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Cruises visiting Wessel Islands & all Wessel Islands cruises for  2020

View Wessel Islands 2020 cruises for 1 ships listing 1 cruises from Wessel Islands with today's best deals!

The Wessel Islands lie halfway between Darwin and Cape York. This group of islands in the Arafura Sea is part of the Northern Territory of Australia. The islands lie in a straight line stretching from Arnhem Land along a NE line towards Papua. The Wessel Islands constituted the homelands of the Yan-nha?u people. The island group is dominated by rugged sandstone plateaus and hills that contrast sharply with the adjacent mainland. Most of the islands have extensive areas of native vegetation, including grasslands, heath-lands, coastal thickets and eucalypt woodlands, with smaller areas of paperback forest and mangroves.

The islands were charted in the 17th C by Dutch sailors, yet medieval African coins unearthed there originated from Tanzania (from a medieval Arab trading ship plying a route that linked Zimbabwe, Kilwa, Arabia, Persia, India and islands in the Indonesian archipelago?) Named in 1736 by Dutch merchant Pieter Pieterszoon from Banda, the current spelling Wessel comes from Matthew Flinders in 1802/3 when circumnavigating the Continent. (In 1804 Flinders wrote to his brother: "I call the whole island Australia” and the name stuck.) Your explorer ship may pass by Guluwuru Island, and Gulgari Rip, also known as “the Hole in the Wall” – a tiny inlet that explorers have snuck through for hundreds of years – and its rock art graffiti.

The island group lies within the Arnhem Land Aboriginal Reserve, and many of the islands have caves decorated with Aboriginal art. Rock art pictures of sailing vessels and unusual men, along with intriguing samples of washed up shipping timbers and metalwork. Today the islands provide an important refuge for local threatened species, such as the Golden Bandicoot and the relocated populations of the Northern Quoll. The beaches support the nesting activity of four species of marine turtles. Excellent opportunities for snorkelling and scuba diving in crystal-clear waters are also a great attraction.

Cruises visiting Wessel Islands in 2021

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