Be welcomed into the local Aboriginal community of Wugularr and head "out bush" with the local Jawoyn ladies. Immerse yourself in the culture and natural beauty of Nitmiluk National Park. Experience the highlights of the world heritage-listed Kakadu National Park, as well as those off the "beaten track". Explore the natural and cultural beauty of western Arnhem Land through rock art and creation stories. Meet local artists, some of whose artwork hang in galleries throughout the world. An authentic, once in lifetime experience.
Depart your Darwin accommodation at 07.00am for the beginning of your 6-day Top End safari. Our journey today takes us 3 hours south to Katherine and then another hour east to the Aboriginal community of Wugularr.
En route to Katherine our first stop this morning will be at Edith Falls in the Nitmiluk National Park. The sandstone and riverine communities of Edith Falls provide a habitat for a diverse range of flora and fauna. Here we’ll embark on the 2.7km loop walk to the top of the falls which offers great photography and swimming opportunities.
Arts & Culture Centre
After a picnic lunch we’ll travel into Katherine and visit Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts & Culture Centre, where you can learn more about the art and culture of the region.
We’ll next travel to the southern edge of Arnhem Land to Wugularr (also known as Beswick), our home for the next 2 nights.
After reaching Wugularr we’ll embark on a local history walk around the community billabong.
Today, we will be joined by some of the local Jawoyn ladies and head ‘out bush’. Each trip out bush is different and will depend on the time of year. One other common activity is to try and find some ‘sugarbag’ which is the honey from the native stingless bees, it’s a favourite food our here and absolutely delicious!
Aboriginal guided tour
Hunting & Gathering
Learn how to make traditional baskets weaved from pandanus and coloured with natural bush dyes. We will also do some more scenic touring including a visit to the local swimming hole and gorge.
Before departing Wugularr this morning we will explore the community run Ghunmarn Culture Centre and Gallery. Here, you can meet some of the local artists and also view and purchase artwork made by people in community. Next, we’ll say goodbye to our hosts and head back to Katherine.
Our next stop will be at the Katherine Hot Springs for a quick dip and morning tea. We’ll then travel out to Katherine Gorge and check into our accommodation for the night.
Nitmiluk National Park
Katherine Gorge Canoeing
Then after lunch we will collect some canoes for a leisurely afternoon exploring Katherine Gorge by canoe. Canoeing through this pristine wilderness area enables you to experience the gorge at its best. All canoeing trips begin with a scenic journey by boat through Nitmiluk's first gorge before canoeists take to the waters to explore the second gorge and beyond.
After breakfast we will make our way to the world heritage listed Kakadu National Park. Covering almost 20,000 square km of exceptional natural beauty and unique biodiversity, Kakadu is one of very few places World Heritage listed for both its cultural and its natural values. Kakadu is home to the Bininj and Mungguy Aboriginal people who have inhabited this area for thousands of years.
Our first stop in Kakadu will be Moline Rockhole, a special permit area in which only a few select operators are permitted to access; guaranteeing minimal crowds. The small waterfall and waterhole below the falls is a great place to cool down and relax. Here your guide will give you a pair of snorkels so you can explore the underwater world, home to a variety of species such as fish and turtle
Kakadu National Park
Our next destination is Gunlom Falls, another great swimming hole. For those more adventurous a 20-minute climb to the rock pools above the falls leads to a naturally occurring ‘infinity pool’ with sweeping views across the bushland of Kakadu.
Continue north along the Kakadu Highway to our accommodation at Cooinda
At dawn we’ll join 2hr a sunrise cruise on the famous Yellow Water Billabong. On this picturesque waterway you will have the opportunity to view a large variety of birdlife as well as saltwater crocodiles in their natural environment. Learn more about the wildlife on the billabong from your knowledgeable guides who will make the cruise both fascinating and informative.
Next, we will travel into Barramundi Gorge (also known as Maguk). Enjoy a scenic 1km walk along the edge of Barramundi Creek before arriving at the base of Barramundi Falls. Here you have the opportunity to swim or snorkel in the large plunge pool below the falls and discover an array of aquatic life.
Yellow Waters Sunrise Cruise
We’ll then continue further north to Nourlangie Rock, one of Kakadu’s oldest Aboriginal occupation sights open to the public. Enjoy a walk around this impressive rock, through ancient rock-art sites and savannah bushland which is home to a variety of wildlife.
Just down the road from Nourlangie is Nawurlandja Lookout. A short climb takes us up the sloping sandstone to provide views of the sun setting across Anbangbang Billabong, Nourlangie Rock and the Arnhem Land escarpment
Today we’ll travel to Cahill’s Crossing where the East Alligator River separates Kakadu from Arnhem Land. Arnhem Land comprises of vast amounts of Aboriginal owned land (approximately 100,000 square km) where many local people still practice their traditional ways. Access is strictly regulated through a permit system.
After crossing the river into Arnhem Land a 15 km scenic drive to Gunbalanya (also known as Oenpelli) Aboriginal community provides some of the best driving views in the Top End with floodplains covered in bird life and water lilies running up alongside the Arnhem Land escarpment.
Injalak Hill Rock Art
Injalak Arts & Craft Centre
Once reaching Gunbalanya our first stop is the Injalak Arts and Crafts Centre where you have the opportunity to meet and see traditional local artists in action. This art centre has a reputation for producing fine quality Aboriginal works with many displayed in galleries around Australia and overseas.
Next, we will be joined by a local Aboriginal guide for a hike around the Injalak Hill rock art sites. A moderate climb takes us up into one of the most spectacular Aboriginal rock art sites in Australia. It’s here where we spend several hours exploring the many rock shelters which are covered in Aboriginal x-ray art dating back over 20,000 years. Relax under the shelters as your Indigenous guide shares and interprets the stories of their ancestors and helps you to understand the meaning behind this ancient tradition.
After travelling back into Kakadu for lunch see Ubirr Rock, one of Kakadu’s best- known rock-art sites and featured in the movie Crocodile Dundee. A walk to the top of Ubirr offers great views across the Nadab floodplain into Arnhem Land.
Next, we will begin to make our way back towards Darwin, our last stop in Kakadu will be at the Mamukala Wetlands, home to a variety of bird species.
Arrive in at your Darwin accommodation at approximately 06.30pm.
See the wonders of the Australian outback in style. Places are strictly limited. Start your adventure today.Book this tour
Per person: AUD $5,960.00 (twin share)
Three departure dates in 2023: 14th of June, 14th of July & the 14th of August
Price includes GST and is valid until 31October 2023.
Please note the itinerary is subject to change at late notice due to weather conditions, COVID and cultural reasons.Download Itinerary (.pdf)