Map of Top End & Kakadu Explorer including Australia

Come face to face with the staggering scenery of the Top End

Rugged, remote and absolutely remarkable – there’s nowhere on earth like Australia’s Top End. Over six days, a knowledgeable local leader will introduce you to the awe-inspiring landscapes of the Northern Territory, and at the end of each day you’ll retire to comfortable hotels. Join an Aboriginal guide and cruise through Kakadu National Park, discover some of the world’s oldest art in Nourlangie, float past the towering sandstone walls of Katherine Gorge and explore the waterfalls and pools of Litchfield National Park. From fantastic wildlife to thousands of years of Aboriginal culture, this corner of Australia is truly something special.


Start
Darwin, Australia
Finish
Darwin, Australia
Destination
Australia
Style
Comfort
Theme
Explorer
Code
POKK
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why you'll love this trip

  • Explore the vast wonderland of Kakadu National Park, taking a cruise down the East Alligator River. Led by an Aboriginal guide, learn about the cultural and natural story of the landscape.

  • Marvel at some of the world’s oldest art at Nourlangie. Painted by the Bininj people, this fascinating rock art provides insight into life some 20,000 years ago.

  • Discover the belief-defying landscapes of the Katherine Gorge during a guided cruise along the Katherine River, learning about local history and culture along the way.

  • With a local leader by your side, you’ll get a special insight into the environments you visit and discover all the best places to walk, swim and explore.

Is this trip right for you?

  • 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.

  • On some days of the trip, you’ll spend several hours driving through very sparse areas of Australia. Sit back and enjoy landscapes that you would miss in any other form of travel. Extra space can be tight, and conditions may feel a little cramped. Think of it as a great way to get to know your fellow travellers. The drive days can be long, but it’s as much about the journey as the destination, and half the fun is the camaraderie.

Itinerary

Welcome to the Top End! Your adventure begins in Darwin (Gulumerrdgen in the language of the local Larrakia people, who are the traditional owners of the land on which Darwin is now located). Darwin is the capital of the Northern Territory and your gateway to the wonders of the Top End. Prior to your welcome meeting tomorrow morning, the day is yours for your own discoveries of Darwin, so you are free to arrive at any time. You may like to take a dip in the Darwin City Lagoon, a protected bay with a net to keep out crocs and other unwelcome creatures. A visit to the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory is a must for a taste of the state’s culture, history and art. Rest up this evening for an early start and exciting day tomorrow.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Today is arrival day with your accommodation in Darwin included. You will meet your group and the group leader tomorrow early morning on day 2.
Rise bright and early and meet at the hotel's reception at 7:30am, when you will meet your local leader and the other travellers joining you on your journey. Drive towards Kakadu National Park. Covering an enormous 20,000 sq km, the park is a world of its own. Stop for a photo opportunity at Mamukala Wetlands, and after a picnic lunch by the river at Cahill's Crossing hop aboard a cruise down the East Alligator River (despite the name, you won’t see any alligators – this is crocodile country). You’ll be joined by an Aboriginal guide who will provide a unique insight on the cultural significance of the landscape and the plants and animals that live there. After your cruise, set off on the Ubirr walk with your leader, a 1km loop that leads you past incredible examples of Aboriginal rock art and to an awe-inspiring lookout point. Continue to your accommodation for the evening, a resort within the national park.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kakadu National Park - Picnic Lunch at Cahills Crossing
  • Kakadu National Park - Guluyambi Cultural Cruise on the East Alligator River
  • Kakadu National Park - Ubirr Rock Art Site Walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is approximately 3.5 hours. As we will leave Darwin this morning please make sure you have your luggage ready to be loaded into our vehicle. The Ubirr walk is a Grade 2-3 (easy to moderate) 1km loop, taking around 1 hour to see the rock art sites and enjoy the views. The 250m climb to the lookout is steep.
This morning, drive to Burrungkuy (Nourlangie), famous for its World Heritage-listed rock art created by the Bininj people. There are various short walks available to you while here, each offering a different perspective on the wildlife, art and natural features of the area. Continue to Gunlom Falls and enjoy a scenic picnic lunch while admiring the towering cascade. You may like to cool off after lunch with a dip in the gorgeous plunge pool beneath the falls. In the afternoon, drive to Katherine, where the outback meets the tropics. Your accommodation for the next two nights is near Nitmiluk National Park and Katherine.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kakadu National Park - Burrungkuy (Nourlangie) main gallery and shelter walk
  • Kakadu National Park - Gunlom Falls & Picnic Lunch
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is approximately 4 hours. The Burrungkuy (Nourlangie) main gallery & shelter walk is a Grade 2 (easy) 1.5km return walk. Please note that Gunlom Falls may be closed at short notice. If this is the case on your departure you will visit Barramundi Gorge instead.

Start the day with a visit to Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge, a truly impressive series of sandstone gorges sculpted by the Katherine River. Enjoy a cruise down the river to marvel at the dramatic scenery, as local guides fill you in on the flora and fauna of the region while providing historical and cultural context. In the afternoon, head out on foot and explore Nitmiluk from a different angle. Return to your accommodation for another night in Katherine.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Nitmiluk National Park - Katherine Gorge Cruise
  • Nitmiluk National Park - Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is approximately 1 hour. You'll be walking around 3 hours (4km) today on Grade 3 (moderate) tracks. If the weather is too hot to safely do today's walk your leader will suggest to visit Mataranka Hot Springs instead.
Start off the day with a visit and swim at Katherine's hot springs. Then head to Leliyn (Edith Falls), a stunning collection of tumbling cascades where you'll enjoy a swim in the deep-blue natural pools. Once you're thoroughly refreshed, its time to hit the road again. Make a stop along the way at the town of Pine Creek where you'll learn more about the rich indigenous history of the region before arriving at our overnight stop for tonight at Batchelor, the gateway to beautiful Litchfield National Park.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Nitmiluk National Park - Leliyn (Edith Falls)
  • Katherine - Hot Springs Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is approximately 3 hours. Please note that if the group has visited Mataranka Hot Springs yesterday then you will not be visiting Katherine Hot Springs today, but instead spend more time at Edith Falls.
This morning make the drive into magnificent Litchfield National Park. On arrival, visit Litchfield’s famous Magnetic Termite Mounds. Take a refreshing dip in the amazing Wangi Falls, then enjoy a peaceful lunch next to the falls themselves. Next pay a visit to the Buley Rockhole, a series of shallow rock pools perfect for another dip. Arrive back in Darwin in the afternoon and say goodbye to your newfound friends, as your adventure comes to an end here upon arrival. Make sure you schedule time for Darwin's famous Mindil Beach Market, which is open Thursdays and Sundays.
Included Activities
  • Litchfield National Park - Full Day Excursion
  • Litchfield National Park - Highlights including Wangi Falls, Termite Mounds & Buley Rockhole
  • Litchfield National Park - Picnic Lunch at Wangi Falls
Optional Activities
  • Darwin - Mindil Beach Markets Visit - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is approximately 4 hours.

Meals

5 breakfasts, 4 lunches

Transport

Private vehicle

Accommodation

Hotel (5 nights)

Included activities

  • Kakadu National Park - Picnic Lunch at Cahills Crossing
  • Kakadu National Park - Guluyambi Cultural Cruise on the East Alligator River
  • Kakadu National Park - Ubirr Rock Art Site Walk
  • Kakadu National Park - Burrungkuy (Nourlangie) main gallery and shelter walk
  • Kakadu National Park - Gunlom Falls & Picnic Lunch
  • Nitmiluk National Park - Katherine Gorge Cruise
  • Nitmiluk National Park - Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge walk
  • Nitmiluk National Park - Leliyn (Edith Falls)
  • Katherine - Hot Springs Visit
  • Litchfield National Park - Full Day Excursion
  • Litchfield National Park - Highlights including Wangi Falls, Termite Mounds & Buley Rockhole
  • Litchfield National Park - Picnic Lunch at Wangi Falls

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Top End & Kakadu Explorer trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

Travellers on Intrepid trips that start on or before 31 December 2022 are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Learn more about Intrepid’s COVID-19 policy.

START & END TIMES
The tour commences in Darwin on Day 1 with arrival at your leisure and finishes back in Darwin on the final day in the late afternoon. We recommend onward travel should be booked for the following day.

LUGGAGE LIMIT
A strict luggage limit of 10kg applies on this trip. Excess luggage should be stored at your accommodation in Darwin.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.

Essential trip information

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