Darwin to Cairns Cruise
Adventure over the top
Explore the ruins of the ill-fated Victoria Settlement and fish for the elusive barramundi. And then for something completely different, soak-up the rainforest fringed coastline of Cape York and, the wonder of the Great Barrier Reef – all in a single itinerary aboard a luxury cruise ship.
This itinerary is provided as example only – prevailing conditions, local arrangements and indeed, what we discover on the day, may cause variation to our Australian cruise schedule. Helicopter flights can be purchased additional to the indicated tariff as a package or individually.
Your ‘welcome aboard’ this small ship cruise is in the frontier city of Darwin. Embarkation is 1700 hours – time for a cocktail with your fellow adventurers before departure at approximately 1800. Dinner is served shortly after leaving port and then it’s an overnight steam to the East Alligator River!
Coppers Creek and Minimini Creek
This morning the TRUE NORTH’s favourite ‘tender’ will provide some not to be missed opportunities to fly over spectacular wetlands adjacent to the world famous Kakadu National Park. Back on the water there will be some hot fishing action in our ‘other tenders’ for both the novice and experienced angler alike – reef fishing, mudcrabbing and, of course, barramundi fishing are all on the agenda!
If you’ve never heard of the elusive barramundi before – you’ll soon know everything there is to know about this revered sport fish!
A hard-hitting tenacious fighter prone to leaping from the water; barramundi are equally respected for their fine eating qualities and our guides are never short of a ‘barra’ story!
Join your fellow adventurer for some ‘up close’ sightseeing in one of our comfortable adventure boats and take in the rugged beauty of Australia’s remote top end as we visit Coopers Creek and Minimini Creek. Don’t forget to keep an eye on those pesky crocodiles because you won’t want to miss dinner tonight! A crisp white will be
the perfect accompaniment to barra cooked just the way you like!
Wake off the Coburg Peninsular and to another “not to be missed opportunity” in the helicopter! This time we explore the ruins of the ill-fated Victoria Settlement. The outgoing flight also visits Frenzy Creek where sharks, eagle rays, dugong, turtle and crocodiles can all be seen in shallow waters and, on the way back search for banteng cattle – they can only be found in the local wetlands!
Join a walk to a nearby wetland – our guides will help you identify some of the 85 species of mangrove found in Australia and the bird watchers will encounter avian fauna of every imaginable colour! Squeeze in some more fishing time and sample mouth-watering oysters direct from the rock – they don’t get any fresher than this!
And at days end, the TRUE NORTH’s alfresco bar will be the perfect spot for an ‘outback sunset’ and our evening meal tonight will likely be traditional “Aussie Fare” in honour of the 1838 settlers.
Spend the morning exploring the picturesque Gouldburn Islands.
There will be numerous opportunities for reef fishing, bird watching and beachcombing. Then enjoy a leisurely lunchtime voyage back into the coast for some more barra action! There will be also opportunity to visit sites frequented by the Macassans – fishermen from Celebes (Sulawesi) that came in search of prized trepang (sea slugs) long before the arrival of the English settlers. Explore the many mangrove creeks or join the helicopter for an exhilarating view of the coastal vista.
Finish the day with a cocktail before yet another unforgettable evening meal!
The barra will be on the bite early this morning and we will see every kind of water bird on scenic flights over the Arafura Swamp – possibly the largest paper-bark swamp in the world!
Everyone on deck for ‘action-stations’ as we shoot the Gugari Rip – a spectacular tidal surge that is sure to get the adrenalin pumping!
Then some light game fishing for mackerel and other surface predators will keep the tempo up!Fly over the outer reaches of the Wessel Group in the helicopter and then join the crew ashore at Jensen Bay for pre-dinner drinks and aperitif.
This morning is your last chance to land “the biggest one yet” as we prepare to leave Northern Territory waters. Reef fishing, beachcombing and sightseeing opportunities will unfold all day as we explore the Wessel Islands and Cape Wessel area. Perhaps some delectable reef fish will be on the menu tonight before the ‘sometimes outrageous’ goings-on at the “Captains Party”.
Gulf of Carpentaria
Today we are ‘on passage’ across the Gulf of Carpentaria! Time to recharge the batteries, update the travel log, enjoy the onboard activities and of course, indulge in more gastronomic delight!
This morning join a coach tour of Thursday Island.
There will be opportunities to meet the local people, to shop for local art and, to just wander around this idyllic island community!
At days end revel in a sunset shore excursion to Cape York – a unique photo opportunity on the northern most tip of Australia!
Start the day with some trolling and bottom fishing, explore the Macmillan River and then spend the rest of the day on beautiful Forbes Island. Enjoy a picnic lunch, snorkel in crystal clear waters, visit nearby sand cays and ‘have a go’ at the beach activities!
At Davie Reef the delights of the Great Barrier Reef are just a fin kick away – and in swimming pool like conditions you will be astounded by the colours of corals and fish alike! A day devoted to swimming,
snorkelling and diving.
The Cod Hole
Down a rainforest fringed coast to Lizard Island – here a hike up to Cook’s Look is a must! There is more world class snorkelling including the giant clam gardens. Beautiful palm lined beaches, rainforest, and breathtaking coral – does it get any better? Yes it does – something very special this afternoon when we visit the famed Cod Hole where everyone gets an opportunity to have close encounters with the giant potato cod!
Lizard Island and another day devoted to swimming, snorkelling and diving! There will also be opportunities for scenic flights in the helicopter and reef fishing.
Last chance for a swim on the Great Barrier Reef as the TRUE NORTH graces Ribbon Reef #3. Then take a coach tour of Cooktown and the surrounding mountains before spending some free time shopping for gifts and, getting to know the locals! Then it’s back onboard for a farewell dinner to remember and the overnight steam into Cairns.
Arrive in Cairns
Our arrival in Cairns is in time for an early morning coach transfer to your accommodation or connecting flights – our crew is already looking forward to the next opportunity to welcome you aboard the TRUE NORTH!
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True North Tales
True North Sails into 30 Years
True North Adventure Cruises - has sailed into 30 years of continuous operations. The now revered adventure-cruise operator first cruised Western Australia’s remote Kimberley coast during 1987 when founding director Craig Howson commenced fishing type charters along a coastline that was and still is largely inaccessible from land.
Adding another dimension to the adventure, most cruise options on the TRUE NORTH feature an on-board helicopter! Carrying guests in air conditioned comfort, the ship’s helicopter provides unique opportunity to witness grandeur; unique opportunity to fish billabongs that have never been fished; unique opportunity to discover your very own wilderness!
Myles Pollard's Fishing Adventure
There is nothing better than a day out on the water, especially when the fish are biting! Fishing on-board the TRUE NORTH is a much-favoured activity both with guests who have never picked up a rod before and, with those who have "caught them all!” Our guides encourage everybody on-board to “give it a go” and the TRUE NORTH’s multiple adventure boats never fail to bring back a swag of ‘fishing tales’! Stories about the ladies who out-fish the boys are pretty common, humorous equipment failures also come to note on a regular basis, then there are the ‘birthday fish’, the ‘monster fish’ and of course, the ones that got away! Our guides have seen and heard it all! Watch the video to find out more about actor Myles Pollard's fishing adventure!
TRUE NORTH Impresses Again
The TRUE NORTH has once again impressed on the world stage coming second in the 2020 Traveller Made Brand Storytelling competition. Traveller Made is Europe’s largest travel consortium and its members represent the very best in luxury travel providers and suppliers. The group’s inaugural Brand Storytelling competition was an opportunity for leading travel brand’s to showcase “the story behind their brand” and, the competition attracted entries from some of the world’s most respected travel brands. In such esteemed company, True North’s marketing team was especially pleased to receive this additional acknowledgement.
Adventure En Plein Air
West Australian artist Jacob 'Shakey' Butler joined the TRUE NORTH earlier this season and discovered the Kimberley's raw beauty. As the artist in residence, Jacob set up his canvas on remote beaches, beside freshwater billabongs and on-deck surrounded by pindan-coloured gorges. Watch the video above to hear Jacob describing how the Kimberley inspires the art of adventure.
Catriona Rowntree Talks With Craig Howson
A commonly asked question is “When is the best time to see the Kimberley?” And the answer is “The Kimberley is always at its best!” However certain times of the year can make it easier to satisfy particular interest. For example, if you would like to see plenty of whale action then departures in August and September are definitely for you! From late July humpback and southern right whales reach the Kimberley after swimming-up the west coast to reach breeding grounds in the north and it’s very common for guests to get great views of whales breaching and basking on the surface.
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The True North Experience
We curate activity-based itineraries that are designed to satisfy the world’s most discerning travellers. We specifically exclude sea-days and feature unparalleled access to stunning coastal environments and, unequalled opportunity to truly experience the destination.