12th International Coral Reef Symposium

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Kimberley Marine Research Station

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Trip Dates: 4 - 7 July 2012

Booking Code Depart Return
Trip 1 Wed 4 July Sat 7 July

Note: ICRS 2012 is Monday 9 July to Friday 13 July 2012 in Cairns

Trip Location

Established in 2009, the Kimberley Marine Research Station (KMRS) is the first and only fully-operational marine research facility in the remote Kimberly region of Western Australia. Perched on the tip of the Kimberley’s iconic Dampier Peninsula, KMRS is located at Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm, the oldest family-owned Australian pearl farm and one of the nation’s longest running aquaculture ventures.

The Kimberley region of Western Australia is considered one of the world’s greatest natural and cultural treasures and falls within the last 3.7% of global oceans least affected by human impacts; making it the planet’s last great tropical marine wilderness. It is a vast, remote, pristine region including intricate contours covering 13,500km of dynamic and complex coastline and 2,633 near-shore islands. It is one of the least studied tropical marine environments on the planet yet preliminary research to date has revealed between 250 and 280 species of hard corals and 140 species of sponge in Kimberley waters; making it the most diverse coral area in Western Australia. With 11 metre tides, this is the largest tidal amplitude experienced by any coral reef systems on Earth.

KMRS is 210km by road north of the township of Broome. Delegates will be picked up from Broome International Airport and transported to KMRS by 4WD.

KMRS is owned and operated by Cygnet Bay Pearls as a means to encourage and support truly independent marine research in the Kimberley region. KMRS would like to stress that this trip is more of a tropical marine wilderness experience rather than a diving expedition.

Number of Participants


Cost to Participate

$1,200 (AUD)

Full payment to be taken at time of booking.

Cost Inclusions

  • Transport to and from Broome (does not include travel between Cairns and Broome in the north of Western Australia)
  • Shared accommodation in safari-style eco tents at KMRS
  • All meals and refreshments
  • All scheduled tours, presentations, visits and snorkelling

Additional Costs

Charter flight option on Day 3.

Climate and Water Temperature

July is in the middle of the dry season in the Kimberley with warm days and low/no rainfall. Air temperatures range between 11°C on a cool night and up to 30°C during the day (52-86°F). Average water temperature is between 23-26°C (73-79°F). Seasonal south-easterly winds prevail during this time of year.

Research Activities

People who want to collect specimens or systematically record data should book independent visits directly with KMRS as these activities are not scheduled into the ICRS 2012 Field Trip Program.

Field Trip Organiser's Contact Details

Ali McCarthy
Research Officer
Telephone +61 (0)8 9192 4999


Book directly with Ali McCarthy to reserve your place on this field trip.

Program Outline

Day 1 - 4 July 2012
Early morning

Depart Broome for Cygnet Bay in CBP 4WD’s


Arrive Cygnet Bay for a welcome and tour of facilities followed by lunch


Cygnet Bay pearl farm and Kimberley biodiversity tour

Boat tour through coral and mangrove areas within Cygnet Bay


Early BBQ dinner with presentation and research showcase: KMRS 2009-2012 and guest speaker

Day 2 - 5 July 2012
Early morning   Vessel tour of coral fringed islands off the Sunday Island group to One Arm Pt
Late morning Bardi-Jawi Rangers marine research and cultural presentation *TBC

Visit and tour of Ardyaloon Tropical Aquaculture Hatchery focusing on coral reef species

Drive to Cape Leveque and lunch on arrival

Exploring Cape Leveque including glass bottom boat viewing of reef areas - or - charter flight to Horizontal Falls and Buccaneer Archipelago viewing Kimberley coral reef systems from the air en-route *(Cost not included, highly recommended by KMRS)


Early alfresco sunset dinner at Kooljaman, Cape Leveque

Day 3 - 6 July 2012

Early morning

Reef-walk / snorkel to explore fringing coral reefs at Cygnet Bay on low tide

Late morning

Visit to the seeding shed to experience pearl harvest on Australia’s oldest pearl farm Lunch at Cygnet Bay

Afternoon & evening Early evening sunset sail and Australian snubfin dolphin spotting, includes BBQ dinner with pearl meat tasting

Day 4 - 7 July 2012

Morning Breakfast at KMRS then depart for Broome in CBP 4WDs


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