Day 1. Welcome to Darwin
Darwin is the kind of place that excites all your senses. It’s always steamy, which means you have a constant glow. The aroma of tropical fruits wafts from markets. The horizons are wide and sunsets blazing. And the locals… Well, they’re as colourful as your outlook. You’ll meet some of them on a Darwin city tour taking in sights and attractions that tell stories of the NT capital’s unexpected history. As the day begins to disappear, follow the lead of locals to the Mindil Beach Sunset Market. Your Travel Director will give you the lowdown, highlighting the eclectic range of cuisine on offer – expect everything from Greek to Japanese. What a tasty start to your getaway.
Hotel: Travelodge Darwin Resort
Day 2. Darwin – Katherine
The ancient landscapes of Litchfield National Park are shaped by water, as you’ll fast discover when exploring this immense protected wilderness on a Litchfield tour. There are lakes and rivers, waterfalls and waterholes. Get set to visit Florence Falls, then take a dip in the gin-clear pool of Wangi Falls, this dreamy setting enveloped by monsoon forest. The landscape is also shaped by termites. The national park is pocked with enormous termite mounds, which are architectural feats complete with tunnels and nursery chambers. Small creatures with a big vision.
Hotel: Contour Hotel Katherine, 2 Nights
Day 3. Nitmuluk (Katherine) Gorge
Katherine is a little bit tropical, a little bit outback, and a whole lot gorgeous. The region’s main attraction is its gaping Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge, which carves the countryside in spectacular form. Sit back on your boat and enjoy a cruise through this ancient landscape, home to the Jawoyn people for millennia. You’ll learn about First Nations culture with an Jawoyn guide, and will tempt your taste buds with some bush tucker. Support the community by picking up paintings by Jawoyn artists.
Day 4. Katherine – Kakadu
Today is your chance to reset your body’s natural rhythms with a morning dip in Edith Falls – because days are better when you begin them with your head under water. (Please note that swimming at Edith Falls is seasonal and opening is controlled by National Parks) This series of cascades in Nitmiluk National Park will set your pulse racing. Before venturing deep into Kakadu, you’re poised for refreshments with a short stopover in the film-set-like town of Pine Creek, where buildings date back to the heady gold rush days. In Kakadu, you’ll take a guided walk to view ancient Aboriginal rock art at Burrungkuy (Nourlangie).
Hotel: Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel, 2 Nights
Day 5. Kakadu National Park
If you want a different perspective, sign up for an optional scenic flight over the national park, revealing just how wide, wild and wonderful this part of the world really is. Australia is home to some of the oldest art in the world, and much of it decorates rock walls at Ubirr – this jaw-dropping site protects Aboriginal rock paintings and carvings dating back more than 20,000 years. If you thought that was impressive, wait till you see the view over Kakadu from the top of the escarpment. This afternoon, there’s nothing between you and nature, the dramatic escarpments, waterholes and abundant wildlife of Kakadu looming large. Speaking of large, there are saltwater crocs to spot while you drift away on a Yellow Water Billabong cruise. Your local guide will share the secrets of these ancient waterways. Top off your holiday sharing a Farewell Dinner with your Travel Director and travel mates.
Day 6. Farewell from Darwin
Following your Kakadu tour, this is your last chance to spot enormous ‘salties’ lurking in river crossings you pass by. You won’t see them at Fogg Dam, but what you will witness is a cacophony of birds. This really is a twitchers paradise. A fitting (and slightly noisy) end to this epic wilderness journey.