Small Ship Cruises
Australia | Kimberley Coast | Adults Only
Billabong: a branch of a river forming a stagnant pool, perfect for swimming
8 days / 7 nights
Activity Level Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.
The Kimberley Coastline is truly one of the world’s last great wilderness areas. Explore secluded beaches and river inlets – waters famous for an abundance of diverse wildlife. See spectacular waterfalls and awe-inspiring gorges, ancient cultural history, and indigenous rock art. Featuring several Kimberley icons including King George Falls, Hunter River, Prince Regent Falls, Montgomery Reef, and Horizontal Falls, this ultimate wilderness cruise exhibits a fine blend of adventure, luxury, and service. This single-week voyage from Broome to Windham takes place on one of the finest adventure cruise ships in the world! Experience hidden oases, lush rainforests, and breathtaking waterfalls on this eight-day Australian cruise through the waterways of Kimberley. Ultimate comfort and luxury are yours to indulge as you sail the coast of Australia’s northwest.
- Enjoy an incredible helicopter trip and thrilling tender (small motorboat) ride through the Horizontal Falls, a natural phenomenon where tidal pools move quickly through two narrow, close-set gorges giving the appearance of a horizontal waterfall
- Marvel at some of the oldest art in the world, “The Bradshaws,” a group of traditional cave paintings with mysterious origins
- Try your hand at mud crabbing in the pristine Hunter River and take a refreshing dip in a secluded billabong
- Hike (or helicopter) to the top of King George Falls and reward yourself with stunning vistas
- Sip on a scintillating glass of Australian wine as you watch the sunset from one of the ship’s observations lounges
Austin Adventures is proudly offering this trip in conjunction with True North Adventure Cruises. TNAC is one of the world’s most unique adventure cruise operators and the winner of numerous awards for excellence including the National Tourism Awards & WA Tourism Awards. As an undisputed market leader, TNAC offers activity-based itineraries specially designed for the most discerning adventurer. Pioneering luxury- adventure-cruising along the Kimberley coast more than 30 years ago, other companies cannot equal their experience and knowledge. With TNAC’s legendary and authentic service, they welcome only 36 guests, and an Australian crew uniquely chaperones your every experience ensuring their renowned reputation for attention to detail. TNAC wants to ensure that your next vacation is “the best holiday you have ever had!”
A few more reasons why you've gotta go:
The stars: For all of our stargazing travelers, in ideal conditions in remote parts Australia, the naked eye can see about 5,780 stars at night.
The wildlife: Australia has 6,000 species of flies, 4,000 species of ants, and 350 species of termites. Watch out!
Who doesn't love a little extra breathing room? Population density in Australia is calculated in square kilometers per person and not people per square kilometers.
Broome, Australia BME
Wyndham, Western Australia or Kununurra, Western Australia WYN or KNX
Broome / Yampi Sound
Your “welcome aboard” the magnificent True North is in the pearling port of Broome. Embarkation is at 5:00 PM – time for a cocktail with your fellow adventurers before departing at approximately 6:30 PM. Dinner is served shortly after leaving port for the overnight cruise to Yampi.
About the MV True North
The True North allows discerning adventurers to experience wilderness in surroundings more akin to one of the world’s most exclusive hotels! Guests are able to take advantage of a number of lavish vantage points including a sundeck, a forward observation lounge, a ship’s lounge, and an alfresco bar. The ship’s naturalist presents interpretative information on plasma screens and an internet cafe enables convenient communication with the outside world.
A popular venue on any North Star cruise, the lower deck dining room offers the ultimate in comfort and uninterrupted vista, large panoramic windows ensure that guests never miss any of the action, even when they are enjoying the finest in fine dining. All cabins feature stylish decor, en-suite facilities, in-house entertainment, and satellite telephones. The Explorer Class staterooms and the River Class cabins offer king-size beds that can be converted to singles and the Ocean Class twins feature roomy single beds.
Multiple expedition boats provide guests with greater opportunity to do what they want when they want,” and to add yet another dimension to adventure, your cruise features an onboard helicopter! The purpose behind building the True North was to allow guests to explore the upper reaches of shallow river systems. You only need to step out of your cabin to experience wilderness, and the latest in computer-controlled motion stabilizers ensures a comfortable ride.
You may choose between 3 types of cabins:
- Explorer Class Stateroom: Located on the upper deck, Explorer Class cabins feature a king-size double (that can be converted to singles) and a twin basin en-suite. The cabin size is 50 square feet. Other features include large panoramic windows, amenities fridge, in-cabin entertainment, and satellite telephone.
- River Class Double: Located on the middle deck River Class cabins feature a king-size double (that can be converted into singles) and en-suite. The cabin size is similar to Explorer Class. Other features include large panoramic windows, in-cabin entertainment, and satellite telephone.
- Ocean Class Twin: Located on the lower deck – Ocean Class cabins feature roomy singles and en-suite. The cabin size is approximately 40 square feet. Other features include 2 portholes, in-cabin entertainment, and a satellite phone.
Yampi Sound / The Horizontal Falls / Doubtful Bay
Awake to the majestic Kimberley and savor an irresistible True North breakfast as you glide past Cockatoo and Koolan Islands – your attentive crew will be happy to introduce the colorful histories of both! Then it’s time to ‘personally’ introduce you to a Kimberley icon – The Horizontal Falls. Experience the awesome power of the region’s huge tidal range in an exhilarating tender ride and then climb aboard your air-conditioned helicopter for a view of the falls that very few experience! Then – you will have hardly had a chance to catch your breath when, for those who can’t wait one minute longer, Leadline Creek will be the first opportunity to ‘land a barra’! Before you know it, your first day onboard will be coming to an end – but there’s still time to select a fine wine and to enjoy a leisurely evening meal as we cruise to Doubtful Bay.
Sale River / Montgomery Reef
This morning is devoted to exploring the Sale River • Fish the mouth for barra and then join naturalists and adventurers alike as we ‘ride the tide’ on a classic river expedition! Enjoy a swim in your very own billabong before returning to the ultimate comfort of the True North. Then, you’ll probably be enjoying lunch as we weigh anchor and cruise for another Kimberley icon – Montgomery Reef! Montgomery is a unique ecosystem that must be seen to be believed – and see it you will – as 140 square miles of coral reef rises out of the ocean right before your very eyes! Water cascades from the reef as the tide falls exposing a privileged glimpse of another world! Turtles, dugong, manta rays, and every imaginable sea creature abound and the helicopter puts all in perspective.
Prince Regent River / Kings Cascades
The scenery will astound and there are some not-to-be-missed fishing spots as the True North graces the majestic Prince Regent River. At King Cascade, we manoeuver the True North right under the falls. Then it’s time for more ‘adventure in the tender’ – a chance to stretch the laces on your hiking boots and an opportunity to swim in yet another picture-perfect billabong. The helicopter will be popular again when the first group of intrepid explorers returns from Jurassic Park!
Hunter River / Jackson Falls / Naturaliste Island / Vansittart Bay
If you think the Regent was good – wait till you see the Hunter! With stunning red cliffs set behind rainforest and mangroves – the Hunter River is yet another awesome setting for fishing, mud crabbing, bird watching, and just simply exploring! Enjoy an exhilarating hike to the hidden Jackson Falls and there’s even more splendor from the helicopter! Hopefully, we’ll have time for a sunset drink on Naturaliste Island, and then it’s an overnight cruise to Vansittart Bay.
“Bradshaws” / Eagle Falls / Koolama Bay
Today there will be an opportunity to see the “Bradshaws” – possibly the oldest art known to man. The heli-picnic at Eagle Falls is always a ‘big hit’ – enjoy a sumptuous picnic lunch amidst breathtaking scenery. The tenders will also be busy exploring local beaches and creeks. Overnight we cruise to Koolama Bay.
King George River & Falls / Twin Falls / Koolama Bay / Tranquil Bay / Wyndham
Yet another mighty Kimberley river – King George! As soon as the tide is high enough, we’ll cross the sand bars at the mouth to reveal an even more breathtaking river vista. Then our journey upstream will take us to the very ‘jewel of the crown’ – King George Falls. Here we anchor at the base of the Twin Falls and you will find endless places to explore. Climb, or take the helicopter, to the top of the falls for a cruise highlight. Just the thought of leaving this magnificence will inspire mutiny! Learn about the bombing of a state-ship during WWII, then take a stroll at Tranquil Bay before we continue onto the frontier port of Wyndham.
Windham / Kununurra
Your courtesy coach will arrive at approximately 8:00 AM for transfer to Kununurra and your crew will already be looking forward to the next opportunity to welcome you aboard the mighty True North.
*This cruise is run in partnership with True North Adventure Cruises.
**Call to inquire about our 14-day Ultimate Kimberley Adventure.
***Trip itineraries are subject to change without notice due to road, weather, water, and other factors outside of our control, for the safety and enjoyment of our guests, as deemed necessary and appropriate by Austin Adventures and True North.
Arrival & Departure
Complimentary transfers are included in the trip price. Generally, embarkation in Broome will be from 3:30 PM onward. We highly recommend guests arrive in Broome the day prior to the cruise departure or no later than noon on the day of embarkation. On the day of disembarkation, at approximately 8:00 AM, a coach transfer is provided from the port of Wyndham to the town of Kununurra. If connecting with an onward flight on the same day, we recommend this departs no earlier than 10:30 AM.
True North wants you to experience the Kimberley coastline, and their activity-based cruises and avoidance of extended periods at sea allow you to take in all that Western Australia has to offer. Daily activities include scenic walks, helicopter flights, culture, fishing, snorkeling, picnics, exploring, nature, and much more. All activities are designed to your wants and desires; if you’d rather hike than snorkel, then your crew can arrange that; if you want to experience a scenic helicopter flight over King George Falls rather than climb to the vantage point, you just say the word; if you crave a fishing experience like no other and your significant other would rather spend the day basking in a picture-perfect billabong, all of this and more can be arranged in order to make your vacation absolutely perfect.
Your guides and crew will take the time to explain the details of each activity, answer any questions and demonstrate the use of all equipment. Each activity has been carefully planned to include options for all levels. Most importantly, your guides will help you select the distance or activity that’s right for you.
The Kimberley in Australia is one of the last true wilderness areas on Earth, with iconic outback landscapes and undiscovered secrets billions of years in the making. Covering nearly 263,000 square miles in north Western Australia, with a population of fewer than 40,000 people, it’s here you’ll encounter some of the most extraordinary adventures in all of Australia. Discover the ancient gorge country, pristine castaway beaches, one of the oldest surviving cultures on Earth, and the world’s only horizontal waterfalls. Hidden in the region’s heart, vast wildlife sanctuaries, spectacular gorges, and thundering waterfalls provide the perfect backdrop for a Kimberley holiday adventure. And on its coast lie some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, untouched coral atolls, and rugged islands with an amazing variety of marine life.
Food is always a highlight on a True North Cruise. Hors d’oeuvres in the ship’s lounge is a not-to-be-missed daily event! Keep an eye out for succulent oysters (which you almost certainly helped collect!) and sashimi caught just hours before.
Signature dining includes freshly caught barramundi – a revered sport fish possibly caught with your very own hands, or perhaps aged Angus or delicate Wagyu beef, or exquisite Australian lamb!
Heli-picnics are an unforgettable way to enjoy the quintessential Aussie barbeque featuring a wide variety of seafood including freshly caught reef fish, local king prawns, squid, pearl meat, and smoked salmon.
All meals onboard the cruise: breakfasts, lunches, snacks, dinners, refreshments, and receptions are included as indicated by the itinerary. (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner). Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities are not included in the trip price.
After receiving your reservation and deposit, we’ll send you a pre-trip planner with general information about the area you’ll be visiting, a packing list, exercise guidelines, a guest information questionnaire, and a liability release agreement for you to sign and return within 10 days.
Included in the Trip Price
- Double occupancy cabins with private baths.
- Superb fine dining and non-alcoholic refreshments throughout the cruise.
- Fully trained, attentive crew and knowledgeable guides.
- All expedition boat excursions and activities.
- All fishing and snorkeling equipment (lures are available for purchase).
- Austin Adventures T-shirt & luggage tags.
- Pre-departure and packing information.
Not Included in the Trip Price
- Scenic helicopter flights.
- Souvenir and purchases from the resort shop.
- Guide gratuities.
- Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities.
- Personal valet/laundry.
- Use of satellite phones and internet café.
- Pre-and post-trip accommodations and associated expenses.
- Air and land transportation to/from host cities.
- All types of personal insurance.
- Personal expenses.
Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.1 Easy (1)
Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.2 Moderately Easy (2)
Want to know how to fully experience the depth of beauty and culture in a place? Ask Carol Austin. A Montana native who treasures the land and people in her own backyard—be it Yellowstone, the Beartooths, or the family around her dinner table—Carol knows how to embrace any destination she explores, a feat at 40+ countries and counting. And with more than 20 years in the travel industry, she’s really good at helping guests plan—and fully enjoy—their adventure vacation, too. She co-founded Austin Adventures with her husband, Dan Austin.