ITINERARY Legend; B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
- Day 1: DARWIN TO BATCHELOR (LD)
Overnight: Batchelor (ensuite)
We begin our tour departing Darwin, passing through the towns of Palmerston and Noonamah. We stop at Berry Springs (crystal clear warm springs) and Tumbling Waters (named after the rapids where gold was discovered) before venturing into Litchfield National Park, a park covering approximately 1500 square kilometres. Litchfield became a National Park in 1986 and whilst traversing the park, we’ll visit the delightful Tolmer, Florence and Wangi Falls. As our first busy day comes to a close, we’ll finish up with a short drive to the small township of Batchelor where we find our overnight accommodation.
- Day 2: BATCHELOR TO KAKADU (BLD)
Overnight: Kakadu (ensuite)
Leaving Batchelor, we continue along the Stuart Highway. A Stop at Adelaide River allows us to visit the Adelaide River Railway Heritage Precinct – The precinct operates as a museum and has several restored vehicles and items of rolling stock from the original North Australia Railway on display. We continue towards Pine Creek, where we turn off and head into the Kakadu National Park.
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
- Day 4: KAKADU TO MATARANKA (BLD)
Overnight: Mataranka (ensuite)
We rise early and head to Yellow Waters where we take the spectacular morning cruise on the Yellow Waters Billabong. This is a particularly special time of the day and provides us with the best opportunity to see and experience the wonders of Yellow Waters. Following the Cruise, we make our way to Cooinda Lodge for Lunch. Heading out of the park, we turn onto The Stuart Highway and head South to Katherine Gorge and Nitmuluk. A special cruise today as we head into the Gorge itself – Our Private Nit Nit Dreaming Two Gorge Tour takes around two hours and explores two sections of this special place. Continuing our journey towards Mataranka, where we arrive late in the afternoon. Shortly after arrival at our accommodation, we make our way over to the thermal Mataranka Spring for a swim – a refreshing way to relax after today’s drive.
- Day 5: MATARANKA TO BORROLOOLA (BLD)
Overnight: Borroloola (ensuite)
Leaving the tranquility of Mataranka, we head east and away from the Stuart Highway to the old Roper Bar Police Station and Lock Up; this was once where the only crossing was found ‘the Bar’. After departing the Roper River, we cross the Towns, Cox, Limmen Bight and other numerous wet and dry Rivers enroute to Limmen National Park. Within the National Park we visit the phenomenal rock formations of the Southern Lost City. The erosion of the sandstone escarpment here has led to the formation of numerous, large sandstone spires and rounded domes giving it the name ‘Lost City’. Continuing on, we are eventually treated to some luxury in the form of a bitumen road before reaching Borroloola. This small town, located on the McArthur River 50km from the Gulf of Carpentaria, is supported by the mining and fishing industries.
- Day 6: BORROLOOLA TO ADEL’S GROVE (BLD)
Overnight: Adels Grove (ensuite)
Departing Borroloola, you’ll appreciate the size of Australia as we traverse the outback leaving the Northern Territory to cross the border into Queensland and on 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 bypass Domadgee and travel south through the gates and rivers of Lawn Hill Station. We’ll stay at Adels Grove (shared facilities), by the lily-covered Lawn Hill Creek, tonight and tomorrow night.
- Day 7: ADEL’S GROVE (BLD)
Overnight: Adel’s 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 8 ADEL’S GROVE TO KARUMBA (BLD)
Overnight: Karumba (ensuite)
Departing Adels Grove and the Lawn Hill National Park area, we travel past the Century Zinc Mine and to Gregory Downs. We return to the main Savannah Way and on to Burketown, taking in the huge salt flats of the area. 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 cross the Leichardt River and continue through the huge cattle stations of the Gulf Savannah region to Normanton, on the Norman River. Normanton is home to crocodile statue Krys – Krys was the largest crocodile ever shot in Australia at 8.63metres. Whilst in Normanton we also take a look around the old train station and the ‘Purple Pub’ which is in fact, purple!
- Day 9 KARUMBA TO UNDARA (BLD)
Overnight: Undara (ensuite)
This morning we depart Normanton and head to the coastal township of Karumba, on the Gulf of Carpentaria, famous for its fishing and industry ports for cattle and zinc mining. We continue through the outback on the Gulf Developmental Road to Croydon and Lake Belmore (Croydon’s water supply). Further on we arrive in Georgetown; here we have an optional stop to view the mineral museum. We travel past Mount Surprise and overnight at Undara.
- Day 10 UNDARA TO CAIRNS (BL)
We start today with a guided tour of the infamous Undara Lava Tubes before heading east to Mount Garnet through cattle country and outback scenery. We continue on to Millstream Falls and Ravenshoe township for lunch. Further on is the beautiful then the Tablelands region with its dairy farms, crops, rainforest and greenery – a stark change from the outback regions travelled over the last few days. Heading through World Heritage Rainforest area, before returning to your hotel.