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Whales & Reefs


Expedition Cruise 2013 W W W. K I M B E R L E Y W H A L E S . C O M . A U


10 days


6-15 August 2013 19-28 August 2013 Join Kimberley Whale Watching and Kimberley Expeditions for the trip of a lifetime on the rugged and remote Kimberley coast as we explore the Kimberley’s islands and reefs, surrounded by the world’s largest Humpback whale population. The Kimberley coast is a marine area of global importance, recognized as being amongst the 4% least impacted oceans worldwide. Surrounding the thousands of islands that comprise the Buccaneer and Bonaparte Archipelagos are fringing reefs rich in corals and other marine organisms. The outer islands are important breeding grounds for a variety of seabirds and turtles, and the entire area is rich in cetaceans, including the recently discovered

$5,000 per person twin share $5,000 per person twin share Dwarf Spinner dolphin and the elusive Australian Snubfin dolphin. On this voyage of discovery you’ll visit areas rarely visited by other charter boats, including the Lacepede Islands and Adele Island, both significant bird nesting sites, and Camden Sound, recently gazetted as the Kimberley’s first inshore marine park in recognition of its importance as a Humpback whale nursery. You’ll also visit Montgomery Reef, the world’s largest inshore reef, the thrilling Horizontal Waterfalls, Dugong Bay, one of the jewels of the Kimberley coast, and Augustus Island, one of the largest islands on the Kimberley coast.

Whales With an estimated population of between 26,000 and 34,000 whales, Western Austraila’s Humpbacks have staged a magnificent recovery since the last whaling station closed in the late 1970s, when the population reached a critical low of approximately 500 whales. Since the cessation of whaling, the Humpbacks have recovered at a staggering 10% per annum, calving in the Kimberley’s warm, tropical waters and sheltered by the islands and reefs of the Buccaneer Archipelago and the outer shoals. The Kimberley is also home to Indo-Pacific Humpback, Spinner, Dwarf Spinner, Bottlenose and Snubfin dolphins, and Minke, Blue, Sperm and Pilot whales. Travelling through the Humpback whale calving grounds during the peak calving period, you’ll have the opportunity to photograph these magnificent cetaceans as they breach and perform.

Wildlife The Kimberley is home to a diversity of wildlife including the Saltwater or esturine crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), Freshwater crocodiles (Crocodylus johnstonii), goannas and water monitors, nearly 360 species of birds, and a variety of mammals, including the Monjon and Narbalek, both small macropods. Incredibly, there are thought to have been no species extinctions since white man arrived.

Saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus)

Wilderness With nearly 13,000km of coastline, including islands and inlets and 2,633 charted islands, many of them un-named, the Kimberley coast is remote and difficult to access. This is big tide country with one of the greatest tidal ranges in the world. In the Yule Entrance, near the Walcott Inlet, the difference between high and low tide in a 6 hour period on a King tide can be as much as 14.1m. Geologically, the Kimberley is comprised largely of sandstones and siltstones laid down more than 1,800 million years ago, with evidence of massive uplifting and folding, as shown in the dramatic cliffs of Cyclone Creek. Periods of uplifting then led to erosion, and huge intrusions of basalt, particularly around the Mitchell Plateau and Ord River Basin. Dolerite intrusions formed dykes, which are still evident in the King Leopold Ranges Secure Bay, and on various islands along the coast. During these turbulent periods of folding and uplifting, extremes of pressure and heat moulded much of the sandstone into a much harder quartzite material. The small island at the end of Hall Point in Deception Bay is an easily viewed example of geological layering. Almost every island on the Kimberley coast is surrounded by a fringing reef, rich in marine life, and hidden along the coastline are remnant rainforest pockets, the only rainforests in Western Australia, characterized by their closed canopies which shelter an abundance of birdlife.

The Horizontal Waterfalls, Talbot Bay

Marine Life

The Kimberley is rich in marine life, with the greatest diversity of coral species of any area in Western Australia, and a rich assemblage of sponges, sea whips, Gorgonians, sharks, rays and fish. The Kimberley’s reefs are remarkable, both in their diversity, and the ability of the marine life, and corals in particular, to withstand substantial periods of exposure and high temperatures.

Seasnake near Augustus Island

Bailer shell with egg case


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Kimberley coast

August 2013 Day 2

Day 1 8 am pick-up for your transfer to board the vessel Oceania - Onboard you meet our Tour guide and crew who will take you through the events of the next 10 days.  You will receive an interpretive and knowledgeable account of local Whale activity and migratory patterns while recording vital data. Cruise up the Dampier Peninsula past James Price Point, observing & recording our first Humpback Whales, and keep an eye out for the newly discovered Dwarf Spinner Dolphins and Bottlenose dolphins. If the weather is favorable we may be able to anchor and spend the night at the Lacepede Islands. Here we’ll discover the European history and spectacular breeding sea bird colonies

Depart the Lacepedes after an early morning walk in this remarkable seabird nesting ground, and Western Australia’s most important nesting site for Green Turtles. You may see Brown boobies, Lesser Frigate birds, Pelicans, various Terns and Common Noddies.

Brilliant white sand on Silica Beach, near Hidden Island

We’ll then cruise further north past Cape Leveque into the Buccaneer Archipelago, named by Phillip Parker King in honour of William Dampier, a Buccaneer for the king in the late 1700’s. Surrounded by hundreds of beautiful islands. We’ll stop at the top end of Hidden Island on a beautiful silica beach for a squeaky walk in the sands. Some might like to climb the escarpment for an unforgettable view over the islands of the Buccaneer Archipelago. Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster) chicks on the Lacpede Islands

Day 4

Adventurous ones must bring decent foot wear (and a camera). Cruise into Yampi Sound past Koolan Island and its iron ore mine, then into Talbot Bay, home of the Horizontal Waterfalls.

Day 3 If the tides are favorable we’ll explore Turtle Reef, named for the thousands of turtles found on this massive reef system, then explore the power of the tides and the intriguing geology of Cyclone Creek as we cruise though Talbot bay. Whales are rarely sighting in Talbot Bay, however you may see some of the Kimberley’s elusive Snubfin dolphins. Previously known as Irrawaddies, Australian Snubfins were recognised as a separate species in 2005. No trip to the Kimberley is complete without experiencing the Horizontal falls, a spectacular set of pinch rapids. In the afternoon enjoy a freshwater swim in beautiful Dugong Bay, one of the jewels of the Kimberley coast. Watch out for Merten’s Water Monitor and jewel coloured dragonflies around these freshwater waterholes.

Corals line the edge of Montgomery Reef in Collier Bay

An early steam out past the Traverse Island group, where we’ll explore a hidden, watery grotto and some unusual rock formations, then into the heart of whale country in Collier Bay. We’ll enjoy plenty of whale activity today as we cruise to Montgomery Reef and witness this marvel of the Kimberley’s appear as the huge tides recede and the Reef is exposed. We’ll hop into our tenders and explore Turtle Gully looking for sharks, rays, dugongs and turtles. Tonight we’ll anchor in Red Cone Creek, one of the largest mangrove systems in the world. Exploring the mangroves at dusk we’ll look for birds such as the Mangrove Golden Whistler, Mangrove Kingfisher and nesting Brahminy Kites.

Day 5 We’ll steam further into Doubtful Bay and up to the Sale River, lined with impressive sandstone cliffs, where you’ll enjoy an afternoon swim in a shady freshwater pool.

In the afternoon you’ll enjoy a leisurely cruise into Camden Sound, the maternity ward for the Kimberley’s humpback whales where we’ll anchor for the night at Hall Point.

where we’ll enjoy a lovely, freshwater swim before exploring a vast, sandy reef.

Day 8 A relaxing day cruising to Adele Island, through the Kimberley’s outer shoals and reefs, one of the most important Humpback whale calving areas.

Day 6 Up just before dawn this morning for a climb up Hall Point in Camden Sound, where, if you’re lucky, you’ll have an elevated view of whales swimming right past in the Kimberley’s newest marine park. We’ll cruise around Camden Sound, going ashore for a beach walk and enjoy a refreshing swim at Butterfly Gorge, followed by a cruise around the beautiful Wailgwin Islands and a look at the marine life in the Wailgwin Lagoon before anchoring for the night at Wilson Point.

As we near Adele you’ll see flock after flock of seabirds returning to roost on the island. Arriving in the late afternoon, we’ll have drinks and nibbles on a remote shell strewn sandspit. Blue spottedray ribbontail ray (Taeniura lymma) Wailgwin Lagoon

Day 7 Cruise up through Camden Sound past Rice Rocks, where we’ll try our hand at fishing, then up to Augustus Island, one of the largest islands on the Kimberley coast,

Raft Point, Doubtful Bay

Masked boobies (Sula dactylatra) on Adele Island

Day 9 Ashore before high tide to explore a rare jewel, Adele Island, named by French explorer Nicolas Baudin in 1803. A horseshoe shaped low, sandy island, Adele is another important bird nesting site, home to Masked boobies (Sula dactylatra) and other birds, and surrounded by a vast reef system. Depart Adele Island in the evening for a final steam south through the night.

Day 10 A morning cruise down the coast observing & recording whales

The expansive reef surrounding Adele Island

whilst enjoying the contrasting colours of our northern coastal beaches. Returning back to Broome by mid morning, where we say a fond farewell to new friends. Our transfer bus will pick us up from Cable Beach at Gantheaume Point. Please note: This itinerary is subject to change at the discretion of the skipper, depending on weather and tidal conditions. Strong winds, tides and currents may necessitate changes. You will need to have a moderate level of fitness to undertake this tour.

Oceania MV Oceania is a 27m catamaran boasting an exceptional 9m beam. The vessel is fully air-conditioned and sleeps 20 passengers, with 8 shared ablution facilities. She has the capacity to remain at sea for 90 days, with a desalination unit that can produce 5 tonnes of potable water per day, and extensive ship to shore communications. Cruise speed 9.5 knots Top speed 12 knots Facilities include high speed wireless NextG internet throughout the vessel when in NextG range (generally limited to the Dampier Peninsula - very occasional reception offshore). View panorama

Accommodation Bridge deck - 3 double cabins, 6 berth family cabin Main deck - 4 double cabins 1 single berth Each cabin features • Cabins can be either two single beds or Queen configuration • Storage shelves • 240V sockets • Reading lights • Under bed storage • Air-conditioning

About Us Kimberley Whale Watching’s Richard Costin and Annabelle Sandes are naturalists, photographers, film-makers and guides, who have been studying, photographing, filming and researching the distribution and behaviour of the Breeding Stock D, or Group lV population of Humpback whales for the past six years. Richard has an encyclopedic knowledge of the coastline, tides and currents, with many years of experience as a tour director and guide in the charter boat industry. Kimberley Expeditions has been established to provide a realistically priced cruise through our magnificent Kimberley Wilderness. Founded by Nick and Lorie Linton, who have been providing world class Kimberley expeditions for the last 12 years. With a fresh approach and new itinerary you can view all the best of the magnificent kimberley at a reasonable price. 

Tour guide, naturalist and photographer, Richard Costin

The professional and caring crew of the very comfortable 27m catamaran, MV Oceania, are dedicated to showing you the very best the Kimberley has to offer in a safe and relaxed surrounding Kimberley Expeditions is the best valued nature based Australian expedition cruise company, offering Kimberley cruises from Darwin to Broome and Broome to Darwin. Kimberley Expeditions offers its guests a small ship expedition, providing guests aboard the vessel just the right mix of comfort and adventure along with unforgettable locations and scenery for a very affordable price. Experience the cruise of a lifetime....join the Oceania crew and let Nick and Lorie's 12 years of Kimberley Cruising experience show you the best the Kimberley has to offer without the TOP END price tag. Nick Linton, founder of Kimberley Expeditions

Booking Conditions All expeditions and cruises are sold upon the following terms and conditions - Please note that failure to make due payment in respect of bookings or installments shall entitle Odyssey Vessel Management Pty Ltd to cancel a booking. At any time following overdue payment, Odyssey Vessel Management Pty Ltd shall be entitled to consider a booking void and offer the booking to any other interested party. Singles Share Policy - Cabin accommodation is based on double occupancy. If you are traveling alone, a same sex room mate may be assigned to your cabin. Deposit - A completed booking form and a 30% nonrefundable deposit are required to confirm your reservation aboard Oceania. Final Payment - Final Payment is required no later than 60 days prior to departure. Failure to provide final payment 60 days prior to departure will result in cancellation of the booking and forfeiture of any deposit.

Cancellations - If a booking is cancelled less than 60 days prior to departure, or, if a passenger fails to arrive, the total cruise value is forfeited. Odyssey Vessel Management Pty Ltd cannot accept any responsibility for the actions of any carrier that might result in the purchaser failing to observe a booking condition. Odyssey Vessel Management Pty Ltd Charters strongly recommends passengers arrange adequate cancellation insurance . Insurance - Odyssey Vessel Management Pty Ltd strongly recommends passengers arrange adequate comprehensive travel insurance. Liability Conditions - Odyssey Vessel Management Pty Ltd is an adventure travel organization. The nature of cruises offered, means that passengers may encounter physical discomfort and even danger. This being the case, it is expected that every passenger understands and appreciates the risks involved, and is prepared to accept those risks as part of the spirit of the adventure. Odyssey Vessel Management Pty Ltd undertakes to deliver services with all due care however it is intended that passengers accept ultimate responsibility for any damage to or loss of personal property, or any illness, injury, or death.

2013 Kimberley Whales & Reefs Expedition  

Join us in 2013 for a wildilfe cruise on Western Australia's magnificent Kimberley coast as we travel through the breeding grounds for the w...