Journey to Australia’s Northern Territory and uncover the rich history and incredible landscapes of the Top End

The northernmost section of the remote Northern Territory, Australia’s Top End packs an unbelievable punch. This is where the tropics meet the Outback, sandstone escarpments are decorated with ancient First Nations rock art, and the national parks are bursting with plunging waterfalls, monsoon forests and breathtaking waterholes. This five-day adventure spends ample time at Kakadu National Park, Nitmiluk National Park and Litchfield National Park and includes exclusive access to Arnhem Land. Spend time with the Traditional Owners of Wulna Country, take a croc-filled cruise along the East Alligator River, check out the spectacular Jim Jim Falls and swim in the breathtaking locations on this unforgettable adventure through Australia’s far north.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Darwin, Australia
Finish
Darwin, Australia
Destination
Australia
Style
Basix
Theme
Explorer, Short Breaks, Wildlife
Code
PNTK5
Physical rating
Ages
Min 12
Group size
Min 1, Max 15

Why you'll love this trip

  • See rocky red cliffs, monsoon forests, plunging waterfalls and some of the Top End’s best landscapes with visits to three national parks: Kakadu National Park, Nitmiluk National Park and Litchfield National Park.

  • Learn about the cultural importance of these spectacular landscapes through the eyes of experienced knowledgeable guides including a local Bininj Guluyambi guide

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

  • The Mawurndaddja rock art and occupation complex offers a unique insight into ancient Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander culture– with rock art spanning from the present time to many thousands of years of age.

  • Rumble through the Top End’s best-known national Park, Kakadu, on an adventure, stopping to check out the spectacular Jim Jim Falls.

  • Hike through the rich greenery of Litchfield National Park, cooling off with swims in Florence Falls, Wangi Falls and Buley Rockholes.

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.

  • This trip has a strict luggage limit of 10kg. Excess luggage can not be carried however, it can be stored at Darwin accommodation.

Itinerary

Welcome to Darwin, the Northern Territory’s tropical capital. There’s no time to waste, so get cracking at 6.50 am and hit the road to Wulna Country, where your Limilngan-Wulna hosts – the land’s Traditional Owners – will greet you with a Cul Cul or ‘Welcome to Country’. Learn about their culture during bush tucker talks and didgeridoo and basket weaving demonstrations. Continue to the border of Kakadu and Arnhem Land for a Guluyumbi cruise along the East Alligator River with a Bininj guide. Learn about the cultural importance of the East Alligator River to the Bininj people and take in the tranquillity and rugged beauty. Back on land, jump in a private vehicle and drive to Arnhem Land’s Mawurndaddja. This sacred complex (only recently opened to visitors) has a spectacular series of rock art that research indicates is over 50,000 years old. Spend the afternoon exploring this atmospheric site and learning about its history from your guide. Head to Kakadu for an overnight stay.
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Guluyambi Cultural Cruise
  • Mawurndaddja rock art and occupation complex
Meals Included
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Meet your group at the Darwin joining point listed in the ‘Essential trip information’ and leave at 6.50 am. We recommend arriving in Darwin the night before, or earlier, so you make the departure. Please seak to your booking agent for more information.

Total driving time: about 6 hours (approximately 350 km)
Total walking time: about 1.5 hours (including stops for informative talks)
After fuelling up with an early breakfast, head to Jim Jim Falls, Kakadu's most iconic natural attraction. Take a challenging walk through monsoon forest and over boulders, then recharge with a cooling dip in the clear waters beneath the falls. After lunch head to Anbangbang, another incredible site that features ancient art on what was originally Warramal land. Sadly, there are no surviving Warramal people, so the care of the site is maintained by the neighbouring Mirarr and Djok communities. This afternoon, you have the option of taking a scenic flight over Kakadu or visiting the Bowli Cultural Centre.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Jim Jim Falls Walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Total driving time: about 4 hours (approximately 120 km)
Total walking time: about 2.5
After breakfast, head to either Gunlom Falls or Maguk (Barramundi Gorge) for a swim in another pristine waterhole. Maguk flows down the steep walls of rugged gorge into a beautiful natural plunge pool, while the steep climb to the Gunlom Falls plunge pool is rewarded with sweeping views of Kakadu and the welcome shade of gum trees. Neither option will disappoint. After a relaxing morning, it’s time to hit the road. Stop in the old gold-mining town of Pine Creek for lunch before continuing for another 3 hours to your private campsite on the doorstep of Nitmiluk National Park. Once comfortable, have dinner with the group before settling in under the stars for the night.
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Maguk (Barramundi Gorge)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Total driving time: about 5.5 hours (approximately 340 km)
Total walking time: about 1.5 hours
Spend the day exploring the deep Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge and greater Nitmiluk National Park, a wonderland of colours, ancient rock art, waterfalls and wildlife. While here, you can explore on foot or choose to take a cruise or rental a kayak to get a closer look. Keep in mind that these optional activities are seasonal and at your own expense. In the afternoon, travel to Edith Falls, a hidden oasis of clear, cool waters surrounded by bronze boulders. After a quick swim in the huge rock pools, continue to tonight’s camp located at the edge of Litchfield National Park, where dinner awaits.
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Edith Falls
Optional Activities
  • Katherine Gorge Scenic Cruise - AUD95
  • Katherine Gorge Canoe from - AUD82
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Total driving time: about 4.5 hours (approximately 350 km)
Total walking time: about 3.5 hours
After breakfast, head to Litchfield National Park. A bit of a local secret, Litchfield is awash with tropical rainforest, gorgeous waterfalls and crystal-clear waterholes. Visit Florence Falls, Wangi Falls or Bluey Rockholes, then tuck into a picnic lunch. Enjoy a stroll through the steamy rainforests and refreshing dip in one of the park’s gorgeous swimming holes. In the afternoon, make the 2-hour drive back to Darwin.
Included Activities
  • Buley Rockholes
  • Florence Falls
  • Litchfield National Park
  • Wangi Falls
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Litchfield National Park occasionally closes attractions if they are considered unsafe to access. If Florence Falls, Wangi Falls or Bluey Rockholes are closed, activities will be substituted. Please see our 'Climate and seasonal information’ section in the ‘Essential trip information’ for more.

Total driving time: about 3.5 hours (approximately 250 km)
Total walking time: about 1 hour

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

  • Guluyambi Cultural Cruise
  • Mawurndaddja rock art and occupation complex
  • Jim Jim Falls Walk
  • Maguk (Barramundi Gorge)
  • 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 6.50 am and finishes in Darwin (Day 5) at approximately 6 pm.
2. Onward travel from Darwin must be booked for the following day.
3. Strict luggage limit of 10 kg applies in Kakadu. Excess luggage can be stored at Darwin accommodation.
4. This trip requires a sleeping bag
5. Please note there is no single supplement available for this trip.

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.

View Essential Trip Information

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