Explore Kakadu – the largest National Park in Australia covering almost 20,000 square kilometres and home to over 2,000 plant species, hundreds of bird species and pre-historic Aboriginal rock art paintings. Swim in the waterfall holes of Litchfield National Park and experience 2 regions in dramatic Nitmiluk National Park home of the dramatic Katherine Gorge.
Winter is the best time to explore this region, from June to August is the dry season in the Territory, with warm sunny days and clear skies the norm. Our itinerary has been designed to offer a choice of walking options to suit both the temperatures on the day and the abilities of our walkers with most walks designed to enjoy a refreshing swim in a cool waterhole or natural plunge pool during your walk.
No need to carry heavy overnight packs with your clothes and gear, this walk has been designed for those looking for an affordable multi-day walking experience with all the creature comforts. Your overnight bags will be transported each day so all you need is a small day pack for your lunch and water.
We’ve chosen the best accommodation in each location to minimise your travelling time to each walk. Our accommodation in Litchfield is at the Ringer Cabins’ Litchfield Park, set amongst the trees with a large outdoor deck for enjoying the Territory lifestyle. The facilities also have a pool you can cool off after a day’s walk. Guests will stay in 2 bedroom cabins with one bathroom. The main room has a Queen bed whilst bedroom two has two single beds. 4 people will share each cabin (2 in each room). Please note Litchfield is a small town and has very limited accommodation, we have chosen the best available in this area.
Hawk dreaming is Kakadu’s best-kept secret. Situated in a remote and sacred aboriginal territory the general public does not have access to this special restricted area so our stay here will be a special treat. Hawk dreaming offers a magical intimate stay in the beauty of stunning Kakadu wilderness. The accommodation offers glamping style safari tents with ensuite bathrooms. Our stay included a personal tour of ancient rock art sites and a memorable sunset over a beautiful billabong. Hawk dreaming wilderness lodge offers warm hospitality and a special place perfect for those who wish to experience the real Kakadu that lies beneath the tourist trail.
We’ve chosen 2 nights at Cooinda Lodge for its close proximity to the amazing walks of southern Kakadu. This beautiful outback Lodge beside Yellow Water Billabong features a swimming pool to cool off after a day’s walk and modern air-conditioned rooms with ensuite. Dinners at the lodge are a true outdoor Australian alfresco dining experience. With a wonderful menu featuring an array of local produce such as barramundi and crocodile.
Spend 2 nights at the charming Knotts Crossing Resort at the gateway to Katherine Gorge. This award-winning accommodation has two swimming pools, spa and guest laundry facilities and our guests will stay in hotel suites with air conditioning. In the evenings, we will enjoy dinner in the Savannah Bar and restaurant poolside with a wonderful menu featuring highlights from the territory including fantastic barramundi fillets.
Two superb cruises are included on your walk. At Cooinda we experience the iconic Yellow Waters cruise to see the amazing billabong and its stunning area of over 60 species of birdlife inclusing the distinctive jabiru. You may even spot a crocodile. Whilst at Nitmuluk (Katherine Gorge) we cruise to the start of our walk at Butterfly Gorge.
Mealtime is a special time on tour. Not only does it provide the opportunity to get to know your fellow travellers in a relaxed environment, but it also allows you to sample regional specialities. On tour, we have many highlight dinners. Enjoy a special campfire dinner at Hawk Dreaming Lodge and at Cooinda lodge enjoy outdoor dining under the stars with the choice of enjoying regional delicacies such as crocodile and emu. On our last evening at Katherine, we will celebrate with outdoor dining and entertainment poolside.
Our guides are truly exceptional at what they do. We call them our CEOs – Chief Experience Officers and it’s their job to ensure your tour exceeds your expectations. Our guide’s caring attitude and wonderful outgoing nature ensure your tour is relaxing, fun and informative. They will take into account the weather each day and plan the day’s adventure to suit you and the conditions.
Our group sizes are small and intimate with a maximum of 12 people, we find this delivers more personalised service, a great social environment and has less impact on the environment.
Our tours are genuinely all-inclusive. From cruises to wine with dinner there are no hidden extras. You won’t even pay for credit card fees.
SUGGESTED PRE-TOUR ACCOMMODATION: We suggest the Mantra on Esplanade Darwin or the Novotel Darwin CBD next door. Both hotels are ideally located on the esplanade overlooking Darwin Harbour.
MEET TIME: 6.30am meet in the foyer of the Mantra on Esplanade Darwin
TRAIL NOTES: Total walking: 7kms. Grade moderate.
TERRAIN: A combination of formal paved path and natural trail that can be rocky underfoot. Short, steep ascent and descent at Tolmer Falls.
WALK ITINERARY: Our journey begins at the Mantra on the Esplanade hotel in Darwin where you will meet your guides. From here we travel to Litchfield National Park for the first of our walking adventures. This beautiful National Park is renowned for its stunning waterfalls which cascade from a sandstone plateau called the Tabletop Range. Today’s walk takes us from Florence Falls to beautiful Buley Rockhole. Along the track, you will experience plenty of birdlife, including honeyeaters, kingfishers and pigeons. Besides bird life, you might spot other wildlife as well including northern quolls and black flying foxes. Arriving at Buley Rockhole we stop for a refreshing dip in the crystal clear waters and watch the streams cascading over the rocks in this beautiful oasis. After lunch, we continue walking to the lookout at Tolmer Falls, where you can view water cascading into a stunning pool below and linger in the rock pools above the falls. Afterwards, we make a brief stop at spectacular Wangi Falls, surrounded by monsoon rainforest where you can enjoy a cool swim in the pool. Afterwards, we head to our accommodation at Ringer Cabins, Litchfield Park set amongst the trees. In the evening we enjoy a hearty dinner served with wine and chat about the day’s adventures.
TRAIL NOTES: Total walking: 3kms. Medium walk includes 250m climb
TERRAIN: A combination of formal paved path and natural trail that can be rocky underfoot. There is a short climb, over uneven rock, at Ubirr.
WALKING ITINERARY: Enjoy a hearty breakfast before we farewell Litchfield National Park. Our aim today, is to get you straight to Kakadu National Park so you can maximise your time in this special region with its spectacular sandstone escarpments and dramatic scenery. Kakadu National Park is made up of several regions including the East Alligator Region, Nourlangie Region, Jim Jim and Twin Falls region and Mary River region. Our journey will ensure you experience the best walks in each of these special and unique areas.
Upon arrival in Kakadu, we will enjoy a short walk to Ubirr to see the rock art. From here we head to Hawk dreaming is Kakadu’s best-kept secret. Situated in a remote and restricted area of Kakadu, in the sacred aboriginal territory, Hawk Dreaming Lodge offers a magical intimate stay in the beauty of stunning Kakadu wilderness an area abundant with wildlife. Upon arrival in the afternoon, our guide takes us on a discovery walk of Cannon Hill, home to significant rock art dating back many thousands of years. Later we arrive at our accommodation offering “glamping” style tents, with ensuites and deck. Your stay includes a personal tour of ancient rock art sites (not accessible to the general public) dating back many thousands of years, a memorable sunset over a beautiful billabong, all without the crowds and with a relaxed authentic dinner with local produce. Hawk Dreaming wilderness lodge is a very special place and perfect for those who wish to experience the real Kakadu that lies beneath the tourist trail.
TRAIL NOTES: Walking: 12 km. Grade: moderate. 6 hours. Easier option available 4kms.
TERRAIN: Today’s walk has no formed path but is a well-trodden foot track. It begins with a steep climb up a rocky valley. The track then flattens out into plateau heathland with sandy soil. It is criss-crossed by dry creek channels. You follow one small creek and climb up a series of rock slabs. The ground is rough in places and there are steep slopes. You may be walking through tall spear grass and there is prickly spinifex along the track.
WALK ITINERARY: After an early breakfast, we head off early to the Nourlangie Region for a dramatic walk in Kakadu’s Stone Country. Burrunggui or Nourlangie is a large sandstone island standing above the surrounding woodland. This 12km walk starts with a short walk to view spectacular Aboriginal Rock Art Sites dating back to pre-historic times including the Namarrgon lighting man. From here we head through sandstone country experiencing a variety of habitats and magnificent contrasts between lowlands and escarpment. Marvel at the great lookout points across the Arnhem Land Escarpment and look out for the native black wallaroos and chestnut quilled rock pigeon. Pass through heathland, layered sandstone pillars, and open woodland. Lavender-flanked wrens flit around the shrubs while peregrine falcons hunt from the thermals created by hot air rising from the rocks. The next two nights are spent at the beautiful outback resort of Cooinda Lodge beside Yellow Water Billabong. This wonderful lodge features a swimming pool and modern air-conditioned rooms with ensuite. Tonight we enjoy true outdoor Australian alfresco dining experience. Enjoy a wonderful menu featuring wonderful local produce such as barramundi and crocodile.
TRAIL NOTES: Total walking 3 kms. Medium grade – Boulder hopping. Easier option available.
TERRAIN: This natural walking trail can be rocky and sandy underfoot. There is some scrambling over large boulders.
WALK ITINERARY: Enjoy an early breakfast then we head out by 4WD to experience the remote and spectacular Jim Jim Falls, the crown of Kakadu National Park. Our walk is to the spectacular Jim Jim Falls gorge and plunge pools. Enjoy a leisurely walk to the river where you will see views of the Jim Jim Falls gorge, you can relax here taking in the amazing views down the gorge or continue on. For those that wish to swim in the plunge pools at the base of the falls, the second half of the walk requires scrambling and rock hopping and requires a good amount of agility. The closer you get to the end of the gorge the more impressive it becomes and worth the effort to get there. Sit down and relax on the sandy white beach, take in your amazing surroundings and the pretty plunge pool surrounded by enormous vertical cliffs and after all that rock scrambling definitely go for a swim. We also have the option to walk to the top of the escarpment overlooking Jim Jim Falls for magnificent views. Afterwards, enjoy the drive back to Cooinda taking in spectacular vistas of the Arnhemland Escarpment. In the afternoon we enjoy a billabong cruise on Yellow Waters to see the amazing array of birdlife. Tonight enjoy a relaxing outdoor dinner in the lodge restaurant.
Please note: Today’s touring is subject to the opening of Jim Jim Falls. If for any reason these areas aren’t open alternative locations will be substituted.
TRAIL NOTES: Total walking 4kms.
TERRAIN: This natural walking trail can be rocky and sandy underfoot. There is a steep climb, which is rocky and uneven.
WALK ITINERARY: After breakfast, we set off to explore the Mary River region in the southern part of Kakadu National Park to walk. Today we enjoy a series of short walks with a refreshing waterhole swim the reward for each walk. The first of our walks take us to Maguk previously known as Barramundi Gorge an awesome gorge with a big plunge pool. The walk follows Barramundi Creek through monsoon forests with lush thick vegetation and interesting plants, birds and lizards to admire. Here we will walk to the head of the falls for magnificent views, the pool at the top of the falls is flanked by tall vertical cliffs then head on down to the plunge pools for a relaxing swim to cool off. Afterwards we head to Gunlom, a short walk will take you to the base of the falls, however, we follow a steep track which takes us on a short walk to the top of the falls. The views from the top over southern Kakadu are simply spectacular. When you reach the top you will be in need of a refreshing dip and what a spot for a swim. Natural infinity pools are found at the top of the falls providing the perfect place to relax – in fact you may never want to leave this amazing oasis. Afterwards, we head to Katherine. For the next 2 nights, we stay at Knotts Crossing Resort in poolside hotel suites. Tonight enjoy dinner in the Savannah Restaurant featuring modern cuisine with Territory highlights such as delicious barramundi fillets.
TRAIL NOTES: Total walking 12kms – moderate. Easier walking options available of 4.8km
TERRAIN: This natural walking trail can be rocky and sandy underfoot and there are short, steep ascents and descents, in and out of the gorges.
WALK ITINERARY: After a buffet breakfast, we head to Nitmiluk National Park. Nitmiluk to the south of Kakadu National Park has its own appeal and beauty and is endowed with features not found in its larger and more renowned neighbour. The major attraction in this area is Katherine Gorge which has been cut over centuries into the sandstone of the Arnhem Land escarpment by the Katherine River. We start our day with a cruise up the river through dramatic sandstone cliffs. We alight the boat then start our walk following the gorge rim which showcases stunning views of rocky escarpments and shady valleys with rainforest and refreshing swimming holes. We visit pretty Butterfly Gorge a shaded side gorge frequented by black and white butterflies before returning. Tonight we return to Knotts Crossing Resort for a relaxing dinner outdoors at the Savannah Restaurant.
TRAIL NOTES: 9kms return. Grade Moderate. Easier Option available 2.6kms. Grade Moderate
TERRAIN: Well formed trail, with a good compact surface, some rocky sections and sand.
WALK ITINERARY: On our final day, we enjoy breakfast and head towards the northwestern part of Nitmiluk National Park to explore beautiful Edith Falls (Leilyn) a series of cascading waterfalls and plunge pools where the Edith River descends the Arnhem Land escarpment. Our walk begins with a climb into escarpment country through bushlands of spinifex and grevillea listening out for the calls of the local birds. Once at the top dramatic views can be seen of the spectacular Upper Pool. This is a wonderful place has a stunning waterfall and swimming hole and is the perfect place to cool off after a walk. We will spend time here sitting under the waterfall and soaking up the dramatic scenery. Afterwards, we return to Darwin the end of a wonderful journey.
FINISH TIME: Arrive into Darwin at approximately 6.30pm
Note: due to warmer weather in the Territory our guides will determine the best walking experiences for the day. Early morning starts will mean we will walk in the cooler part of the day. Some days include several short walks. Most walks include a swim to cool off during the walks. Floating devices are available for our guests to use when cooling off.
Short note to thank you for a terrific itinerary and choice of accommodations. We got back from Australia having had the best 'real' holiday in years. Loved it! The order of the trip was perfect and all the hotel bookings worked seamlessly.
We had a wonderful time! We so appreciate your arranging everything for us. It all went very smoothly. We just had to show up where and when you told us to. It took away any stress to this leg of our journey.
At long last & very overdue, we wish to thank you very much for all the bookings you made on our behalf for our adventure. We were pleased with all the accommodation bookings you made, we particularly noted we got what we asked for, walk in showers, twin beds & all clean & tidy. Thanks Madi, well done!!
Just wanted to say a big thank you!!! We have now returned from our holiday & it was fantastic. We would really like to thank you for how well everything was organised. Accommodation & tours were fabulous. We really loved how well organised our trip was and this is a credit to you!!! Thanks again, will be recommending you to friends and family.