A True North favourite
The Rowley Shoals feature exaggerated corals, mind-blowing fish life and stunning underwater clarity; but perhaps more important than anything else – even today they are visited by only a fortunate few! Guided by a marine biologist and a team of underwater naturalists; divers and snorkelers alike will revel in a diverse wonderland of coral habitats including maze-like lagoons, surging tidal canyons and breathtaking walls. And the keen anglers will match wits with big blue-water pelagics such as black marlin, sailfish, wahoo and yellow-fin tuna. Wander the enticing shores of Bedwell Island, see the rookeries of the red-tailed tropicbird and indulge in a TRUE NORTH favourite – sunset drinks on the beach – 300 kilometres from the shore! The Rowley Shoals are Western Australia’s premiere coral playground!
This itinerary is provided as example only – prevailing conditions, local arrangements and indeed, what we discover on the day, may cause variation.
Your “welcome aboard” the luxurious TRUE NORTH is in the frontier pearling port of Broome. embarkation is at 1700 – time for a cocktail with your fellow adventurers before departing at approximately 1800. Dinner is served shortly after leaving port and then it’s an overnight steam to the Rowley Shoals.
(Please note that the TRUE NORTH visits the Rowley Shoals only during the months of September, October and November. These months are normally associated with “the doldrums” – a period of light winds and calm seas. In addition, the TRUE NORTH is fitted with computer controlled motion stabilisers that minimise vessel movement. Guests can therefore anticipate comfortable conditions when travelling to the Shoals – however observing the normal precautions associated with the prevention of seasickness is always recommended.)
We arrive early at Clerke Reef. enjoy a sumptuous breakfast before exploring the atoll’s huge lagoon. You will marvel at crystal clear waters teaming with life – clouds of fish and corals of every imaginable colour and shape. There will be plenty of opportunity for beach combing on Bedwell Island, relaxed snorkelling in tropical waist deep water or perhaps some “catch and release” lagoon fishing using eco-friendly tackle. our qualified and experienced crew will be on-hand to personally introduce everyone to the delights of this pristine environment.
When you’re not on excursion, relax onboard TRUE NORTH and enjoy our renowned cuisine in air-conditioned comfort. The licensed open-air bar will definitely be the spot to witness your first spectacular ‘Rowley’s Sunset’.
Start the day with a visit to the Aquarium! Forget the Great Barrier Reef – this is world-class snorkelling at its very best! Even if you’ve never put your head under water before – this is an absolute must. The water is only waist deep however the experience is literally “out of this world”! More brilliantly coloured corals, giant clams and more than 600 of the world’s most beautiful fish species at your fingertips!
Don’t forget your underwater camera!
In the afternoon we’ll “crank up the action” with something very unique – high-speed snorkel drifts through the outer reef! Again our friendly crew members will be on hand to ensure that everyone gets to try this once-in-a-lifetime experience – as many times as you like! Our anchorage tonight is in the “swimming pool like” waters of Clerke Lagoon – 300 kilometres off the coast of Australia!
The Outer Reef
Perhaps an early morning swim and breakfast on the deck before the adventure boats set off to explore the outer reef! outer reef snorkelling is a totally different experience – the sheer coral walls teeming with life will take your breath away. The fishing boats will troll the deep blue in search of pelagic species such as Spanish mackerel, giant dog toothed tuna, wahoo and of course the fastest fish in the sea - the prized sailfish! Close encounters with humpback whales and manta rays are also on the agenda. Finish the day with sunset drinks on the beach and one of our famous Island Parties. Then it’s back to the ultimate comfort of TRUE NORTH and another perfect night in Clerke Lagoon – 360° stars reflected in a glassy ocean!
By now you will be addicted to snorkelling and diving amongst the untouched corals of Clerke Reef and your wish is our command! Spend the day exploring the outer reef, or perhaps ‘The Maze’ – an assortment of coral bombies inside the lagoon. Stroll along your very own sand cay, enjoy a swim at the beach or relax in the shade of one of our colourful umbrellas! Take a stand-up board for a paddle or circumnavigate the island in one of our twin kayaks. The dedicated fishers will be out again – one last chance to win the ‘Fish hat’!
Then all too soon it’s time for our overnight steam to Broome. Join the crew in the bar lounge and reflect on our shared adventures. Re-live what is guaranteed to be an experience of a lifetime as the Rowleys merge into a blazing western sky!
Return to Broome
Early morning arrival in Broome in time to disembark at 0800 hours. Transfer to the airport or your accommodation – your voyage on the TRUE NORTH need only be the start of a Kimberley Adventure!
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True North Tales
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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!
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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.
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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.