TOUR OVERVIEW / HIGHLIGHT
Lose yourself in the unspoiled majesty of the Northern Territory, an ancient land rich in Aboriginal history and rugged, natural beauty where you glide over the floodplains on an airboat safari in search on wildlife in Australia’s answer to the Okavango Delta; take in spectacular vistas on a gorge cruise in the lands of the Jawoyn people while learning about Aboriginal culture through stories; and experience the magical solitude of the incredibly sacred Uluru, or Ayers Rock.
WHAT TO EXPECT?
DAY 01: ARRIVAL - DARWIN / KAKADU
Welcome to Kakadu National Park of Northern Territory!
Upon arrival, transfer to your luxurious safari lodge in the coastal floodplains of Australia’s Top End, with exclusive access to 300 km² of floodplains and savanna woodland on the Mary River, on the edge of Kakadu National Park.
A profusion of bird and wildlife are at the doorstep of this unique bush experience that exudes ‘Wild Bush Luxury’ and brings a touch of style to the discovery of a remote and beautiful wilderness. Some of the wildlife you might encounter include wild boar, dingoes, wallaroos, agile wallabies, lumbering water buffalo, lurking estuarine crocodiles and more than 236 bird species. They can be spotted from the comfort of the shaded hotel deck, by airboat excursion or from an open-boat cruise up the river.
Be briefed about the activities and excursions (shared basis) specially planned for you by the lodge manager and field guides, before being shown to your bungalow.
In the late afternoon, depending on your arrival time at the lodge, it is likely that you may be taken on an afternoon open-top game drive (shared basis) and get to know fellow guests over sundowners and canapes.
Return to lodge in time for dinner.
DAY 02: KAKADU
After breakfast, head out on an exhilarating airboat safari, the only way to truly experience an environment that is home to thousands of Magpie Geese, Plumed Whistling-Duck, Egrets, Ibis and a host of other birds.
Afternoon, you may be taken on a canopy-covered river cruise. The Mary River System harbours one of the largest crocodile densities in the world. You may spot crocodiles basking on the banks in the sunlight which helps in regulating their body temperature, as well many bird species that call this mangrove-lined environment home.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
DAY 03: KAKADU
Embark on a full-day excursion (shared basis) to the stone country of Kakadu National Park, and one of Australia's greatest strongholds of Aboriginal rock art and the oldest surviving culture on earth.
A scenic hop by light aircraft across the river systems that separate Bamurru Plains from Kakadu brings you to the heart of this country.
From exploring rock overhangs and caves at Ubirr Rock to cruising the meandering waters of the East Alligator River that drains from the stone country of Arnhem Land and marks the boundary between Kakadu National Park and Arnhem Land, this day will expose the senses to country that is rich in Aboriginal culture, flora and fauna.
Your visit includes a bush picnic lunch and the chance to spend time with an Aboriginal guide on the waters of the East Alligator River before returning overland, with a stop at the Bowali Visitor Centre.
Option to extend a day to visit an Aboriginal community in timeless Arnhem Land with return scenic flights.
Meals: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch & Dinner
DAY 04: KAKADU / NITMILUK
Transfer to Nitmiluk National Park, owned by the Jawoyn Aboriginal people, as is the spectacular Cicada Lodge, whose rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows, private balconies and indigenous artwork.
Some of the park’s features include spectacular dissected sandstone country, broad valleys and numerous, significant cultural sites. The deep Nitmiluk Gorge carved through ancient sandstone by the Katherine River is the central attraction of the area, and creates a wonderful ‘natural playground’ for many activities.
Late afternoon, embark on a sunset dinner cruise and discover the stories and ways of the aboriginal Jawoyn people, the traditional owners of the land, against the magnificent backdrop of the Nitmiluk Gorge. You may even get to spot freshwater crocodiles!
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
DAY 05: NITMILUK
Enjoy another day in the heart of Dreamtime Land and your choice of excursions (join-in basis).
Go on a self-guided canoe trip (not available Nov-May). Take a scenic boat ride through Nitmiluk’s first gorge before canoeists take to the waters to explore the second gorge and beyond. Exploring the gorge system at a relaxed pace, you will have ample time to admire the scenery and wildlife.
Enjoy a picnic (not included) on the shaded river banks or cool off with a swim in the alluring waters of the second or third gorge. Be drawn into the lush hanging gardens, a fertile section of the gorge with an almost rainforest-like atmosphere. Enjoy the shade and cooling atmosphere from the green foliage.
Alternatively, or if time permits, go on an Ancient Galarr River Safari and learn more about the Jawoyn culture through stories of their lives, carrying on the legacy of their ancestors and their forefathers. Learn about the geology and geography of the gorge, to what Jawoyn life was like in the past. This relaxed cruise stops at the end of the first gorge to reveal Rock Art adorning the gorge cliff faces. Listen to stories of ancient traditions and sacred sites. See important artefacts including didgeridoos, painting and woven baskets. Try out traditional activities such as spear-throwing.
Don’t forget your swimsuit as, depending on the time of year, there’s the opportunity to cross to the second gorge for a refreshing swim in the abundant rock holes.
DAY 06: NITMILUK / DARWIN / ULURU
Return to Darwin for your flight to Uluru.
Upon arrival at Ayers Rock airport, be met and a short drive takes you to your accommodation.
Capture the changing lights reflected over Uluru’s many faces as the sun slips below the horizon during the sunset tour. The essential outback experience enjoyed with chilled glass and canapé in hand!
Experience Bruce Munro’s magical Field of Light art installation as darkness descends over Australia’s spiritual heartland. The evening seamlessly segues into an exclusive dining event amongst the dunes at Table 131° (subject to weather conditions).
DAY 07: ULURU
This morning, join your guide (shared basis) for a walk in the early dawn light through Walpa Gorge and the many heads of Kata Tjuta.
Later, a visit to the Culture Centre completes a morning of discovery in the Red Centre.
In the afternoon, journey to the base of Uluru to learn about the history of the ancestral Mala people on the Mala Walk, viewing cave paintings and other sites relevant to both the aboriginal groups and early explorers.
At dusk, enter Kantju Gorge illuminated in the light of the setting sun for evening drinks and canapés.
Enjoy dinner in the intimate ambience of the Dune House.
DAY 08: ULURU / DARWIN - DEPARTURE
Explore the peaceful Mutitjulu waterhole as the sun lights up the ancient monolith. Delve into the Aboriginal creation story of Kuniya Piti for a deeper connection. Return to your lodge for breakfast.
There’s still time for a last taste of Northern Territory before heading to the airport for your flight home. Safe travels!
ACCOMMODATION WE LOVE:
8D7N - 3N Kakadu, 2N Nitmiluk, 2N Uluru