In 2022 we first we operated this Kakadu & Arnhem Land Tour in conjunction with Australian Geographic and due to popular demand we are now offering 2 departures in 2024.
Trip of a lifetime - 2022 Australian Geographic tour guest
Over 9 big days you'll see some of the most remote and spectacular landscapes in the NT, accessing many areas off limits to the general public. You'll travel with an expert Venture North guide and be joined by numerous Indigenous guides along the way to learn about culture first hand. Accommodation includes a mixture of permanent camps, cabins as well as a bit of luxury. It really is a trip that has it all and we hope you can join us in 2024.
Below is the day-by-day program. You will then find a map and pricing at the bottom.
Your 9-Day Ultimate Tour of Kakadu, Arnhem Land & Beyond starts at 7am. After being collected from your accommodation in Darwin, we head south on the Stuart Highway to Katherine.
The three-hour journey takes us past the townships of Adelaide River and Pine Creek, with our first stop bringing us to picturesque Edith Falls in the Nitmiluk National Park. A 2.7km moderate loop walk to the top of the falls provides superb views and excellent photo and swimming opportunities.
After a picnic lunch, we continue on our journey to a second swimming stop at the natural thermal pools of Katherine Hot Springs.
We then travel to the southern edge of Arnhem Land, where we spend two nights in the remote community of Wugularr (Beswick).
Head "out bush" on our second day and be immersed in local culture with the Jawoyn ladies. Experience this vibrant community from a local perspective.
Learn about bush medicine. Forage for the delicious local honey from the native stingless bees. Known as 'sugarbag",– the honey is a local favourite. Learn the long tradition of basket weaving, using pandanus leaves and natural bush dyes from plants and animals. Continue touring, discovering this unique landscape with plenty of wildlife and afterwards enjoy a refreshing dip at the local swimming hole and gorge.
Before saying goodbye to our local hosts, we will explore the community-run Ghunmarn Culture Centre and Gallery, where you will be shown through by a guide and have the chance to meet some of the local artists
We head back to Katherine and check into our Katherine Gorge Accommodation. After lunch, we will spend a leisurely afternoon exploring Katherine Gorge, one of the Territories most monumental natural wonders. Start your journey through Nitmiluk's first Gorge by boat, before taking to the water in your canoe and exploring the second gorge and beyond at your own pace. Canoeing is by far the best way to immerse yourself in this pristine environment.
Finish the day with nibbles and drinks at Cicada Lodge before enjoying a three course-set-menu dinner.
Today, we travel to Kakadu National Park, covering almost 20,000 square km of World Heritage-listed landscape and renowned for its cultural and natural values.
Our first stop is Moline Rockhole which is only accessible with a special permit, guaranteeing less crowds. The small waterfall and pool below provide a great place to cool down and relax while exploring life under the surface with snorkels.
Gunlom Falls is another unique swimming hole and our next destination. A 20-minute climb for the more adventurous, will bring to the top of the falls brings you to a natural infinity pool with sweeping views of Kakadu's bushland.
We then head on to our accommodation in Cooinda, where we will be for two nights.
Start your 5th day with a dawn cruise on the renowned Yellow Water Billabong. Watch this unique wetland come alive at sunrise and learn from a knowledgeable guide about the abundant flora and fauna.
Heading next to Maguk (Barramundi Gorge), we enjoy a scenic 1km walk along the creek to the base of the falls, where you can swim or snorkel in the pristine plunge pool.
Nourlangie Rock is our next stop and is one of Kakadu's oldest Aboriginal occupational sites open to the public. This site also displays impressive ancient rock art paintings and drawings documenting life in the region from 20 000 years ago.
From here, we will travel the short distance to Nawurlandja Lookout, where we will watch the sun set across Nourlangie Rock, Anbangbang Billabong and the Arnhem land escarpment before heading back to our accommodation in Cooinda.
Today we will cross the East Alligator River from Kakadu to Arnhem Land at the infamous Cahills Crossing. Home to traditional owners and with a regulated entry by permit, Arnhem Land is rich in Aboriginal Culture and offers an unspoiled wilderness of almost 1000,000 square metres.
We drive past floodplains teeming with birdlife to the Indigenous community of Gunbalanya, where we visit the Injalak Arts & Craft Centre. Meet local artists and see them in action, with many of their works displayed in galleries in Australia and internationally.
Take a hike up Injalak Hill with a local Aboriginal Guide. Explore the natural shelters protecting Aboriginal rock paintings, including x-ray art, while your guide shares their ancestors' ancient traditions and stories, which you see in the drawings.
We then continue our journey to the most northern tip of Arnhem Land, The Cobourg Peninsula, which is part of the Garig Gunak Barlu National Park. The four-hour trip brings us to Venture Norths private coastal camp, where our resident hosts will meet you. Enjoy cliff top drinks and nibbles as the sun sets over Port Essington.
After a cooked "Cobourg-style" breakfast, we spend the morning exploring the NT's largest Marine Park by boat. Abundant in marine life, the Cobourg Coast offers 6 of 7 species of marine turtle, as well as manta ray, dolphin, sharks, ocean fish, mud crabs and "salties" saltwater crocodiles.
We will stop and visit the Victoria Settlement ruins. The British established this military outpost before Darwin and represented the third failed attempt at settlement in Northern Australia. Ruins are all that remain as a reminder of the hardships faced by the early colonists.
Heading back to camp, we can further explore marine life, sandy beaches and try our luck some fishing.
Spend the afternoon at your leisure, and experience another clifftop sunset before enjoying a delicious freshly caught seafood dinner.
Touring the Park by 4WD today, we explore the RAMSAR wetlands on the eastern side of the Park before continuing via the northern beaches, popular Green Turtle nesting grounds.
During low tide, you will explore rock pools and exposed reefs that teem with various marine life. Using traditional Aboriginal hunting methods, you will learn how to catch and gather Mud Crab, a local delicacy.
We can visit the "grinding holes" with special permission, which is a cultural site and not open to the public. The Aboriginal people have created holes as a traditional method for grinding foods and ochres into the exposed rock face.
Finish the day with another delicious camp meal and the opportunity to discover some nocturnal mammals by spotlight around the camp.
You will enjoy your last morning relaxing at camp with a cooked breakfast. We depart at 10 am to travel to the local airstrip, where your 1-hour scenic charter will take you back to Darwin. Upon touching down in Darwin you will be transferred either to your Darwin accommodation or the main terminal for your onward flight.
This ends your Venture North journey.
One of the best trip I've lead over the past 10 years - VN head tour guide David McMahon
AUD $6,490.00 PER PERSON (twin-share). This tour is limited to just 6 tour guests.
Please note the above itinerary is subject to change at late notice due to weather conditions, COVID and cultural reasons.
For more information or to book please email us or call us on (08) 89275500.