First Kimberley boat Trip

Exit Forum Forums Kimberley Coast Boating Forum. Contacts and Links First Kimberley boat Trip

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  • #1272


    Hi all – new member as of today.Myself and a couple of mates are planning our first Kimberley boat trip next April.Leaving from Derby and following coastline north for 500 kms or so and back.Hoping we will progress further after we get our first trip out the way.
    Basically what I am chasing is any inside info or hints or tips or liks to infomation that will help us plan a more enjoyable and safer trip.
    Anyway this is just my first blog so I thought I had to start somewhere,I will start and post a bit more detail of our planned trip soon.
    Thanks in advance,any help or being pointed in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.


  • #1334


    Hi Scoob,

    Best tips I can give you besides using the Anchorage pages on this site, is to get hold of the Fremantle Sailing Club’s publication “West Australian Cruising” third edition. Unfortunately they are out of print and like hens teeth to find. But I know they are currently working on the fourth edition. They may have it published by the time you leave. Try contacting them.

    Also download the information sheets written by Denis and Annette Ford at

    A good tide table is an absolute must have in the Kimberley, particularly in the area you are starting from. You will probably have a chart plotter with tide charts incorporated, but they are not always accurate. Get an Austide CD and load it on a laptop if you are taking one.

    What is your vessel, how well is it set up and how long are you going for? That might help with what else you need to take. Because you are leaving from Derby, I suspect you are using trailer-able boats. Are you taking a tinny/tender of some kind for exploring creeks and going ashore?

    There is some stuff you need on board like a means of getting weather forecasts and long range communications in case you get into strife. VHF is only good if another boat is near by, or Coast Watch are flying past.

    There’s a lot to see and do once you get to Yampi Sound and beyond, so be careful of being too ambitious about trying to cover a lot of ground in a short time. Its a good idea to have a loose plan about where you want to visit and roughly how long you stay at each place. On the other hand, if you have a tight schedule of where you have to be on a certain date, my advice is to throw it in the bin, because without fail, something will stuff up your schedule, like bad weather, and you will end up taking risks or bypassing places to keep to the schedule.

    April is early in the dry season, and its officially the cyclone season until the end of April. It will still be steamy, hot and expect rain. If its a big wet season, the rivers will be in flood, which is good to see, but it brings a few problems like floating logs/trees and dirty water. The best months weather wise for boating up there are June – August.

    All the best guys, and I’m happy to help if you have questions.


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