Darwin to Darwin

11 day journey $5,120 per person, twin share
9 day journey, Darwin to Darwin $4,325 per person twin share

DEPARTURES:  July

Please contact us for dates and availability.

FEATURES

First 9 daysrock

  • Discover 3 extraordinary National Parks, including the World Heritage Kakadu.
  • Share daily encounters with Australia’s unique wildlife, seasonally in abundance.
  • Immerse yourself in the living culture of remote indigenous people, their extraordinary rock art and sites of lore and learning.
  • Introduce yourself to the habitats and creatures of the wild Top End at the world class Territory Wildlife Park and other interpretive centers
  • Walk the boardwalks through paper bark forests and swamps, binoculars at the ready, in search of magpie geese, brolgas, jabiru, sea eagles, kingfishers, ibis and egrets.
  • Amaze at the sight of 6 meter Estuarine Crocodiles lurking in the Adelaide River for tasty hand fed morsels and careless people.  Enter waterways accommodating the world’s greatest concentration of “salties”.
  • Enjoy the dawn or dusk, cruising on the Yellow Waters billabong, rich in bird and animal life
  • Venture with our indigenous guide up a crocodile infested and food bearing river and learn of the mythology and traditional hunting methods of his people
  • Enter a world of Aboriginal Heritage stretching back at least 23,000 years, the pathways of hunter-gatherers, their rock shelters and some of the 5000 rock art and spiritual sites of world significance
  • Be hosted and guided by Aboriginal Australian’s who manage many enterprises and activities in Kakadu, Australia’s largest National park.
  • Visit the galleries and cultural centers of indigenous craftspeople as they create traditional bark paintings, didgeridoos, woven baskcrocodileets and fabrics.
  • Start your species count for 1600 plants, 60 mammals, 280 birds, 120 reptiles, 25 frogs and yes, 10,000 insects (part of a vital food chain in the tropics)
  • Take a day walk over centuries old rock formations far from any invasive crowds.
  • Cruise between the towering sandstone walls of Katherine Gorge and later hike to the sheer edge of the gorge for unsurpassed and inspiring views to the reaches below.
  • Spot the large goannas and agile wallabies and maybe some rare and endangered bird species like the Gouldian Finch.

    Days 10 and 11
  • Discover the scenic and natural wonders of Litchfield National Park an ancient inland seabed uplifted millions of years ago leaving majestic cliffs, cascading waterfalls and more than a dozen special places to explore.
  • Walk the Tabletop Range with its curious sandstone plateau and formations, waterfalls and the most unusual termite mounds
  • Study the most prolific grazing creatures in tropical Australia, in their millions, completely blind but amazing exponents of natural engineering, builders of strange air-conditioned and protective fortresses.
  • Choose your preferred plunge pool for a delightful holiday dip beneath the waterfall or surrounded by monsoon or paper bark forests
  • Lunch with the goannas, kites and fruit bats and keep your eyes open for the ambling gait and alert carriage of the Australian Dingo passing by.

TRANSPORT

Journey in a luxury air-conditioned 4WD Land cruiser or purpose built coach with forward facing recliner seats, seat belts and panoramic windows. Vehicles are equipped with remote area travel safety and communications facilities.

PROFESSIONAL STAFF

Tour staff includes a professional tour guide and driver/assistant guide.
Typical guide to guest ratio is 1:7

ACCOMMODATION

8 or 10 nights of accommodation selected from facilities close to National Parks trail heads and activity areas, invariably in character settings. Includes motor-inns and remote tourist resorts. Twin share with private facilities.

DINING

  • Full dining inclusions with breakfast, lunch and dinner each day
  • Morning and afternoon teas.
  • Wine with dinner if you wish
  • End of tour celebration dinner
  • We vary dining settings where possible to take in local delicacies and spontaneous interaction with local people.

SPECIAL INCLUSIONS

  • Tour transport and guides
  • All National Park entry fees
  • Pre-tour briefing and meet ‘n greet function
  • Local indigenous guides, ranger talks and guests, as available.
  • Adelaide River Crocodile cruise
  • East Alligator Indigenous river cruise
  • Arnhem Land Northern Land Council / Oenpelli entry permits
  • Indigenous guided visit to Injalak Art and Craft Center and Long Tom Dreaming rock art gallery
  • Indigenous guided visit to other restricted rock art sites, by arrangement.
  • Katherine Gorge cruise
  • Yellow Waters cruise
  • Cutta Cutta Caves guided tourrock drawings

PLUS

  • Access to our on-tour field library.
  • Provision of field binoculars
  • “Wish you were here” digital images capturing your adventures down under, emailed to friends and family selectively during the journey.
  • Spontaneous travel treats and a tour memento.
  • Pre-tour planning advice to maximize your enjoyment of the experience
  • Advice and assistance with any pre and post tour travel requirements.
  • Satisfaction in knowing we operate under a responsible travel ethic.
  • Enjoyment of a small group environment – typically, 10 to 15 participating guests.

WHAT TO COVER

You will only need to cover your free time and personal costs, pre and post travel arrangements relating to the start / conclusion of the tour, all flights and your personal travel insurance.

GUIDED WALKS

Participation in all walks is optional, enticing and rewarding, requiring a moderate degree of fitness. Make this a “wellness” holiday, relaxed or as active as you wish.

TOUR DATES

Please contact us for dates and availability.

ITINERARY

WILD TOP END TOUR – DARWIN TO DARWIN

Pre departure administration, tour briefing and Meet ‘n Greet
Convened in Darwin 6.30pm the evening before tour departure

Day 1

We commence our journey with a brief visit to the popular local nature reserve Berry Springs before spending a few hours at the world class Territory Wildlife Park, familiarizing ourselves with the habitats and wildlife of the Top End. After an early lunch we travel east toward the Mary River and Kakadu National Parks taking short stops at lagoons, billabongs and wetland viewing points and a boat cruise along the crocodile infested Adelaide River where these ancient beings are conditioned to the practice of hand feeding, in rather startling fashion.

Accommodation : Aurora Kakadu resort

Day 2

We start the day with a visit to an excellent bird watching location on the edges of the Mamukala Wetlands on the South Alligator flood plains, utilizing a large observation platform and hide. This is a favored feeding retreat for large Magpie Geese and once a favored hunting ground for Aborigines. Opportunity to enjoy a 2 hour / 3 kms circular walk through the wetlands before traveling on to the Kakadu, award winning Bowali Visitors Center for lunch and time to absorb the interpretive displays.
After checking into our accommodation we travel to one of the finest and most spectacular rock art galleries at Ubirr containing 4 main periods of art. We’ll take time for a study and then relax on an elevated lookout savoring the setting sun beaming across the vast panoramic wetlands, snaking watercourses lined with monsoon rainforest winding away from the dramatic Arnhem Land escarpment.

Accommodation: Gagadju Crocodile Resort  3 nights

Day 3

Today we enjoy some of the enterprises owned and operated by the traditional indigenous owners of the land, commencing with a unique Aboriginal cultural cruise along the East Alligator River, where tidal waters meet river outflow. The cruise highlights the river’s abundant food chain and methods of traditional hunting. After a picnic lunch we take on board our local indigenous guide for an afternoon visit to galleries and restricted sites in country owned by traditional communities, returning late afternoon with a greater understanding of Kakadu being a living cultural environment and not simply a nature-based reserve.

Day 4

This morning we take an early drive into the nearby restricted Aboriginal Reserve of Arnhem Land, under permit, to visit the Injalak Arts and Crafts Center, to connect with our indigenous guide for a walk to the top of a nearby hill richly adorned in rock art.  By mid-day we depart Arnhem Land for an afternoon of delightful walks in the East Alligator region, taking in naturally carved rock sculptures, sandstone islets and stacks,

Day 5

Today we pack early for a change of accommodation at the end of the day and then travel to the trail head of the 12 kms / 6 to 8 hour Barrk Sandstone Walk, the longest marked trail in the National Park, passing by some exceptional rock art galleries and on top of Nourlangie Rock, weird and wonderful rock pillars and walls, balancing rocks, caves and “enchanted castles”,  Time permitting, there are more billabong walks and lookouts to wrap up an active and rewarding day.

Accommodation: Gagadju Lodge  Cooinda  2 nights

Day 6

We rise for a dawn cruise on the legendary Yellow Waters floodplain, teaming with bird and wildlife. Later we take time out at the Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Center before selecting and embarking on some short walks in wetland habitats or a visit to the homeland of a young lady and her family now bridging the gap between traditional Aboriginal culture and contemporary society, a living culture and heritage experience. We’ll blend into a day in the life of her family and engage in possible learning, gathering, hunting, cooking, art and craft making experiences, simple, relaxing and spiritual.

Day 7

Today we leave Kakadu for the township of Katherine enjoying a number of scenic diversions along the way to the Gunlom plunge pool and waterfall (with a climb to the top of the falls (2 kms return) and the various pools, falls and walking trails at Leliyn (Edith Falls), part of the Nitmiluk National Park. The area also has a colorful history in Uranium mining and restricted sacred sites, with both resources and secrets quarantined from future exploitation.

Accommodation: Katherine village motel 2 nights

Day 8

Today we breakfast at the National Park before joining a 4 hour interpreted small boat cruise into the towering and breathtaking Katherine Gorge exploring 3 of its 13 sections, and the features Southern Rockhole, Jeddas Rock, The Narrows, Golden Gorge and the Vortex Holes. There will be sections of walking included and after lunch at the visitor’s center we’ll head off on foot to explore the plateau above and gaze down into this awesome crevice below– a 9 kms walk.

Day 9

We depart Katherine and head south to the Cutta Cutta Caves, set down 500 million years ago, for a guided tour by Rangers, then we travel north on the Stuart Highway toward Darwin discovering the pioneering and war time history and characters of small settlements and towns along the way. We deviate momentarily to the village of Batchelor to drop off our continuing 11 day tour guests and then make a return run into Darwin to conclude our 9 day sectional tour.

 

End of section

Days 10 and 11

Today we commence a relaxed two day exploration of the many features of the uniquely different Litchfield National Park with its savannah environment, often preferred by the locals to Kakadu, subjectively, for its scenic and relaxing appeal. Here we enjoy various short walks to picturesque cascading waterfalls and plunge pools, plateau trails, magnetic and cathedral termite mound, a “lost city” of sandstone pillars, delightful swimming opportunities and even a butterfly farm. Slowing to a relaxing pace in a wild tropical setting like this is the perfect therapy for concluding your holiday.

Accommodation nights 9 and 10 at a village motor inn

We complete our journey late afternoon / early evening on Day 11, in Darwin, suggesting you have accommodation organized and plans for departing flights (if applicable) for the following day.

Travel days offer a broad variety of special features reflecting the location at the time.

Note access to Aboriginal sites and features are subject to Park Management and Indigenous community acceptance at all times. The itinerary may be subject to change given weather or cultural events which may occur with limited notice at any time.

 

 

 

 

 

 
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