The Kimberley and Pilbara regions of Western Australia cover an enormous area of more than 900,000 square kilometres. One of the world's last great wilderness areas, it is a stunning mix of vast plains, waterfalls, river systems and rugged ranges with magnificent gorges. Its coastal areas are made up of long, sandy beaches, lapped by the Indian Ocean. The ancient area has wildlife, birdlife and plant species found nowhere else on the planet.
The best way to appreciate and marvel at the beauty of the amazing area is from above, and a voyage on the True North combines doing just that while making your way along the region's waterways in total luxury.
True North is the most modern and luxurious cruise boat of its type in Australia. The state-of-the-art, 50-metre cruiser was purpose-designed and built for exploring the remote waters of the Kimberley and Pilbara.
It has a crew of 18 and can comfortably accommodate up to 36 passengers and has three operational decks. It has four Explorer-class state rooms, six River-class luxury double cabins and eight Ocean-class deluxe twin cabins, all with private ensuite. There is a forward sitting room and bar and large entertainment area midships complete with internet café. There is a sun deck and observation lounge which allow passengers to see every bit of passing scenery to full advantage.
Two chefs are on hand to prepare gourmet meals which are served in the lower deck dining room which offers uninterrupted views. Each day pre-dinner drinks and snacks are served on the deck as the sun sinks.
The vessel comes equipped with an on-board Bell 407 helicopter which takes up to six passengers on scenic flights over waterfalls, rivers and gorges, giving them the opportunity to enjoy heli-fishing in some of the country's most remote parts.
There are also six seven-metre expedition boats for fishing, crabbing, bushwalking viewing ancient rock art and exploring, complete with tour guide.
A flight over the Mitchell River National Park is a highlight. The 115,300 hectares is full of beauty. The river flows northwards, draining into Walmsley Bay and Admiralty Gulf, carving gorges in the sandstone along its journey. Fan palms are dominant, as are small patches of rainforest with pandanus and paperbarks lining watercourses. Mitchell Falls and the Surveyors Pool waterhole are a series of falls and pools culminating in a deep gorge. They are home to many protected crocodiles.
Next week David's Kimberley experience continues.