ITINERARY Legend; B = Breakfast L = Lunch, D = Dinner
- Day 1: CAIRNS TO UNDARA/BEDROCK VIA THE ATHERTON TABLELANDS (LD)
Overnight: Bedrock (ensuite)
Departing your Cairns accommodation, we start our journey by heading south and ascending the Gillies Range. Venturing on to the Atherton Tablelands, we wind through dairy country to visit Lake Barrine & Millstream Falls, stopping in Ravenshoe township for lunch. Continuing West to Mount Garnet sees us traverse cattle and outback countryside on our way to the infamous Undara Lava Tubes for an afternoon guided tour of these spectacular tubes. Then heading onto Mount Surprise where we overnight at Bedrock.
- Day 2: UNDARA TO KARUMBA (BLD)
Overnight: Karumba. (ensuite)
After breakfast we travel across the outback and onto Georgetown. 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 and watch the beautiful sunset.
- 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 238 in the 2016 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. 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)
AAfter 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 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 MATARANKA (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 Bight, Cox and Towns Rivers and other numerous wet and dry riverbeds before arriving to 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 where we overnight. You can rejuvenate yourself in the thermal rock pools found 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 after lunch. The afternoon’s drive takes us through Pine Creek before we head to Kakadu National Park via the Kakadu Highway 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)
Today you enjoy an early morning cruise on the famous Yellow Waters, abundant with many species of birds and the mighty saltwater crocodile, followed by a well-deserved breakfast.
View the iconic Waterfalls of Kakadu National Park and visit Jim Jim Falls.
There is a bushwalk to access the falls is rewarded with a close up viewing of the Spectacular Cascading Waterfalls. 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 we 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 and on our way to Batchelor.
- Day 10: BATCHELOR TO DARWIN (BL)
Visit Tolmer and Florence Falls for morning tea. Travelling further into the park, we head to Wangi 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.