Find the answers to the most commonly asked questions about a holiday to the Kimberley and Outback. Do you have a question that wasn't answered here? You may contact us here and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.
Questions & Answers
When should I travel?
The best time to travel is often the time that suits you the most. This is usually in winter time within Australia, which is the dry season for the tropical regions of Cape York, Northern Territory and Kimberley. In South Australia and Outback Queensland, the temperatures are more moderate in the winter time and you won't feel the scorching heat of the summer. For our Western Australia coastal tours, the best time to travel coincides with the famous wildflower season. Wildflowers are best viewed between the Pilbara and Perth after good rainfall from the beginning of July through to October. Travelling to Broome during the dry season between June and September is favourable to experience less humid days.;
What level of health and fitness is required?
As tours visit remote areas and feature activities with varying degrees of difficulty, it is vital to select a tour with an activity level suited to your health and fitness. A good level of fitness is essential for you to undertake walks in hot conditions and over terrain with uneven and slippery surfaces. Some walks will require you to clamber over boulders up to one metre high. It is your responsibility to carry any medication you require for the tour’s duration and consult your local medical practitioner for any health advice.
What about the 4WD vehicles?
Our specially engineered custom built Mercedes Benz and Isuzu 4WD vehicles set a benchmark. They have air conditioning, comfortable coach-style reclining seating, state-of-the-art PA system, large tinted windows and are equipped with a satellite phone, first aid kit and drinking water.
What’s a standard meal?
There’s nothing standard about the meals on any of our adventures, which are praised as being plentiful, well-balanced and healthy. Enjoy a sumptuous buffet breakfast with hot and cold options; take in a delicious light lunch; then savour a delectable multi-course dinner. Should you have any special dietary requirements, you must advise these at the time of booking.
How much time do you spend in the vehicle per day?
Our tours are designed so that if you have a day in the vehicle, it is after a full day of activity so you can rest. It may take us up to 8 hours on some days to get to our destination from the time of leaving our origin. Each day includes stops for morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea, along with a number of toilet breaks and plenty of opportunities to stop for a refreshing swim at any of the gorges or rivers or to see some of the local rock art.
Can clothes be washed along the way?
In larger centres, hotels feature coin-operated washing machines and dryers. Hand washing facilities are available at each of our Wilderness Lodges in the Kimberley (however, washing is not encouraged at Bungle Bungle Wilderness Lodge due to water conservation principles). In larger centres such as Darwin, Kununurra and Broome, hotels feature coin-operated washing machines and dryers. All small expedition ships have laundry facilities available (own expense).
What About Alcohol?
Lodges and hotels in the Kimberley are licensed to sell alcohol. They stock a limited range of alcoholic beverages for purchase, allowing you to enjoy an evening drink (to guests over 18 years of age). Guests cannot bring their own alcohol. A selection of alcoholic beverages are included at your discretion aboard the MS Caledonian Sky and L’Austral, and during lunch and dinner aboard the Coral Discoverer.
Are there any luggage restrictions?
Due to the vehicle size and strict regulations for vehicle weight, there is limited luggage capacity. Please pack your required items into one small bag (no hard suitcases) weighing no more than 16kgs. Alternatively, soft suitcases are acceptable if they fit within the following dimensions of 66cm length x 35cm width x 32cm height. APT duffle bags are available, enquire for more details.
If you have excess luggage, please arrange for it to be stored at your hotel if returning to it post tour or organise for it to be forwarded to the tour’s final destination (own expense). If you have purchased a tour including small aircraft (Independent Air Tours) further restrictions apply. The limit is 10kg on the aircraft and excess luggage will need to be stored at your Kununurra accommodation.
What about mobile phone coverage and the internet?
In the Outback and Kimberley regions, mobile phone service is extremely limited and only available in major centres. Days of phone coverage are few and far between, even with Telstra 4G services. Very few hotels have public phones or internet access.
Do I need travel insurance?
Travel insurance is mandatory on all cruises and highly recommended on all land tours. Purchase comprehensive cover for any unforeseen circumstances that may arise on tour or before leaving home. (This includes cover for any cancellation penalties, medical and curtailment expenses, loss of luggage, etc.).
Do I need a passport and visa?
If you are travelling aboard the MS Caledonian Sky or L’Austral, you must have a valid passport with at least six months validity from the return date. It is your responsibility to ensure these are obtained prior to departure. Guests travelling on the Coral Discoverer do not require a passport. Please be advised that visas are not required for any of our cruises..
Which airlines fly to the Kimberley?
Qantas fly to Darwin and Broome from all major Australian centres. Air North, the Kimberley’s regional airline operates daily services between Darwin, Kununurra and Broome. Skywest operate flights from Perth to Broome and Kununurra.
Is the environment impacted?
Our Wilderness Lodges have minimal environmental impact whilst giving guests the unique opportunity to be surrounded by untouched habitat. We are proud to have been able to establish our Wilderness Lodges on Aboriginal land, with the welcome of traditional owners.
No other major tour operator in the Kimberley has achieved Advanced Eco-tourism certification.
When is the Kimberley at its best?
- April through to October are the most pleasant months to travel through the remote Kimberley region
- In April/May and September/October the weather is fine and hot with mild nights (average maximum 33 degrees Celsius)
- From June to August the days are fine and warm with cold nights (average maximum 29 degrees Celsius)
Inland conditions at night can drop down to 2 degrees Celsuis. Rainfall is rare. We recommend including some winter clothing when travelling during this time of year for nights.
Are there scenic helicopter flights over Mitchell Falls and the Bungle Bungle?
The uniqueness of the Kimberley region can be fully appreciated from the seat of a helicopter. We have included a short flight over the Mitchell Falls and extensions can be purchased through your Driver/Guide. Bungle Bungle flights can also be organized through your Driver/Guide whilst on tour for an additional cost.
What's the main difference between the three ships?
While offering slightly different cruising experiences, all three expedition ships boast the highest level of enjoyment.
The APT-owned MS Caledonian Sky offers the most in-depth journey of the Kimberley Coast and perfectly combines this magnificent exploration with the ultimate in an elegant onboard lifestyle.
For a more refined cruise, the luxury French-owned vessel L’Austral offers the chance to discover the highlights of the Kimberley while enjoying a cruising experience with a new level of style and elegance.
If you’re seeking a more intimate cruise, the newly refurbished Coral Discoverer boasts a boutique size from which to explore the coast.