Le Laperouse National Geographic & The Ghan

Discover the best of both worlds and experience Australia by land, sea and rail on a once-in-a-lifetime outback adventure exclusive to Kimberley Travel & Cruise.

Duration:

20 Days

Dates:

24 Aug - 12 Sept

Price:
from$21.559
pp twin share

Highlights & Inclusions

1 night Darwin Hilton in a Standard King Room
The Ghan Darwin to Adelaide
Flight from Adelaide to your nearest capital city
Upgrades Available
14 Day Le Laperouse / National Geographic Kimberley Cruise
Flight to Broome from your nearest capital city
2 nights accommodation Kimberley Sands Broome in a Poolview Room
24 Hour Hop On Hop Off Bus Darwin
Broome Sightseeing Tour

Itinerary:

Flight to Broome from your nearest capital city. Check into Kimberley Sands Resort & Spa for 2 nights.

Enjoying a full commentary, we begin in Chinatown hearing fascinating stories of this colourful precinct. Learn about the ancient art of pearling from one of the local pearl producers, Cygnet Bay, and enjoy a historical sound show at the famous Sun Pictures, the worlds oldest operating open air picture garden (now listed in the Guinness World Records).

We take a drive through Old Broome to view typical Broome architecture and old Pearling Masters homes then view the aqua waters of Roebuck Bay at Town Beach and learn of Broome’s One Day War. We then stop at Matsos Broome Brewery to sample their hand made ales and famous ginger beer (complimentary tasting included). Afterwards, visit the tranquil Japanese Cemetery and take an easy paced walk at Gantheaume Point known for dinosaur footprints and the story of Anastasia’s Pool.

Those who have chosen a Sunset Camel Ride will then head north of the rocks to meet their camel for this iconic Broome experience. Those who have chosen the Sparkling Sunset option will drive down onto Cable Beach for sunset (subject to beach conditions). Relax and enjoy a stroll, swim or light refreshments (included) as you watch the sun disappear into the horizon.

A drop off to your accommodation is provided or you may like to enjoy a cocktail or dinner at one of the nearby cafes at approximately 6.00 pm.

Located in the northwest of the Kimberley region and in the far north of Western Australia, the town of Broome is reputed for its history and its glorious pearling era. The fascinating Chinatown district which is the historic city centre and the famous Japanese Cemetery, which dates from 1896, allows to discover the city’s past marked by the immigration of numerous Chinese and Japanese workers, attracted by the prosperous pearl industry at the end of the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century. Broome is also famous for the “Staircase to the Moon”, an optical illusion created by the Moon reflecting on the sand banks at low tide, like a staircase climbing up towards the sky, a unique spectacle provided by nature…

The Lacepede Islands are Western Australia’s most important breeding habitat for Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas), and have been named by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area (IBA). The breeding colony of Brown Boobies is possibly the largest in the world. Up to 20,000 Roseate Terns have also been recorded here. Other birds breeding on the islands include Masked Boobies, Australian Pelicans, Lesser Frigatebirds, Eastern Reef Egrets, Silver Gulls, Crested, Bridled and Lesser Crested Terns, Common Noddies, Pied and Sooty Oystercatchers. Join your expedition team for a guided Zodiac® tour to view the prolific wildlife. Due to the sensitive nature of the environment, landings are prohibited on the Lacepede Islands.

Collier Bay is located on the rocky and deserted coast of one of the most remote region of the Kimberley, that visitors can only approach by ship. The tidal movements, amongst the largest range of anywhere on the planet create amazing phenomena as seawater comes in or out: the “Horizontal Waterfalls”, a waterfall up to 4 metres high between the narrow passages of the vertiginous cliffs in Talbot Bay or Montgomery reef, a spectacular example of the impact of these tides cascading in mini-waterfalls as the entire reef appears to rise from the turquoise-blue waters of the bay.

Containing large areas of shallow lagoon, seagrass beds and corals, Montgomery reef is Australia’s largest inshore reef.In this majestic landscape, you enter an aboriginal area. Some outstanding open air painted caves galleries alluding to their myths of creation can be observed after a hike on the hills. As we are at the mercy of weather and tide conditions in this region, the activities mentioned below are only possible experiences and can’t be guaranteed.

Careening Bay was named by Lieutenant Phillip Parker King after his ship, HMC Mermaid, was careened there during his third voyage of discovery in 1820. King surveyed the western coast to complete the map initiated by Flinders 20 years earlier. The Mermaid had been leaking badly and King needed to find a shallow sandy bay where he could careen his boat to undertake repairs. At a high tide, on a warm September afternoon, he ran the Mermaid onto the sands. For ten days the Mermaid crew worked hard before refloating the vessel. The ship’s carpenter carved the name of the vessel and the year into a conspicuous boab tree. The famous boab tree is now 3 metres wide and National Heritage listed. A reminder of a by gone era of exploration!

Arguably one of the most scenic parts of the Kimberley coast, Prince Frederick Harbour and the Hunter River are lined with ancient rainforest pockets, pristine mangroves and mosaic sandstone cliffs. They are considered to be some of the most pristine mangrove forests in the world, containing up to 18 different species, supporting a rich and diverse fauna. The sandstone escarpment at the river mouth, known as “Kampamantiya” rises over 200 metres high before giving way to extensive mud banks and mangrove forests home to numerous bird species and the iconic saltwater crocodile. Our expert Expedition Team will share their knowledge with you as you explore this pristine mangrove environment by Zodiac® keeping a constant lookout for wildlife.

Located in the Timor Sea, the Ashmore Reef Marine Park is a sanctuary for many marine species. Each year, more than 100,000 seabirds breed here, including crested terns, white-tailed tropicbirds and greater frigatebirds. It was recognised as a wetland of international importance in 2003 for its vital role in providing a haven for the tens of thousands of migratory shorebirds which turn up to feed each year. In addition to the prolific birdlife, the lagoons of Ashmore reef are a haven for snorkellers whishing to explore the spectacular coral reef systems, home to an incredibly diverse array of marine life: a magical moment that you may experience during a full day dedicated to snorkelling, unless you prefer to have a refreshing swim.

Jar Island contains ancient rock art galleries depicting the Gwion Gwion style unique to the Kimberley region. Mainly neglected by, or unknown to, the early European researchers of Aboriginal culture in the Kimberley in favour of the dominant & more dramatic Wandjina art, Gwion Gwion art has in recent years gained world prominence. It is generally thought that this art may extend back to over 30,000 years BP & represent the first wave of seagoing colonisers of the Australian continent. As it is, these are the oldest detailed depiction of human figures in the world. Join your Expedition Team ashore for a short walk, past some fascinating rock formations, to the site of the Gwion Gwion art galleries.

The journey up the King George River is nothing short of breathtaking. The 80m high sides of the gorge display varying degrees of weathering of the ancient Warton sandstone. The colours and textures of the gorge change with the light as you travel further up the river creating a continual changing scenery that is simply stunning. The journey culminates at the King George twin falls; the highest single-drop falls in the whole of the Kimberley (80m or 260ft). Fed by wet season run-off the level of water cascading over the falls varies from year to year. Your Expedition Team will escort you in either the Zodiacs or ships tenders to the foot of the twin falls, and explain all about the stunning geological formations of the canyon.

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Darwin is located in Australia’s Northern Territory which is also known as the “Top End”. It is the capital city and the most populated town of the Northern Territory. Darwin is a beautiful tropical city, a melting pot of people and cultures, over 50 different cultures live and work side by side that prides itself in its unique and friendly laid-back lifestyle. Come discover the town’s still recent history through its emblematic buildings such as the new Parliamant House opened in 1994, a magnificent example of tropical architecture or Admiralty House declared heritage place, a tropical-style home elevated on stilts that has survived two cyclones and numerous air raids.

The 14-hectare uninhabited Browse Island lies 180 kilometres of the north west Kimberley coast. It is surrounded by extensive coral reefs and is an important nesting site for Green turtles as well as numerous species of seabirds. Join your expedition team to explore this pristine, remote, seldom visited destination by Zodiac®.

Regarded as one of the world’s most spectacular diving and snorkelling locations, the Rowley Shoals lie 260 kilometres west of Broome in the Timor Sea. The three coral atolls of Mermaid, Clerke and Imperieuse reefs rise, near vertical, from the surrounding crystal-clear waters on the edge of the continental shelf. The shallow lagoons inhabited by a diverse array of corals and abundant marine life are ideal for exploration by snorkellers and divers. To take full advantage of the location, Le Lapérouse will spend one and a half days at the Rowley Shoals, allowing you to swim and snorkel from Zodiac®.

Regarded as one of the world’s most spectacular diving and snorkelling locations, the Rowley Shoals lie 260 kilometres west of Broome in the Timor Sea. The three coral atolls of Mermaid, Clerke and Imperieuse reefs rise, near vertical, from the surrounding crystal-clear waters on the edge of the continental shelf. The shallow lagoons inhabited by a diverse array of corals and abundant marine life are ideal for exploration by snorkellers and divers. To take full advantage of the location, Le Lapérouse will spend one and a half days at the Rowley Shoals, allowing you to swim and snorkel from Zodiac®.

Your journey aboard the legendary Ghan begins at Darwin Rail Station where you'll take the small but momentous step from platform to carriage.

Friendly staff will lead you through corridors to your comfortable private cabin where you can take your time settling in and exploring the amenities as the view outside your window begins its smooth and spectacular transformation.

Lunch in the Queen Adelaide Restaurant is bound to satisfy and delight with culinary wonders prepared onboard by our talented chefs.

All food is included in your fare, from a hearty full cooked breakfast to a delectable 3 course dinner.

And as you sit back and loosen your belt, you'll have arrived in Katherine ready to experience your first included Off Train Excursion to the magnificent and spiritual Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge.

Experience Katherine Outback Experience which provides a unique window into the real Australian Outback and the inner workings of life on a cattle station through the sharing of stories and experiences, cattle dog demonstrations and live music performances. The 'Stock Yards' is where the action takes place. Enjoy a live demonstration of the art of horse-breaking, depicting the psychology between man and horse, watch the Riverboyne Dog Team working cattle, goats or ducks in harmony, before interacting with Bernie the Buffalo, Tin Shaker the Brahman Steer and Legend the Trick Horse.

There is even time to sit back and relax, listening to live music including some well-known Aussie anthems and originals, often performed from a top of a horse.

If you'd prefer to ramp it up a notch, you're welcome to upgrade your excursion with a helicopter flight or scenic flight over Kakadu and Nitmiluk National Parks, providing unparalleled views of the geographic wonders that gave rise to many of the Aboriginal Dreamtime stories.

Back on board, you'll return to the Queen Adelaide Restaurant, enjoying dinner as the sun sets over the outback.

Then back in your room, you'll find your bed turned down with a cheeky nightcap waiting on the bedside table. As the train rolls soothingly onwards, fall asleep in awe of wonders seen, and excited

Wake up to a new view outside your window, in a world which feels a million miles from home. An outback sunrise could be one of the most spectacular you'll ever see, setting the tone for the day ahead.

After coffee, a juice and a sumptuous breakfast you'll arrive in Alice Springs ready for another day of exploration.

Here you have the opportunity to embark on one of the included Off Train Excursions, taking in the delights of this famous outback town. A full day in Alice Springs gives you ample opportunity to visit the town landmarks, get up close and personal with Australia's incredible flora and fauna or explore the Alice at your own leisure.

At this point you may choose to upgrade your excursion with the ultimate outback experience; an intimate scenic fixed wing flight over Uluru and Kata Tjuta.

There really is no better way to comprehend the vastness of the Northern Territory.

Come the evening you'll dine beneath a canopy of stars at an authentic Outback Pioneer Dinner.

This is a truly unique experience with live Australiana music and a feast of mouthwatering steak and traditionally made damper.

After dessert, cast your eyes skyward and ponder life, the universe and everything with an informative astronomical talk.

And with a full belly and deep sense of wonderment, it's back on the train to rest up and roll out of Alice Springs, fulfilled in every sense of the word.

Looking out of your window this morning you'll notice a dramatic change in landscape as the rich ochre tones of the outback make way for the beautiful green fields and pastoral lands of South Australia.

After breakfast, you'll have time to reflect on your journey before The Ghan rolls into Adelaide. Here, you may wish to extend your stay with trips to the Barossa Valley or Kangaroo Island topping the to-do list.

Or stay close to the city, nibbling, sipping and munching your way through the famous Central Market, perusing the revitalised Riverbank precinct (including the updated Adelaide Oval and free Donald Bradman Exhibition), before exploring a myriad of chic laneway restaurants, bars and entertainment venues in this, Australia's City of Churches.

* All itineraries is indicative only. No two Kimberley cruises will be the same. Each cruise is tailored around the astounding 10+ metre tidal range, weather and sea conditions.

Package Prices:

Cruise Cabin / Ghan ServicePrice (Twin share pp)
Deluxe Cabin / Ghan Gold Twin$21,559
Ghan Platinum UpgradeAdd $2,267

* All prices are per person & based on Twin share unless otherwise listed

Upgrade Options:

Broome Upgrade to Cable Beach Club Garden View Room+ $200.40 inc breakfast
Broome Upgrade to Cable Beach Club Pool View Room+ $225.90 including breakfast
Broome Upgrade to Cable Beach Club Pool Terrace Room+$276.90 including breakfast
Kimberley Sands Upgrade to One Bedroom+ $15

* All prices are per person & based on Twin share unless otherwise listed

*conditions apply. Package components are subject to availability; hotels may be swapped for a similar standard. Flights are the maximum value of $1000 per person; excess will need to be paid in full. Flights are with Qantas or Virgin Australia; at the discretion of Flower Travel. Deposits are fully nonrefundable.