5 Day Kakadu and Katherine Bird Watching Tour - 4th Oct 2017 only
1- Wed 4th Oct 2017(L)
You will be collected from your Darwin accommodation at 7.30am for your 5 day birdwatching tour to Kakadu and Katherine.
We head south along the Stuart Highway, onto the Arnhem Highway and into Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve. These wetlands have international significance because of their beauty and natural ecosystems. A variety of fauna may be found here throughout the year as well as a large variety of birdlife (230 species have been listed in this area by The Australian Bird Atlas).
As well as viewing the birds as we drive across the dam wall, we also have the option of taking one of the woodlands walks- either the 2.7km Monsoon Forest Walk or the 2.2km Woodlands to Waterlily Walk.
As well as a variety of wetland birds, such as Brolga, Jabiru, Comb Crested Jacana, Sacred Kingfishers and Royal Spoonbills, we may also have the opportunity to see a range of other birds such as Crimson Finches, Double-barred Finches, Rainbow Bee-Eaters and the Rainbow Pitta.
We continue along the Arnhem Highway and depending on time and conditions, we visit either Leaning Tree Lagoon or Djukbinj National Park for some further bird viewing opportunities.
Lunch is provided on the Corroboree Billabong wetlands cruise, where, for 2.5 hours, you'll cruise through the Mary River Wetlands, which are teaming with bird life. The wet season transforms the wetlands into an inland sea and replenishes the earth after the long dry, and fish, crocodiles and birds breed and flourish. As the waters subside, the dry season offers excellent opportunities for viewing birds and wildlife.
After the cruise 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.
Kakadu's many habitats support more than 280 species of birds, or about one-third of Australia's bird species. Some birds range over a number of habitats, but many are found in only one environment, including the Chestnut-quilled Rock Pigeon, Banded Fruit Dove, White- Lined Honeyeater and the White- throated Grasswren, which are only found within or near Kakadu National Park.
We continue to the South Alligator region. The entire river and it's catchment are contained and protected in Kakadu. After we've checked into our accommodation, you have the opportunity to take part or all of (depending on time) the Gungarre Walk, which will take you through Monsoon Forest, woodlands and alongside a billabong.
Dinner this evening can be purchased at the lodge bistro.
Overnight accommodation- Aurora South Alligator Resort- motel room with en-suite.
Day 2 (B,L)- Thurs 5th Oct
We start today with a visit to the beautiful Mamukala Wetlands, which are home to an array of wetland birds including thousands of Magpie Geese, Wandering and Whistling Ducks, Green Pygmy Geese and Australian Pelicans. We may also see birds of prey, such as Black-breasted Buzzard and Square-tailed Kite.
We can view and photograph the birdlife from the observation platform, where the mural depicts the seasonal changes throughout the year. Depending on seasonal conditions we may be able to take the wetlands walk.
Then onto Ubirr in the very north of the park. Here we'll walk through galleries of ancient aboriginal rock art, which your guide will interpret. Also learn about bush tuckers and bush medicines before reaching the top of the plateau. Here we can enjoy the panoramic view of the floodplains and Arnhemland Escarpment.
The escarpment is home to a variety of birds including the Chestnut-quilled Rock Pigeon, Banded Fruit Dove, Whistling Kite, Bush-stone Curlew as well as the Short-eared Rock Wallaby.
We finish the day on a private sunset Yellow Waters cruise for our group only. Located at the end of Jim Jim Creek, at least 60 bird species found in these wetlands, the billabong is home to may saltwater crocodiles and you may see other wildlife such as Water Buffalo.
Dinner this evening can be purchased at the lodge bistro.
Overnight accommodation- Kakadu Lodge Cooinda - motel room with en-suite (2 night stay)
Day 3 (B,L)- Fri 6th Oct
We start today in the Nourlangie area and firstly to Nourlangie Rock itself, which is an ancient Aboriginal shelter. Here we explore the area and the rock art, which your guide will interpret for you. This area is home to the Black Wallaroo (endemic to the Nourlangie area) , Short- eared Rock Wallaby, Banded-Fruit-Dove, White-Lined Honeyeater and the Chestnut-quilled Rock Pigeon.
Nearby Anbangbang Billabong offers great views of Nourlangie Rock behind the billabong and bird watching opportunities. There is a loop walk you can take around the billabong.
This afternoon we drive to Maguk (Barramundi Gorge and falls), where we may see Rainbow Pitta and Shining Fly Catchers. Termite mounds are abundant along the dirt rad that takes us to the Maguk car park and from here, 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.
Overnight accommodation- Kakadu Lodge Cooinda
Day 4 (B,L)- Sat 7th Oct
We travel to the very south of the park today, to Gunlom (Waterfall Creek). A scenic drive in on an unsealed dirt road, takes us to the falls, which offer the opportunity for a swim in the large plunge pool at the base of the falls. There is also a walk to to the top of the falls, where pristine rock pools and a spectacular view await you. Bird species inhabiting this area include the Rainbow Pitta and Buff- sided Robin, in the poolside monsoon forest and up on the escarpment, along from the rock-pools, you can look for Chestnut-quilled Rock Pigeon, White-Lined Honeyeater and Sandstone Shrike Thrush among others.
Departing Kakadu through the southern entrance, we have a break in the historic town of Pine Creek and explore a couple of nearby birding spots.
We continue to Katherine and out to our accommodation at Nitmiluk Gorge, home to 13 spectacular gorges, carved out of the rock by torrential summer rains, over millions of years. The campground and gorge are home to a variety of birds and heaps of wallabies !
Dinner tonight is available to purchase at the poolside bistro
Overnight accommodation- Nitmiluk Gorge- 1 bedroom cabin with en-suite
Day 5 (B,L)- Sun 8th Oct
We start today with a 2 hour cruise through Nitmiluk Gorge for 2 hours, viewing the beautiful scenery and discovering the customs of the traditional owners, the Jawoyn people.
Departing Katherine, we now head north again, to 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. Birds seen in this area including on the road to the falls, include Hooded Parrot, Gouldian, Long-tailed and Masked Finches, Balck-tailed Treecreeper and Golden-headed Cisticola.
We now depart from Darwin, arriving at approximately 6pm and you will be dropped off at your accommodation.
B = Breakfast / L = Lunch / D = Dinner
This tour departs from Darwin on 4th Oct 2017 only
AUD $2985 PER ADULT, TWIN SHARE
$3385 PER PERSON SINGLE
Subject to availability, including GST and valid until 31/10/2018
**don't forget the 10% seniors card holders discount- conditions apply **
**solo travellers must have single room, unless twin share of the same sex can be found. Solo travellers can also request single room and pay the single supplement**
Maximum 8 passengers
• Seat in 4WD vehicle, with professional driver guide
• Meals, as stated
• Accommodation as stated
• Mary River Wetlands lunch cruise
• PRIVATE (our group only) sunset Yellow Waters cruise
• 2 hour cruise through Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge
• Kakadu birds check list
• Kakadu National Park entry fee
• Arrival / departure flights
• Travel insurance
• Pre and post tour accommodation
• Binoculars- please bring your own
Itinerary is exclusive to Sacred Earth Safaris and is subject to availability, road, weather and cultural conditions.
**Please note that we are not a specialist bird tour company and your guide is not a specialist birding guide, but does have a good knowledge of local birds. This itinerary has been designed to take you to the best spots to see the most amount of bird life and the focus of the tour is to see birds and wildlife, with other like-minded enthusiasts **
Pease enquire for private charter prices and details.