Kimberley cruising and coronavirus

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    • #3327

      Does anyone have any updates on potential bans/no go zones for cruising the Kimberley coast this year with the current outbreak? Land permits have been revoked for the top end and Cape York but I cant find any information on the Kimberley and in particular the coastal fringe.


    • #3329
      John Peirce

      We are planning to sail in the Kimberley this year on ‘Esoterica’ leaving Darwin mid-April. We wrote to earlier this week to both the Dambimangari Aboriginal Community and the Wunambaal Gaambera People to ask about the shore based permits this year. Have not heard back from the first community but the latter have advised that they are still developing a policy for this year, and will advise as soon as they have more information. We will post this information when I get it.

      John and Kerryn Peirce,


    • #3330

      Thanks John and Kerryn. We were planning leaving Darwin a bit before mid April. I have also approached the 2 communities and have got no answer. I have all my permits except the DVP, did you manage to pay for that one? I keep getting told to wait for the web portal that doesn’t seem to have happened. Please post any information that you get regarding the coming cruising season and continued access and I will do the same if I get any word. Cheers Mark

    • #3333

      McGowan’s just posted that he is writing off the season and flying out. Lancho at Honeymoon’s is also a no tourist area.  Paul’s post advised that all permits have been cancelled.

      Making landfall anywhere could be problematic. This defeats the purpose of our plans.  For those just transiting the coast there shouldn’t be a problem. Just have a yellow flag up when you anchor maybe.😀

      We can’t even provision the boat for the 4 months we planned. We do have enough TP  and rum but will cancel our Kimberley  plans and  cruise the Montebellos instead.


      Rohan and Deb

    • #3334

      Just got an email from the powers that be and essentially you can only go ashore to obtain essential supplies ie water, fuel and only for for absolute minimum time it takes to collect them. They haven’t gone as far as cancelling the permits but may as well have done that given that there is a $50,000 fine for being ashore without the above reasons. I wonder if we can get a refund on the UVP that we have paid for given that it is essentially useless now? Question is are you entering the land of each community if you are staying below the high tide mark? It would seem that 18 months planning for this trip has been wasted.Maybe we will redirect to the east coast instead. Mark

    • #3335
      Ash n Mich

      Cape York is closed to non essential peoples and communities are in lock down, Punsand Bay is saying to people don’t cancel their planned 4wd trips to the cape as they are hopeful it will reopen but possibly not. I believe all WA remote communities are in lock down so the same will apply to them. As Canefire mentioned McGowans has closed for the time being. Only time will tell how long it all last, being on a boat is a safe place to be but restrictive in certain places.


    • #3336

      This is my opinion, not the KCCYC opinion. I would not worry about not having permits this year. If you don’t get the Native Title landowners paid permits, you will not get the Aboriginal Lands Trust free permits either, because they won’t issue most of the free permits until the paid permits are in place.

      It is highly unlikely you will see a Community Ranger out there, except perhaps in the Freshwater Cove, Langgi and Raft Point area where they run paid guided tours for the charter boat punters. There were also plans to run guided tours at Jar Island this year but given the passenger cruise liner industry has been closed, I’m guessing the guided tours will not proceed at Jar Island.

      I certainly would not cancel my private vessel cruise to the Kimberley this year just because I could not get the permits to go ashore. Take a hint here.

      I spoke to Paul the manager at McGowan Island a few days ago. The Kalumburu township has been closed to everyone except essential services personal. I understand this will be reviewed mid-May, but I expect Corona-virus issues will extend the closure. The closure stops 4WD campers getting through Kalumburu to reach the Honeymoon Bay and McGowan Island camping grounds, which is the main reason McGowan will not open. Fuel will not be available at McGowan Island Camp this 2020 cruising season.

      I’ve been advised that fuel WILL BE AVAILABLE at Dog Leg Creek in Yampi Sound for the 2020 dry season. However, the Cockatoo Island resort will not be open.

      If you need fuel from any of the other remote Kimberley Coast fuel suppliers such as Paspayley Pearls or Shore Barge, do not assume they will have fuel available. Make sure you have enough fuel range between reliable fuel stops. Every boat will be topping up with fuel like it’s dunny paper at Woolies, so expect there may be shortages in the remote areas.

      Corona-virus has impacted my business in Perth, along with most other businesses in Australia. We are in the middle of setting up systems to keep staff, customers suppliers etc. as safe as possible and to keep the business productive. Ros and I are in Darwin on our boat preparing to head west into the Kimberley in a few weeks but as Corona-virus is changing things on a daily basis we are considering staying within a day or two sail of Darwin in case we need to go home to Perth in a hurry.

      It’s possible we will not make it to the Beach Party on 4th July this year. But I’m sure the crews that do make it to the party will still enjoy it without us. I’m pleased to say that I have spoken to a few crews in Cullen Bay Marina in Darwin who are planning to be at the party. I think it’s fair to say that any boat crew that gets to the party is likely to have been in self quarantine for at least 14 days, just in the time it takes to sail to that area from the closest civilization. It should be a Corona-virus free party.

      Besides normal hygiene to protect yourself against the virus, I suggest you be very wary about allowing others onto your boat unless they have been at sea and away from other people for at least 14 days. The same goes if you visit other boats at sea. I would forget about crew transfers or inviting friends to join me on board as crew for part of the voyage.

      All the best and keep CV safe.


    • #3349

      Hi All, knowing the bio security and hard borders remain closed until review 15/06/20 is anyone else considering cruising the  Kimberly’s  this year ? We are still hopeful. What’s everyone else’s thoughts on being able to purchase fuel etc

      look forward to some positive banter and advice

      Glenice & John ( TE Rai Moana )

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