7 Day / 8 night Kakadu and Top End escorted Photography Tour -
22nd September 2018 only
Arrival day into Darwin - Sat 22nd Sept 2018 (D)
Upon arrival into Darwin, please make your way to our accommodation at Lee Point.
The rest of the day is at your leisure- perhaps relax in the huge resort pool or take a walk.
This evening, as a group, we'll take the short drive to Lee Point, part of the Casuarina Coastal Reserve. It features 13km of sandy beaches, dramatic cliffs and shady casuarina trees.
This evening we'll have our first group dinner. Your driver guide and you escort will run through the itinerary with you for the next week and this is a great opportunity to get to know your fellow travellers.
Overnight accommodation- Club Tropical Resort at Lee Point, Motel room with en-suite, TV, air-con, tea / coffee facilities, fridge and outdoor setting.
1 - Sun 23rd Sept 2018 (B,L,D)
An early start today, departing the resort at 6.30am and heading south, 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.
Along with 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.
After a boxed breakfast, we continue along the Arnhem Highway to our accommodation at the Mary River Wilderness Retreat, where we'll have lunch and there's some free time for you to explore the retreat. The park boasts a 3km of Mary River frontage and is a sanctuary for both woodland and wetland flora and fauna. There are several walks you can take here.
Late this afternoon we'll take a PRIVATE 2 hour sunset cruise on Corroboree Billabong, part of 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. Keep and eye out for Salywater Crocodiles, Water Buffalo, Wallabies and of course, birdlife.
Species of birds that can be found in the Mary River region include Gouldian Finch, Rufous Owl, Grey Goshawk, Great- Billed Heron, Black Bittern, Rainbow Pitta, Brolga, Kingfishers, Darters, Cormorants and Sea Eagles.
Dinner this evening is served at the lodge restaurant.
Overnight accommodation- Mary River Wilderness Retreat- Bush Bungalows with en-suite, air-con, tea / coffee facilities, fridge and outdoor seating.
2 - Mon 24th Sept 2018 (B,L,D)
For the early risers, you may like to take a walk around the retreat grounds this morning, when the birds and wildlife are most active.
After breakfast, 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.
Our first stop today is in the South Alligator region. The entire river and it's catchment are contained and protected in Kakadu. The beautiful Mamukala Wetlands can be viewed from the observation platform, where the mural depicts the seasonal changes throughout the year. Mamukala Wetlands 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.
After a quick stop at the Bowali Visitor centre, we continue to the very north of the park and Ubirr. 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.
This afternoon we are guests of the Bunitj Clan who are the traditional custodians of the Cannon Hill region, where tonight we'll stay at the Hawk Dreaming safari camp. This is an exclusive, indigenous owned camp located in a restricted and culturally significant area of Kakadu National Park.
After you settle in, you are treated to exclusive touring to nearby rock art sites and the red lily billabong to take in a spectacular sunset on the escarpment and over the wetlands while enjoying appetisers and cool drinks.
Overnight accommodation- Hawk Dreaming safari camp in safari tents with en-suites on a Dinner, Bed and Breakfast basis (DBB). There is no air-con here but tents are fly-screened allowing the cool air into the tents and they also have ceiling fans.
3 - Tues 25th Sept 2018 (B,L,D)
We depart Hawk Dreaming at approximately 9am this morning and continue our journey through Kakadu.
Our destination tis morning is Nourlangie Rock, 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.
After lunch we make our way to our accommodation at Cooinda, for a couple of hours rest (or you can take a wander around the garden grounds). There's also time for an optional scenic flight (extra cost).
Late this afternoon we depart for Anbangbang Billabong and Nawalandja Lookout.
There is a loop walk you can take around the billabong to view the prolific birdlife and the short hike to Nawalandja Lookout is rewarded by a magnificent view over the Arnhemland escarpment.
After dinner, you may like to wander around the lodge grounds, which are home to a variety of birds including owls.
Overnight accommodation in Kakadu- Kakadu Lodge Cooinda, motel rooms with en-suites, TV, air-con, tea / coffee facilities, fridge and outdoor seating. The rooms are set in garden surrounds.
4 - Wed 26th Sept 2018 (B,L,D)
We start today on a PRIVATE sunrise Yellow Waters Billabong cruise for our group only. Located at the end of Jim Jim Creek, at least 60 bird species are found in these wetlands, the billabong is home to many saltwater crocodiles and you may see other wildlife such as Water Buffalo.
Back to the lodge for breakfast and check out and then we continue south 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.
Departing Kakadu through the southern entrance, we now make our way to the historic town of Pine Creek and this evenings accommodation.
There is some free time to relax before dinner and i would recommend late this afternoon, that you take a wander around the Pine Creek Township (it's very small) to see if you can spot the rare Hooded Parrot, as Pine Creek is one of the best places in Australia to see them ! Other bird species that frequent the town are Rainbow Lorikeets, Blue Faced Honeyeaters and species of finch including the Blood Finch, Gouldian Finch, Masked Finch and Zebra Finch. The water gardens and park grounds (and railway museum for those interested) are a very short walk from our hotel.
Overnight accommodation- Pine Creek Hotel, motel rooms with en-suites, TV, air-con, tea / coffee facilities and fridge
5 - Thurs 27th Sept 2018 (B,L,D)
This morning we make our way to Umbrawarra Gorge, just south of Pine Creek. The dirt road in leads to a quiet, striking gorge, with sharp red cliffs and sandstone overhangs. As it's the end of the dry season, waterholes are drying up, so birds congregate in certain areas and it's a great time for bird watching and photography.
We continue south towards the township of Katherine and continue 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 !
There's a couple of hours free time for you to take a walk to the gorge lookout, to the boat ramp, have a swim at the resort pool, enjoy the nature that surrounds the resort or simply relax in your room.
Late this afternoon you'll cruise for 2 hours, discovering the customs of the traditional land owners, the Jawoyn people. Discover the stories and ways of the Jawoyn people against the magnificent backdrop of Nitmiluk Gorge, changing colour with the setting sun. The tour includes a 3 course candle light dinner, featuring fresh, local Australian produce cooked on board, a complimentary glass of sparkling wine, tea and coffee.
Overnight accommodation at Nitmiluk Gorge- Cicada Lodge, with en-suite, air-con, TV, tea/ coffee, fridge and full length louvred doors to private balconies- a great place to spot birds and enjoy the view.
6 - Fri 28th Sept 2018 (B,L,D)
There's time this morning for optional helicopter flights over Nitmiluk Gorge (extra cost).
Departing Nitmiluk Gorge, we now drive north again to Leilyn (Edith Falls), whch is also part of Nitmiluk National Park. Leilyn 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, Black-tailed Treecreeper and Golden-headed Cisticola.
We continue to Mount Bundy, which is our accommodation for this evening. The station has an interesting history and is set in a picturesque bush setting, attracting a multitude of wildlife- it's fantastic for photography.
Dinner tonight will be served at the Cheeky Bull Bar at Mt Bundy !
Overnight accommodation at Mt Bundy- rooms with air-con. There is a mix of double, single and twin rooms and bathrooms are shared (2 bathrooms per building- suggest 1 male and 1 female bathroom).
Day 7 - Sat 29th Sept 2018 (B,L,D)
We spend this morning exploring beautiful Litchfield National Park.
We have an early start to view the amazing magnetic and cathedral termite mounds and we can have a swim at Wangi Falls, Florence Falls and Buley Rockhole 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 Rockhole.
After lunch we depart Litchfield and begin our drive back to Darwin, arriving at approximately 6pm.
Our final meal together will be dinner served at our hotel, where we can reminisce over our adventures of the past 7 days !
Overnight accommodation in Darwin- Double Tree by Hilton Darwin- hotel room with en-suite, TV, air-con, tea/ coffee and fridge.
Departure day from Darwin - Sun 30th Sept 2018 (B)
Please make your way to Darwin Airport for your onward flights. Taxis ad an airport shuttle are available.
Alternatively, you may like to stay an additional night or 2 in Darwin and extra nights at this hotel can be booked on a B & B basis, through us, for $155pp twin share and $210 single.
B = Breakfast / L = Lunch / D = Dinner
This tour departs from Darwin on 22nd Sept 2018 only
AUD $4925 PER ADULT, TWIN SHARE
$5735 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 16 passengers
• Seat in 24 seat 6WD tour coach, with professional driver guide and professional photographer tour escort
• Meals, as stated, snacks , fruit and iced water in the vehicle at all times
• 8 night accommodation as stated including 1 night pre tour and 1 night post tour
• PRIVATE sunset Mary River Wetlands cruise
• PRIVATE sunrise Yellow Waters cruise
• Dinner cruise through Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge
• Kakadu National Park entry fee
• Arrival / departure flights
• Travel insurance
• Camera and accessories- please bring your own
Itinerary is exclusive to Sacred Earth Safaris and is subject to availability, road, weather and cultural conditions.
Please enquire for private charter prices and details.