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12 Day Prince Regent / Sale River & Montgomery Reef Adventure

Kimberley Cruise

The 12 day Prince Regent / Sale River cruise departs from Derby and incorporates sites and activities from the 5, 6 and 8 day cruises, and from the Doubtful Bay & Sale River area the cruise continues further up the coast to:

At Llangi you will stop to see some strangely weathered rock formations known as the ‘Petrified Warriors’. Named after the warriors who, in Aboriginal mythology took part in a big dreamtime battle between the Wandjina and other spirits, like sentinels, they guard the nearby entrance to Llangi Gorge.2 In 2000 skipper Greg took some of the Dambimangari group (traditional custodians of this area) along with a student film crew to film Donny Woolagoodja touching up some of the paintings in Namaralli’s cave and passing on their stories to the young ones. With a beautiful beach and small waterfall we take some time to view these imposing rock formations.

Slade Island with its beautiful weathered sandstone rock formations that take on all sorts of shapes. Take the time to let your imagination run wild identifying the creatures carved by nature’s elements.

We travel past the Kurri Bay Pearl Farm which is one of the largest operational pearl farms in the Kimberley.

Sheep Island on the cruise take the time to read the story of this area “There Were Three Ships – the story of the Camden Habour Expedition 1864-65” by Christopher Richards (1990). The book recounts their disastrous journey to open up grazing in the far north of the Kimberley. We will stop to look at the lonely grave site of ‘Mary Pascoe’ on a small island.

Camden Habour, the site of the disastrous scheme to colonize the area in the mid 1860s following earlier explorer reports of fine pastureland. Camden Habour is also the area where the Presbyterian Church established Kunmunya Mission in 1915. Kunmunya Mission is also the site where in 1987 Dick Smith and the Australian Geographic Society sent Michael & Susan Cusack to spend a year in the wilderness. Their book ‘Our Year in the Wilderness’ is on the boat where you can see a photo of Skipper Greg and his good friend Joe who were the Cusack’s first visitors in Greg’s ‘Yellow Boat’.

Leaving Camden Habour we continue on through George Waters past Hanover Bay and down through Treachery Head on our way to St George Basin. We travel through boiling and turbulent water prior to reaching the opening of St George Basin passing Mount Trafalgar and Mount Waterloo. We then take a 12 nautical mile run which brings us to the beginning of:

Prince Regent River is the eroded remains of the longest single straight lineament in Australia running 240 kms SW into the King Leopold sandstone plateau.

Camp Creek is about 15 km in from the Prince Regent River mouth. With limited time and tide we set up camp for 2 days camping next to a rock escarpment with fresh running water, surrounded by paperback trees. With lines in to catch a barramundi in one of the many pools this is a great site for bird watchers. Here passengers have the option of doing a 2 hour walk following a fresh water course over the rocks and amongst the shrubbery to find two magnificent pools that end in a series of waterfalls for a fresh water swim.

King Cascade Falls is one of the Kimberley’s most beautiful waterfalls and sits at the head of a natural amphitheatre fringed by mangroves and ferns, with water cascading over the 50 metre rock face to the south of the Prince Regent River. Discovered by Phillip Parker King, the King Cascade Falls are probably more famous as the location where America model Ginger Meadows was taken by a large crocodile while swimming at the bottom of the falls. After nosing Kimberley Xplorer under the falls and getting a good drenching and some top photography we head back out into the basin for an overview of the entire area and another swim in one of the many fresh water pools well above the watchful eyes of the crocodiles. We then spend a night onboard Kimberley Xplorer we have the opportunity to take the dingys out to do some mud crabbing, flick a rod for a barramundi or check out another great art site.

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