Discover the Kimberleys

The Gaps
The complete
Kimberley adventure:
majestic scenery,
picturesque beaches,
croc spotting, historic
legends and a myriad of
Top End creatures from
both sea and land...
14 day cruise of the Kimberley’s
Captain duncan smith’s Mystic Tide itinerary
The adventure begins with arrival at Wyndham
Airport by charter flight – a small remote community
perched at the top end of Australia’s vast Northern
Kimberley region. Embark Mystic Tide at the port
of Wyndham and after a warm greeting, cool drink
and refreshing cold towel we set off for the Berkeley
River and our first overnight anchorage.
For the early risers and fishing enthusiasts, this
will be the first chance “to wet a line” for one of the
north’s finest fish, the barramundi. Enjoy a peaceful
stroll ashore to a beautiful waterhole before sailing
onward to Koolama Bay, our entry to the mighty
King George River system and home to the majestic
Twin Falls. Depending on the tide, we have a chance
to anchor at Tranquil Bay and enjoy what many
consider one of the most peaceful and picturesque
beaches in the Kimberley. If venturing ashore, look
for a variety of birds (including osprey, kites and sea
eagles), rock wallabies, dingoes and an interesting
collection of shells.
Once having crossed the sand bar at the mouth of the
King George River, we have the day to explore the river
system, including a tributary on the way to Twin Falls,
looking out for dugongs. If you’re feeling adventurous,
climb one of the rope tracks to the top of the falls for
a spectacular view and a fresh water swimming hole
at the top. Imagine lunch encircled by 80m sandstone
cliffs and listening to the sounds of a 100m high
“water feature” whilst dining on locally, fresh-picked
rock oysters.
Continue cruising late evening to arrive at the
Drysdale River.
From the sheltered anchorage at Curran Point, we
set off to fish and explore the Drysdale River region.
Ensured of a great catch, be assured you’re being
watched enthusiastically by some of the “prehistoric
lizards” that are renowned not just in size, but also
reputation in the area. Take a leisurely late afternoon
stroll on one of the deserted beaches and enjoy
sundowners to the sounds of the variety of birdlife.
Cruising onward to Vansittart Bay.
A sumptuous breakfast and laughs from last night’s
entertainment, before heading off to Jar Island (named
by P.P King – an explorer in the region in 1819) and
the location of the Bradshaw rock art or Gwion Gwion
cave paintings. These artworks reportedly date back to
17,000 years ago, first discovered by Joseph Bradshaw
in 1891. The entire bay is lined with coves beckoning
further exploration. Part of this includes the chance to
visit the site of an intact DC3 aircraft, used as part of
Truscott Airbase during WWII.
The chance to explore the Mitchell River and
waterfalls and take a breathtaking heli-scenic flight
over the elevated Mitchell Plateau. Cool yourself off in
the inviting waters at Surveyors Creek or continue the
quest for that next envious barramundi or mangrove
jack. Late afternoon cruise onward to Wary Bay at
Bigge Island, Australia’s third largest island, home
to more fantastic caves adorned with both historic
indigenous Wandjina and Bradshaw art and the
mystical Bora rings. On the approach to the bay, keep
a keen eye out for humpback whales which frequent
the area between the months of July to September.
Once on the beach, watch for tracks from adult and
hatchling turtles, echidna, dingo, monjon (rock
wallaby), crocodiles and hermit crabs. Anchorage
overnight is in the sheltered waters of York Sound.
This area is arguably the most scenic along the
Kimberley Coast with steep, rusty cliffs and deep,
green rainforest. Nearby is the Hunter River system,
including the gorgeous walk to towering Donkin’s
Falls. Smattered with an array of flora and fauna,
interesting rock formations and beautiful Naturalist
Island with its endless white sand beach, clear waters
and the perfect location for a remote beach BBQ.
After the overnight anchorage in York Sound it’s a
short breakfast sail to Careening Bay, site of an ancient
boab tree, first visited in 1820 by Phillip King whilst
‘careening’ his vessel, the HMC Mermaid.
After 19 days ashore working on much needed repairs,
King and his crew decided to carve their stay into the
trunk of the tree, which at that point was recorded
with a 8.8m girth – today it stands at over 12.5m.
On the other side exists another carving which may
be from Macassan visitors.
Late afternoon cruise to the entrance to the
Prince Regent River.
With the yacht anchored in St. George Basin,
overlooking great views of Mt. Trafalgar and Mt.
Waterloo, take the tender up the swirling Prince
Regent river, croc spotting and showering under the
majestic Kings Cascades. If the tide allows, sailing
further up the river to Cathedral Falls, with its
multitude of freshwater pools. On the way back,
stop at Camp Creek freshwater area and waterfalls
for a traditional picnic of damper and tea. For those
feeling less active on the day, enjoy the total surrounds
amidst the comfort of Mystic Tide and fishing
right off the back deck.
After the peaceful anchorage of Doubtful Bay, an early
departure for Red Cone Falls and a chance for keen
anglers to fish for golden snapper, mangrove jack,
estuary cod and threadfin salmon. Good mudcrabbing can be found in the many mangrove creeks,
but keep a wary eye for the very healthy population of
large estuarine crocodiles keen to feed on your spoils
– it’s quite common to have 3m ‘residents’ swimming
around the vessel at anchor and especially towards the
head of the falls. Lunch underway and a short cruise
past Steep Island and onto Raft Point. This is home to
some wonderful life-size examples of Wandjina style
rock art that depicts the story of the clan’s
“Great Fish Chase” and its place in their traditional
roots. A somewhat challenging walk well rewarded
for your efforts.
Enjoy an early arrival to picturesque Talbot Bay with
its varying colours and landforms. “The Gaps” or
Horizontal Waterfalls are a highlight of any Kimberley
adventure and a genuine attribute to the volume of
water that passes with each tide and the unique feature
it creates. Enjoy a visit to the Talbot Bay Pearl Farm for
a stunning memento or just a brief introduction into
this lucrative but lesser known industry.
Local swimming holes include Crocodile Creek at the
base of the falls and the “Hole in the Wall” for a photo
opportunity. A chance late afternoon walk to caress
your feet with the pure white sand of Silica Beach and
with drink in hand, toast your complete Kimberley
adventure so few will ever have the
privilege to experience.
After an overnight steam, the sun rises over the
backdrop of Cable Beach as you head toward the
port of Broome – home to a small resident fishing
fleet, a beautiful resort and the region’s best airport
for destinations both domestically or by charter
flight overseas.
Awake to Camden Sound – the area has been
recognised as a breeding area for humpback whales
and hosts the largest known population in season.
Other resident mammals include blue whales, pigmy
and pilot whales and large schools of bottlenose
dolphins. The harbour is site to a failed government
re-settlement in the 1860s and relics of the camp and
a plaque are still present. On Sheep Island, marked
by an interesting boab, we can pay our respects to
the headstone of Mary Pascoe – the region’s first
European settler buried in the Kimberley – and try to
imagine the adversity the first pioneers faced.
Slightly offshore we encounter Montgomery Reef,
a 400sq km reef structure submerged at HW
and exposed at low, and the spectacular array
of sea life that “cascades” off the reef with the
movement of water. Expect to see manta rays,
species of turtles, dugong, whales and countless
species of fish supported by this ecosystem.
Onto the nearby Sale River for the afternoon
and an exhilarating tender ride to take a closer
look at the red sandstone landscape before walking
amongst the Sale River rainforest environment.
Fishing around the river is competitive and well
worth the challenge.
Mystic Tide, is a state-of-the-art
expedition ‘go anywhere’ yacht; 1 x
master suite with king bed, private
outdoor deck, ensuite marble
bathroom, 2 x queen cabins (two
cabins convert to twins) each with
ensuite bathroom, 1 x double cabin,
with ensuite bathroom
This sample 14 day itinerary can
easily be shortened or lengthened.
Maximum of 8 guests.