ITINERARY Legend; B = Breakfast L = Lunch, D = Dinner
- Day 1: CAIRNS TO UNDARA VIA THE ATHERTON TABLELANDS (LD)
Overnight: Undara (ensuite)
Departing your accommodation, we start our journey by ascending the Lamb Range above Cairns with amazing views over the city and beyond. Venturing on to the Tablelands, we wind through dairy country to visit Millstream Falls, we take a lunch stop and visit Ravenshoe township. West to Mount Garnet sees us traverse cattle and outback countryside on our way to the infamous Undara Lava Tubes for a guided tour of these spectacular tubes. We overnight at Undara.
- Day 2: UNDARA TO KARUMBA (BLD)
Overnight: Karumba. (ensuite)
Day two sees us travel across the outback, past Mount Surprise and into Georgetown for morning tea. After an optional stop to view the mineral museum, we continue west to Croydon and enjoy lunch at Lake Belmore, Croydon’s water supply. Our next destination is Normanton on the Norman River. Normanton is home to crocodile statue Krys – Krys was the largest crocodile ever shot in Australia at 8.63m. We take an afternoon drive out to Karumba on the Gulf of Carpentaria, famous for its fishing and industry ports for cattle and zinc mining. We finish the day at Karumba.
- Day 3: KARUMBA TO ADEL’S GROVE (BLD)
Overnight: Adels Grove. (ensuite)
After a morning look around the old train station, we keep heading west through the huge cattle stations of the Gulf Savannah region and cross the Leichardt River into Burketown. A tiny battler’s town, Burketown had a population of 173 in the 2006 census! The town is situated 30km inland from the Gulf of Carpentaria and named after explorer Robert O’Hara Burke of ‘Burke and Wills’ fame. We take a drive out to the vast salt flats before detouring off the main Savannah Way down into Gregory Downs for lunch by the river. After lunch, we turn past the Century Zinc Mine and to Adels Grove, adjacent to Lawn Hill National Park. Here, we relax by the lily-covered Lawn Hill Creek for the afternoon; the friendly oasis that is Adels Grove is our base for the next two nights.
Overnight: Adels Grove (ensuite)
After a late breakfast, we take the short drive to Lawn Hill National Park and have the option of either hiring a canoe to paddle along the cliffs of Lawn Hill Gorge to Indarri falls or bush-walking one of the many tracks around the National Park, or a mixture of both! Returning to Adels Grove for lunch, we have the afternoon to relax by the water with a drink or book in hand. There is also a morning option of a guided tour to the World Heritage Riversleigh fossil fields.
- Day 5: ADELS GROVE TO BORROLOOLA (BLD)
Overnight: Borroloola (ensuite)
Leaving Adels Grove, we travel north up through the gates and rivers of Lawn Hill Station. Back onto the main Savannah Way, we bypass Domadgee and cross through Hells Gate to the eerie rock formations found here. In the late 1800s, police stationed at nearby Corinda provided regular escorts for settlers as far as the rocky escarpments of Hell’s Gate, refusing to accompany the travellers past this point because of the fierceness of Aboriginals to the area. We leave Queensland and cross the border into the Northern Territory. You’ll appreciate the vastness of the area as we stop ‘somewhere in the unknown’ for lunch before journeying to Borroloola, a small mining and fishing township on the McArthur River, 50km from the Gulf of Carpentaria is our stay for the night.
- Day 6: BORROLOOA TO MATARANKS (BLD)
Overnight: Mataranka (ensuite)
It’s luxury this morning with ten minutes of sealed road before leaving the bitumen to enter Limmen National Park where we visit the phenomenal rock formations of the Southern Lost City. The erosion of the sandstone escarpment has led to the formation of numerous, large sandstone spires and rounded domes giving it the name ‘lost city’. We cross the Limmen Bite, Cox and Towns Rivers and other numerous wet and dry riverbeds before arriving on the Roper River. We continue through to the old Roper Bar Police Station and Lock Up; this was once where the only crossing was found ‘the Bar’. We head west from this point toward the Stuart Highway and to Mataranka Homestead where you can rejuvenate yourself in the thermal rock pools; we overnight here.
- Day 7: MATARANKA TO KAKADU (BLD)
Overnight: Kakadu (ensuite)
After an early start, we continue north with our first stop being Nitmiluk National Park where we take a cruise down the beautiful and rocky, Nitmiluk Gorge (Katherine Gorge). Nitmiluk is an Aboriginal word meaning ‘cicada dreaming’. From here it’s onto Edith Falls and time for a swim before lunch. The afternoon’s drive takes us through Pine Creek where we look over the gold mine and troubled north-south railway. Venturing further to Adelaide River, we take time to wander through the World War 2 Cemetery and Museum. Adelaide River was home to around 30,000 soldiers during the Second World War and many of those lost during the Japanese bombing of Darwin are buried here. Leaving Katherine, we head to The Kakadu National Park for our next two nights. This area is filled with spectacular scenery, pristine wetlands, billabongs, birdlife and wildlife.
Our two nights stay in Kakadu allows us to visit a variety of significant areas of the National Park.
Overnight: Kakadu (ensuite)
We include visits to:
The iconic Waterfalls of Kakadu National Park visiting both Jim Jim and Twin Falls.
A moderate bushwalk to access the falls is rewarded with a close up viewing of the Spectacular Cascading Waterfalls.
Burrungkuy (Nourlangie Rock Art Site) experience true Arnhemland with amazing sites including Nourlangie Rock and occupation sites dated in excess of 20,000 years. We explore and view unique aboriginal art & culture, where the art is inspiring, colorful and sacred, from a culture dating back more than 45,000 years. Regarded as some of the oldest and finest to be found anywhere in the world recorded on rock walls and inside caves , these occupation sites give a fascinating insight into one of the world’s oldest and most unique cultures in this remote region.
Northern Section of the National Park – Ubirr Rock & Cahills Crossing. The Rock is on the edge of Arnhem Land. A climb to the top is rewarded with staggering 360º views over the Nardab floodplains and into Arnhem land.
Optional: 60 Minute Sunset Scenic Flight (own expense)
- Day 9: KAKADU TO BATCHELOR (BLD)
Overnight: Bachelor (ensuite)
Today you enjoy a morning cruise on the famous Yellow Waters, abundant with many species of birds and the mighty saltwater crocodile. We then travel across the floodplains of the South Alligator River and further through Kakadu National Park to Bark Hut at Annaburroo where we take a short break. From here we head off to the small village of Corroboree before heading off the main road and travel through the Marrakai region crossing the Alligator River viewing Lake Bennett. We then make our way to Batchelor in the Litchfield National Park for our overnight stay.
- Day 10: BATCHELOR TO DARWIN (BL)
Our final day on tour and we journey through Litchfield National Park with the first stops being Wangi and Florence Falls for morning tea. Travelling further into the park, we head to Tolmer Falls where we have lunch. The afternoon sees us tour through Tumbling Waters (named after the rapids where gold was discovered) and on to Berry Springs (crystal clear warm springs) before re-joining the highway. We pass through the towns of Noonamah and Palmerston before arriving into Darwin city late afternoon – this concludes our memorable tour across two states and over 4000 kilometres.