CORAL GEOGRAPHER Abrolhos Islands Coral Coast slider map


12 Nights - Broome to Fremantle (or reverse)

This Coral Geographer Abrolhos Island Cruise explores Western Australia’s wild and largely untouched coast, with its contrasting coastal palette of rich red sands and turquoise sea. With a fascinating maritime and Indigenous history, this region is layered with stories. The natural coastal reserves harbour abundant birdlife and marine species. Explore the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Shark Bay World Heritage Area, Ningaloo Reef, Montebello Islands, Muiron Islands and Dampier Archipelago.

Embark: Board Coral Adventurer at Victoria Quay in Fremantle Inner Harbour at 8:00 am for a 9:00 am departure.

Disembark: Arrive and disembark at 8:00 am in Broome

Note: Throughout the expedition we may make changes to the itinerary as necessary to maximise your expeditionary experience. Allowances may be made for seasonal variations, weather, tidal conditions and any other event that may affect the operation of the vessel. Coral Expeditions suggests that you do not arrive on the day of embarkation or depart on the day of disembarkation due to any changes that may occur in scheduling. No two Tasmania cruises with Coral Expeditions will be the same as each expedition is crafted by our experienced Masters and Expedition Leaders, allowing us to quickly respond to favourable weather conditions to offer you the very best of Tasmania’s flora, fauna and wild coastline. Below are the key destinations we visit.


Arrive at the Quest Hotel at 7am for SailSAFE check-in before a transfer to board at 8.00am at Victoria Quay at Fremantle Inner Harbour.

There is time to settle into your stateroom before our 9:00am departure. Take the time to become acquainted with all the facilities onboard as we cruise northwards towards the Abrolhos.

As dusk falls meet your fellow travellers, the Captain and crew for the Captain’s Welcome Drinks.


The Abrolhos Islands consist of 122 islands, clustered into three main groups, the Wallabi, Easter and Pelsaert Groups. Lying in the steam of the southward flowing Leeuwin current, the marine environment here is a meeting place for tropical and temperate sea life. Common marine mammals include Australian sea lions and bottlenose dolphins, and over 90 species of seabird have been identified. The treacherous reefs around these islands have claimed many wrecks over the centuries, the most famous being the Batavia in 1629 – whose Dutch crew swam ashore only to experience a brutal mutiny.

The Abrolhos islands offer a near-pristine natural environment with a diverse range of marine and terrestrial fauna and flora. This area also offers a rich history including shipwrecks and remnants of early colonial industries such as guano mining and commercial fishing.

We will spend three days exploring this area, visiting all three main groups: Pelsaert (Southern), Easter Group & the Wallabi Group.

A broad range of activities will be available across these three days including visiting historical sites, wildlife viewing and world-class diving and snorkelling sites. The Australian sea lions love to swim and play with snorkelers and divers here.

At the Pelsaert (Southern) group we will have the opportunity to visit Liddon Pearl Farm and Crayfishing operations on Post Office Island. Here we learn what is involved with growing the pearls, learning the different shells and pearl categories, and how the different types of pearls are set. We will also have insights into the renowned cray fishing industry of the island, from the family who has been in the Abrolhos for 4 generations. Later is the opportunity to snorkel the blue holes from the jetty, or even the reef where our local guides will take us to the best spots for coral, fish, dolphins, squid, seals and other marine wildlife.

Activities will be subject to weather and tides as this area is known to be very tidal and windy.


At the Easter Group we will have the opportunity to visit the Sea Lion colony at Little Sandy Island, home to the largest colony of Sea Lions in the Abrolhos.

Later, snorkel the vibrant coral reefs at locations such as Squid Hole, the Anemone Lump or Morley Island. Also enjoy the opportunity to bird watch at Wooded Island.

Activities will be subject to weather and tides as this area is known to be very tidal and windy.


Conditions permitting, visit Beacon Island, also known as the Island of Angry Ghosts, where 126 men, women and children were massacred by the blood thirsty mutineers of this area over 400 years ago. Home to fantastic bird life, as well as the Batavia Memorial cairn and the coral pits are still evident from where Jeronimus Cornelisz (the mutiny ring leader) was held prior to his trial and execution.

Cruise past the Pidgeon islands, the wealthiest of the crayfishing islands. Birdwatch for Ospreys, White-Bellied sea eagles and Caspian Terns amongst other birdlife.

Also, enjoy the chance to snorkel off picturesque Turtle Bay, and take a short walk along the beach where you may see Tamar Wallabies, skinks, and the endemic Abrolhos Dwarf Bearded Dragons.


Spend two days exploring the Shark Bay World Heritage Area, the first location in Western Australia to receive UNESCO World Heritage status in 1991. This is a region of colourful landscapes, rare flora and fauna, and home to a staggering 35% of all of Australia’s bird species. Explore Francois Peron National Park, named after the naturalist on explorer Nicholas Baudin’s expeditions.

Cruise past historic Cape Inscription, the site of Dirk Hartog’s landing in 1616, and time permitting enjoy a refreshing swim off the sandy remote beach.


The remote and well-hidden Bateman’s Bay, just north of Coral Bay, is a much more remote and untouched landscape in comparison with beautiful sand beaches.

Tide permitting, visit the spectacular Oyster Bridge rock formation, jutting out from the beach which provides a sheltered lagoon in which we will have the opportunity to snorkel over the oyster-covered rocks. On the outer side of the rock formation is much deeper, a great spot for advanced snorkelers to catch a glimpse of much larger fish.


One of the longest and most pristine fringing reefs in the world, Ningaloo Reef has an unusually narrow continental shelf. The deep oceanic waters, reef and coastline communities are close in proximity, resulting in a huge array of significant and healthy marine life coexisting in one area.  The Ningaloo Coast is also one of the most important turtle nesting rookeries in the Indian Ocean, with a significant maritime history from explorers, traders, pearl luggers, whaling and fishing.

Spend the day at Cape Range National Park with options to snorkel at Turquoise Bay, visit Yardie Creek via a 1.2km Nature Walk, head up to the Vlamingh Head lighthouse or visit the Ningaloo Centre. There will also be some free time to explore Exmouth.


The Muiron Islands are located approximately 10 nautical miles off the North West Cape. The Islands are well known for their incredible reef, colourful soft corals, an abundance of turtles, schools of fish and even sightings of manta rays! A variety of dive sites are on offer at this destination, including swim-throughs and ledges where nudibranchs, eels and angelfish hide. With fantastic bommies and protected reef, snorkellers will appreciate the variety of soft corals and gorgonians as well the incredible fish life. Birdlife is abundant onshore – see if you can spot wedge-tail shearwaters, roseate terns, osprey, and black-shouldered kites (just to name a few).

After in-water activities, stretch your legs on a stroll down the beach on these untouched islands.


The Montebello Islands or ‘Montes’ are an archipelago of more than 250 limestone islands and islets off the coast of the Pilbara.  Much delight for the birdwatchers among us, the islands are considered an Important Bird Area, as they support over 1% of the world populations of fairy and roseate terns, as well as Sooty Oystercatchers.

The Montes have an ‘explosive’ past. Alpha and Trimouille Islands were the site of three British atomic weapons tests in the 1950s. Relics of the military operation can still be found on the islands today. We will visit the plinth, which marks Ground Zero at Trimouille Island, where now you will find a haven for wildlife, including the rufous hare wallaby.

A fascinating maritime history surrounds the Montebello Island. Survivors of the Dutch vessel “Tryall” swam here after their ship was wrecked in 1622, therefore being the first Europeans to land on the islands.

We will spend a full day exploring this island group, including wildlife spotting opportunities and beautiful beaches walks. Keep watch for the rare rufous hare wallaby and lagoon rays while exploring amazing vistas.


Consisting of 42 islands and islets, 25 of which are nature reserves, the iron red islands of the Dampier Archipelago stand in bright contrast to the turquoise waters which surround them.

The archipelago not only offers exceptional natural beauty but significant sites for Aboriginal and European Heritage, many of which are in National Heritage Listed Areas. Named for English Explorer William Dampier who first visited the islands aboard the Cygnet in 1699, the islands’ earliest inhabitants were the Yaburara people, as is evident by thousands of rock engravings, shell middens and stone arrangements scattered across the area.

Search for ancient aboriginal petroglyphs on remote island beaches, swim in the vibrant blue water or paddle out for a leisurely kayak. We will also take some time to enjoy bird and wildlife spotting – bottlenose dolphins are regularly seen in this area, alongside the archipelago supporting the largest hawksbill turtle rookery in the Indo-Pacific region. Birdwatchers will have the opportunity to see several species of migratory waders as well as sea eagles and ospreys. With some luck we may even see the elusive Rothschild’s rock wallaby.


Arrive in Broome for an 8:00am disembarkation.

For more information on our Coral Geographer Abrolhos Island Cruise or any other cruise, call us now. We are available to chat 7 days a week! 

CALL 1300 799 758

Note on fitness levels: this trip is suitable for passengers of all fitness levels, though reasonable mobility is required to enjoy all it has to offer. Our Xplorer tender permits easy boarding without climbing any stairs. Hikes vary in intensity and where possible we split groups to suit easy and moderate walkers. Guests are welcome to opt out of any excursion and relax onboard – our top deck outdoor lounge is great on a sunny day. The ship has no elevator. As the itinerary covers remote regions, it is not suitable for passengers with serious medical conditions.

Note that each itinerary will include a mix of the above attractions, depending on prevailing conditions. The Captain and Expedition Team will make daily itinerary changes to maximise the guest experience and take advantage of opportunities opened up by weather. There will be a daily briefing onboard to advise guests on the upcoming day’s activities. Time of departure and return are guaranteed – the rest is an adventure! The expedition will visit Port Davey and Bathurst Harbour conditions permitting. We always aim to visit these beautiful destinations, but if we are not able to enter, an alternative destination more appropriate to the inclement weather conditions will be chosen by the Captain.

Note the summer temperature can still be very cool especially with the wind chill so warm layered clothing is essential.

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