Trip Details

Cruise departs Broome on October the 30th to November 6th 2015

This new Ashmore Reef trip in the October/November period offers birders a first time opportunity to visit Ashmore Reef, the Lacepede Islands and seas off the NW coast during the early wet season. Visits in recent years have turned up an extraordinary list of species and birding experiences, so much so that it has prompted the creation of this exciting charter.

The route is shown on the map on the following page and a detailed itinerary will be forwarded to people booking the trip. Our journey north from Broome targets deeper water along the continental shelf as we track north to Scott Reef and ultimately Ashmore Reef. These waters can be incredibly exciting, with huge potential for rare pelagic seabirds like Jouanin’s Petrel, Leach’s Storm-Petrel, Abbott’s Booby and even Persian Shearwater. Cetaceans can also add to the excitement with mixed species pods of dolphins including Spinner, Pan-tropical Spotted and Fraser’s Dolphin. Larger animals like Pilot, Melon-headed and Sperm Whale have been recorded regularly and rarer cetaceans including Beaked Whales species also hunt canyons that form the continental shelf, presenting plenty of spotting and ID challenges. More regular tubenoses include Bulwer’s and Tahiti Petrel, Streaked, Wedge-tailed, Fleshy-footed and Hutton’s Shearwater, and Wilson’s Storm-Petrel. All three Jaegers species; Pomarine, Arctic and Long-tailed have been recorded.

Tropical Seabirds are in no shortage when close to Ashmore and the Lacepede Islands with three species of Booby, Lesser and Greater Frigatebird and eleven tern species. On Ashmore we have a chance to see Common, Black and Lesser Noddy breeding in close proximity while Roseate Terns in full breeding plumage take some beating.

The trip will also give participants the chance to compare Sooty and Bridled Tern and Crested and Lesser Crested Tern. Ashmore Reef and the Lacepede Islands also support large numbers of migratory shorebirds and many of the twenty-odd species will have attained breeding plumage. Rare shorebirds recorded on Ashmore include Common Redshank, Little Stint, Broad-billed Sandpiper and Asian Dowitcher.

West Island on Ashmore Reef is an extraordinary place for rare birds and the Australian list is complemented by a number firsts recorded on the island. The location is a perfect migrant trap for Australian and Asian landbirds and this trip offers birders a unique opportunity to experience the excitement of finding something new, rare or unexpected.

The bird list for Ashmore speaks for itself. Species found during April include Crested Honey Buzzard, Japanese Sparrowhawk, Tiger Shrike, Siberian Thrush, Siberian Blue Robin, Asian Brown Flycatcher, Arctic, Yellowbrowed and Eastern Crowned Warbler, Asian Stubtail, Middendorff’s & Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler, Redrumped Swallow and Pechora Pipit. The diversity of this impressive list alongside the species recorded on the October trips over the years demonstrates the mouth watering potential this trip has to offer.

Join the Crew aboard the vessel MV Reef Prince for this 8 day adventure at sea. MV Reef Prince has cabins to cater for a Solo traveler and for couples or friends. The cruise departs and returns into Broome.



Inclusions and Exclusions

Ashmore Reef is a National Nature Reserve. A permit is required to visit and special permits are required to go ashore on each of the three islands. We have the necessary permits to land on West Island at any time and can approach East and Middle Islands by boat to ‘within a metre’ but not land. However, by special invitation from the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Populations & Communities officers aboard the Customs Vessel at Ashmore, we may be able to land.

Participants will need to arrange their own accommodation in Broome for the nights immediately prior to and following the trip. We will provide transfers between your hotel accommodation in Broome and the boat.

Data collected on these trips by the leaders and participants has contributed significantly to our understanding of the birdlife at Ashmore Reef and in the surrounding seas.

Packing Info

When packing for your Ashmore Reef cruise we recommend that all passengers pack lightly. Laundry facilities are available on-board free of charge. You do have room to store suitcases either under your beds or in the cupboards provided in each cabin.

Travel documents
As we are very close to International waters we ask our guests to please bring along a current passport with 6 months left to expire.

Toiletries and Medications
We do require you to bring your own private toiletries which include:

  • Personal toiletries/hygiene items (we provide hair-dryers)
  • Prescription medication
  • Vitamins
  • Motion sickness preventative
  • Chapstick
  • Sun protection (sunscreen is provided on-board)
  • Insect repellent (Repellent spray is provided on-board)

Beautiful clear and gorgeous water, don’t miss your chance to explore Ashmore’s gorgeous reef. Bring along your mask, snorkel and fins or inquire about a loan set.

The Kimberley is a semi-tropical region experiencing two warm, balmy days with minimal rainfall and cool, starry nights during our cruise season.

We advise guests to pack four to five changes of casual clothing which are comfortable. There is no dress code for dining as a rule, generally “Kimberley casual” attire for evenings is recommended.

Light-weight and quick-dry clothing for excursions is recommended. This includes a few pairs of shorts, T-shirts, a long-sleeved shirt and pair of light-weight pants that offer protection against the sun.

You will need a pair of enclosed shoes that offer good ankle support for bush walking. We also recommend you bring another pair of shoes that you do not mind getting wet as we regularly have wet landings. This includes;; reef sandals, booties or equivalent. Shoes can be worn on-board.

T-shirts/Blouses – Short-sleeved, quick-drying and sun protected
Long-sleeved Shirts – Quick drying, sun-protected and breathable (Can be purchased on-board)
Jumper/Jacket- Suitable for cooler nights
Shorts – Loose, quick-drying and comfortable
Pants – Long, light-weight and comfortable

Wet Shoes
Reef shoes or equivalent with good ankle support

Dry Shoes
Enclosed walking shoes (sneakers) .
Shoes/Sandals (for on board and scenic excursions)

Sleep wear, undergarments and socks
Bathing suits for swimmers
Wide-brim hat (available for purchase on-board)
Polarised sunglasses

From $5650pp

See the Sights!


  • Seabirds
  • Rare terrestrial species
  • Crested Honey Buzzard
  • Japanese Sparrowhawk
  • Tiger Shrike
  • Siberian Thrush
  • Siberian Blue Robin
  • Asian Brown Flycatcher
  • Yellowbrowed and Eastern Crowned Warbler
  • Shorebirds, Seabirds & More!


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