Extras

Celebrating 30 Years of Australian Geographic’s ‘Wilderness Couple’

When Michael Cusack first visited the Kimberley in 1970 he never dreamt he’d be back 17 years later to spend a year living in the region’s harsh, yet beautiful landscape. Even when he and his wife Susan responded to the “Year in the Wilderness” advertisment in the Australian Geographic (Ed. 4) magazine looking for an “adventurous couple who will accept such a challenge”, he didn’t think he’d actually get the chance.

But he did. And in 1986 Mike and Susan were selected from among 500 couples to become Australian Geographic’s first ‘Wilderness Couple’.

Mike and Susan landed in the Kimberley on 28 June 1987 for 12 months , setting up what was later to be dubbed ‘Cusack Camp’ at an abandoned Presbyterian mission at Kunmunya, inland of Port George IV. They set to work to build a two-room shack – one room to sleep and another for everything else – although it wasn’t fully complete until 7 months in.

Days were spent scouting fresh water and supplementary food sources, and exploring the land; the country of the indigenous Worora people who had survived in the region for more than 400 generations!

Over the 12 challenging months, Mike and Susan overcame many hardships and challenges, including bushfires, drought, extreme heat, dehydration and ultimately, the life-giving Wet. That year created a bond between the couple and the Kimberley that has only increased with time.

Share Mike’s Story

Australian Geographic SocietyIn 2017 Aurora Expeditions and the Australian Geographic Society will join forces to celebrate Mike and Susan’s Year in the Wilderness. Over four exclusive voyages along the Kimberley Coast, each passenger will have the chance to travel with Mike and learn more about the ‘Year in the Wilderness’ story.

As well as discovering all the highlights along the Kimberley coast – including a few of Mike’s secret stops - each voyage will offer the chance for passengers to take the 10km rock-hopping hike back to ‘Cusack Camp’ at Kunmunya and discover what it was like living in the Kimberley outback.

As an added bonus, Aurora Expeditions will donate $150 for every travelling passenger to the Australian Geographic Society to assist their ongoing projects to support everyday Australians in their quest for adventure and discovery.

View our 2017 Kimberley Coast expeditions here.

We enjoyed every part of our time in Alaska and think this will be a very popular addition to your expedition range.
M & J. Spinks
Everyone was singularly good at their job, very friendly but most all very enthusiastic about the environment and also their willingness to make our trip so much more enjoyable!
A. McKean. Alaska’s Inside Passage, 2015
We had an absolutely awesome Arctic adventure with Aurora. Loved it!
T. Solomons. Spitsbergen Odyssey, 2015
The trip was simply brilliant, a great adventure providing us with wonderful memories and exceptional insight into this fragile environment. Thank you all so very much.
S. O'Neil, Across the Arctic Circle
I cannot rate Aurora, the staff, the expedition team, the hotel staff and chefs and the crew highly enough. And the ship....love Polar Pioneer in all its non-luxury glory!
K. Hinchliffe, Jewels of the Arctic, 2015
We don't usually go on organised tours. Of course Antarctica had to be an exception. I am glad we chose Aurora, everything was great.
D. Cotogno, Across the Antarctic Circle, 2016
The opportunity to get up close to so many birds and animals was amazing...This was an AWESOME experience!!
T. Pressland, Across the Antarctic Circle, 2016
The whole trip was extremely professional, friendly responsive staff, great organisation, a lifetime experience that will not be forgotten.
J. Boehm, South Georgia & Antarctic Odyssey, 2016
Extras

Amazon Sacha Lodge

Sitting on the banks of Ecuador’s Rio Napo (Nap River) is Sacha Lodge – a traditional-style lodge from where we base ourselves for our true jungle adventure. Located just over a two-hour boat ride from the nearest port, Sacha lodge offers an instant immersion in the steamy cauldron of life that is Amazonia.

Ecuador's Amazonia region alone contains some 650 types of trees, 600 varieties of birds (from swooping parrots to spectacular toucans), 600 species of fish, 250 kinds of amphibians and reptiles (slithering anacondas, crafty caimans), and some 200 mammals (from sleepy sloths to the elusive jaguar).

Each day at Sacha Lodge is packed with adventure as we explore the 5000-arce pristine ecological reserve that surrounds us. We join our local naturalist on rainforest walks in search of some of the hundreds of creatures that only come out at night, or quietly paddle a canoe hewn from a single log across the lake, spotlighting for the orange eye-shine of spectacled and black caimans.

Take a dip in the black waters of Lake Pilchicocha, visit the butterfly house to discover a kaleidoscope of local species, or catch a jungle sunset from atop the bird-watching tower. The 275-metre long and 30-metre high canopy walkway is a must to spot dozens of animals, thousands of brightly-coloured birds and possibly even a troop of monkeys as they forage in the surrounding canopy.

The lodge itself offers all the creature comforts from home whilst maintaining a relaxing rainforest ambience. A beautifully-designed bar and lounge overlook Pilchicocha Lake and provide excellent opportunities to birdwatch. Each guest cabin is built from traditional local materials and feature high thatched roofs, insect screens, ceiling fans and a private bathroom with flushing toilet and hot shower. All cabins also have a private shaded terrace, perfect for wildlife viewing straight from the privacy of your own room!

We enjoyed every part of our time in Alaska and think this will be a very popular addition to your expedition range.
M & J. Spinks
Everyone was singularly good at their job, very friendly but most all very enthusiastic about the environment and also their willingness to make our trip so much more enjoyable!
A. McKean. Alaska’s Inside Passage, 2015
We had an absolutely awesome Arctic adventure with Aurora. Loved it!
T. Solomons. Spitsbergen Odyssey, 2015
The trip was simply brilliant, a great adventure providing us with wonderful memories and exceptional insight into this fragile environment. Thank you all so very much.
S. O'Neil, Across the Arctic Circle
I cannot rate Aurora, the staff, the expedition team, the hotel staff and chefs and the crew highly enough. And the ship....love Polar Pioneer in all its non-luxury glory!
K. Hinchliffe, Jewels of the Arctic, 2015
We don't usually go on organised tours. Of course Antarctica had to be an exception. I am glad we chose Aurora, everything was great.
D. Cotogno, Across the Antarctic Circle, 2016
The opportunity to get up close to so many birds and animals was amazing...This was an AWESOME experience!!
T. Pressland, Across the Antarctic Circle, 2016
The whole trip was extremely professional, friendly responsive staff, great organisation, a lifetime experience that will not be forgotten.
J. Boehm, South Georgia & Antarctic Odyssey, 2016
Extras

Mashpi Lodge – Ecuador’s Cloud Forests

Along the western flanks of the Andes lies Ecuador’s Cloud Forests – a secret world of tropical forests sitting high on the steep slopes of the Andes ranges. A biodiverse-delight, the region offers close to 500 varieties of bird species and thousands of other rare flora and fauna. This is a place where new species are regularly being discovered.

Mashpi Lodge is a luxury cacoon located in the centre of these gorgeous Cloud Forests in the Equatorial Chocó Bio-Region, and is a very special addition to our new Ecuador expeditions. Over three days we explore the setting of this amazing lodge, catching gondola’s up the steep cliffs, climbing up the 30-metre Observation Tower, peddling a Sky Bike high above the forest floor for unobstructed views, and enjoying walks through the forest with wilderness and wildlife at our fingertips.

On sunset, the forest is transformed as frogs and insects come to life. In the dark, sparkling fireflies appear as does the faint glow of bioluminescent fungi. Our torches pick up the eye-shine of hundreds of tiny insects, as owls and other nocturnal birds call into the night. Our guides help us search for kinkajous, a raccoon-like mammal that forages amongst the branches above in search of fruit.

Our naturalists explain the life cycle of the spectacular butterflies we see (at least 12 of the 200 species found in the reserve) and plant-lovers relish the dozens of species of orchids, bromeliads and passion flowers growing around the Centre as well as the medicinal plants and tropical orchard of banana, manioc, cacao, hot chili peppers, coffee and wild raspberries.

Mashpi Lodge offers five-star luxury in the heart of one of the most remarkably biodiverse corners of Ecuador, and the world. Featuring a two-story dining room offering dramatic settings, an open-air panoramic terrace, reading room and wellness area, the lodge's 22 luxurious rooms - each boasting gorgeous views and first-class comforts - offer the perfect base for our small group and ensure first-class, personalised service from the Mashpi team during your stay.

Mashpi Lodge is a National Geographic ‘Unique Lodge of the World’ and won ‘Ecuador’s Leading Green Hotel’ at the World Travel Awards in 2015. 

We enjoyed every part of our time in Alaska and think this will be a very popular addition to your expedition range.
M & J. Spinks
Everyone was singularly good at their job, very friendly but most all very enthusiastic about the environment and also their willingness to make our trip so much more enjoyable!
A. McKean. Alaska’s Inside Passage, 2015
We had an absolutely awesome Arctic adventure with Aurora. Loved it!
T. Solomons. Spitsbergen Odyssey, 2015
The trip was simply brilliant, a great adventure providing us with wonderful memories and exceptional insight into this fragile environment. Thank you all so very much.
S. O'Neil, Across the Arctic Circle
I cannot rate Aurora, the staff, the expedition team, the hotel staff and chefs and the crew highly enough. And the ship....love Polar Pioneer in all its non-luxury glory!
K. Hinchliffe, Jewels of the Arctic, 2015
We don't usually go on organised tours. Of course Antarctica had to be an exception. I am glad we chose Aurora, everything was great.
D. Cotogno, Across the Antarctic Circle, 2016
The opportunity to get up close to so many birds and animals was amazing...This was an AWESOME experience!!
T. Pressland, Across the Antarctic Circle, 2016
The whole trip was extremely professional, friendly responsive staff, great organisation, a lifetime experience that will not be forgotten.
J. Boehm, South Georgia & Antarctic Odyssey, 2016
Extras

The Antarctic Fly/Sail Experience

Aurora Expeditions’ Antarctic ‘Fly/Sail Experience’ offers you more time in Antarctica and South Georgia, and less time getting there. We have swapped one sea leg for a short two-hour flight, appealing to those who’d prefer just one Drake Passage crossing.

Depending on the voyage you pick, take a flight in from Punta Arenas in Chile, or fly out from Falklands’ capital, Stanley, or King George Island, right at the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.

On our classic Antarctic Peninsula and Across the Antarctic Circle voyages you’ll fly in or out of King George Island, the largest of the South Shetland islands. On arrival to King George island, you will transfer by foot to Fildes Bay where you will take your first Zodiac cruise to the ship to settle in. From here your voyage commences, and weather and time permitting, we start to explore the surrounding bays. For those that choose an itinerary that flies out of King George Island, we explore the bays and perhaps make a landing before taking the walk from Fildes Bay to board our charter flight to Punta Arenas.

For our South Georgia itineraries you’ll fly in or out of the Falkland Islands’ capital, Stanley, where you’ll be transferred by bus to the ship or airport, which will also include a short bus tour of Port Stanley.

PLEASE NOTE: The one-kilometre walk between Fildes Bay and King George Island airstrip takes approximately 20 minutes along a rough gravel road. You will need to carry your own hand luggage and for ease we suggest a backpack. Your luggage will be transported directly between the plane and ship (or vice versa). Those arriving in King George Island will be required to bring their wet weather gear in their hand luggage and wear on arrival at King George Island airstrip, where gumboots will also be provided for your walk to the Zodiacs.

We enjoyed every part of our time in Alaska and think this will be a very popular addition to your expedition range.
M & J. Spinks
Everyone was singularly good at their job, very friendly but most all very enthusiastic about the environment and also their willingness to make our trip so much more enjoyable!
A. McKean. Alaska’s Inside Passage, 2015
We had an absolutely awesome Arctic adventure with Aurora. Loved it!
T. Solomons. Spitsbergen Odyssey, 2015
The trip was simply brilliant, a great adventure providing us with wonderful memories and exceptional insight into this fragile environment. Thank you all so very much.
S. O'Neil, Across the Arctic Circle
I cannot rate Aurora, the staff, the expedition team, the hotel staff and chefs and the crew highly enough. And the ship....love Polar Pioneer in all its non-luxury glory!
K. Hinchliffe, Jewels of the Arctic, 2015
We don't usually go on organised tours. Of course Antarctica had to be an exception. I am glad we chose Aurora, everything was great.
D. Cotogno, Across the Antarctic Circle, 2016
The opportunity to get up close to so many birds and animals was amazing...This was an AWESOME experience!!
T. Pressland, Across the Antarctic Circle, 2016
The whole trip was extremely professional, friendly responsive staff, great organisation, a lifetime experience that will not be forgotten.
J. Boehm, South Georgia & Antarctic Odyssey, 2016
Extras

Your Expedition Jacket

Each passenger aboard our Antarctic and Arctic expeditions will recieve an expedition jacket when you board the ship. Designed exclusively for Aurora Expeditions, the 2-in-1 jacket offers sophisticated expedition-styling and both the inner and outer jacket include all of the important features for travelling to the polar regions, complete with an included ‘drop seat’ allowing for additional comfort when sitting in Zodiacs.

Your expedition jacket is designed to be worn over your essential base layers and provides a versatile layering system suitable for the conditions to be encountered on our polar expeditions. 

Your jacket will be ready and waiting for you in your cabin when you board your expedition.

Jacket Features

Outer Shell

  • Waterproof, breathable outer shell (600pu waterproofing, and breathability of  8,000grms)
  • Waterproof front zipper with handy storm flap on the inside and an anti-chaffing zipper garage at chin 
  • Two zippered fleece-lined hand warmer pockets
  • Drawcord-adjustable drop-tail hem seals in warmth and cuts out wind
  • Articulated sleeves for easy movement, even with multi-layers
  • Adjustable, fleece-lined hood with laminated visor for good visibility in poor conditions
  • Microfleece-lined back of neck and wind flap for next-to-skin comfort
  • Fleece-lined pockets with coated, watertight zippers reduce bulk and are easy to access even when wearing a lifejacket
  • Full-reach gusset panels under the arms and articulated sleeve panels make layering easy and comfortable
  • Easy-to-use velcro cuff tabs

Inner Liner

  • Lightweight synthetic fill polyester shell inner jacket provides great warmth-to-weight ratio
  • Two zippered hand warmer pockets have clean-finished zipper garages; zippered internal chest pocket 
  • Wind-resistant for comfortable wear without the companion waterproof shell

Size chart

PLEASE NOTE: Jackets are unisex and are designed to be an over-sized fit to allow for easy movement and layering underneath. All measurements below are body measurements, not those of the jacket.

Your body measurements XXS XS S M L XL XXL 4XL 1PLUS*
Chest/bust (in)
Chest/bust (cm) 
32-33
81-84 
34-35
86-89 
36-38
91-96 
39-41
99-104 
42-45
106-114
46-48
116-122
49-51
124-129 
55-57
139-145 
49-51
124-129 
Fits waist (in)
Fits waist (cm) 
26
65 
28
71 
29-30
74-76 
31-33
78-84 
34-36
86-91 
38
96 
40-42
101-106 
46-48
117-122 
40-42
101-106 
Fits hips (in)
Fits hips (cm) 
37
94 
39
99 
41
104 
42
107 
44
112 
48
122 
51
129 
54
153 
54
153 
Sleeve Length (in)
Sleeve Length (cm) 
25
62.5 
25.5
63.75 
26.5
66.25 
27
67.5 
27.5
68.75 
28
70 
28.5
71.25 
29.5
73.75 
26.5
66.25 
Women's US
size conversion 
0-2 4-6 8-10 12-14 14-16 16-18 18-20 22+ 1PLUS
 

*1PLUS: suitable for full-figured woman, no taller than 5’6”/1.67 metres.

Polar Jacket FAQ

I already have a jacket, can I get a refund or order as a gift?
Our jackets are a complimentary gift and therefore you will not be entitled to any refund. If you do not wish to keep the jacket for yourself, you are welcome to order a different size (however please note sizes cannot be changed on board due to change of mind).

What if the jacket doesn’t fit – can I change it on board?
The sizing chart above provides a good guide and the jackets are sized to a relaxed fit. If you are unsure we suggest you order one size up. We will have a very limited range of extra sizes on board if your jacket is too small.

What colour are the jackets?
The jackets have a blue body and grey arms.

What size should I order?
The sizing chart above provides a good guide and the jackets are sized to a relaxed fit. If you are unsure we suggest you order one size up.

Can I try one on before I order?
We have samples of all sizes at our Sydney office. You are welcome to visit us to try it on for size.

For more information please contact us.

We enjoyed every part of our time in Alaska and think this will be a very popular addition to your expedition range.
M & J. Spinks
Everyone was singularly good at their job, very friendly but most all very enthusiastic about the environment and also their willingness to make our trip so much more enjoyable!
A. McKean. Alaska’s Inside Passage, 2015
We had an absolutely awesome Arctic adventure with Aurora. Loved it!
T. Solomons. Spitsbergen Odyssey, 2015
The trip was simply brilliant, a great adventure providing us with wonderful memories and exceptional insight into this fragile environment. Thank you all so very much.
S. O'Neil, Across the Arctic Circle
I cannot rate Aurora, the staff, the expedition team, the hotel staff and chefs and the crew highly enough. And the ship....love Polar Pioneer in all its non-luxury glory!
K. Hinchliffe, Jewels of the Arctic, 2015
We don't usually go on organised tours. Of course Antarctica had to be an exception. I am glad we chose Aurora, everything was great.
D. Cotogno, Across the Antarctic Circle, 2016
The opportunity to get up close to so many birds and animals was amazing...This was an AWESOME experience!!
T. Pressland, Across the Antarctic Circle, 2016
The whole trip was extremely professional, friendly responsive staff, great organisation, a lifetime experience that will not be forgotten.
J. Boehm, South Georgia & Antarctic Odyssey, 2016
Extras

Your Exclusive Photo Book

Aurora Expeditions are pleased to provide you with a complimentary photo book memento of your trip to help your adventure last a lifetime.

On your return home you will receive a printed Photo Journal of your expedition, specially prepared by our expedition team. Featuring your voyage’s daily programs, sailing co-ordinates and a vibrant collection of the best photographs that tell the story of your voyage, your photo journal is the perfect keepsake for you to enjoy and share with your family and friends back home.

Throughout the voyage feel free to share your contributions in the form of photographs, anecdotes, poems, drawings, or anything that we can put into a book to help showcase your wonderful experience. Our expedition team will be able to assist should you wish to make a contribution.

As each journal is individually created for each voyage, please allow up to 12 weeks after your voyage to receive your printed Photo Journal.

Past Photo Books

Looking for inspiration or not sure which expedition to choose? Take a look at some of our past photo books to see which expedition tickles your fancy! View our selection of past photo books here.

We enjoyed every part of our time in Alaska and think this will be a very popular addition to your expedition range.
M & J. Spinks
Everyone was singularly good at their job, very friendly but most all very enthusiastic about the environment and also their willingness to make our trip so much more enjoyable!
A. McKean. Alaska’s Inside Passage, 2015
We had an absolutely awesome Arctic adventure with Aurora. Loved it!
T. Solomons. Spitsbergen Odyssey, 2015
The trip was simply brilliant, a great adventure providing us with wonderful memories and exceptional insight into this fragile environment. Thank you all so very much.
S. O'Neil, Across the Arctic Circle
I cannot rate Aurora, the staff, the expedition team, the hotel staff and chefs and the crew highly enough. And the ship....love Polar Pioneer in all its non-luxury glory!
K. Hinchliffe, Jewels of the Arctic, 2015
We don't usually go on organised tours. Of course Antarctica had to be an exception. I am glad we chose Aurora, everything was great.
D. Cotogno, Across the Antarctic Circle, 2016
The opportunity to get up close to so many birds and animals was amazing...This was an AWESOME experience!!
T. Pressland, Across the Antarctic Circle, 2016
The whole trip was extremely professional, friendly responsive staff, great organisation, a lifetime experience that will not be forgotten.
J. Boehm, South Georgia & Antarctic Odyssey, 2016
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