What are the Best Months for Kimberley Cruises?

Best time of year to Cruise The Kimberley Coast

Have you been dreaming about that once-in-a-lifetime Kimberley cruise, but are unsure about the best time of year to cruise Western Australia’s outback coast? Kimberley Cruise Specialists’ team have put together this short guide outlining the three distinct seasons, helping you work out which time of year is right for you.

Firstly, it’s important to point out that expedition cruises only operate on the Kimberley Coast between March and October each year, as its simply too hot, humid and wet to cruise during the tropical wet season, not to mention the peak of the cyclone season.

So, let’s get started with the three seasons of Kimberley Cruising.

True North Kimberley Cruises hero shot
Waterfall Season (March to May)

For many travellers, one of the biggest drawcards of the Kimberley Coast is experiencing its iconic waterfalls at their magnificent best. From the towering 80-metre King George Falls to four-tiered Mitchell Falls, some of the world’s most impressive waterfalls can be viewed in the Kimberley.

As the coast’s biggest falls are fed by the Kimberley’s drenching wet season rains, the earlier in the season you cruise the more spectacular they will be. At the same time, the landscape will be covered in a brilliant green hue, as vegetation laps up the wet season rains and the plants and grasses rejuvenate.

Weather wise, there can be the occasional grey and rainy day during the March and early April period, and it can still be quite humid, which can make walks ashore a bit more challenging. But, we think that seeing (and hearing) the full force of the falls more than makes up for the extra humidity and an occasional wet day.

Coral Adventurer Sunset
Peak Season (June, July and early August)

Perhaps the most popular time of year to cruise the Kimberley Coast, the period between June and August in the Kimberley is characterised by clear blue skies and balmy days, making for a welcome escape from Australia’s southern states’ winter chill.

Depending on rainfall during the previous wet season, there might still be some water still flowing over the big falls as late as August, but you will need to use your imagination to picture the full flow! Some falls, including the iconic King Cascades on the Prince Regent River, are spring fed and will be flowing year-round.

So, if the thought of another chilly winter leaves you dreaming of warmer climes, then June and July are probably your ‘go to’ months to experience the Kimberley Coast.

Whale / Wildflower Season (August to October)

Between August and early October the Kimberley Coast becomes the world’s epicentre for whalewatching. Each year, up to 30,000 humpbacks arrive in the Kimberley, have made their way up from their Antarctic feeding grounds to the warm tropical waters to breed and give birth.

As seen in this video from Coral Expeditions, you will have the best seat in the house to experience this incredible migration when travelling on an expedition cruise. Often, when a pod is spotted from the bridge, the skipper will idle the ship’s engines and drift with the tide whilst these majestic mammals put on playful displays around the ship.

While it’s likely that Mitchell Falls and King George Falls will be dry by August (you can always see Talbot Bay’s Horizontal Falls at least!), you’re likely to have more wildlife encounters due to native fauna being out in the open in search of fresh water. Wildflowers are also blooming during these months, covering the ground in a carpet of colourful native blooms.

Our Verdict? Which Month is Best?

So, which period should you choose? There’s no absolute correct answer here, as it really comes down to where your interests lay and what is most important for you to see. But we think it would be a real pity to miss the grandeur and jaw dropping beauty of some of the world’s most magnificent waterfalls.

If our team were forced to choose, then May through June, when the humidity has started to drop off, is the ideal time to explore the Kimberley Coast on a small ship cruise.

For more top tips or to book your Kimberley Cruise, call the expert team at w today on 1800 90 20 80.

Images and video courtesy of Coral Expeditions and True North.

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