Located in the Timor Sea, the Ashmore Reef Marine Park is a sanctuary for many marine species and a designated important bird area (IBA). Every 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, beneath the clear tropical waters, the coral reefs, seagrass meadows, sandflats and lagoons of Ashmore Reef are home to a colourful array of marine life including 255 species of reef building coral, the greatest number of any reef on the Western Australian coast. Ashmore Reef provides a unique opportunity to combine a zodiac tour to view the abundant birdlife and marine life with the opportunity to experience a magical moment snorkelling or a refreshing swim. (B/L/D)
You are transported to Prince Frederick Harbour today, which is home to towering red cliffs and tangled mangroves. With its extreme tides and pristine ecosystems, the harbour is rich in wildlife including mudskippers and saltwater crocodiles. Keen birdwatchers should keep a careful eye out for kingfishers, egrets, herons and white-bellied sea eagles.
Stepping out from the sleek comfort of Le Soleal to your trusty Zodiac, it's hard to believe you're at Australia's final frontier, this time to explore the Hunter River and Naturalist Island. As your day of discovery draws to a close, you might choose to set out on a thrilling helicopter flight to see the Mitchell Falls in all its splendour from above (flight at own expense). (B/L/D)
This morning, your ship charts a course into the stunning Buccaneer Archipelago on route to the Lacepede Islands. Made up of more than 800 islands, and filled with stunning scenery and an incredible array of wildlife, the remote region remains relatively untouched. 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.
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. (B/L/D)
Hike to Emma Gorge where you'll be rewarded with a swim beneath a towering droplet waterfall. Visit Zebedee Springs before continuing to the iconic Home Valley Station, crossing the Pentecost River along the way. Nestled in the midst of the sweeping Cockburn Range, it's not hard to see why this immense cattle property was used as the setting for Baz Luhrmann's blockbuster film, 'Australia'.
Tonight, head to a spectacular viewpoint just in time for sunset. Soak up the breathtaking views with a glass of bubbly and watch as the ever-changing colours dance over the Cockburn Range. Stay: Home Valley Station (B/L/D)
There are currently no departures available on this trip. Either it's the end of the season and new departures will be released shortly, or this itinerary has been changed and will no longer continue. Feel free to contact us for information about when next seasons dates will be released or click here to view the general release dates for all destinations.