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40 Scoop Traveller June-December 2010
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CRAIG HOWSON | Kimberley by air
To help us celebrate the 10th anniversary of The Great Escape Charter Company,
owner Chris ‘Trippy’ Tucker has pulled together the ultimate diving itinerary
– his favourite of the tours on offer through his passion (read business).
DAY ONE Arrive at Clerk Reef at 8am and anchor up inside the lagoon.
First up is The Blue Lagoon, an easy dive to familiarise with the new
environment and equipment. Average depth is 12m, sloping down to a
sandy bottom and coral bommies at 30m.
DAY TWO The main boat drops you on the outer lagoon to drift in through
The Channel to Clerke Reef. This drift dive starts at 40m to go through the
channel at 12m. Lunch inside the lagoon where the dive ended before heading
for an afternoon drift along the edge of the atoll. Before last light, snorkel
the dinghy channels: it’s like flying underwater as you cruise at 6 knots.
DAY THREE Dive the Western Wall before breakfast. The first half of the
dive is deep, the last half in the 10m range. Over breakfast, the boat heads
towards Jimmy goes to China: a 40m wall encrusted with large gorgonians
and black corals. Over lunch, it’s off to Tiger Alley for a drift dive. Catch the
sunset on Bedwell Island’s sandy beach with rare red-tailed tropic birds.
DAY FOUR First dive at The Crevasse’, a similar formation as the Western
Wall. Then cruise over to Mermaid Reef. Once there, dive V in the wall, a
big bommie on the reef edge. Last dive before heading into the lagoon is
The Cod Hole, about 18m deep with lots of bommies and a few cracks.
DAY FIVE The most spectacular dive, the Wall, is a drift dive, the wall is a
sheer vertical from the reef that breaks the water’s surface down to 110m,
sloping off sharply with a rubble bottom. This is a great area to spot large
sharks, especially the rare greater hammerhead. Head down to The Caves
for a dive before lunch. After lunch it’s The Net. The name comes from the
fact that it is a complex dive to navigate and that an old piece of trawling
net was found on one corner of the reef. The dive goes down to 40m,
average depth 18m. Finally there’s a twilight dive before packing your gear
and heading back to Broome.
CHRIS ‘TRIPPY’ TUCKER
Rowley Shoals dive | The Kimberley
Managing Director of North Star
Cruises, Craig has been taking care
of luxury cruises (with helicopter)
for over 20 years – here, he shares
with us his ultimate five-day
Kimberley tour from Broome.
ARRIVAL Arrive in Broome on an
afternoon flight. Visit the local pearl
shops and watch the magnificent
sunset over Cable Beach.
DAY ONE A boat is positioned at
Clerke Reef, Rowley Shoals. Catch a
morning flight on a sea-plane and
arrive at the Rowley Shoals for sport
fishing, then picnic on the beach.
Go for a dive or do some drift
snorkelling. In the afternoon,
the sea-plane drops you for a night
at Eco Beach.
DAY TWO At sunrise, a helicopter
flies you over the Fitzroy River,
stopping to catch barramundi,
swim in fresh pools and picnic.
Finish at Mornington Wilderness
Camp, off the Gibb River Road.
DAY THREE At sunrise, fly to the
Walcott Inlet. Spend the morning
heli-fishing for barramundi, and
swimming under waterfalls on the
Isdell and Charnley rivers. Fly
along the Prince Regent River,
stopping at the Kings Cascades
before ending up at a scenic
location overlooking Prince
DAY FOUR Wake up for a swim,
then helicopter to One Tree Beach.
Spend the morning fishing and
mud-crabbing with our mate
Robert ‘Bluey’ Vaughn. Helicopter
to Eagle Falls for a heli-picnic at
the top of the waterfall and have a
swim in its huge pools. Then fly to
the bush camp at Faraway Bay.
DAY FIVE Fly into the King George
River and land on top of yacht True
North just after showering at the
fountain of youth. Climb to the top
of the falls, then the True North
chefs cook lunch. Fly to a secret
heli-fishing hole on the Pentecost
River and finish the day at the
Homestead at El Questro Station.
In the morning fly into the Bungle
Bungles and have a morning walk
through the gorges before a scenic
flight over Lake Argyle. Finish in
Kununurra to buy some diamonds
before flying home!
and Fitzroy River.
A beautiful vista
at Rowley Shoals.
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