Top End Tour - from Darwin
A 6 day adventure from Darwin through the tropical wetlands and untamed wilderness of the Northern Territory. Immerse yourself in the vast remoteness of Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks and marvel at the magnificence of Katherine Gorge.
- World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park
- Aboriginal rock art
- Litchfield National Park
- Mining town of Pine Creek
- Yellow Water Billabong cruise from Cooinda
Day 1 - Darwin to Kakadu National Park (254km)
After collecting the vehicle and driving east out of Darwin on to the Arnhem Highway and head for the Kakadu National Park. Suggest a stop at Window on the Wetlands Visitor Centre, and then perhaps Adelaide River for an optional Jumping Crocodile cruise. The scenery on the way is dramatic and colourful with bird life, wet lands and high escarpments. A visit to the Bowali Visitor Centre is a must to learn more about this unique environment.
Kakadu National Park Towering over the park’s wetlands is the huge 500km long Arnhem Land escarpment which was created about 2 billion years ago. This ancient landscape will leave you with a feeling of majesty and awe. Its natural geological features, including rock formations, powerful waterways, towering cliffs, spectacular waterfalls and quiet, peaceful streams and lagoons, as well as its diverse wildlife, and unique plant life, together with some of the country’s best Aboriginal art galleries, add up to a truly magnificent area. The value of Kakadu’s treasures is also reflected in the park’s World Heritage listing, awarded for both cultural and natural significance.
Standard: Mercure Crocodile Hotel
Deluxe: Mercure Crocodile Hotel
Day 2 - Kakadu National Park
You have a full day at leisure to explore Kakadu. This morning take the included 1.5 hour Yellow Waters Cruises from Cooinda. After your cruise call into the Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre. Other sights to see today include a visit to Nourlangie Rock and Ubirr Rock, or an optional scenic flight. Aboriginal rock art in this area is very well preserved and accessible. It's worth taking a guided tour to have the history of the rock art explained to you.
Ubirr Rock is situated 40km from Jabiru and is where the main road crosses the East Alligator River into Arnhem Land (which is accessible only with a permit). Ubirr, reached by sealed road on this side of the river, is one of the main accessible art sites in the park. A 1km easy walking circuit trail leads from the car park. There are various art styles here, including the stick-like Mimi figures, some estimated to be up to 20,000 years old, but the more recent, dramatic, x-ray style is the most striking. Whilst at Ubirr, climb to the top of the rocky escarpment for splendid views out over the Kakadu countryside. You will also get a panoramic vista over the nearby billabongs of the Arnhem wetlands and the huge Arnhem Land escarpment, which lies across the East Alligator River.
Day 3 - Kakadu National Park to Katherine (302km)
Leave Kakadu and head south towards Pine Creek. At Pine Creek you rejoin the Stuart Highway and travel on south to Katherine, making a leisurely stop at the beautiful Edith Falls. The Katherine Gorge is located 30 km from the town centre, here the river flows between towering walls of colour.
Pine Creek was the scene of extensive mining in the 1880's and is now experiencing a renewal of interest with the reopening of mining activities. There are numerous historic buildings still standing, including the Old Playford Club Hotel, the Repeater Station, the Bakery and the Railway Siding Complex.
Katherine is the heart of the real Outback. Attractions in the area include places of historic interest, birds and wildlife in their natural surroundings, caves, gorges, Aboriginal lore and art, and for the adventurers, magnificent waterfalls, canyons and billabongs that are still unspoiled.
Standard: Ibis Styles Katherine
Deluxe: Nitmiluk Chalets
Day 4 - Katherine
This morning take the included 2 hour gorge cruise. Katherine Gorge is a system of 13 gorges all joining by rapids. The best way to see the Gorge is from the water, there are also scenic flights and plenty of marked walking tracks. This afternoon suggest a visit to Mataranka, which is 110km from Katherine. Mataranka is situated in Elsey National Park and here the Mataranka Thermal Pool is found. This is a very popular swimming spot - the thermal pool is around a constant temperature of 34 degrees Celsius.
Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge) National Park The highlight here is undoubtedly Katherine Gorge, located in the Nitmiluk National Park. The main entrance to the National Park is 32 kilometres from Katherine. Over millions of years, torrential summer rains in Arnhem Land during the wet season have caused the waters of the Katherine River to cut thirteen spectacular serpentine gorges. Cut into ancient rock, the canyon walls climb steeply above cool blue water, and there is abundant bird, fish and animal life, including the fresh water crocodile.
Day 5 - Katherine to Litchfield National Park and Lake Bennett (320 km)
Litchfield National Park is the Top End’s most accessible natural attraction and offers safe swimming and spectacular waterfalls all year round. The main attractions in Litchfield National Park including Buley Rockhole, Wangi, Tolmer and Florence Falls are all linked by quality sealed roads. There is swimming in specified areas, photography, wildlife observation and bushwalks ranging from a 20 minute stroll to extended walks. Your overnight stay is outside Litchfield at the beautifully scenic Lake Bennett. (Approximate distance for today includes touring through Litchfield National Park).
Standard: Lake Bennett Wilderness Resort
Deluxe: Litchfield Motel
Day 6 - Lake Bennett/Litchfield National Park to Darwin (115 km)
Enjoy more time this morning in Litchfield National Park or relax at Lake Bennett before returning to Darwin via the Stuart Highway.
6 day self drive from £678
All prices are per person, based on 2 sharing a double or twin room, and include pre-booked accommodation, air conditioned car and unlimited kilometres. Hotels specified are subject to availability and may be substituted by one of a similar or higher standard.
Self Drive Tour
Relaxed and enjoyable self drive touring. Book them as they are or ask your consultant to add extra days in the places you choose.
Your self drive tour includes:
- 5 nights accommodation
- Air conditioned car
- Standard or deluxe hotels
- Inclusive vehicle insurance
- Maps and information
- Flexible itineraries
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