Kakadu’s Ancient Secrets
Darwin to Darwin
5 Day Guided Holiday
(Tour Code FTAATKAS)
If you like to travel in a more intimate group and go places a little bit off the beaten track, then this holiday is for you. We’ve thought of everything. You’ll stay in handpicked accommodation in idyllic settings like Cicada Lodge in Nitmiluk National Park and Wildman Wilderness Lodge on the Mary River Wetlands, and receive complimentary refreshments and enjoy first class fare along the way.
We’ll take you to some of the most beautiful spots in all of Kakadu, including Gunlom Falls to swim in nature’s own infinity plunge pool and Ubirr to see ancient Aboriginal rock art before your very eyes.
This intimate experience will immerse you in Indigenous culture, have you cruising ancient waterways and spotting incredible wildlife. It will leave you spellbound.
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As this Inspiring Journey departs early morning, accommodation should be pre-booked for the previous night.
Day 1: Darwin – Mary River
Welcome to Darwin! This morning, meet your local Driver Guide and board your luxury 4WD vehicle to begin a journey of discovery in the Top End. Travel across the Finniss River to Litchfield National Park. You'll enjoy a swim to cool off at tumbling Florence Falls and you'll also visit Wangi Falls, surrounded by tropical monsoon rainforest and hear about its importance in Aboriginal custom. Get ready for a cross-country journey via the unsealed Marrakai Track (seasonally accessible), through cattle stations and back country to the Mary River region.
Late-afternoon you'll arrive at Wildman Wilderness Lodge, where you’ll stay in private permanent safari tents. Situated in the Mary River Wetlands and renowned for its incredible wildlife, the property seamlessly combines comfort and chic with the beauty of the surrounding landscape. The lodge is the definition of ‘outback luxury’. Enjoy a beverage while the sun sets over the floodplains and after dinner maybe sit back with a nightcap by the fire pit.
Hotel: Wildman Wilderness Lodge, Mary River.
Included Meals: Lunch and Dinner
Day 2: Mary River – Kakadu
Wake up to the evocative sounds of the floodplains. Head out to Corroboree Billabong to enjoy a wonderful wildlife cruise. You’ll join a local guide on a safari style boat to see a myriad of different bird species, spot estuarine crocodiles and simply enjoy the stunning Mary River floodplains system. Next stop is Australia’s largest National Park – Kakadu. World Heritage listed as both a cultural and natural sanctuary, Kakadu National Park is an Australian icon.
Visit park headquarters, Bowali Visitors Centre then check in to your hotel where the buildings are shaped to represent a crocodile – the region’s most famous resident! Relax and unwind with a refreshing dip in the hotel’s shaded outdoor pool or even wander through the on-site art gallery before you join your Driver Guide on a sun set walk at Ubirr rock art site. You'll see ancient rock art and take a walk to discover remarkable views over the surrounding wetlands and escarpments from the fantastic vantage point, Nadab lookout. An Ubirr sunset is something that has to be seen to be believed, you will remember it forever. Return to your hotel for a delicious dinner.
Hotel: Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel, Jabiru.
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 3-4: Kakadu – Nitmiluk National Park
Day 3: Kakadu
If you’re an early riser there’s a chance to take an early morning scenic flight over Kakadu and Arnhem Land, or, perhaps you might just want to sleep in before your day of activities. This morning you’ll visit Nourlangie to see its fascinating Aboriginal rock art for yourself. You’ll also hear first-hand from your Driver Guide a detailed interpretation of the art and the rich Aboriginal culture as you explore the various outdoor ‘galleries' with art that dates back some 20,000 years. Later you’ll veer off the sealed road and onto a gravel track for a scenic cross-country journey to Gunlom Falls. You'll have time to take a hike to the top of the falls for a splash in picturesque natural plunge pool where you’re awarded with spectacular views over the National Park. Take in the natural beauty of the area while you enjoy a picnic lunch. This afternoon you continue through Katherine to Nitmiluk National Park. Indulge in five-star luxury at Cicada Lodge, a stunning architect designed eco-lodge surrounded by nature, where each room has a private balcony that opens to the glories of Nitmiluk National Park.
Day 4: Katherine
Today meet Manual Pamkal who will welcome you with a traditional tune on the didgeridoo. Manual was born and raised immersed in his rich traditional culture. He’ll share with you stories of growing up in the bush and teach you the fine art of rarrk painting using a special brush from a reed called Julk. Call up the inner artist within you and paint your own masterpiece to take home! Journey to Mataranka for a swim in the relaxing natural spring fed thermal pool. The pool is said to have the power to soothe your aches and pains and bubbles up at a fairly constant 34 degrees. Just glorious! This evening, relax on a special dinner cruise along Katherine River. You’ll marvel at the gorges while you spot wildlife and learn about the history and culture of the local Jawoyn people. Enjoy the peaceful ambiance during the candle-lit three course dinner cook on board your boat.
Hotel: Cicada Lodge, Nitmiluk National Park, Katherine, 2 nights.
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner both days
Day 5: Katherine Gorge — Farewell from Darwin
This morning, either have a lay in or take the opportunity to grab a canoe for a paddle on the river (seasonal). It’s the most relaxing way to experience the National Park, completely immersed in nature in the mystical morning light. Travel north along the Stuart Highway stopping at Edith Falls along the way for a relaxing dip.
Continue to Adelaide River War Cemetery. During WWII, Adelaide River was the headquarters to a large military base and a large cemetery was created especially for those who gave their lives in the service and defence of their country. Your Inspiring Journey concludes on arrival in Darwin.
Included Meals: Breakfast and Lunch
Highlights & Inclusions
- Swim at Gunlom Falls overlooking Kakadu
- Indulge in a three course meal on Katherine Gorge
- Immerse yourself in WWII history at Adelaide River War Cemetery
- Stay in luxury accommodation at Cicada Lodge
- Climb Nourlangie for spectacular views over the National Park
- Learn about Aboriginal rock art at Ubirr
- Relax in luxury at Wildman Wilderness Lodge
- Cruise the Mary River on a safari cruise
- Get off road on the Marrakai 4WD track
- Cool off with a refreshing dip at Wangi Falls
- Enjoy picnic lunches in secluded locations off the beaten track
- Enjoy an exclusive Aboriginal cultural experience
- Canoe on Katherine River
- Take a dip at Mataranka Thermal Pool
- Small group experience
- Experienced Driver Guide
- Hand-picked accommodation
- Travel by luxury small group 4WD vehicle with up to 20 guests
- Complimentary refreshments throughout the journey
- Airport transfers (see flight information below)
Moderate: The walk to the top of Gunlom Falls is difficult in nature and may not be suitable for all guests. There is an easier walk with plunge pool access available as an alternative.
What to bring
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Sunglasses, hat and sunscreen
- Water bottle to hold 1 litre
- Jacket in the cooler months
- Swimmers & towel
Departures / Pricing 2019
|Adult Twin $3125||Single $3975|
|28 Apr||28 Jul|
|05 May||04 Aug|
|19 May||11 Aug|
|02 Jun||18 Aug|
|09 Jun||25 Aug|
|16 Jun||01 Sept|
|23 Jun,||08 Sept|
|30 Jun||15 Sept|
|07 Jul||22 Sept|
|14 Jul||29 Sept|
|21 Jul||06 Oct|
Call 1300 197 351 for up to date availability.
Day 1 - Wildman Wilderness Lodge
Amidst the lush wilderness of Australia’s breathtaking Top End, Wildman Wilderness Lodge offers an extraordinary wetlands safari experience, situated in the Mary River Wetlands area half way between Darwin and Kakadu National Park. Wildman is a small-scale, high quality safari lodge featuring all the modern comforts of great accommodation.
Day 2 - Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel
The indigenous owned luxury accommodation is uniquely shaped to represent Kakadu's most famous inhabitant, the saltwater crocodile. Relax in the recently refurbished rooms, unwind in your private courtyard, by the shaded outdoor pool or take in the landscaped interior garden view from the balcony.
Day 3-4 - Cicada Lodge
Cicada Lodge opened in 2013 and delivers the highest standards of non-intrusive, world-class service in a modern architect-designed lodge. The Lodge is elegantly furnished in a contemporary, sophisticated style fusing international, modern Australian and Indigenous design elements.