Before you get started

What can you expect from this walk?

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Group guided

Highlights:

  • 9 day group guided itinerary
  • Experience Kakadu National Park World Heritage Area
  • See some of the best Aboriginal art in Australia
  • Hike in Nitmiluk National Park (Katherine Gorge)
  • Swim in the thermal pools at Mataranka
  • Hike in magnificent Litchfield National Park
  • Outstanding bird watching & lots of crocodiles
  • Two guides, your choice of easier and harder walks

Overview:

Starting in tropical Darwin, we’ll take you on guided walks in the very best regions Australia’s Timeless North has to offer.

First is the Kakadu World Heritage Area. Made famous by the film Crocodile Dundee, Kakadu offers hikers stunning vistas, unique landforms, abundant wildlife and outstanding Aboriginal rock art. The walking ranges from gentle strolls around wetlands that thousands of birds call home, through to more challenging hikes among unique rock formations. You’ll also enjoy a cruise on the East Alligator River on the border with Arnhem Land where the waters are full of crocodiles.

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More on what you'll see

Heading south our next stop is Katherine Gorge, known as Nitmiluk to the Aboriginal people. This is an area of rugged gorges formed by several mighty rivers that flood through here each wet season. We’ll be here in the dry season and the walks will take you to remote swimming holes and along the rim of Katherine Gorge itself, including one section of the long distance Jatbula Trail.

Next is the Mataranka area, well known for its natural thermal pools. One of our favourite walks is to beautiful Mataranka Falls where two rivers meet in a magical watery wonderland. The route continues upstream to Mataranka thermal pool where you can swim in the warm waters. Then it’s on to our favourite pool, and one that doesn’t receive too many tourists, at Bitter Springs. Here you can float downstream in the warm, crystal clear creek. Bring your swimming goggles – there’s a whole bunch of interesting life to explore underwater.

The final Top End area we visit is the stunning Litchfield National Park. Our walks here visit about a dozen huge waterfalls that plummet down the impressive escarpment. We’ll hike a section of the long distance Tabletop Track, see numerous massive termite mounds and have plenty of time for swimming or soaking your feet in the many waterholes en route.

Let's dive into

More Details

Location

Starts and finishes in Darwin in the Northern Territory.

Grading

The walking in Kakadu is easy to moderate. At Katherine Gorge it’s a bit more challenging with some rocky tracks. At Mataranka the walking is easy. At Litchfield there are a range of options from moderate to challenging. This trip operates with two guides so we can offer easier and harder walk options along the way.

For more detailed information including daily walk distances and times please download our Fact Sheet below.

Accommodation

Like everything in the ‘Top End’ the accommodation is full of colour and character. Comfortably appointed with private or ensuite facilities, they have been carefully chosen for their location and comfort. The first two nights will be spent at Jabiru, deep in the heart of Kakadu National Park. The accommodation is simple, spacious in a bush bungalow style and full of character – a little like safari tents with high canvas roofs, each bungalow has a private, lockable bathroom a couple of steps from the front door.

During the next three nights you will stay in a Northern Territory style resort. Set amongst acres of stunning tropical gardens and just a two minute walk from the Katherine River and its extensive parklands. Featuring a restaurant, bar, 2 refreshing swimming pools, spa and laundry facilities you will find your time here both refreshing and relaxing and an opportunity to truly unwind and prepare for the last couple of rounds of walking.

On our way to Batchelor we overnight in a railway themed resort. Each room continues the theme to make your stay memorable.

On the final two nights the group will stay in Batchelor in a property that features organic vegetable gardens and a butterfly farm. This is certainly a property you will remember for it’s rich NT style and character.

What’s included

Two guides, all transport from Darwin, 8 nights accommodation, 8 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners, Guluyambi Cultural Cruise, National Park fees, insulated lunch bag, maps & map case and info pack.

What’s not included

Alcohol, meals not listed in itinerary, drinks with meals (except tea/coffee and juice with breakfast).

The best time to go

We only offer this holiday during the winter months, when daily temperatures are the lowest for this region. It can still be quite warm to hot on occasions but, as mentioned above, there is usually a refreshing waterhole close at hand for a swim.

See the Bureau of Meteorology’s information about average temperatures and rainfall at different times of the year.

Regional food and wine

This region is famous for its outstanding barramundi, a large fish favoured by sports fishermen, and it will feature on the menu on several occasions. You may also have the opportunity to try indigenous foods like kangaroo and crocodile.

The Itinerary

Let's Review

Day 1

Starts in Darwin at 7.30am or Darwin Airport at 8.00am. A fabulous introduction to Kakadu’s wetlands today. Our first walk is at Fogg Dam wetlands where you’ll get your first look at the wonderful diversity of bird life in the Top End. Next stop is the informative Window on the Wetlands Centre where you can learn about plant, bird and animal life in the wetlands. Today’s afternoon walk is at another wetland in the Kakadu World Heritage Area called Mamukala. We finish the day with a scenic drive to view the Ranger Uranium Mine – no doubt sparking lots of debate!

Accommodation: Jabiru (Kakadu)

Day 2

Today begins with a scenic circuit walk through sandstone country that features unusual rock formations. The walk follows the East Alligator River and then a smaller tributary for much of the way.

After lunch we’ll do another walk, this time at Ubirr where a 1km circuit walk showcases several fascinating Aboriginal rock art sites. There’s also an optional rock scramble to a lookout for expansive views over the Nadab floodplain. We’ll finish the day with a cruise on the East Alligator River, one of the huge northern rivers that forms a boundary with Arnhem Land.

The tour is 100% Aboriginal owned and operated and you’ll learn about traditional survival skills and see a lot of wildlife including crocodiles. A major highlight is the opportunity to get off the boat and spend some time in Arnhem Land.

Accommodation: Jabiru (Kakadu)

Day 3

Our final Kakadu walk is in the Nourlangie Rock area, beginning with some stunning Aboriginal Art Sites. We then continue on the challenging Barrk Walk through remote sandstone country. This hike offers spectacular views of the Kakadu escarpment, culminating in a visit to the Nanguluwurr Gallery art site, far away from the tourist crowds (easier option available).

Next we head south to historic Pine Creek for the night.

Accommodation: Pine Creek

Day 4

After a one hour drive south we’ll spend the day in the Edith Falls section of Nitmiluk National Park (Katherine Gorge). The harder walk option will be on a section of the long distance Jatbula Trail to Sweetwater Pool. This trail follows the route travelled by generations of Jawoyn Aboriginal people to access the escarpment country.

A shorter option to the halfway point of Long Hole Pool will also be offered. There are a couple of excellent swimming options in the pristine river today. And at the end of the walk there’s a series of large swimming holes with the impressive Edith Falls plummeting into the refreshing waters.

Accommodation: Katherine

Day 5

Today we head south for a day trip to the Mataranka area for a fabulous walk to Mataranka Falls – one of our all time favourites. Two large rivers meet here and there are waterfalls and picture-perfect pools to swim in. This fabulous day culminates with the amazing Bitter Springs where you can float downstream in a warm, crystal-clear stream.

Accommodation: Katherine

Day 6

We’ll spend all of today in the Katherine Gorge section of Nitmiluk National Park. Our chosen route parallels the mighty river, dropping down to the banks for a refreshing swim from time to time. The harder option includes the Baruwei Walk, Butterfly Gorge and Southern waterhole (easier option available). If you prefer, you could do a cruise on the river, go kayaking or enjoy a helicopter trip to a remote section of the gorge (at own expense).

Accommodation: Katherine

Day 7

Today we head northwards to Litchfield National Park. There’s a photo stop to see massive termite mounds as well as two walks this afternoon. The first is to a viewing point over Tjateba Falls. The second is to one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the park, Wangi Falls. There will be time for a swim in the delightful waterhole at the falls.

Accommodation: Batchelor (the gateway to Litchfield)

Day 8

A choice of walks today. The harder, longer option is a section of the long distance Tabletop Track from Walker Creek to Florence Falls. This is remote, challenging walking and a dip in the pool below Florence Falls will be a welcome end to the hike. The easier option will include a visit to historic Bamboo Creek Tin Mine (1.5km, easy), and a swamp area that has many water birds. Then there’s a walk from Florence Falls to Buley Rockhole with plenty of time for swimming en route.

Accommodation: Batchelor

Day 9

For our final day we’ll leave Litchfield and head for Berry Springs, en route to Darwin. This is a delightful natural spring with a waterfall and excellent swimming in the warm spring water. There’s a short forest walk here too. We’ll travel back to Darwin, to arrive at about 1.30pm.

Enjoy a Flawless Experience

Traveller’s Tales

Norma Christian – June 2016, Australia's Timeless North

Thank you a million times over. Wonderful experience for me.
Guides were fantastic and as I am an older person they helped and encouraged me to see sights that I only dreamed of.
Aboriginal rock paintings were phenomenal. Actually everything was great.

Sandra Taylor – Queensland, Top End, Australia

Huge distances, spectacular scenery and a most interesting trip.
I enjoyed the landscape, bird and plant life and the change to see Aboriginal rock art…and learn first hand about aspects of Aboriginal culture.

Australia’s Timeless North

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$ 3690 per person twin/double share
$ 755 Single Supplement (private room)

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