the real kim­ber­ley ex­pe­ri­ence

Australian Traveller - - Contents - LEIGH-ANN POW, EDI­TOR edi­tor@aus­traliantrav­eller.com FACE­BOOK: face­book.com/AustTrav­eller IN­STA­GRAM: @AustTrav­eller

Since our very first ex­ploratory voy­age into un­charted Kim­ber­ley wa­ters in 1996, Coral Ex­pe­di­tions has been in love with the Kim­ber­ley. Over the past 22 years, we have taken over 30,000 guests in small groups to ex­pe­ri­ence the magic of the Hor­i­zon­tal falls, Gwion Gwion art and Mont­gomery Reef. Each year, our crew fall in love all over again. The Kim­ber­ley has a spe­cial place in our heart. In 2019, we will have three Aus­tralian flagged and crewed ves­sels op­er­at­ing in the Kim­ber­ley from March to Septem­ber. Our 10 night voy­ages, de­part­ing from both Dar­win and Broome, of­fer op­tions for many tastes. What bet­ter way to see a re­gion than with the lo­cals?

SEE THE KIM­BER­LEY WITH THE LO­CALS

Ev­ery year, we add to our knowl­edge of the Kim­ber­ley, and con­tinue to re­fine the ex­pe­ri­ence of our guests. Our ex­pe­di­tion team have a deep un­der­stand­ing of the cli­matic, ge­o­graphic and ma­rine con­di­tions of the re­gion, and our guest lec­tur­ers are ac­knowl­edged ex­perts on the Kim­ber­ley ecosys­tem. This com­bi­na­tion of ma­rine ex­per­tise and in­ter­pre­tive con­tent pro­vide an in­sight­ful ex­pe­ri­ence of this mag­nif­i­cent land. Our groups are small enough to visit the caves, ar­ti­facts, and ge­o­graphic fea­tures that make the Kim­ber­ley so spe­cial. Our unique Xplorer ten­ders al­low us to visit re­mote beaches, in­lets and coves, in­ac­ces­si­ble to larger ves­sels. A Coral Ex­pe­di­tions Kim­ber­ley ex­pe­ri­ence is un­like any other.

OUR SHIPS

Our clas­sic cata­ma­ran Coral Ex­pe­di­tions I is a much-loved Kim­ber­ley fea­ture. With only 46 guests, an in­ti­mate at­mos­phere and ul­tra-shal­low draft, she of­fers su­perb value and is usu­ally sold out for the sea­son. The el­e­gant Coral Dis­cov­erer was pur­pose-built to ex­plore Aus­tralian coastal wa­ters. Her 72 guests en­joy the feel of an ex­pe­di­tion yacht, with spa­cious state­rooms, the pop­u­lar panoramic Ex­plorer bar on the sun­deck, and a re­laxed at­mos­phere. In 2019, we will in­tro­duce the state of the art Coral Ad­ven­turer. With many big ship con­ve­niences such as pri­vate bal­conies, el­e­va­tor, pro­fes­sional wine cel­lar and gym, she is still small enough to visit each des­ti­na­tion on our Kim­ber­ley cruise.

FOR A CITY DWELLER like my­self, it is all too easy to for­get that Aus­tralia does not start and end at the in­vis­i­ble borders that de­mar­cate our state cap­i­tals from, well, ev­ery­where else re­ally. Sit­ting in morn­ing traf­fic or dash­ing to the chi-chi new espresso bar around the cor­ner, I barely give a thought to the wide ex­panses that form the heart and soul of our con­ti­nent, and to a large ex­tent, shape our na­tional iden­tity. My shame in ad­mit­ting this knows no bounds, es­pe­cially when my nar­rowed vi­sion is ex­panded by putting to­gether some­thing like this is­sue, our an­nual cel­e­bra­tion of all things out­back. That’s when the whole of the coun­try is thrown into sharp fo­cus for me, as I am gifted the op­por­tu­nity to read fas­ci­nat­ing re­counts of the re­mote beauty that abounds here, and ex­pe­ri­ence it for my­self, as I did re­cently. Feel­ing truly re­moved in a land­scape or des­ti­na­tion is a re­mark­able thing in this day and age, at once dis­turbingly con­fronting and exquisitely unique. It is how I felt stand­ing in the stony morn­ing si­lence at the base of Uluru, tow­ered over by a mass of rock and dwarfed to noth­ing­ness by the end­less­ness that sur­rounds it. But this re­move is all rel­a­tive; for the five or so per­ma­nent res­i­dents of South Aus­tralia’s Wil­liam Creek it is their ev­ery­day re­al­ity (page 100), while the peo­ple of White Cliffs in out­back New South Wales (page 128) have adapted a quirky way of life as a re­sult of it. It is the re­ward at the end of Craig Tans­ley’s jour­ney into the far reaches of the North­ern Ter­ri­tory (page 108); it is what makes the Kim­ber­ley re­gion such a myth­i­cal propo­si­tion to many (page 118). And in the case of the coun­try’s In­dige­nous peo­ples, it has al­lowed them to thrive for mil­len­nia, cre­at­ing a sui generis cul­ture of fas­ci­nat­ing tra­di­tions that is right­fully cel­e­brated among the colour and dust of the bian­nual Laura Dance Fes­ti­val (page 88). The is­sue also has a few city-cen­tric sto­ries among its pages, such as our low­down on the lat­est hap­pen­ings in Carl­ton (page 70), be­cause to truly ap­pre­ci­ate the re­mote you have to have the thriv­ing and busy and di­verse and con­tem­po­rary. The blend of both is what makes each so in­di­vid­u­ally unique, and what pro­vides a truly wide-vi­sion view of our home. En­joy!

Lo­ca­tion > King Ge­orge River

Coral Ex­pe­di­tions I

Coral Dis­cov­erer

Coral Ad­ven­turer

You, the reader, are the most im­por­tant per­son in our busi­ness. As such, we will never trade your trust for ad­ver­tis­ing dol­lars. So you know ex­actly what you’re read­ing, be aware that sto­ries la­belled ‘In Part­ner­ship With’ mean a val­ued spon­sor has...

Edi­tor’s let­ter

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Get an ae­rial view of oth­er­wordly Lake Eyre (p100); Be awed by Uluru (p64); Jour­ney back in time in the NT (p108); Get lost in colour and move­ment at Laura Dance Fes­ti­val (p88).

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