Explore the national parks around the Top End of Australia

Delve into the spectacularly diverse ecosystems of Australia's Northern Territory on this 5-day Outback adventure. The Top End is famed for its exceptional national parks, rich representation of Aboriginal culture and hidden corners bursting with native wildlife, tranquil waterholes and tumbling waterfalls. Although the star of the show may be Kakadu National Park, a visit to Katherine Gorge and Nitmiluk National Park proves equally as incredible with a range of active adventures to be had on both land and water.


Start
Darwin, Australia
Finish
Darwin, Australia
Country
Australia
Style
Basix
Theme
Explorer, Short Breaks, Wildlife
Code
PNTK5
Physical rating
Ages
Min 8
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • Explore the highlights of Australia's iconic Top End in rugged style on this five-day overland trip

  • Enjoy the flexibility of a private vehicle, the local knowledge of a passionate guide and the magic of camping under the great southern sky

  • Learn about the ancient culture and traditions of the Limilngan-Wulna people as they invite you into their community with a traditional 'Welcome to Country'

  • The Mary River Wetlands feature a wealth of wildlife, including the highest concentration of saltwater crocodiles in the southern hemisphere. Get up close to the snappy beasts on a billabong cruise

  • Discover the wonders of Kakadu National Park on a boat trip through the spectacular Twin Falls gorge, and hike to the base of Jim Jim Falls

Is this trip right for you?

  • You'll spend some nights of the trip sleeping in outback camping grounds. While conditions can be basic and facilities are minimal, this is all part of the adventure. You'll need to pitch in with preparing meals and cleaning.

  • This trip requires a moderate level of fitness as it involves a lot of walking, allowing you to truly enjoy the surrounding nature. Some hikes are longer and more challenging than others. Please bring sturdy, comfortable walking shoes and comfortable clothing.

  • Temperatures in the Top End can be extreme. During the day the weather can be hot (and the Australian sun is strong) so please bring appropriate clothing, use sun protection and drink plenty of water. In the evenings temperatures really drop, so ensure you have base layers and warm clothing.

Itinerary

Welcome to tropical Darwin, where your adventure begins. As this trip spends very little time in the Northern Territory's capital, consider arriving a few days early to explore the city. After meeting your group and leader this morning, leave Darwin and travel into Wulna Country, where you'll receive a Cul Cul ('Welcome to Country') by the traditional owners of the land, the Limilngan-Wulna people. Learn about their ancient culture as you enjoy bush tucker talks, didgeridoo demonstrations and basket weaving. Next stop is the Mary River wetlands system, which has the highest concentration of saltwater crocodiles in the southern hemisphere. Get close to these ‘salties’ and other wild creatures on a billabong cruise. Late in the afternoon arrive into Ubirr in time for sunset, seeing the vivid Aboriginal rock art that dates back over 20,000 years. In the evening head to your overnight camp in Kakadu where the group will have dinner.

Note: Total driving time is about six hours (approximately 350kms)
Total walking time is approximately one and a half hours (including stops for informative talks)
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mary River cruise
  • Pudakul Cultural Experience
Meals Included
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Early this morning after breakfast, travel by 4WD to the Twin Falls. Experience this spectacular gorge aboard a boat cruise that’s operated by the national park, with a walk along the boardwalk afterwards. Unwind and relax on the sandy banks before heading to explore Jim Jim Falls. After a quick lunch break, take in the views of this natural wonder before taking a challenging walk to the base of the falls. Here you can choose to swim or relax on the beach, enjoying the spectacular scenery, before making the short drive to your overnight bush camp.

Note: Total driving time is about four hours (approximately 120kms)
Total walking time is approximately two and a half hours
Accommodation
  • Camping (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Jim Jim Falls Walk
  • Twin Falls Walk
  • Twin Falls Gorge River Cruise
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After breakfast, head to either Maguk (Barramundi Gorge) or Gunlom Falls and cool off with a dip in the plunge pools. Visit the historic gold-mining centre of Pine Creek and head further south after lunch. Journey for around three hours in a private vehicle to your campsite on the doorstep of Nitmiluk National Park. Once comfortable, have dinner with the group before relaxing in your tent for the night.

Note: Total driving time is about five and a half hours (approximately 340kms)
Total walking time is approximately one and a half hours
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Maguk (Barramundi Gorge)
  • Pine Creek Gold-Mining Centre
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Spend the morning at the magnificent Katherine Gorge in Nitmiluk National Park. Perhaps take a cruise along the gorge or rent a kayak and paddle downstream. These options are seasonal and at your own expense. In the afternoon, head off to Edith Falls where you can cool down with a refreshing swim in the huge rock pools. Settle down for the night in a snug camp and enjoy dinner with your group.

Note: Total driving time is about four and a half hours (approximately 350kms)
Total walking time is approximately three and a half hours
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Edith Falls
Optional Activities
  • Katherine Gorge Scenic Cruise - AUD87
  • Katherine Gorge Canoe from - AUD45
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Once you’ve had breakfast, head to Litchfield National Park. Filled with waterholes, creeks and waterfalls, it’s the perfect place to soak up the tranquillity of the tropics. Visit the gateway of Florence Falls, the popular Wangi Falls and the refreshing waters of the Buley Rockholes. Enjoy a picnic lunch, stroll through steamy rainforests and cool off with a dip in one of Litchfield's swimming holes. In the afternoon, take the two-hour drive back to Darwin where your trip ends. Enjoy an optional night out with the group if you decide to stay in Darwin for the night.

Note: Total driving time is about three and a half hours (approximately 250kms)
Total walking time is approximately one hour


Should any of the attractions of the standard itinerary not be open as a result of National Park decisions surrounding accessibility and safety, activities will be substituted. Please see 'climate and seasonal information'.

- Florence Falls
- Wangi Falls
- Bluey Rockholes
Included Activities
  • Buley Rockholes
  • Florence Falls
  • Litchfield National Park
  • Wangi Falls
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Meals

4 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners

Transport

All Terrain vehicle

Accommodation

Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (3 nights), Camping (with shared facilities) (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Mary River cruise
  • Pudakul Cultural Experience
  • Jim Jim Falls Walk
  • Twin Falls Walk
  • Twin Falls Gorge River Cruise
  • Maguk (Barramundi Gorge)
  • Pine Creek Gold-Mining Centre
  • Edith Falls
  • Buley Rockholes
  • Florence Falls
  • Litchfield National Park
  • Wangi Falls

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. Tour commences in Darwin on day 1 at 6:50am and finishes in Darwin day 5 at approx 6pm.
2. Onward travel from Darwin must be booked for the following day.
3. Strict luggage limit of 10kg applies in Kakadu excess luggage can be stored at Darwin accommodation.
4. This trip requires a sleeping bag during the cooler months of May to October.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Reviews

Our 5 Day Top End Adventure trips score an average of 4.75 out of 5 based on 8 reviews in the last year.

5 Day Top End Adventure, September 2016

Duncan Littler

5 Day Top End Adventure, July 2016

Judith Muir