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14 Day Top End and Kimberley 4WD Tour, start and finish Darwin


Day 1 (L,D)

You will be collected from your Darwin accommodation at 7.30am for your private 14 day Top End and Kimberley 4WD Tour.

We head south along the Stuart highway and into Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve. These wetlands have international significance because of their beauty and natural ecosystems. A great variety of fauna can be found here throughout the year as well as a large variety of birdlife.Brolgas at Fogg Dam

Then we make our way into World Heritage listed Kakadu National park. Kakadu is the largest national park in Australia, has some of the world’s finest rock art and a variety of habitats, including floodplains and savannah woodlands.

Once within the park, our first stop are the beautiful Mamukala Wetlands. We can view the birdlife from the observation platform, where the mural depicts the seasonal changes throughout the year.

After lunch, we then travel to the very north of the park to Ubirr, where we walk through galleries of ancient aboriginal rock art, which your guide will interpret. Also learn about bushtuckers and bush medicines before reaching the top of the plateau, where you can relax and enjoy the spectacular view over the floodplains and the Arnhemland escarpment.

We finish the day with a look around the Bowali visitors information centre.

Overnight accommodation- Bush Bungalow or cabin at Anbinik Resort (formerly Lakeview Park) OR hotel room at Mercure Crocodile Hotel (dinner not available with this option but can be purchased at the hotel restaurant).

Day 2 (B,L)

After breakfast we make our way to Nourlangie Rock, an ancient Aboriginal shelter, where we will explore the area and the rock art. Your guide will lead you on an interpretive walk around the site, followed by Nawalandja lookout. The short hike to the lookout is rewarded by a magnificent view over the Arnhemland escarpment.

"Australia" The Movie - Kimberley Tours

Then we drive to Maguk (Barramundi Gorge and falls). Termite mounds are abundant along the dirt road that takes us to the car park and from there, we take a walk through a paperbark forest to reach the gorge. Once we reach the gorge and waterfall, we can have a refreshing swim in the plungepool.

Late this afternoon, join the sunset Yellow Waters wildlife cruise, with it's abundance of flora and fauna. Keep an eye out for saltwater crocodiles !

Dinner toight is available for purchase at the lodge bistro

Overnight accommodation- Kakadu Lodge Cooinda, motel room

 

Day 3 (B,L,D)

This morning, we will make our way south, leaving Kakadu and heading towards Katherine Township.

En-route we have a swim and lunch at Leilyn (Edith Falls), en-route. Leilyn is part of Nitmiluk National Park and is well known for it’s picturesque waterfalls and pools, particularly the large pool at the base of the escarpment which is great for a swim.

Upon arrival in Katherine, we make our way to Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge, home to 13 spectacular gorges, carved out of the rock by torrential summer rains, over millions of years. Here, we cruise for 2 hours viewing the beautiful scenery and discovering the customs of the traditional owners, the Jawoyn people.     

Overnight accommodation at Nitmiluk Gorge- fixed safari tents with shared bathrooms (no power or lighting) OR cabins with en-suites. Dinner is not included with this option but can be purchased at the poolside bistro

OR the luxury Cicada Lodge

Day 4 (B,L)

We start today with a hands on cultural experience at the Katherine Art Gallery. Activities on offer include sitting down with resident artist, Manuel who will tell you tales of tribal life, language, the hunting and gathering techniques, ceremony, weapons used and aboriginal contemporary life. Experience your own Rarrk painting with Manuel, which is yours to take home. You will also have an opportunity to participate in one of the traditional hunting activities (firelighting, spear throwing etc.).

Then we make our way west, stopping en-route to view the Victoria River, one of the largest tidal influenced rivers in the Territory with an abundance of saltwater crocodiles. 

We cross through the border into Western Australia and onto Kununurra.  There is some free time while your guide shops for fresh supplies (due to border restrictions) and then we make our way to our accommodation. 

Dinner is available for purchase tonight at our accommodation

Overnight accommodation- Motel or cabin style, in Kununurra

Day 5 (B,L)

After breakfast, we head to El Questro Wilderness Park, which is a million acres in size.

Emma Gorge plungepoolEn-route we visit Emma Gorge, also part of El Questro, where you can take a walk to the gorge nd 200ft waterfall that is fed from a series of natural springs high above the plateau of the Cockburn Range. A cool reward awaits you at the end of the walk in, where you can swim at Emma Gorge pool.

After checking in, there’s the opportunity for a swim in the station rockpools (part of the Pentecost River).

Dinner is available for purchase tonight at the bar or station restaurant

Overnight accommodation- El Questro Station, in fixed safari tents with power, lighting and shared bathrooms

OR Station bungalow with en-suites

Day 6 (B,L,D)

We start today with a relaxing dip at the Zebedee Springs thermal pools, set amongst palm trees.

Leaving El Questro, we head onto the Gibb River Road and we’ll drive through the Pentecost River to a lookout, for fantastic views of the river and the mighty Cockburn Range.

We’ll also view an art site of cuples, Wandjana figures and Petroglyphs (rock carvings). This is also where the local Aboriginal people used to shelter and sharpen their spears. 

We turn onto the Kalumburu Road and make our way to Drysdale River Station. 

Overnight accommodation- Drysdale River Station, in station rooms with shared bathroomss OR

Station rooms with en-suites 

Day 7 (B,L,D)

You have the option this morning of taking with a spectacular 2 hour flight over Mitchell Falls and the Kimberley coast ! (additional cost)

Your flight takes you past Mt Hann, Deep Gorge and the Rift, then over the magnificent Prince Regent Nature Reserve. Follow the Prince Regent River, fly over several waterfalls including King Cascades, St George Basin, Mt Trafalgar, Prince Frederick Harbour, the Hunter River, Donkins Hill Falls and the spectacular Mitchell Falls.Galvans Gorge You may even be lucky enough see crocodiles, dugong and whales. The vast, beautiful, unspoilt coastline of this wilderness area is truly stunning and something you can only see and appreciate from the air. It really will be a highlight of your Kimberley experience. 

After the flight we make our way south again, stopping on the banks of the Gibb River where we view a rock art site. 

We reach the Gibb River road and continue to Mt Elizabeth Station, a working cattle station, established in 1945 by the pioneering Lacey Family, who still own and run the property today. En-route we visit an art site in the Gibb River area.

Once we’ve checked into our Mt Elizabeth accommodation, you should have a couple of hours to take the station nature walk or relax and enjoy your surrounds, before dinner.

Overnight accommodation – station rooms with shared bathrooms at Mt. Elizabeth Station 

Day 8 (B,L,D)

Our first stop this morning is Galvans Gorge, a small picturesque gorge, surrounded by boab trees. It has some interesting rock art and is a great place for a relaxing swim.

We continue west to Bell Gorge, which is said to be the most picturesque gorge in the Kimberley. We have lunch here and spend the rest of the afternoon swimming and relaxing at the waterfall.  

Then we’ll make our way through the Napier and King Leopold Ranges to our accommodation

Overnight accommodation – Mt. Hart Wilderness Lodge- in station rooms with shared bathrooms OR

fixed safari tents with en-suites (no power)

Day 9 (B,L,D)

Today we continue to Windjana Gorge, part of an ancient DevoniaFreshwater crocodiles at Windjana Gorgen reef system where the Lennard River has cut through the Napier range. We take a walk into the gorge to view the fossilised reef system and freshwater crocodiles can often be seen lazing around on the river banks.

Then we then head off to Tunnel Creek, a 750m long limestone tunnel in the Napier Range, carved into the rock over thousands of years. View stalactites and stalacmites and hear the story of Jandamarra, who used the tunnel as a hideout in the late 1800’s.

Overnight accommodation- Fitzroy River Lodge, safari lodges with proper beds, en-suites, fridge, tea & coffee and power OR

motel rooms with en-suites

Day 10 (B,L,D)

After breakfast, take the ranger lead boat cruise through Geike Gorge, where flood waters of the Fitzroy River have carved the 30-metre-deep Gorge through the limestone at the junction of the Oscar and Geikie Ranges. 

Bungle Bungles

After the cruise we continue our journey to Purnululu National park (the Bungle Bungles), famous for the ancient range of unusual beehive-shaped domes, gorges and chasms over 350 million years old.The section of road into the park is quite challenging and will give you a real sense of off-road adventure !

Overnight accommodation- Cabin with en-suite in the Bungle Bungles (2 night stay).

Day 11 (B,L,D)

We spend today in the Bungle Bungles. Our first stop in the park is Cathedral Gorge, a huge natural amphitheatre, with fantastic acoustics. We then take the walk to the Piccininny Lookout, followed by the “Domes trail walk”.

This afternoon we take a walk into Echidna Chasm, which is a narrow gorge of conglomerate rock. The walk in is beautiful, passing endemnic livistonia palms.

There’s also time today for optional helicopter flights (additional cost)

Overnight accommodation- Cabin with en-suite in the Bungle Bungles

 

Day 12 (B,L)

After breakfast, we leave the Bungle Bungles, heading to Kununurra and onto Lake Argyle, Australia’s largest man- made lake, covering 1000sq km and built as part of the Ord River scheme. It offers a great expanse of water from which steep redLake Argyle rocky slopes reach up approximately 150m, in awe-inspiring grandeur. 

This afternoon we take the sunset cruise on the lake, where you will cruise through some of the 90 islands and inlets and take in the magnificent scenery of the Carr Boyd Ranges. Enjoy a glass of sparkling wine and nibblies as the sun sets over the rugged red cliffs and azure blue water. 

Dinner is available for purchase tonight in the resort bistro

Overnight accommodation- Lake Argyle Resort, cabins with en-suites

 

Day 13 (B,L,D)

This morning we’ll pass through the border into the Northern Territory and travel through Timber Creek and Gregory National Park.

After a short break in Katherine, we head north towards Mt Bundy Station. The station has an interesting history and is set in a picturesque bush setting, attracting a multitude of wildlife. There should be time this evening for a walk around the station, a swim in the pool or you can visit the station animals. 

Dinner tonight will be cooked by your guide

Overnight accommodation- Mt Bundy Station, Stockmans rooms with shared bathrooms OR sole use of the 2 bedroom Cooks Cottage with bathroom

Day 14 (B,L)

Today is spent swimming and exploring beautiful Litchfield National Park.

We view the amazing magnetic and cathedral termite mounds and can have a swim at Wangi Falls, Florence Falls and Buley Rockholes which are a series of small waterfalls that are a great place to simply sit and relax. There is also a lovely hike along the riverbank from Florence Falls to Buley Rockholes.

Late this afternoon, we depart Litchfield and begin our drive back to Darwin, arriving at approximately 5.30pm. You will be dropped off at your accommodation.

END ITINERARY

B = Breakfast / L = Lunch / D = Dinner

This tour is only operated as a private charter (sole use of vehicle and driver guide) for a and is valid for travel from May to October (due to road conditions) - please enquire for prices and further details.

Itinerary is exclusive to Sacred Earth Safaris, subject to availability, road, weather and cultural conditions.

Inclusions:

• Sole use of 4WD tour vehicle with professional driver guide & purpose built heavy duty trailer
• All meals as stated
• Accommodation as listed

• Permits and entry fees

• 2 hour sunset Yellow Waters cruise

• 2 hour cruise at Nitmiluk Gorge
• El Questro Wilderness pass

• Hands on cultural experience in Katherine

• Kakadu park entry fee

• Geike Gorge cruise

• Sunset Lake Argyle cruise

Exclusions:

• Pre & Post tour accommodation
• Travel insurance
• Alcohol

• Arrival / departure flights

• 2 hour scenic flight over Mitchell Falls and the Kimberley Coast in a light aircraft

• Optional extra activities such as Bungle Bungle helicopter flight (approx $290pp for 30 mins and $390 pp for 40 mins)