Days
3
Price from
$596AUD

Explore the Top End by 4WD from Kakadu to Litchfield

Balmy in climate, flush with tropical vegetation and littered with waterfalls and rockpools, the Northern Territory's Top End feels worlds away from the expanses of red dust and giant boulders that make up the country a few hundred kilometres south. Get to know this remarkable region during a 3-day explore of its natural highlights meeting the traditional owners of Wulna Country, the Limilngan-Wulna people; reaching off-road parts of Kakadu and Litchfield by 4WD and seeing Aboriginal artwork 20,000 years-old on rock walls overlooking the Nardab Floodplain.


Start
Darwin, Australia
Finish
Darwin, Australia
Destination
Northern Territory, Kakadu
Style
Basix
Theme
Explorer, Short Breaks, Wildlife
Physical rating
Ages
Min 8
Group size
Min 1, Max 21
Code
PNTK3

Why we love this trip

  • Get back to basics with this classic three-day overland adventure. See the highlights and national parks of Australia's Top End in rugged, authentic style

  • We've upgraded our campsites, so you'll be totally comfortable with cooling fans and proper beds. There's also power so you can charge up overnight!

  • Enjoy the flexibility of a private vehicle, the local knowledge of a passionate guide and the magic of camping under the great southern sky

  • Learn about the ancient culture and traditions of the Limilngan-Wulna people as they invite you into their community with a traditional 'Welcome to Country'

  • The Mary River Wetlands feature a wealth of wildlife, including the highest concentration of saltwater crocodiles in the southern hemisphere. Get up close to the snappy beasts on a billabong cruise

  • Discover the wonders of Kakadu National Park. Get adventurous on a 4WD tour to the spectacular Jim Jim Falls and see the ancient Aboriginal rock art of Ubirr

Is this trip right for you?

  • This is a basic trip, covering the highlights of Australia's Top End in a short amount of time.

  • You'll spend some nights of the trip sleeping in outback camping grounds. While conditions can be basic and facilities are minimal, this is all part of the adventure. You'll also need to pitch in with preparing meals and cleaning. This is part of the experience of travelling in a group.

  • This trip requires a moderate level of fitness as it involves a lot of walking, allowing you to truly enjoy the surrounding nature. Some hikes are longer and more challenging than others. Please bring sturdy, comfortable walking shoes and comfortable clothing.

  • Temperatures in the Top End be extreme. During the day the weather can be hot (and the Australian sun is strong) so please bring appropriate clothing, use sun protection and drink plenty of water. In the evenings temperatures really drop, so ensure you have base layers and warm clothing.

  • When Jim Jim Falls is open, the hike to the base of the falls is pretty tough! If you're looking for an awesome experience but a little lower heart rate, check out our 4 Day Kakadu, Katherine and Litchfield Adventure

Itinerary

Established as a colonial outpost, bombed during World War II and pummeled by a pretty savage cyclone in ‘74, the Territory’s capital has a few tales to tell. If you’re keen to hear them, we’d recommend arriving a few days pre-tour, or booking in a couple post, as we leave Darwin pretty early today. Arriving in Wulna Country, you’ll be welcomed to the land by its original inhabitants, the Limilngan-Wulna people, who’ll talk through some of their traditional customs and practices. From here it’s a short drive on to Mary River National Park, where there’ll be time for a river cruise through the wetlands in search of crocs, birds and other wildlife. By afternoon we’ll have arrived in Kakadu National Park. Home to more than 1,700 species of plant, 74 species of mammal and 117 of reptile, this is one of Australia’s most celebrated national reserves. A short hike to Maguk (Barramundi Gorge) for a quick dip is the perfect way to end the day before settling into the evening’s campsite.

Note: Total driving time today is around five hours. Total walking time is approximately one hour.

Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mary River cruise
  • Kakadu National Park Fee
  • Pudakul Cultural Experience
  • Maguk (Barramundi Gorge)
Meals Included
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Citing the area’s 40,000 year long occupation by Aboriginal people, UNESCO gave Kakadu World Heritage listing in 1992. We’ll be exploring the park by 4WD; meaning that, aside from a fun ride, you’ll see as many of the parks attractions as possible. Depending on the season, you should get to spend time at Jim Jim Falls, or one of several other (less-visited) spots known by your guide. After lunch, the next stop is Ubirr. A rocky outcrop overlooking the lush Nadab Floodplain, this site is also famous for its incredibly well preserved Aboriginal rock art. The paintings, many of which date back 20,000 years, depict native fauna like goannas, turtles and barramundi, but also early encounters with white people – most likely European buffalo hunters. Your leader will explain the historical significance of these paintings on a guided cultural interpretive walk. Tonight’s camping spot is in the Mary River National Park. Tonight, camp in twin-share permanent tents in the Mary River region.

Note: Total driving time today is around seven hours. Total walking distance is approximately 3 kilometres, some of which is along challenging terrain.

Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Jim Jim Falls Walk
  • Ubirr Rock
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Stocked full of tranquil plunge pools, lush fernery and gushing waterfalls, Litchfield National Park is another natural gloat of the Top End. The highlight attractions here include Wangi and Florence Falls, plus the Buley Rockhole, all places you’ll get to spend some time at. Hundreds of species of fauna also inhabit the park – wallabies, sugar gliders and dingoes included – so keep eyes peeled and ears alert. This introduction to the Top End’s treasures ends on arrival back in Darwin. Total driving time today is around four hours.

Note: Should any of the attractions of the standard itinerary not be open as a result of National Park decisions surrounding accessibility and safety, activities will be substituted. Please see 'climate and seasonal information'.
Included Activities
  • Litchfield National Park
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Meals

2 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners

Transport

All Terrain vehicle

Accommodation

Permanent, furnished tented camp (with shared facilities) (2 nights)

Included Activities

  • Mary River cruise
  • Kakadu National Park Fee
  • Pudakul Cultural Experience
  • Maguk (Barramundi Gorge)
  • Jim Jim Falls Walk
  • Ubirr Rock
  • Litchfield National Park

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. Tour commences in Darwin on day 1 at 6:50am and finishes in Darwin day 3 at approx 6pm. Onward travel to be booked the following day.
2. Opening and closing of attractions is dependent on National Parks.
3. Strict luggage limit of 10kg applies in Kakadu excess luggage can be stored at Darwin accommodation.
4. This trip requires a sleeping bag during the cooler months of May to October.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.