Coral Discoverer Stars in SBS Program
The Kimberley Cruise: The Full Journey
Captain Gary Wilson and the crew aboard Coral Discoverer took centre stage in a groundbreaking Slow TV special program, which was filmed onboard during the final voyage of our 2018 Kimberley season.
Following on from the huge success of The Ghan, SBS approached Coral Expeditions to see if we would be willing to assist with the production of a new premier special, The Kimberley Cruise: Australia’s Last Great Wilderness. In 2023 the program has been renamed “The Kimberley Cruise: The Full Journey“.
The special program resulted in a 3-hour Slow TV episode aired during prime time on SBS One viewing with a deeply immersive 14-hour version online at SBS On Demand. The program was replayed across SBS and NITV over the years, and in 2023 it is now a weekly episode-based program played every Sunday.
Departing from Broome, the voyage follows the expansive Kimberley coastline over 10 days and features spectacular cinematography of scenery from the Horizontal Waterfalls of Talbot Bay, and the rushing tides at Whirlpool passage, to breathtaking aerial sequences of Montgomery Reef emerging from the depths and the contrasting colours of the Kimberley coastline. The film crew also managed to capture some rare and amazing wildlife footage including breaching humpback whales and a hungry crocodile feasting on a sea turtle.
A year in the making, the program was an exciting collaboration for our team. The camera crew travelled on board and the production features footage from over 15 different camera locations which offer a wonderful insight into life on board and the behind-the-scenes workings of Coral Discoverer. Some of the fascinating sequences include the crew in action on the ropes as they depart Broome Wharf, superb aerial sequences of the vessel, and views from the bow wave and even the anchor.
Captain Gary Wilson described the trip as having “the perfect Kimberley conditions with light winds, sunny days and very large tidal movements, ensuring that the best of the Kimberley was on show.”
“The crew and guests loved being involved, eagerly anticipating the show airing so they could share the magic moments from their adventure. In order to ensure there was no impact or interruption of any description during the trip, Coral Discoverer was manned with 2 additional crew to help wrangle the production team, guide their use of zodiacs and the Xplorer, and to ensure they were able to get ahead, behind and above the ship to capture her in action.”
The genre of Slow TV had its origins in Norway in the 2000’s. It is a marathon coverage of an event, capturing a more complete version of its duration in real-time and without the interruptions of narrative and advertising. Early versions concentrated on rail journeys in Europe and the style of production has been described as “immersive, hypnotising and an alternative to the noise and the busy pace of modern life”. For SBS, it is also an innovative way to explore lesser-known parts of Australia.
With over 30 years cruising these waters, we were thrilled with the opportunity to share this wonderful region with a wider audience. We invite you all to tune in and enjoy the show, whether it be an opportunity to reminisce on your past voyages, or to find inspiration for your future travels.
Viewers will need to create a free SBS account to watch this 6 episode series.