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.

  • Gain a deeper understand of the history, traditions and culture of the land’s Traditional Owners with a range of interactive experiences.

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

  • Visit the Mawurndaddja art site for a unique insight into ancient Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. Uncover artefacts and art from over 18,000 years ago while exploring this site.

  • Rumble through the Top End’s best-known national Park, Kakadu, on a 4WD 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. Leave Darwin in the early morning and travel to Wulna Country where you will be greeted by a Cul Cul or ‘Welcome to Country’ from the Traditional Owners of the land, the Limilngan-Wulna people. Learn about their culture as your hosts treat you to bush tucker talks and didgeridoo and basket weaving demonstrations. Then, it’s on to the border of Kakadu and Arnhem Land for a Guluyumbi cruise along the East Alligator River. Both scenic and informative, a Bininj guide will explain the cultural importance of the river to the region’s Traditional Owners as you glide past pristine wilderness – and countless crocodiles! Once the cruise wraps up, head straight into Arnhem Land for an unforgettable afternoon touring the Mawurndaddja art complex – where rock art as old as 18,000 years span a series of galleries – with a guide. After an illuminating first day, continue to your Kakadu campsite and settle in for the evening.

Total driving time: about six hours (approximately 350 km)
Total walking time: about one and a half hours (including stops for informative talks)
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Guluyambi Cultural Cruise
  • Mawurndaddja rock art and occupation complex
Meals Included
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After fuelling up with an early breakfast, take on the rough terrain of the Aussie Outback in a 4WD on the drive towards Twin Falls. One of Kakadu National Park’s two big waterfalls, Twin Falls has a split cascade that plunges down the side of a rocky, red gorge into a plunge pool. Transfer to a boat to get an up-close look before strolling along the floating boardwalk. There’s time for a picnic lunch on the white-sand beach and a post-lunch laze, then it’s on to Jim Jim Falls, Kakadu’s most iconic natural attraction. It’s a challenging walk through monsoon forest and over boulders. Recharge with a cooling dip in the clear waters beneath the falls upon arrival, or simply soak up the spectacular scenery while relaxing on the beach, then dry off and head to Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre to learn the stories and history of the Traditional Owners of Kakadu.

Total driving time: about four hours (approximately 120 km)
Total walking time: about 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 shuttle
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
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. It’s a steep climb to the Gunlom Falls plunge pool, though the reward is 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 three hours to your private campsite on the doorstep of Nitmiluk National Park. Once comfortable, have dinner with the group before relaxing in your tent for the night.

Total driving time: about five and a half hours (approximately 340 km)
Total walking time: about one and a half hours
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Maguk (Barramundi Gorge)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Spend the day exploring the deep Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge and ancient sandstone landscape of Nitmiluk National Park. A wonderland of colours, Aboriginal rock art, waterfalls and wildlife, perhaps 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 on 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.

Total driving time: about four and a half hours (approximately 350 km)
Total walking time: about three and a half hours
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Edith Falls
Optional Activities
  • Katherine Gorge Scenic Cruise - AUD94
  • Katherine Gorge Canoe from - AUD45
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
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 two-hour drive back to Darwin where the trip ends on arrival. If you decide to stay an additional night in Darwin, perhaps enjoy an optional night out with the group to celebrate the end of a fantastic trip.

Total driving time: about three and a half hours (approximately 250 km)
Total walking time: about one hour
Included Activities
  • Buley Rockholes
  • Florence Falls
  • Litchfield National Park
  • Wangi Falls
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Litchfield National Park occasionally closes attraction 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’ section for more information.

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
  • Twin Falls Walk
  • Twin Falls Gorge River shuttle
  • 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 approx 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 during the cooler months of May to October.
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.

Reviews

Our Top End and Arnhem Land Adventure trips score an average of 4.61 out of 5 based on 36 reviews in the last year.

Top End & Arnhem Land Adventure, August 2018

Joachim Gossmann

Top End & Arnhem Land Adventure, July 2018

Jamie McColl