Posted by: debrakolkka | January 25, 2010

Oceanic Discoverer – The Kimberley

I have to say that the trip on the Oceanic Discover from Darwin to Broome across the Kimberley is one of the best things we  have ever done.   The boat itself is heaven on water and the crew were absolutely wonderful.  There were only 36 passengers on board for our trip so we had extra special service, but I’m sure Tiffany and her crew would have been just as efficient and friendly if we had had the full complement.  From the handsome and charming captain to the fun men and women who took us ashore in the explorer, everyone on board made sure we had the best time and were mindful of safety at all times.

Jamie, Damon and Mike deserve special mention.  Jamie was the trip organiser.  He ensured we were in the right place at the right time to make the most of what the Kimberley has to offer.

Damon and Mike are experts in their fields of geology and natural science.  These three amazing men made us want to know about mudskippers and igneous rocks.  They explained what we would be seeing each day and guided us through some of the most spectacular and interesting sights I have ever seen.  I must add here that Mike does an excellent penguin impersonation and I will never be able to look at a barnacle again after Damon’s very lively description involving a bucket and a rope.

The coastline of The Kimberley has to be one of the most amazing places in the world.  It is humbling to look at these ancient rocks tumbling in on each other and imagine what force it must have taken to create this landscape.

Kimberley rock formations


amazing rocks


Jim trying to alter Kimberley rock formations

Along the way on our 10 day trip we saw whales and their babies frolicking in the warm water.  We went croc spotting at night.  We went ashore in the explorer to look at Aboriginal art on site.  We were taken in rubber duckies over the Horizontal Falls and my favourite, we walked on a reef that emerges  with water pouring from its edges at low tide from the ocean.  Once again, our three guides were there, turning rocks over and pointing out all sorts of things we would never have found by ourselves.

Aboriginal rock art


Horizontal falls


Jim heading for the horizontal falls

We saw huge flocks of migrating birds and  swam at a brilliant white beach while the ever vigilant crew hovered in boats off shore to make sure there were no crocs or sharks about.  We were guided up rock cliffs to swim in heavenly rock pools, up too high to be invaded by crocs.

A safe place to swim

As well as this the food on board was great and the company excellent.  The passengers were all well travelled people looking for fun and adventure and out to have a good time.   I think everybody did.

The trusty Explorer


Crocodile rock


Boab tree carved by the crew of the Mermaid in 1820

I’m sure  this would have to be the best way to see The Kimberley.  Seeing the coastline would be enough in itself, but the Explorer trips into the rivers and gorges makes it even more interesting, and knowing what you are looking at, even better.

Kimberley reflections

We stayed in Broome at the Cable Beach Resort for a few days before flying home.  The resort is right at the fabulous Cable Beach where we did the tourist thing and rode camels on the beach at sunset.  Our Camel’s name was Ezra and he behaved himself very well.

We went to the Sunset Theatre in Broome.  The best part of the movie was watching the planes fly low over the theatre to land at the nearby airstrip.  We did some serious pearl spotting but I was able to come away without one.

If you do the trip call ahead to make sure Jamie, Mike and Damon are on board.


  1. Love the report and photos, we saw Horizontal Falls from the air and vow to return to do it your way. I too resisted the pearls but that was due to a persuasive partner who suggested I spend the fortune on more travel!

  2. Deb, your description of our Kimberley Cruise was spot on. I rate it #2 after Antarctica of all our trips.-Fabulous.What a beautiful part of our country it is.
    We are getting excited about Bagni di Lucca in Sept now especially after re-reading your blogs.You certainly have given us a great description and I am sure we are going to just love our time there.

    • Hi Janet,
      I’m glad you have enjoyed the Bagni di Lucca stories. I’m sure you will love it.

  3. I heart Australia.

    • This trip was one of the best things we have ever done.

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