Coral Atoll Diving at Rowley Shoals, Western Australia

North Star Cruises
PO Box 654
Broome, Western Australia 6725
Tel: 61-8-9192-1829
Fax: 61-8-9192-1830

You are suspended in turquoise shallows surrounded by delicate lace coral fronds of vivid pink, orange and yellow. Darting in and out is a metallic rainbow of attendants. The coralscape about you is starting to move swiftly past. Faster & faster the disgorging tide is propelling you out of the lagoon and to the very edge of a plunging midnight blue abyss…

A treasure trove of riches...
Just over 180 nautical miles west of Broome, through some of the worlds richest game fishing waters, lie the three atolls of Mermaid Reef, Clerke Reef and Imperious Reef that comprise the Rowley Shoals. Perched on the edge of Australia’s continental shelf - at one of its widest and deepest points - the Rowley Shoals are near perfect examples of atoll geomorphology.

Due to their remoteness, their pristine condition has been impeccably preserved. So precious and unique are they, that they enjoy marine wilderness status and are being considered for world heritage listing.

Rowley Shoals are among the few reefs in the world affected by a high tidal range. The dramatic five metre tides pouring massive volumes in and out of the coral framework have created unearthly and enchanting coralscapes. The turquoise lagoons are filled with coral bommies brimming with exotic tropical fish and unbelievably colourful formations. Drift diving in and out of the atolls sweeps you through pristine coralscapes peppered with remarkable structures like the incredibly intricate and flamboyant gorgonia coral. When plunging off the wall don’t be surprised if you look around and find yourself in the company of half a dozen curious potato cod

Rowley Shoals are home to over 600 species of fish and two thirds of Australia’s tropical species are found here. Maori wrasse, barracuda, coral trout, angelfish, morays and turtles are in abundance. Our cave and night dives add an extraordinary dimension to a surreal coralscape.

When we are not diving there are opportunities to explore the sweeping stretches of pristine beaches and maybe even wind down with a sunset barbecue.

About Us
The True North allows passengers to experience wilderness in surroundings more akin to one of the worlds most exclusive hotels! Passengers are able to take advantage of a number of lavish vantage points including a sundeck, a forward observation lounge, a Ships Lounge, and an indoor and outdoor bar. The ships naturalist presents interpretative information on 2 huge plasma screens and, an internet cafe enables convenient communication with the outside world. A popular venue on any North Star Cruise, the dining room offers the ultimate in comfort and uninterrupted vista - large panoramic windows ensure that passengers never miss any of the action, even whilst they are enjoying the finest in fine dining.

All cabins feature enhanced decor, en-suite facilities, in-house entertainment and satellite phones. The Explorer Class Staterooms and River Class Doubles offer king size beds that can be converted into singles, and large viewing windows, whilst the Ocean Class twins featuring king size singles and two large portholes that provide a bright airy feel.

Multiple expedition boats allow passengers to do "what they want, when they want" and, to add yet another dimension to adventure, the True North is the only Kimberley adventure-cruise ship that carries its own helicopter!

The 'purpose built' True North is also able to explore the upper reaches of shallow river systems which means that the passengers need only step out of their cabins to experience the destination and, the latest technology in computer controlled motion stabilizers ensure a comfortable ride. The True North - one of the finest adventure-cruise ships in the world.

Trip Dates and Costs for 2005 and 2006

Diver Requirements:

  • Minimum certification required is an open water diving ticket with a recognized dive agency.
  • Due to the nature of diving at the Rowley Shoals, an Advanced Open Water ticket is recommended.
  • Dnax nitrox fills are available onboard to divers who are nitrox qualified. Fills are Au$15.00 each. NOTE: Nitrox tanks have DIN fittings and require DIN first stage.
  • What We Supply:

  • Air tanks and fills.
  • Weight belts.
  • PADI qualified instructor & divemasters onboard to supervise all diving activities.
  • What You Must Bring:

  • All personal dive equipment.
  • Mask, snorkel and fins.
  • Dive spares i.e. hp hose, mouth pieces.
  • Lycra suit or up to a 3ml steamer.
  • Price Does Not Include:
    Equipment rental, tips, laundry, phone calls or bar drinks.

    Photographs reprinted with North Star Cruises' permission
    Adventures Great and Small © copyright 1996-2005

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