Cape York and Arnhem Land Dates & Rates

An unforgettable experience that combines the best of The Top End, as it is affectionately known, The Great Barrier Reef, Cape York Peninsula, Arnhem Land and the Cobourg Peninsula.

The northern reaches of the Great Barrier Reef are the most remote and pristine areas of this magnificent national park. Our journey follows Captain James Cook’s voyage of discovery into the communities and cultures of the peoples of this remarkable coast. Experience the diverse cultures of the Aboriginal, Torres Strait and Tiwi Islanders who call this remote and beautiful region ‘home’.

Here, nature is an all-powerful force: monsoons rejuvenate the rivers and floodplains, bringing wealth to the cattle ranchers of the savannah lands and providing the lifeblood to the inhabitants of the sleepy coastal towns. The mighty estuarine crocodile is indeed King of the Wild and the waters of the Arafura Sea are alive with marine and birdlife.

Join an expedition that will see you encounter The Top End from the comfort and style of our superb luxury vessel!

dates & prices

There are no trips scheduled for this expedition.



Day 1 Departs Darwin

Coral Princess07:00am: Board the Coral Princess at Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory and gateway to the “Top End”. Depart Darwin at 08:00am for the Tiwi Islands. This afternoon we visit Bathurst and Melville Islands. With traditional Tiwi as our guides we learn of the unique cultures of the Tiwi people and visit their fascinating art centres. There is the opportunity to purchase their wonderful screen-printing, art, woodcarvings and pottery. This evening enjoy the Captain’s Welcome Aboard Cocktail Party.

Day 2 Cobourg Peninsula

On Cobourg Peninsula, Port Essington is famous for the ruins of the failed Victoria Settlement. Here we use the services of the National Park Rangers to guide and help us explore the ruins. We will also visit the Ranger’s Interpretation Centre at Black Point.

Day 3 Arnhem Land coast and Beach BBQ

Having cruised through Bowen Strait and across the Arnhem Land coast we make landfall on one the beautiful islands of the Wessel Group. Here our expert guides and lecturers will share with you the fascinating history of the Macassan traders and early discoverers. Time and tides permitting we will enjoy a beach BBQ on one of these uninhabited islands.

Day 4 Wessel Islands

We spend the day cruising and exploring the Wessel and English Company Islands.

Day 5 Gove

We cruise through “The Hole in the Wall”, Malay Straits and berth in the port of Nhulunbuy (Gove). On disembarking we are transferred to the Walkabout Lodge, tonight’s accommodation.

Day 6 Gove and Horn Island

This morning we enjoy time to discover this frontier town before visiting the Nambarra Art Centre. After lunch we visit the Yirrkala Arts and crafts centre and transfer to the airport for our charter flight across the Gulf of Carpentaria to Horn Island. Here we enjoy a tour of the island and learn of the significance of the Torres Strait Islands during World War II. Accommodation tonight is at the Gateway Torres Strait Resort.

Day 7 Thursday Island

This morning we are transferred by ferry to Thursday Island and rejoin Coral Princess. During the tour of Thursday Island we learn of the history of European settlement and the large pearling fleets. We will also have the opportunity to observe the distinctly different cultures of the Torres Strait Islanders and the Aboriginals. This afternoon we visit Gab Titui Cultural Centre where the local children perform traditional dances. Following a short cruise to Cape York we go ashore and enjoy the sunset and champagne at the “Tip”.

Day 8 Forbes Island and Reef

Enjoy the day exploring this historical island. Time for swimming and snorkelling.

Day 9 Davey Reef and Flinders Group of Islands

At Davey Reef and Cay we enjoy swimming and snorkelling and observe the large seabird rookery. We then go ashore at Stanley Island and view the Endaen Aboriginal rock art gallery depicting sailing ships of the last century. This is a unique art site seldom visited due to its isolated location. Time permitting we will also go ashore at Cape Melville famous for its peculiar mass of granite boulders that have tumbled down to the waters edge.

Day 10 Lizard Island

Here we spend the day at one of the most beautiful islands on the Queensland Coast. We have the opportunity to climb Cook’s Look, enjoy swimming and snorkelling and explore the Blue Lagoon.

Day 11 Ribbon Reefs

Enjoy the day snorkelling, swimming and coral viewing on the magnificent Great Barrier Reef. This evening join the Captain and crew for his farewell cocktail party.

Day 12 Cairns

Arrive into the Port of Cairns at approximately 08:00am.

This itinerary is an indication of the reef, islands and coastal areas we visit. While every effort will be made to follow the itinerary we do reserve the right to vary this itinerary to make allowances for weather and tidal conditions and any other event that may affect the operation of the vessel.



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How to Prepare


How to Book

Contact us

If you are interested in an Aurora Expeditions voyage, please contact our sales team to check availability.
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Terms & Conditions

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Preparation for your voyage

On receipt of the booking form, we will contact you to confirm your booking and our reservations staff will send you a comprehensive pre-departure kit. This kit will contain all necessary pre-departure information including visa information, insurance information, a medical and personal details form, comprehensive gear list and information tailored to your voyage.

Aurora Expeditions - Your Personal Travel Agent

Aurora Expeditions is a licensed travel agent. Our experienced reservations consultants all have specialised expertise on the destinations we travel to. Each voyage has a dedicated travel expert solely working on developing dynamic itineraries for our passengers.  Contact our reservations team and allow us to create a personal itinerary to compliment your voyage, including airfares, accommodation, travel insurance and pre and post voyage travel options.

We look forward to assisting you with your journey of a lifetime.

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