Adventure South West (8 Nights) Perth/Esperance to Fremantle
Kimberley Waterfalls (10 Nights) Broome to Wyndham / Kununurra
Coast and Coral (10 Nights) Broome to Kimberley to Rowley Shoals & Return
Sydney Rocks – Blue Water Classic (4 Nights) Sydney to the Hawkesbury River and Return
enquire now

“Simple pleasures” – Australian doctor magazine

“Simple pleasures” A three-stage journey by yacht, helicopter and dugout canoe provides MARIA VISCONTI with a unique slice of remote village life in PNG. – 21st March 2014

LIFE onboard this luxury yacht is so laid back, it’s PNG Tribe horizontal. There is a no-shoes policy onboard; staterooms have no keys (you can lock them from inside for privacy); there are no safety boxes.

The True North’s bridge is open at all times and you are encouraged to come and say g’day. This is Paradise not yet lost. True North has brought us 70km upstream, to a spot so remote it’s then taken a 45-minute helicopter ride and half an hour on a motorised dugout canoe to get here.

In the relative darkness of a village ‘spirit house’, several young men sit on low stools around a straw crocodile swinging from the rafters. Suddenly I notice the men’s backs. Swollen and angry scarifications in a crocodile’s skin pattern reveal themselves. Similar scars surround their nipples, arms and legs.PNG Tribe with crocodile Marks

A clay paste applied liberally acts as an antiseptic. Swirls of smoke keep insects away. I have walked into an ancient initiation ritual recently revived in Yetchen, a village on Papua New Guinea’s Sepik River. We move on to Ponam Island. Despite its remoteness, it has its own school. Last year, True North promised to reward the school’s eight top-performing students with a helicopter ride.

Ponam Island school records reveal student grades have climbed by 40% since then. Today we are here to fulfil that promise. It is hard not to smile at the radiant faces when they return from their adventure in the sky. It’s not hard to see why their wonder is so great — there are no roads on these islands and therefore no cars. A helicopter is a big deal.PNF people on Wooden Boats

There’s no TV either. Islanders live in a virtual cashless society, getting by with subsistence farming and bartering for most of their needs. Kylie, a lanky teenager from Luf Island, shyly asks us, “What attracts you to PNG?” It is a hard question to answer without the barefoot millionaires sounding patronising or banal.

The fine balance between voyeurism — even if of the cultural kind — and a genuine desire to experience other cultures is addressed by Captain Greg Dunn: “We come to learn about your culture,” he says and the group nods but much is left unsaid. “Why are you so interested in making fire with sticks when you have lighters?” puzzled locals often ask.

Sailing the eerie waters of a volcano’s ancient hollowed- out caldera, buying giant prawns from local fishermen whose brand of Christianity forbids them their consumption, and diving among WWII shipwrecks are memories that blend in together with other extraordinary marine and aerial experiences — diving, snorkelling, fishing and helicopter sorties take place around the clock.

This is a sophisticated, understated Australian enterprise with a superefficient, all-Australian crew delivering service with a contagious sense of humour. And the food is to die for, thanks to chef Andy Tonge.

The writer travelled courtesy of True North and Best Western Plus, Cairns.

To view the full article please click here: Australian Doctor Magazine 21st March 2014 21 March 2014 | Australian Doctor | pg 47

May. 08, 2013

Virgin airlines magazine review of True North

International high-end cruiser company North Star Cruises combine adventure and luxury — which could mean handfeeding whale sharks in West Papua, exploring Aboriginal rock art in remote caves, or getting up c...

Read more
Mar. 17, 2018

Southern beauty

Rugged, barely touched and teeming with friendly sea creatures…few places offer oceanic splendour quite like southern Australia. The southern blue fin tuna is said to be the fourth fastest fish on the pla...

Read more
Jul. 20, 2018

Capturing the Light

The remote coastal region of the Kimberley is an opportunity to experience the true, untouched beauty of Australian wilderness. True North Adventure Cruises leads bold expeditions in first-class comfort, writes...

Read more
Nov. 02, 2015

Exploring the Kimberley – the globe & mail Canada

Covering the northwest edge of the continent, this sawtooth stretch of sandstone is shot through with coves, rivers and waterfalls. Extremely hot in the dry season and prone to cyclones in the wet, it remains o...

Read more
Apr. 03, 2013

Qantas magazine feature Rowley Shoals cruise

Multihued fish and coral abound as Amruta Slee explores what lies beneath at the Rowley Shoals off the WA coast. Feature article appears in Qantas Magazine April 2013 Luxury Travel Issue. To read the full ar...

Read more