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Careening Bay

Historic Careening Bay is a regular stop on Coral Expeditions annual Kimberley Expeditions. It is a site famed for the visit of an early explorer, Philip Parker King and his vessel the HMC Mermaid. History tells us that this bay was what King had been searching for to careen the leaking Mermaid to improve her seaworthiness. As work proceeded on the beached vessel the main problem was not, as suspected, stern-post damage but the discovery that under the copper sheeting the hull was holed with spaces formed by completely rusted nails. These were filled with the small supply of copper nails they carried as well as thin wooden pegs. By the time the high spring tides returned and the makeshift repairs completed, the ship refloated but their worst fears were realised as the ship continued to require regular pumping. During the visit, the crew carved the ship’s name and date into a boab tree and this, rather than a message punched on a copper sheet and nailed to another tree, remains clearly visible on the large twin-trunked tree to this day. During the visit, the crew carved the ships name into a young Boab Tree and this remains clearly visible on the large mature tree to this day.

2020 was the 200th Anniversary of the event and voyages of Sir Philip Parker King.

Traditional custodians: Wunambal people

Our Story

Australia’s Pioneering Cruise Line
For over 30 years Coral Expeditions has had one purpose – taking small groups of like-minded explorers to the most remote parts of the world, with expert guidance and warm Australian hospitality. Coral Expeditions was founded by a fisherman with a passion for the sea. Then named Coral Princess Cruises, the small North Queensland based company explored the Great Barrier Reef and pioneered small ship expedition cruising to the Kimberley and Papua New Guinea. Today, Coral Expeditions has grown to include voyages to Tasmania, Islands of the South Pacific, New Zealand, and the Indonesian Archipelago. Our Australian crew provide warm hospitality and personal service on board. Shore-rich itineraries in remote locations allow our guests to be immersed in local cultures, get close to wildlife, and enjoy adventurous land and sea activities in safety. We invite you to celebrate 35 years of exploration with us.

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