25/04/2018 at 1:47 pm #2537
We are in a sailing catamaran.
We expect to take our time and have a good look, with no time restraints.
I was just wondering how long others stay for.
04/05/2018 at 5:40 pm #2539
You are in for a treat… the Kimberley is amazing. Time spent cruising is limitless however in reality most will head into the Kimberley from Broome or Darwin in late April / early May and then be thinking about getting back to Darwin in September or to Broome by early September giving them time to get down the west coast before the south westerlies set in. We know members who for various reasons have had only a month to cruise through the Kimberley and others who have not left and stay on for the wet season. All have enjoyed the experience. We have been fortunate to have had four seasons in the Kimberley to date and planning another this year. The longest stay was 13 weeks and this year will be the shorter as we are sailing back from QLD and will only have 6 weeks to travel Darwin to Broome. One tip would be to focus on one or two areas or rivers. It would be easy and very enjoyable to spend 4 to 6 weeks Broome to Doubtful Bay and back taking in Crocodile Creek, Raft Point, Montgomery Reef, Ruby Falls, Saphire Falls, Dugong Bay and the Kingfisher Islands and Camden Sound for the whales in season etc. Alternately choose a river or two to explore. The east Kimberley rivers are spectacular – King George and Berkeley however you will need to allow time to get there – depends if you are coming from the north (Darwin) or south (Perth). You are in a cat with a shallow draft – the river anchorages are calm and the scenery usually spectacular. It is worth taking some time to plan the tides and get into the rivers. A longer stay in the Kimberley requires more effort with provisioning but very do able if you have a desalinator or are prepared to collect fresh water all goes well for a memorable experience. Good luck and ‘take it all in’ … Cheers, Janie and Kevin aboard ‘Sojourn’
11/05/2018 at 4:55 am #2543
I’ll be coming from Brisbane, still working out if we should take our time getting to Darwin and leave it on the hard for the wet season, fly home and come back the following dry to spend longer there.
I’d like to keep going the long way around but I’m not sure about my wife so it’s still up in the air.
12/05/2018 at 12:00 pm #2545
Hi Dave, Just like Janie and Kevin, Ros and I have been visiting the K coast for years and we have spent months at a time out there. We still have lots of places yet to visit, and like J&K, we also keep going back to our favorite spots such as the King George, Berkeley, Vansittart Bay, Osborne’s, Swift Bay, Palm Island, Sampson Inlet, Deception, Red Cone, Horizontal Falls area, Yampi Sound area and many more.
We have also sailed the return trip between Whitsunday’s and Darwin several times. There are some great places to visit in FNQ and across the top, but the big difference is the constant 20-25 knot south easterly trade winds north of Cooktown to Darwin and in the Bonaparte Gulf. They can make finding a comfortable anchorage difficult to stop and explore in a dinghy. There are good anchorages, but you may have to shift a few times to find the right spot if staying in one place for a few days. We find it tempting to up anchor and keep going in the morning rather than suffer a sloppy anchorage for another day. Whereas the Kimberley has hundreds of places to get out of the weather. West of Cape Bougainville, the SE breeze starts to drop off and you can expect many days of less than 10 knots. Even if it is blowing, there are lots of places to get out of the wind and still be able to explore in a dinghy.
My choice would be to visit the Kimberley this year, leave your boat in Darwin over the wet and visit the Kimberley again next year before heading back east as late in the dry season as possible to avoid the worst of the SE breezes you will be sailing into.
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