Kakadu Dreamtime Safari and Arnhem Land Extension Trip Notes

Join this Kakadu Dreamtime and Arnhem Land trip and be awed by the magical Top End of Australia. Visit Kakadu, fly to Arnhem Land and finish in Darwin.

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Last Modified: 03 Aug 2012
Kakadu Dreamtime Safari and Arnhem Land Extension
Trip code: PISA
Validity: 01 Apr 2012 to 31 Mar 2013
This trip is discontinued in 2013. Please consider PISF - Kakadu Dreamtime safari as an alternative.
Travel deep into the magical 'Top End' for an adventure through a region known for its natural beauty, pristine wilderness and Aboriginal spiritual traditions based on a deep respect for the earth and their ancestors. Enjoy discovering ancient rock art, landscapes carved out by nature over thousands of years and environments that are home to a diverse array of flora and fauna unique to this part of the world. Stare in awe at a clear night sky full of stars and spend memorable nights camping in the bush. This is a trip that offers full immersion in the legends and landscapes that make the 'Top End of Australia' such a special place to visit. See it and be changed forever!
Table of Contents
StyleDeparture taxEmergency contact
ThemesImportant notesEmergency funds
MapGroup sizeVisas
ItineraryYour fellow travellersIssues on your trip
We also recommendSingle travellersWhat to take
Itinerary disclaimerAccommodationHealth
Culture shock rating Meals introductionSafety
Physical ratingMealsTravel insurance
Physical preparationTransportResponsible Travel
Included activitiesGroup leaderA couple of rules
Money ExchangeJoining point The Intrepid Foundation
Spending moneyArrival complicationsCarbon offset
TippingFinish point Feedback
Style
Original
  • Original trips are classic Intrepid adventures. With a mix of included activities and free time, they offer plenty of opportunities to explore at your own pace and take part in activities that really get beneath the skin of a destination. While the occasional meal may be included, you'll have the freedom to seek out your own culinary adventures. Accommodation is generally budget or tourist class (2-3 star), but you're as likely to find yourself as a guest of a local family as staying in a hotel or camping. Transport will vary as well. Depending on the destination and the itinerary you could find yourself travelling on anything from a camel to a train or a private safari vehicle. It's all part of the adventure! Original travellers have a desire to make the most of their travel time and really get to know a place, its people and cultures.
Themes
Explorer
Map
Kakadu Dreamtime Safari and Arnhem Land Extension
Itinerary
Days 1-2 Darwin/Kakadu National Park
Welcome to Australia's Top End!
After pick up from your accommodation, you'll meet your Safaris guide and head south towards Kakadu National Park. We leave Darwin at approximately 7.00am in our air conditioned four wheel drive vehicle to travel to famous Kakadu National Park. We visit the colourful rock art and spectacular scenery of Ubirr Rock. This is a fascinating site with spectacular views over Kakadu. This afternoon we take the Murdudjurl Cultural Tour to learn more about local aboriginal people and their country. We set up camp for the evening, having dinner around the camp, under the stars.
After an early breakfast, we depart on our big day out to Twin Falls and Jim Jim Falls. These falls are in a remote area of the Park only accessible by four wheel drive vehicle, some 70 kilometres off the sealed road via a dirt track. This is an area of incredible natural beauty, and the waterfalls are rainwater fed, therefore after several months without rain (around August and September) it's possible they may not be flowing. The rock pools and surrounds are magnificent year round and well worth the journey. Twin Falls is only accessible by water therefore we take a short boat ride through the gorge to the beach at the base of the falls.
After a picnic lunch in beautiful bush surrounds, we take the hike (approximately 1 km) through the rainforest to Jim Jim Falls and its crystal clear waters. Swimming here is possible - but beware freshwater crocodiles. We return to the camp for dinner and overnight.
Included Activities
  • Kakadu National Park
  • Ubirr Rock
  • Murdudjurl Cultural Tour
  • Twin Falls
  • Jim Jim Falls
Accommodation
Permanent tented camp (2 nts)
Day 3 Kakadu National Park/Arnhem Land
After breakfast this morning, we cruise the spectacular Yellow Waters, home to a wide variety of bird life and possibly the lurking Saltwater Crocodile. Next we travel to the crystal clear rock pool and scenic beauty of Barramundi Gorge.
After a picnic lunch we take you to Jabiru Airport where you will take a short flight into Arnhem Land. Here your hosts at Davidson's Mt Borradaile Safari Camp will meet you. Arrive in time to take a sunset cruise on the billabong.
Included Activities
  • Yellow Waters Cruise
Accommodation
Permanent tented camp (1 nt)
Day 4 Arnhem Land
Mt Borradaile and the surrounding areas are honeycombed with caves and shelters once occupied by Aboriginal people for over 20,000 years. Today is the time to discover the wonders of this rich and diverse area. Visit Aboriginal rock art, learn about bush tucker and culture, photography, bird watching or just enjoying the silence.
Accommodation
Permanent tented camp (1 nt)
Day 5 Arnhem Land/Darwin
Take binoculars and walk through the bush spotting over 275 species of birds or laze by the swimming hole. Late afternoon you depart for your flight back to Darwin Airport, saying good bye to this northern wilderness.
    We also recommend
    If this trip is not quite right for you, cast your eye over these alternatives:
    • Kakadu Dreamtime Safari (PISF)
    Itinerary disclaimer
    Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. For the latest updated Trip Notes please visit our website: www.intrepidtravel.com
    Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route.
    ABORIGINAL COMMUNITIES:
    Please note due to cultural sensitivities, entry to particular parts of local Aboriginal communities may be unavailable.
    Culture shock rating

    Expect some culture shock. You'll be exposed to signs of poverty and access to services may be sporadic. The food will be quite different to home and English speakers harder to find. Respecting the local culture will make it easier to fit in and really experience the location.
    Physical rating

    This trip will raise your heartbeat. Moderate physical activities are included and a good level of fitness is required.
    Physical preparation
    To get the most out of this trip you need to be prepared for walks of between 3-8 km on some days. This may be on rough ground and perhaps getting feet wet in rivers and creeks. From Oct to March you will experience temperatures of over 35 degrees Celsius so be prepared to endure extra physical stress due to the heat at these times, especially while on walks.
    Included activities
    Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.
    Please note that some of our included activities are contingent on weather conditions. We'll arrange an alternative if an included activity is deemed unsafe.
    Money Exchange
    Currency exchange rates often fluctuate. For the most up to date rates please refer to the following website: www.oanda.com.
    The currency of Australia is the Australian dollar (AUD). USD1 = AUD1.01 (rate current for September 2011).
    The most convenient and cheapest way to acquire money is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM). This allows you to draw funds from your personal account at a superior exchange rate. Most ATMs will also give you a cash advance on your credit card but be wary of high fees imposed by banks for this service. Bank fees for these withdrawals can be either a flat rate or a percentage of the amount withdrawn. Check with your bank for information on their international fees. There are ATMs (which accept both Visa and MasterCard) throughout the main cities and towns on our itinerary and these are also accepted by the majority of local service providers. When leaving home don't forget your PIN number and make sure you know the telephone number for cancelling your card if it is stolen. Please note that remote areas and national parks may not have ATM access so it is best to withdraw enough cash in town before heading into these areas.
    It's a smart idea to take some of your money in travellers' cheques of a major brand in a major currency (US$, GBP, AU$ and EUR are all fine). Travellers' cheques have security advantages although please be aware that the exchange rates may not be favourable and that it is difficult to change travellers' cheques in remote locations, on weekends and public holidays.
    Spending money
    Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
    Tipping
    In Australia, tipping is expected for certain things, but not everything. As a guide, tipping applies when you sit down in a restaurant for a meal (10% is a general rule). When using taxis or buying drinks at a bar, rounding up is acceptable.
    You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline AU$2-5 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
    Departure tax
    Please note that you are responsible for your own visas and taxes. Please have these amounts available prior to departing the various countries.
    All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
    Important notes
    LOCAL PARTNER:
    Please note that this trip is operated in conjunction with our local partner Intrepid Connections. Please look for Intrepid Connections bus and drivers when meeting the group.
    Group size
    Maximum of 15 travellers per group.
    Your fellow travellers
    As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.
    Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. However you can download Intrepid's FREE Meet Up app to chat with your fellow travellers before your trip. Meet up, discuss your upcoming trip and share the excitement of planning for your adventure. For more information visit:
    www.intrepidtravel.com/meetup
    Single travellers
    Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own room (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
    Accommodation
    Permanent tented camp (4 nts)
    All of the tents have hard floors and real beds. Camp-sites have hot/cold running water, toilets and showers close by. Sleeping bags, sleep sheets and a towel are provided at no extra cost. Camp stretchers are also provided for adventurous travellers who want to sleep out under the stars. Small environmental lights are also provided within the tents. Power boards are available to recharge your camera battery packs in all our camps.
    PARTICIPATORY CAMPING:
    To participate in this trip you must be prepared to assist with preparing meals, cleaning dishes, collecting firewood, setting up and packing up camp every day, in all conditions.
    Meals introduction
    While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.
    Meals
    4 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 4 Dinners
    Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.
    AUD 100.00
    Your tour includes meals as indicated in our brochure and online. On most days, breakfast, lunch and dinner will be included. Your leader will prepare most of the meals whilst on tour. Please make sure you advise us of any special dietary requirements well prior to travelling and we will endeavour to do our best to cater to them.
    Our tours are activity and participation based. During your travels with us you will have the opportunity to assist with daily activities such as setting up camp, helping prepare meals and clearing dishes. None of this is difficult however many hands make light work and any assistance provided to crew is always much appreciated. Most people agree that this type of activity helps you feel like less of a tourist and more of an explorer.
    DIETARY REQUIREMENTS:
    Passengers with special meal requirements must ensure they or their travel agent inform Intrepid of this at the time of booking. Food for the trip is purchased prior to commencement and special requirements cannot be catered for after departing. Vegetarians and those with any special meal requirements may need to provide additional assistance to the leader for meal preparation.
    Transport
    All Terrain vehicle, Plane
    You will be travelling in a vehicle specifically designed and built for Australian outback conditions. All our vehicles are air conditioned for your comfort, have CD players and/or Ipod connections and large panoramic windows for uninterrupted sightseeing.
    Group leader
    All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by a group leader. In Australia your group leader is also your driver, taking you from start to finish in a specialised safari vehicle. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, organise the camp and cooking for camp cooked meals (though passengers are required to help out) and recommend great local eating venues. They will also introduce you to our local friends along the way. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the areas visited on the trip, including historical, environmental, cultural and social aspects.
    Joining point
    Your Darwin Hotel
    Multiple pick up points
    Darwin
    Northern Territory
    AUSTRALIA
    Arrival complications
    We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your group trip as scheduled, please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your group leader.
    If you have pre-booked an airport transfer (where available) and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the starting point hotel, following the Joining Instructions in these Trip Notes. Should this occur, please apply to your travel agent for a refund of the transfer cost on your return.
    No refund is available on missed transfers or portions of your trip owing to a different flight arrival or delayed flight arrival. Any additional cost incurred in order to meet up with your group is at your own expense.
    Finish point
    Darwin
    Darwin
    Northern Territory
    AUSTRALIA
    Emergency contact
    In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency please call 1300 282 448 for trips from departing from Alice Springs/Yulara or 1300 616 340 for trips departing from Darwin. For trips departing from Perth/Broome please contact 1300 551 761.
    For all other enquiries please contact our reservations department which is open 24 hours, 6 days per week. For further contact details please use the following page:
    Emergency funds
    Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$400, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
    Visas
    Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.
    We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.
    AUSTRALIA:
    Belgium: Yes - required in advance
    Canada: Yes - required in advance
    Germany: Yes - required in advance
    Ireland: Yes - required in advance
    Netherlands: Yes - required in advance
    New Zealand: Not required
    South Africa: Yes - required in advance
    Switzerland: Yes - required in advance
    United Kingdom: Yes - required in advance
    USA: Yes - required in advance
    All travellers, except New Zealand citizens, must obtain a visa or travel authority before travelling to Australia. Failure to do so means you may not be allowed to board your flight to Australia. Most nationalities can obtain an Electronic Travel Authority via the internet before arrival. Please check the following website or with your relevant Australian visa issuing office for your nationalities requirements. http://www.eta.immi.gov.au/index.html
    Issues on your trip
    While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
    We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
    You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
    What to take
    What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb.
    Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.
    You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.
    WATER BOTTLE:
    Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur and use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day
    Health
    Dengue, Murray Valley Encephalitis (MVE) and Ross River Fever occur in northern parts of Australia (the Northern Territory, Northern Queensland and northern Western Australia). All three viruses are transmitted by mosquitoes. There is no vaccination against them, but there are preventative measures that you can take such as wearing long clothing, using repellent and being indoors particularly around dusk and dawn. January 2009 saw an earlier than usual seasonal outbreak of dengue fever in northern Queensland, with over 600 confirmed cases in and around Cairns and Townsville.
    There have been 77 confirmed cases of Whitmore disease (melioidosis) in the Northern Territory, mainly in greater Darwin, but with cases reported in the Katherine and East Arnhem regions too. One case has occurred as far south as Tennant Creek. The risk of melioidosis will continue to be present as long as the rains continue. Those most at risk are those with underlying conditions that impair the immune system such as diabetes. Please visit the NT Department of Health and Families website http://www.health.nt.gov.au - for more information.
    Safety
    Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.
    We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
    Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your group leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
    For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:
    REMOTE AREA TRAVEL:
    We carry a satellite phone on all of our remote/overland trips to be used by our leaders in the event of an emergency and for your safety. In addition, all of our leaders are First Aid trained and certified.
    HYDRATION:
    Daytime temperatures can be extreme from Oct to March with temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius. Please bring a large refillable water bottle. We strongly recommend the use of dehydration salts and sports drinks as a way to combat dehydration during times of extreme heat.
    Travel insurance
    Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
    When travelling on a group trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.
    If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
    Please go to our website for links to various travel insurance providers:
    Responsible Travel
    We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller:
    A couple of rules
    Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
    The Intrepid Foundation
    Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.
    The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$5,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your group leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:
    Carbon offset
    Carbon Offset C02-e 854.00 kgs per pax.
    Feedback
    After your travels, we want to hear from you! This is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next trip if your feedback is completed online within 4 weeks of finishing your trip.