the real kimberley experience
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 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!