ranger at El Questro Wilderness Park. He immediately loved the rugged rusty ranges and the wildlife the Kimberley offers. He also worked on the pearl farms along the Kimberley coast and as an Adventure Guide, leading exclusive tours to inland gorges looking for ancient rock art. Mark looks forward to sharing his experience, passion and knowledge of this vast land, with all of PONANT guests.

DARRIN BENNETT Darrin has spent over 15 years working in Lands, Parks & Wildlife Management in NT. He worked as an Ecotourism Officer & Guide at the famous El Questro Wilderness Park in WA and and as a key Expedition team member, leading groups throughout many tropical and temperate regions but nowhere draws him back like the Kimberley. He says “There is no place like it. The isolation of this ancient landscape re-energizes the mind, body and soul. Incredible geological landscapes, beautiful turquoise waters, iron stained sandstone, tidal movement, amazing flora and fauna, incredible rock art… That is what the Kimberley means to me.”

BRAD SIVIOUR Brad gained degrees in both Marine Biology and Ecotourism and has since been working as a naturalist, guiding people through some of the most remote regions on the planet. 4 years ago, he joined the world of Expedition cruising as a naturalist, lecturer and marine biologist in many regions including the Kimberley. Brad enjoys passing on his extensive knowledge to guests about the Kimberley’s abundant wildlife, dramatic landscape and extraordinary tidal changes. He says “The diversity there is incredible, every voyage brings something new. My favourite place: King George River, its ruby sunsets, rugged cliffs and unique wildlife.”



Arafura Sea






L’Austral : 132 staterooms & suites

DARWIN Koolama Bay and King George River & Falls

Vansittart Bay Timor Sea

Swift Bay Hunter River & Mitchell Falls Freshwater Cove Montgomery Reef

Buccaneer archipelago The Lacepede Islands


Talbot Bay and Horizontal Falls


Iconic Kimberley

Jewels of the Kimberley





- AUGUST 12 2017 TH

EXPEDITION CRUISE: 11 DAYS / 10 NIGHTS DAY ITINERARY 1 2-3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11



Darwin Embarkation from 16.00 to 17.00 Koolama Bay and King George River & Falls Vansittart Bay Hunter River & Mitchell Falls Freshwater Cove Montgomery Reef Talbot Bay and Horizontal Falls Buccaneer archipelago The Lacepede Islands Broome Disembarkation. 08.00



DAY ITINERARY 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9-10 11


Darwin Embarkation from 15.00 to 16.00 Vansittart Bay Hunter River & Mitchell Falls Freshwater Cove The Lacepede Islands Montgomery Reef Talbot Bay and Horizontal Falls Swift Bay Koolama Bay and King George River & Falls Darwin Disembarkation. 08.00


Our Kimberley voyages are true expeditions, where each day’s stops and activities will be determined by the Expedition Leader and Captain taking into account the tide, weather and sea conditions.

Prestige Stateroom - Deck 4 Prestige Stateroom - Deck 5 Prestige Stateroom - Deck 6 Deluxe Suite Prestige Suite - Deck 5 Prestige Suite - Deck 6 Owner Suite 3rd adult Passenger in a Superior Stateroom 3rd and 4th adult Passenger in a Prestige Suite One Child (8-11 years old) (1) Individual stateroom rate Additional safety and port taxes

5 980 6 460 6 980 7 180 7 400 10 370 14 370 14 810 22 640 2 990 7 180 Consult us




8 550 9 230 9 970 10 270 10 580 14 810 20 540 21 160 22 640 4 270 10 270


Deluxe Stateroom Prestige Stateroom - Deck 4 Prestige Stateroom - Deck 5 Prestige Stateroom - Deck 6 Deluxe Suite Prestige Suite - Deck 5 Prestige Suite - Deck 6 Owner Suite 3rd adult Passenger in a Superior Stateroom 3rd and 4th adult Passenger in a Prestige Suite One Child (8-11 years old) (1) Individual stateroom rate Additional safety and port taxes

* The Ponant Bonus is subject to availability and can change without notice. Details on pricing and conditions available on (1) One child sharing a cabin with 2 adults.

Up to


CRUISE (10 nights on board) Superior Stateroom



Deluxe Stateroom

Up to


CRUISE (10 nights on board) Superior Stateroom




8 550 9 230 9 970 10 270 10 580 14 810 20 540 21 160 22 640 4 270 10 270

5 980 6 460 6 980 7 180 7 400 10 370 14 370 14 810 22 640 2 990 7 180 Consult us


Scouting the Kimberley by helicopter and sea plane in 2004 is as vivid as the memory of operating the first Luxury Expedition Cruise into this magnificent part of Australia in 2005. I am excited to be travelling back to one of the most pristine wilderness areas on this planet, with many new ports to explore and discover. Doing this with friends makes it just that more exciting. We have specifically included new destinations like Freshwater Cove, Swift Bay, and Koolama Bay along with our favourites - Vansittart, Hunter River, Lacepedes, Montgomery Reef, Horizontal Falls, King George Falls. Naturally, we will have a few surprises along the way, and if time permits, I hope you can join us at a gala event in Darwin the night before we depart. As an Australian, I feel so proud of the Kimberley region, and being able to share this with as many people as possible, knowing that we do so responsibly, with the utmost of marine, environmental and technical capability and know how. Come join me and re-live, or experience for the first time, this ancient land. Sarina Bratton AM Chairman Asia Pacific



Jar Island contains ancient rock art galleries depicting the Gwion Gwion style unique to the Kimberley region. These extremely ornamented naturalistic human figures characteristically seem to float across the sandstone rock faces of innumerable galleries. Often a dark mulberry hue, they are stained indelibly into the rock surface forming a negative-like image devoid of pigment, indicating great age which may extend back over 30,000 years. These are the oldest detailed depictions of human figures in the world, their array of ornaments, weapons & accruements provides a fascinating insight into a rich early culture.

The Bonaparte Archipelago is a maze of islands, inlets, peninsulas and rivers. Its colour and scale conspire to take ones breath away. Its distant location has meant it has remained an unspoilt and remarkably pristine location to explore and experience. The ‘T’ shaped bay is composed of heavily fractured sandstone providing an abundance of rock shelters. On the walls of these shelters are examples of both Wandjina and Gwion Gwion style rock art. Activities: Short walk to multiple caves and overhangs containing fine examples of both Gwion Gwion and Wandjina style art.

Activities: Short and relatively easy walk to overhangs and caves that display Gwion Gwion rock art.

PRINCE FREDERICK HARBOUR & THE HUNTER RIVER One of the most scenic parts of the Kimberley coast, Prince Frederick Harbour and Hunter River are lined with ancient rainforest pockets, pristine mangroves and mosaic sandstone cliffs. The sandstone escarpment at the river mouth, known as “kampamantiya”, rises over 200m before giving way to extensive mud banks and mangrove forests lining the Hunter River and tributaries. Guarding the entrance to the river is “Wunumpurramarra”, also known as Naturalists Island. From the beach, helicopters depart for the flight to the Mitchell Plateau. Activities: : Zodiac tours of the Hunter River and Porosus creek to discover their mangroves, geology, crocodiles and bird life • Optional helicopter tour to Mitchell Falls and the Mitchell River.

KING GEORGE RIVER & FALLS The 80m high sides of the gorge display varying degrees of weathering, the colours and textures of the gorge changing as you travel up the river. Reds, pinks and orange hues, together with weathering and erosion patterns, provide continually changing breathtaking scenery that culminates at the King George twin falls, the highest single drop falls in the Kimberley. For many, the highlight of their Kimberley experience. Activities: Tender or Zodiac tour to the falls to learn about the geological formations and wildlife of the gorge • For guests with very high levels of fitness, hiking to the top of the falls to enjoy views and a refreshing swim.

MITCHELL PLATEAU & FALLS OPTIONAL TOUR Mitchell River National Park lies in some of the most inaccessible country in Australia. The river carves gorges & waterfalls into the underlying sandstone, particularly along the margins of the Mitchell Plateau, one of the most scenic & biologically important areas of the state. Small patches of rainforest grow around and up to 50 mammal species, 220 bird species & 86 kinds of reptiles & amphibians occur in the area. The National Park is part of the traditional lands of the Worrora, Wunambal-Gaambera & Ngarinyin tribes.

THE LACEPEDE ISLANDS They are a group of four islands, all small, low spits of coarse sand and coral rubble, lying on top of a 180ha platform reef. An A Class Nature Reserve, they are WA’s most important breeding habitat for Green Turtles and have been named by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area because they support over 1% of the world populations of Brown Boobies and Roseate Terns. Other birds include Masked Boobies, Australian Pelicans, Lesser Frigate birds, Eastern Reef Egrets, Silver Gulls, Crested, Bridled and Lesser Crested Terns, Common Noddies, and Pied and Sooty Oystercatchers. Activities: Zodiac expedition in and around the islands to view the prolific birdlife.

Activities: Helicopter 20min scenic flight to Mitchell Plateau, with local experienced pilots commentary, followed by 50min to explore the area or take a refreshing dip in Surveyor’s Pool.

KOOLAMA BAY Koolama Bay has historic significance as a WWII site, indicating the strategic significance of shipping and the north-west port of Wyndham. It is the site of the first aerial attack by Japanese forces in the Kimberley area. The MV Koolama stranding site and survivor camp at Koolama Bay and Pangali Cove is significant to the Kwini people who helped the 180 passengers and crew reach safety. Activities: Short walk in Pangali cove through mangroves and across a shallow creek to the site of the Koolama survivors’ camp • Wind, tides and time permitting, a short Zodiac tour will be proposed.

HORIZONTAL FALLS, TALBOT BAY Talbot Bay is defined by stunning geological features including the “Horizontal Waterfalls” and the dramatic, vertiginous cliffs of Cyclone Creek: an iconic location, one of the premier attractions of the West Kimberley. The Horizontal Waterfalls are a pair of stunning breaks in the McLarty Range, with massive tidal differences of up to 10.8m. They are created as seawater builds up faster on one side of the gaps than the other, creating a waterfall up to 4m high on a King tide and vast tidal whirlpools on the outgoing side. Activities: Zodiac expedition to view the Horizontal Falls and surrounding geological features • Optional “fast boat” ride through the falls.

BUCCANEER ARCHIPELAGO The Buccaneer Archipelago is outstanding in the global context. Approximately 1,800 million years ago the Kimberley basin collided with the Australian land mass, causing massive heating and generating extensive folding and buckling of the sedimentary rocks. Approximately 550 million years ago a series of ‘wrench faults’ occurred. Such was the force of pressure the horizontal sandstone strata have been bent 45-90 degrees in some areas. Yampi Sound activities: Zodiac expedition to view amazing geological features and maybe spot Australian humpbacked dolphins and the elusive snubfin dolphin. Silica Bay activities: Enjoy swimming crystal clear shallow waters

FRESHWATER COVE, COLLIER BAY Freshwater Cove lies in the heartland of Worrorra country, a unique opportunity to hear the stories of the Lalai (creation). Worrorra are a proud people that have returned to their country after being displaced during WWII. Along with the Ngarinyin and Wunambal tribes, they are part of the shared Wandjina culture and belief system. Wijingarra Bard Bard is home to a number of significant rock art galleries. Activities: Traditional ochre “Welcome to Country”, introduction to the area and cultural history of Wijingarra Bard Bard • Guided bush walk to the various sites in the area, including cyclone cave.

MONTGOMERY REEF, COLLIER BAY The tidal movements here are the third largest tidal range on the planet. Montgomery Reef is a spectacular example of the impact of these tides as the entire reef appears to rise from the ocean on a falling tide, a torrent of water cascading off the top, due to the tide dropping faster than the waters trapped on top of the reef can escape. At just under 400km2 it is Australia’s largest inshore reef. To the east, are the High Cliffy Islands, once home to the Yawijibaya people, who lived there for almost 7,000 years yet disappeared without trace or explanation. Activities: Zodiac expedition to the exposed reef to witness the amazing tide-induced phenomena.

Exceptional destinations, refined luxury, gastronomic cuisine and a French crew: come aboard our five-star yachts and enjoy the unique experience of a PONANT cruise.


INFORMATION AND RESERVATIONS Australia: 1300 737 178 • New Zealand: 0800 44 32 62

[email protected] Or contact your Travel Agent

Ground floor, 3 Eden Street, North Sydney NSW 2060 AUSTRALIA ABN: 35 166 676 517.

Photographs, all rights reserved: PONANT - Mick Fogg - Michael Corbett - Eva Robert - Eric Laignel. Non contractual document and photos. The photos used in this brochure are only possible experiences and therefore can not be guaranteed. Pricing based on a double occupancy, and correct at the time of printing. The Ponant Bonus is subject to availability and can change without notice. Details on pricing and conditions available on