Hathaway’s Hideaway

The Kimberley really is remote. And cruising along the Kimberley coast, you will often feel that you are a million miles from anywhere and anyone. Pretty much all of the islands along the coast (over 2000 of them) are uninhabited so when you and your fellow travellers land you are the only humans there. It can give you the shivers sometimes but don’t worry, your expedition leaders will look after you and they count the numbers on and off the island!

Hathaway’s Hideaway is one such place. It is not one of the Kimberley icons and therefore not a standard stop. Not all vessels will go there. But if you do you will drop anchor in Winyalken Bay before heading to shore to explore the wonder of sandstone caves and tunnels.

Hathaway’s Hideaway was named after the wife of one of the first white explorers to discover the caves (of course the traditional owners of the Kimberley have been aware for centuries). When I say ‘one of the first’, I mean Peter Satori, who ‘discovered’ the island’s attractions in the 1990s. During an expedition, Peter dropped his wife, Gail Hathaway, off on the beach to explore while he led a fishing charter. She found an intriguing cave system that supported geckos and bats and signs of human habitation, albeit a long time ago, when it was used as an Aboriginal midden. The arches and columns inside the cave project the feeling of an optical illusion, which explains why they are often described as maze-like.

Many cruise itineraries (especially those operated by Coral Expeditions who Peter was working for at the time) follow a trip to Hathaway’s Hideaway with an evening BBQ or drinks on Winyalken beach. As well as an opportunity to reflect on your day, it’s an excellent spot for watching the spellbinding sunsets.

My husband, Simon and his mum at Hathaway’s Hideaway. The island is similar to most in the Kimberley – the ground is a little rocky and uneven but quite manageable

Our expedition guide, Sandy, shows us the little cave system at Hathaway’s Hideaway. Sandy’s knowledge of the Kimberley is superb and his enthusiasm for the geology, flora, fauna and history of the Kimberley is infectious

About Jenny

I’m an expert in small ship cruising in the Kimberley and have completed four cruises on different vessels along this spectacular coastline. With a family I now work part-time so if you would like to have a chat with me about Kimberley cruising at a time that suits you book in a call here  and I will call you then.

Cruises in the Kimberley are not ‘one size fits all’ scenario; there are different ships and itineraries each offering their own special elements.  If you would like some general information to start your research then download my free guide to Kimberley cruising here.   I have also written some really interesting blogs (if I do say so myself) click here to have read.