Very early in the morning, the National Geographic Orion dropped anchor in a new location in Koolama Bay. A small group of hikers disembarked for a journey to the top of King George Falls, while the rest of us enjoyed a leisurely and scrumptious breakfast on the back deck.
Later on, we boarded Zodiacs and made our way slowly up the King George River and marvelled at the intense contrasting colors of the immense sandstone cliffs. Along the way some of us were fortunate to witness a peregrine falcon driving away a much larger white-bellied sea eagle from its cliff-top home. We also spotted a pied oystercatcher with chicks and several Eastern reef egrets. Guests who happened to be looking in the right direction at the right time were treated to a glimpse of green sea turtles popping up for a breath.
Viewed from below, King George Falls (now dry) was a vision of sandstone towers peppered with honeycomb texture from constant saltwater corrosion. Meanwhile, the early morning hikers enjoyed a view from the very top of the Kimberley plateau, their trek rewarded with a stunning view of the river from the great height.
Once we returned to the ship, all of us enjoyed a refreshing lunch and shared stories of the morning while the National Geographic Orion changed its anchorage within the bay and shifted closer to a beach location. In the afternoon we split into three groups to pursue new adventures, with some hiking to the top of a nearby bluff, some accompanying the National Geographic photographers on a photo tour, and others focusing on a nature tour guided by our expedition staff.