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Wilderness Medicine Conference with Expedition & Wilderness Medicine & National Geographic

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Wilderness Medicine Conference | Kimberley Western Australia 10 CME. 2014 Australia

19 July 2014 to 01 August 2014

You will  travel with an Expedition Leader, a team of naturalists, an undersea specialist, divemasters, a National Geographic photographer and a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor, who are amazing experts in their own right, and consequently offer a superb environment from which to explore this incredible region.

Join Medical Leader Dr Jim Duff, wilderness doctor, best-selling author and climbing legend on an epic journey...

Discover a land so old that vast tracts pre-date the very existence of fossils—and see it in the manner befitting its immense scale: by sea, aboard our fully-equipped expedition ship, National Geographic Orion.


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Explore the immense and complex landscape of western Australia, encompassing spectacular gorges, waterfalls, caves, rainforests and wildlife. See signs of the immense geological forces that over the course of eons have buckled the earth’s crust leaving contorted folds of ancient rock. Discover a seemingly infinite, varied coastline crowded with islands, bursting with marine life, and rivers that lead to vertiginous waterfalls. View indigenous rock art of ethereal Wandijina spirits and the elegant Gwion Gwion figures of pre-history. Be among the few Americans to visit this land where primeval crocodiles rule, and only a trickle of savvy travelers venture each year.


  • Take a scenic flight over the famous Bungle Bungle ranges, a natural wonder seen first‐hand.
  • Visit Montgomery Reef, where the tide drops so rapidly that waters trapped inside the reef create a raging torrent as they escape.
  • Zodiacs take you up the spectacular King George River, where you will witness the mighty King George Falls, the highest in the Kimberley.
  • View an outdoor Aboriginal art gallery, portraying images of the Wandjina spirits.
  • Orion’s Zodiacs land virtually anywhere and take you upclose to the unique wildlife in this region.
  • Wildlife in this region including crocodiles, whales, turtles and ospreys.

You will be booking your trip directly with Lindblad Expeditions but doing so under our conference name in order to gain access to our special lecture program. The conference content is CME accredited for 10 hours by the Wilderness Medical Society and will include the following topic headings:

  • Altitude Illness
  • Cold Weather Injuries
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in Wilderness Environments
  • Wilderness Medical Kits
  • Interpersonal Features of Group Travel
  • Psychological Issues in Expedition Travel

The cost of the conference is per person, based on double occupancy – but if you want to upgrade your cabin, travel singly or book separate travel arrangements then Lindblad Expeditions will be more than happy to make these arrangements for you. Most meals, landings and activities are included in the price but the arrangements will be governed by Lindblad Expedition's terms and conditions.

How to book: Please email Liz Estes for a reservation form. Should you require further information regarding the itinerary, flights and travel arrangements or specific requirements regarding your stay on the National Geographic Orion, your point of contact is Liz at 888-773-9007, if ringing from outside the US on 001-212-261-9000 or email recommend you make your flight arrangements through Lindblad especially if travelling from the US to tie in with local ground arrangements.


Depart for Broome, cross the International Date Line (lose a day) and arrive on Day 3. Make your way to the National Geographic Orion and set sail. (D)

Just off Koolan Island, this geological finger of sandstone protruding into the ocean provides great opportunities for Zodiac safaris and guided beach walks. Nearby Crocodile Creek defies its name, with several vertical embankments keeping it ‘crocodile free’ allowing us to take advantage of the cool freshwater natural swimming pool to relax and beat the Kimberley heat.(B,L,D)

The Horizontal Waterfalls in the Buccaneer Archipelago are created by the rapid tidal fall on the ocean side of the cliffs. When conditions are right, a ‘waterfall’ up to ten feet high may form as the trapped landward waters cascade out through the narrow gap to the ocean side. Our Zodiacs will take you for an exhilarating trip to witness this extraordinary phenomenon. Later in the day, you can join our naturalists on an excursion to Cyclone Bay to explore the twisted geological folds of the ancient seabed. (B,L,D)

Arriving at high tide, you’ll see very little of Montgomery Reef. However, if conditions are right, the tide may drop rapidly away and a raging torrent of water will erupt, as miles of surrounding reef appear to slowly rise out of the ocean. A Zodiac will maneuver you into a channel in the reef as water cascades down on either side. It’s the perfect spot to watch cormorants, egrets and sandpipers forage for sea life trapped on the surface of the reef. Below the waterline, opportunistic sea turtles, reef sharks and many larger fish also take advantage of this feast. Next, we land by Zodiac at Raft Point, where we are guided on a climb up to a saddle of rock that forms nothing short of a spectacular outdoor Aboriginal art gallery. The art is an account of the Wandjina clan on the ‘Great Fish Chase.’ There are images of the Wandjina spirits with their distinctive haloes, plus dugong, crocodiles, fish and snakes. (B,L,D)

DAY 7: HUNTER RIVER (and optional helicopter to Mitchell Falls) 
This is one of the most scenic parts of the Kimberley coast, lined with green rainforest, mangroves and soaring red cliffs. National Geographic Orion will drop anchor near Naturalists Island, the proper name of which is “Wunumpurramarra”—a stunning backdrop to our day’s explorations. The Hunter River has many crocodiles and you may be lucky enough to see them on a Zodiac foray through the mangroves. For those wishing to explore some of the Kimberley’s vast interior, today presents a wonderful opportunity. The distance from Naturalists Island to the famous Mitchell Falls and Plateau is about 30 miles, and you may choose to take an optional helicopter excursion over some spectacular terrain. (B,L,D)

Today our naturalists will lead us to an outdoor Gwion Gwion Aboriginal art gallery. Discovered by Joseph Bradshaw in 1891, the rock images are estimated to be up to 40,000 years old. Nearby there is a wreck of a DC‐3 aircraft that became lost and crashed during WWII. If time allows, National Geographic Orion guests may have an opportunity to explore the crash site and the remains of the plane. (B,L,D)

National Geographic Orion will drop anchor here and Zodiacs will take us up the spectacular King George River, with its almost vertical sheer canyon walls. The river drains the Gardner Plateau here into the highest single‐drop falls in the Kimberley. Early in the season, we will probably hang back in the thundering mist. Later in the year, we will get right up close, even under, the cool fresh waterfalls. For guests looking for even more adventure, there is a challenging walk to the top where you will have the opportunity to cool off with a swim in one of the freshwater rock pools. (B,L,D)

Wyndham is the perfect staging point to discover Purnululu National Park, home of the breathtaking Bungle Bungle range.   These ancient hills resemble giant beehives forming deep chasms with palm trees and long gorges. This strange landscape is even more remarkable from our included charter flightseeing.  Alternatively, you can enjoy an Ord River Cruise to Lake Argyle. The Ord River is one of the most stunning river systems in Australia. You’ll navigate a massive stretch of river between Kununurra and Lake Argyle (Ord River Dam) and then view the Lake from a scenic lookout, and have a visit to the historical Durack homestead. (B,L,D)

DAYS 11‐12: AT SEA
The ship makes a brief technical stop at Com, before continuing to Darwin. A day at sea allows time to enjoy life aboard National Geographic Orion. Visit the library or the bridge, opt for spa treatments, hear talks from our naturalists and continue to lear photo tips from our National Geographic photographer and Lindblad‐National Geographic certified photo instructor. (B,L,D)

Disembark in Darwin and make your way to the airport for an overnight flight home. (B)

Wilderness Medicine Conference - WMS Course Accreditation

In association with the Wilderness Medical Society we are able to offer the ability to earn 10.0 CME and credits towards the Wilderness Medicine Fellowship Program to gain the FAWM.

'This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint providership of the Wilderness Medical Society and Expedition Medicine. The Wilderness Medical Society is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The Wilderness Medical Society designates this educational activity for a maximum of 10.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits TM.
 Each physician should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.'

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