Boats Sailing to the Kimberley in 2022

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    • #3593

      If you’re planning a cruise to the Kimberley in 2022, use this topic to post a brief outline of your sailing plans. You can arrange to meet up with other vessels, cruise in company, ask questions, get info etc.

      Hope to see you out there.


    • #3600

      Hi All

      We are planning a trip ex Derby late April/early May next year for about a month. Going as far as Honeymoon Bay then back to Derby. After that will tackle King George and Berkeley from Wyndham for another week or so.

      Myself and my wife are flying solo due to a late withdrawal from another boat.

      We are in a bright blue 6.4m Stabicraft, ‘Blue Horizon’ If you are out there during this time look out for us and do come and say hi. Will post a picture, just waiting on some mods to be finished.

      Have been plotting and planning for 18mths during covid so feel we are well prepared. And yes, in case you are wondering we do have remote experience…

      The KCCYC site has been a gold mine of information, thanks so much to Ross and many others behind the scenes for providing such a valuable service.

      If there are any other trailer boat folks planning or thinking about a trip next year do get in touch. We can swap notes and see if we have compatible plans and travel ideas.

      Ian and Mieneke Collins

      • #3737

        Me and two mates boating  from Wyndham to Broome, planning to leaving Wyndham around 21st April  2022 , we are time poor and only allowing weeks on water.

        We will be in a 8.5 Razorline with a 350hp.

        Have just been in discussions with the different parties  finalising fuel at Honeymoon bay, Kuri bay and dog leg creek and pretty much all sorted.

        Cant wait to get amongst it and meet some of the other KCCYC Crew.  Tight lines and cheers.

        Paul C

    • #3602


      Wife and I have plans to leave Perth in April 2022 and working our way up coast to Darwin taking in the sights along the way. We should be in the region around August with a view to make Darwin before the wet. Then next year going over the top with exploring the east coat for the next 3 to 4 of years. Full time live aboard flyin flyout still running my business….

      Starting planning in detail over the next couple of month. Will create a thread when have more context.

      More questions to follow while I get my head around some of the issues. Currently working on Insurance including cyclone plans, has anyone done there current plan for 2022? I feel I have to get the squared away first. I have a number of plans from a contact but they are commercial type and looking for a recreational example. Trying to keep it as simple as possible.

      Membership is paid Thanks for the Merch. Looking forward to seeing you all next year. Thanks Ross and Co.

      Contented Cruising

      Alex and Catherine




      • #3603

        Hi Alex and Catherine,

        If you are at sea in a cyclone area in the non cyclonic months (May – October), you shouldn’t need a cyclone plan for your insurance. My policy states that the vessel must be in a cyclone rated marina during a named cyclone. If you are leaving your boat in Darwin over the wet, there are 3 cyclone rated marinas. The norm in Darwin in the wet season, is not to sail any more than a few days away from the marina, so you can get back there quickly if a cyclone develops.

        Check your policy carefully, as there are very few insurance companies that will insure private boats in northern waters, except when they are transiting through and not left unattended. Even then, its likely you will need to get the insurer’s written permission to go above the 26th parallel, and there may be strict conditions such as the vessel cannot be left unattended while moored, which usually includes moored in a marina.

        Cheers, Ross.

      • #3786

        Hi Alex and Catherine,

        Are you on track for your planned April departure from Perth North?  We are on our way on our anticlockwise circumnavigation having departed Port Stephens NSW in Jan and are now in Scarborough QLD awaiting the end of the official cyclone season. We have no particular schedule beyond ‘Fremantle by Christmas.  Would love to read occasional updates from you if you get underway.
        Our only problem at the moment is insurance cover for Northern Australia.  Any advice from you or others most appreciated.

        Moderators: We have searched for previous items mentioning insurance.  15 items come up.  Should we start a new thread about insurance or is this query OK. Thanks

        Lindsay and Jacqueline

        • #3790

          Hi Lindsay and Jacqueline.

          I suggest leaving the insurance question here. It will probably get more relevant views here.

          Unless you can comply with the conditions placed on your policy by your current insurer for vessels up north, which could be things like not being able to leave the vessel unattended, (even in a marina), your best bet might be to reinsure the vessel with one of the very few insurers who do boat insurance in the NT. The 2 I am aware of are QBE and Pantaenius.

          No doubt you will pay higher premiums and excesses, but the choices are very limited.



    • #3700

      Hi everyone;

      I sailed my catamaran Sundowner from Paynesville on the Gippsland Lakes in Victoria from March 2021 up the east coast to Cullen Bay Marina in Darwin at the end of August.  Spent September and October on land exploring Darwin and surrounds.  My Seawind 1000 XL2 doesn’t have A/C and by the end of October I’d had enough of the heat and humidity and flew back home to Melbourne.  I may regret that decision come time to sail to the Kimberley next May.  I think I will be allowed to fly back to Darwin but I have no idea if WA Covid rules will be permit me to sail on down to Perth.

      And worry number two is ULP fuel.  My boat has twin outboard motors. I planned to take on 200L of ULP at McGowan Island camp.  And another 200L at Dog Leg Creek.  But McGowan Island fuel supply is no longer available and I have no back up plan. I have lots of time to explore the Kimberly so expected to use quite a lot of ULP (motoring, dinghy, water maker, generator).  I would really appreciate any information on the plans for availability of ULP next season.

      And, will we be permitted to go ashore at any interesting locations along the Kimberly Coast?  Or will all permits be rejected as were all my requests for permits to go shore on the Arnhem Coast.


      • #3701

        Hi Robert, I have a similar problem. We live in Perth and our boat is at Cullen Bay. If the pollies do as they say, the state borders should all be open by February. I don’t foresee a problem with getting permits to go ashore in the KC. It’s easy enough to apply on line for both of the paid permit systems. The ALT free permit has an awkward on line app, but not impossible to navigate. You must get the ALT permit after the 2 paid permit systems, otherwise ALT wont issue their permit for the paid permit areas. Travellers probably wont be allowed into the remote communities, such as Kalumburu, which is not a problem, as its unlikely you will need to go there.

        We did Darwin to Perth with G2G passes mid 2020 while the WA/NT border was closed. Police accepted time at sea as our 14 days quarantine when we got to Broome. The 2021 dry season had the WA/NT border open and a G2G pass was easy to get, and no quarantine. Hopefully 2022 dry will be the same.

        Getting ULP might need a bit of pre-arranging by you, but not impossible. If you are looking for a 200 litre drum of ULP, start talking to Honeymoon Bay Camping Ground. They get drums of fuel delivered to them by road after the Gibb and Kalumburu roads open. (Usually around April/May). Also talk to Shore Barge in Darwin. They have a supply barge from Darwin to Truscott Air Base and Kalumburu every 2 weeks. They are probably your best bet. There should not be any problem getting ULP at Dog Leg Creek.

        Paspaley Pearls in Vansittart Bay and Osborne Islands are an another option to get a 200 litre drum shipped out. Phone their Darwin office. Until further notice, their Kuri Bay operation is in a Covid Bubble and they will not have any contact with outsiders. That situation may have changed by the time you get there next year.

        Cheers, Ross

        • This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by Ross.
    • #3702


      What an encouraging and detailed reply. I thank you so much for going to the trouble of writing down all your thoughts and advice.  I feel much more confident about plans for sailing the KC next year.



    • #3703

      Hi Ross & Everyone here;

      I don’t want to wear out my welcome but I have another question or two.

      I’ve been on the ALT site and tried to match their site names with places on my route.  There are many places I will anchor and perhaps go ashore that do not have a site name on the ALT “Places of Interest” list.  Just to name two, Silver Gull Creek and Dog Leg Creek.

      If I can arrange to re-fuel at West Bay do I need a permit for West Bay if I don’t need to go ashore?

      Does my first draft list look reasonable or nuts?  Have I missed key stops? Am I asking for to many permit locations?  Am I asking to go to ‘no-go’ locations?

      Berkeley River Falls/Gorge

      King George Falls

      Honeymoon Beach

      McGowan Island

      DC3 WWII crash site

      Ngula (Jar Island) #2 South West

      Freshwater Cove

      Mitchell Estuary Upstream

      Surveyors Creek

      Wuuyuru (Bigge Island)

      Wunbung-gu (Careening Bay) ‘Mermaid/Boab Tree’

      Purulba Cave

      Banjadoo (Camp Creek Falls)

      Banjadoo (Rock Art)


      Ngumbirri (Raft Point)

      Ngumbirri Cave (Art Site)



    • #3704

      OK. Think I’ve got it.

      On closer look,  the application system says which locations require a permit, which don’t require a permit and which they will not permit access to.

      The last 9 locations on my list (and Jar Is.) either don’t require a permit or no access is permitted to the location.

      • #3706

        Not all the KC coastline comes under the ALT control, therefore you don’t need an ALT permit in those areas. However, you may need a paid permit in non ALT areas. I suggest you wait until you are about to sail into the KC before getting permits, as last year there were several late changes to the permit systems, some due to Covid restrictions, some due to National Parks restrictions, others due to bureaucracy.

        Cheers, Ross

    • #3709

      Hi All,  26 ‘ Macgregor trailer sailor looking at  5 to 6 weeks cruising from Broome to as far as Time / conditions allow in June . No set plans ,just happy to experience more of wonderland . Thankyou Ross for this website .

      It really is a goldmine of Intel for a first timer.

      Would like to catch up with anyone along the way


    • #3710

      We are hoping to spend around 3 months cruising in the Kimberley next year, departing Broome in mid May and travelling through to Darwin. This will be dependant on any regional travel restrictions imposed by the State Government  – which we believe are highly likely after the WA state border is opened in February 2022. Given the very low vaccination  rates in the Kimberley, and the local immune compromised aboriginal population,  don’t be surprised if is not possible to cruise there next year. The Government has already flagged this possibility.

    • #3711

      Hi Infinity skipper and crew;

      Thanks for your thoughts.

      My yacht is currently in Darwin.  I don’t like the idea of attempting the sail upwind back to Victoria via the east coast and I’ve waited a long time to sail the Kimberley Coast.  I’m 73 years old. I don’t want to spend all of 2022 in Darwin waiting in hope for permits in 2023.  I feel I have to sail to Perth next season and if that means not going ashore anywhere in the Kimberley then sadly that’s what I’ll have to do.  However, I will need to refuel with ULP.  Hopefully from the Shorelands barge in West Bay and at Dog Leg Creek.

      I agree there will probably be restrictions on entry to Aboriginal communities.  And ‘cruising’ the area in the normal sense of going ashore to see the sights with an ALT permit and purchased visitor Passes from Wunambal Gaamera, Dambimangari and the Department of Parks & Wildlife may be restricted or not permitted at all.

      I am very concerned about what I can do next year and I need to be sure I understand.  Please tell me if you have a different opinion.


      PS  I sailed along the Arnhem Coast this year but not permitted ashore.

      • #3712

        Hi Robert,

        I believe it’s possible the State Government will ban travel to the whole Kimberley region  – via the permit system or otherwise – but more likely they will just restrict entry to the communities. In fact the communities themselves can choose to close off to outside access.  Kalumburu did this last season and have indicated they will remain closed next year.

        In this case it would be possible to cruise the KC and land in most places, subject to other restrictions or limitations imposed by the land councils.

        I believe we are unlikely to know about any restrictions until after the State borders open on 5th February so we won’t be applying for our permits until some time after then.

        Does anyone else have a view or any insights into the issue?

        Cheers, Andrew

    • #3714

      Thanks Andrew;

      You and Ross are correct.

      I have information in an email from ALT lands Officer regarding ALPS permits saying that given my departure date from Darwin of  start May, I should apply for ALPS permits at end of March / early April.



    • #3715

      Hi Everyone,


      We are presently in Sydney and planning to sail to Tasmania on La Boheme (Amel Super Maramu 2000) in January and then onwards to WA in March/April.


      Hoping to get to the Kimberley in August/September. At this point we shall make a decision as to whether we head North to Indonesia are carry on to Darwin to sit out cyclone season.

    • #3717
      Kirk Zulsdorf

      Loose ideas at the moment, do not dare to plan to far or too firmly.

      However, ‘Anteater Blues’ is leaving from Port Geographe Bay circa late April for an Abrolhos holiday, then depending on the weather outlook, heading ASAP to Broome.

      ‘Anteater Blues’ is a big blue thing, cannot be missed, love to see any W.A. sailors along the way.

      Kirk & Barbs and Pete
      (Formerly Do-it)


    • #3720
      Play Mate

      How many vessels heading west from Darwin in April 2022? We are planning on departing early as possible in April for a brief 1 month tour, probably as far as Honeymoon Bay. Need to organise diesel, looking at scheduling a barge delivery bound for Kalumbaru . Anyone else interested in oredering some diesel or even ULP in drums?

      • This reply was modified 4 months, 2 weeks ago by Play Mate.
    • #3722

      G’day,You should check with Kalumburu,i heard on the radio that due to poor immunization rates they may restrict access for 2022,cheers steve

      • #3723
        Play Mate

        Yeah, I’ll organise to get fuel delivered by barge from Darwin, I’ve got a few contacts, just thought if there were any others wanting to do the same it would make sense to work together if possible.

        • #3724

          Hi Guys, You should be able to get bulk diesel and drums of ULP off Shore Barge when they come into West Bay and Kalumburu about every 2 weeks. You need to arrange it in advance.

          However, WA govt just made the NT a Covid Extreme Risk today (12/1/22). Until that is lifted, I suggest any Darwin barge coming into WA waters will be under strict quarantine rules and  allowed very limited contact with others, which may rule out fuel transfer at sea. Hopefully Covid rules will change by the dry season.


          • #3725
            Play Mate

            Hi Ross, I see that – looks like it might be a quiet season in the Kimberley. More trips to Cobourg Peninsular coming up for 2022.

    • #3728

      Hello fellow KCCYC members,
      We will be sailing our 11m catamaran north in 2022 as far as the Prince Regent River or perhaps Prince Frederick Harbour. This will be our 7th Kimberley adventure and like previous trips we will spend June, July and August exploring the bays, rivers and creeks. We explored the east Kimberley when the boat was based in Darwin for a few years so focussed on the west Kimberley for now. Give us a call on the radio if you see us about.
      Janie and Kevin
      Sailcat ‘Sojourn’

    • #3729

      Hi all,

      We will be leaving Exmouth 1st of May, fingers crossed, up to Wyndham n back, keenly watching the fuel situation and where we will be able to get it, like everyone else I guess, all depends on what happens when we open up on the 5th.


      Amanda n Colin

      Northern Spirit

      50′ Key West

      • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by oceanspirit.
    • #3731
      Wild Thing

      Hi all

      vickie and myself off the ‘Wild Thing’ 48’ sailing cat,will be planning to leave  from Darwin  for the Kimberley in the first week of April hope to catch up with some other boats on the way. Going as far as Rothesay water them returning to Darwin in August /September


      Russell and Vickie


    • #3738

      Hi All

      We are planning our 11 day trip from Derby and going up as far as Horizontal Falls, taking my wife and 2 x teenage kids and will have another mate in his boat with wife and similar age kids.

      Will be our first trip up that way and looking forward to all the sights and experiences and hopefully meet some of the crew up that way.

      We plan to depart Derby boat ramp on Saturday July 3rd July.

      7m Genesis Craft Islander Cab/Full Length Hardtop

      300hp Mercury

      Fuel: 450L main tank & 200L Bladder

      200L Water Tank

      “Repeat Offender”




    • #3757

      Hi Everyone,

      We are very nearly ready to depart Fremantle, and expect to be underway next week!!!  We will spend some time in the Abrolhos Islands on the way North, and should be in Broome by mid May.  From there we have about 3 months up our sleeves to cruise the Kimberley Coast and reach Darwin.

      Looking at earlier posts it seems there are a couple of options to refuel en route through the Kimberley;

      1. Dog Leg Creek – which is too early in our trip to be much help, and
      2. Honeymoon Bay from a visiting fuel barge – can anyone please advise contact details so I can talk to someone to find out how this works and pre order if necessary

      Can anyone also please advise if there are any public transport options in and out Honeymoon Pool which might allow a crew changeover there?

      Lastly – will there be a KCCYC Beach Party this year?  If so, whereabouts and when?  Wed love to join in!!

      Cheers Andrew and Donna

    • #3758

      Hi Andrew and Donna,

      Check the weather next week. Not good.

      For fuel options and contact details see

      Paspayley Pearls at Kuri Bay is currently shut to outsiders for Covid reasons, but they might open for fuel sales before you get there. Phone their Darwin office for confirmation when you get to Broome.

      There is no public transport at Honeymoon Bay or Kalumburu. Kalumburu is currently a Covid restricted area. If indigenous remote area Covid restrictions don’t apply at the time you are there, you can usually get a lift into town from the camp manager or from one of the campers. Check that they are opening this year. Covid may prevent road access to campers via Kalumburu.

      You will also need to check with your preferred air charterer to find out if you can fly crew into the Kalumburu airstrip, which is just out of the township and might be OK to access without entering the town itself. Otherwise, talk to Kimberley Air Tours for a float plane charter. I suggest you book them well in advance as they get very busy.

      Beach party will tentatively be 4th July at Caves Beach, just south of Palm Island. This is a good option for crew transfer from Kununurra via float plane. They did 4-5 trips in at last year’s party with crew and supplies.



      • #3766

        Andrew \ Donna. I will also be at Abrolhos Islands from 1-9 April and will be at Big rat Island, will make an effort to come and see yas.  Our Kimberley trip has been push back a few weeks as unable to obtain new motor for boat being built.

        Cheers Paul.

        • #3767

          Hi Paul,

          We’ll be cruising between the Abrolhos Island groups and will keep a lookout for you when we pass Big Rat. What type of boat is Humdinger  – how will we recognise you? We are a 50ft Jeanneau sailing monohull.

          Cheers Andrew

    • #3765

      Hi Ross – Thanks for the good advice. Hopefully we’ll get to meet you at the Beach Party.  Cheers Andrew

      • #3768

        Andrew.staying on a 54 riviera named drought proof 2 will  be moored just east side of rat island not far off cray fishermans jetties.

        Cheers paul



      • #3798

        Andrew, it appears I missed you, I did chase a few yachts looking for you on jet ski. Anyways have a fantastic trip and we may cross paths in the Kimberlies -safe travels

    • #3769

      With our USA Catamaran Begonia we are AGAIN hoping to get to the Kimberly after several COVID failures.  This will be our last chance.  We are coming from QLD.  It doesn’t look good.

      WA still doesn’t seem to have opened the border *for boaters* from NT – please tell me i’m wrong?  implies that all travellers must somehow check in and only mentions air and road travel.

      Additionally NT wants arrivals from QLD to go direct to Darwin and not stop at all the lovely places in NT along the way (from QLD) – that sucks, but we’ll do it if we know WA is open.

      I keep hoping the rules will update and change, but if not, there doesn’t seem much point in leaving QLD with all it has to offer.

      Please someone feel free to give me hope.  Our cruising permit and visas will expire later this year, so this is our last chance to see the Kimberly!

      • #3772

        Hi Begonia,

        You can enter WA waters from Darwin. You need to get a G2G Pass from

        Select entry by sea and use Broome as your port of entry and as the address where you are staying when arriving. If you do get as far west as Broome, ring the police and let them know you have arrived before going ashore. You will need to include approx dates and times for leaving Darwin and entry to Broome. If you don’t actually get to Broome on your boat, but return to Darwin after sailing the KC, I suggest you cancel the G2G when you get back to Darwin. My understanding is that until you arrive at Broome, (official port of entry) you have not officially entered WA, I just successfully applied for a G2G by boat from Darwin to Broome. G2G was emailed to me instantly.

        Remote Aboriginal communities are still restricted entry, hence the no go community areas along the top of the NT coast. But you can still sail along the coast, islands and into many rivers etc. Just cant visit the communities. Same covid restrictions apply to Kalumburu on the KC. But there is no need to visit there unless in emergency.

        You need permits to go ashore along parts of the Kimberley cruising areas, which are available. But you can sail almost anywhere including the rivers in the Kimberley without restriction. There are a few restricted areas in the Marine Parks along the KC, but its unlikely you would want to sail into them anyway.

        I can definitely give you hope to cruise the KC this year, and it would be a shame if you missed it. You will love it.

        Happy sailing, Ross

    • #3797


      i have never sailed the Kimberly’s or Wetern Australian coast before

      i am planning on leaving Darwin early July and heading down the coast to Freemantle.

      how long should I allow to do this?

      Do you know of  any other’s who know this coast heading in this direction


      • #3815

        We made it to Darwin – here for a week or so, and then THE KIMBERLEY (Finally) – We are so very excited.  🙂

    • #3800

      G’day Richard,How long should you allow,you could see the major sites in a matter of months,i’m off on my third trip this year,barely scratched
      the surface.
      go to and download it ,print off the kimberley section and carry it with you.
      Also print tide charts of areas you will travel from the BOM website then with a bit of common sense you should be right.
      Always be CROC wary
      cheers steve

    • #3801

      Hi Richard, Steve’s suggestion about downloading the FSC WA Cruising Guide is spot on. It is the bible for sailing the West Coast.

      Ask around the marina’s in Darwin where you will likely find other boats sailing to Perth. Ideally, you should try to get to Perth by end of September before the wind starts to blow consistently from the south.

      Cheers, Ross

    • #3812

      G’day Everyone,

      Jarrod, Kat and our dog called Alaska. Sailing on our Beneteau Oceanis 393 monohull called Jaraman.

      Currently in Cullen Bay departing mid May heading down the WA coast eventually to Geraldton.

      If you see us on AIS or nearby in an anchorage feel free to pop over and say G’day.


      Jarrod & Kat

      SV Jaraman




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