Top 10 Expedition Cruises Vacations in Australia and the South Pacific
The list of must-do destinations in this area is enormous and includes Antarctica, Papua New Guinea, The Kimberleys, Melanesia and the Great Barrier Reef. There is a real balance of culture and nature in expedition cruises in the South Pacific. The relative isolation of many islands has protected their native traditions and is fascinating for shore excursions. Plus the marine biology and coral reefs are a real natural scientists delight.
Nowhere in the world are icebergs this big or colonies of penguins so large. Zodiacs allow access to hidden bays and rocky inlets full of drifting icebergs, whales and leopard seals and get you on shore to walk amongst the penguins. Naturalists and historians help bring the world of ice alive as do visits to various research stations.
- Kimberleys, West Australia
The shallow draft and maneuverability of expedition vessels and onboard zodiacs make exploration of the gorges and rivers on this coastline so much easier. Helicopter flights are also available. Experienced guides can interpret the cultural remnants of Australian Aboriginal people and explain the variety of native wildlife.
This series of islands are like a garden paradise. The beautiful tropical islands are all fringed with reef and a wide variety of marine animals; perfect for snorkeling. While ashore there are native birds, waterfalls and fire walking inhabitants.
- Papua New Guinea
The romance of the South Pacific is alive and well in the archipelago’s, seas and rivers of PNG. There are a multitude of cultural and natural attractions allowing you to trek live volcanoes, dive on WWII ship and aircraft wrecks, sing and dance with mud-smeared natives and learn from village artisans.
- South Pacific islands
Scattered across the Western Pacific lie some of the most remote and spectacular island chains in the world. There are so many remote islands, motus and atolls to explore by sea or on land; ancient human habitation sites and wonderful island cultures with traditional skills to uncover. Visit Tahiti, Fiji, French Polynesia, American Samoa and everything in and around.
- Bay of Islands, New Zealand
Re-trace the journeys of the earliest indigenous and European settlers in these remote waterways off the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island. Zodiacs allow you to explore the secret alcoves, get ashore to enjoy guided walks and lectures with expert naturalists and photograph rare native birds and wildlife.
- Shark Bay, Western Australia
Tour from the pristine waters of Shark Bay along the stark, shipwreck-littered Western Australian coastline. Expeditions cater for divers, hard core fishermen, snorkelers, walkers, nature or history buffs and the average loafer-cum-sightseer.
- The Top End, Cairns to Darwin
The Northern Australian coastline is rarely visited due to limited road access so expedition boats take you right into the remote. From Cairns enjoy the famous Great Barrier Reef, the remote National Parks of Cape York Peninsula and the waters of the Arafura and Timor seas. Learn of the success and failures of early explorers and be fascinated by the diverse cultures of the Aboriginal, Torres Strait and Tiwi Islanders.
- Great Barrier Reef
The secrets of the Barrier Reef lie just beneath the water surface. Expedition boats can glide you over the coral by glass bottom boat, allow you to snorkel or dive to see the mystical underwater world of marine life and vibrant tropical fish, explore remote and uninhabited islands, or be a lazy beachcomber.
- Gordon River, Tasmania
Environmentally aware tourists and vacationmakers in search of the fabled wild Tasmanian west can find it on the Gordon River. From the scenic stretches of the Macquarie Harbour into the Gordon you can also do dawn kayaking, trek through ancient forest to see the famous Huon Pine, visit the haunted Sarah Island penal colony and visit the Birch’s Creek sanctuary to see the ultra-rare Orange-bellied Parrot.