5 Day Top End Photography Tour
Day 1 (B,L)
You will be collected from your Darwin accommodation at 6.30am for your 5 day Top End Photography 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. A light breakfast will be provided with tea and plunger coffee.
We continue along the Arnhem Highway to the Adelaide River, where, at 9am, we join a Jumping Crocodile Cruise. This is an excellent opportunity to take photos of these ancient predators as they swim in the river and as they jump for a feed from the boat using the awesome power in their tails. This attraction is natural; it takes nothing from the crocodile's habitat and changes nothing in the way it lives naturally in the wild.
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 and photograph the birdlife from the observation platform, where the mural depicts the seasonal changes throughout the year. There is an optional walk to the bird hide for those particularly keen in wildlife photography or bird watching.
After lunch, we check into our accommodation and then we have some free time to have a rest (after our early start !).
We finish the day by driving to the very north of the park to Ubirr for sunset. Here 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. Here we can relax and enjoy the panoramic view of the floodplains and Arnhemland escarpment, which is particularly beautiful at sunset.
Overnight accommodation in Kakadu - Mercure Crocodile Hotel, hotel room
Day 2 (B,L)
Another early start this morning at Nawalandja lookout. The short hike to the lookout is rewarded by a magnificent view over the Arnhemland escarpment and Nourlangie Rock.
Then we take a short drive to Angbangbang Billabong, with great views of Nourlangie Rock behind the billabong and bird watching opportunities.
Then onto Nourlangie Rock itself, which is an ancient Aboriginal shelter. Here we explore the area and the rock art, which you guide will interpret for you. We finish our visit to Nourlangie with a walk to the Gunwarddewarde lookout or Lightning Dreaming, where Namarrgon (Lightening Man), watches for the first wet season storms.
After lunch, we take a look around the Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre for an insight into the cultural heritage of the park.
After checking in to our accommodation, we have some free time to have a rest (after our early start !).
Finally, late this afternoon, board the sunset Yellow Waters wetlands cruise. Yellow Waters billabong is located at the end of Jim Jim Creek, a tributary of the South Alligator River. This is the largest river system in Kakadu and contains extensive wetlands, including river channels, floodplains and backwater swamps. About one third of Australia's bird species are represented in Kakadu National Park, with at least 60 species found in these wetlands. There are also plenty of crocodiles in their natural habitat, and buffalo on the floodplains.
Overnight accommodation in Kakadu- Kakadu Lodge Cooinda, motel room.
Day 3 (B,L,D)
A cooked breakfast will be served in the hotel restaurant this morning.
We spend today exploring Maguk. Termite mounds are abundant along the dirt road that takes us to the Maguk car park and from there, we take a walk through a paperbark forest and then along the pandanus lined creek to reach the gorge. The walk in is pretty and once we reach the gorge and waterfall, we can have a refreshing swim in the plungepool.
We depart Kakadu by the southern entrance and continue south to the town of Katherine. On arrival in Katherine, we make our way to Nitmiluk Gorge, home to 13 spectacular gorges, carved out of the rock by torrential summer rains, over millions of years.
After checking in, you'll take the Nabilil Dreaming sunset dinner cruise through the gorge. Nabilil (Nah-bill-lil) is a dragon-like figure who named the region Nitmiluk after hearing the song of the Cicada (Nit Nit). Learn more about the spirit, history and culture of the Jawoyn as the sun sets and the beauty of the gorge intensifies. Lap up the surroundings by candlelight and enjoy a 3 course buffet dinner along the way.
Our accommodation this evening is in the cabins at Nitmiluk Gorge. It's a great place to see wallabies and after we check in, there should be some free time before the cruise to go for a walk or relax in your cabin.
Overnight accommodation in Katherine- cabins at Nitmiluk Gorge, with en-suites
Day 4 (B,L,D)
You may like to take an early morning walk into the gorge lookout this morning. Early mornings are also great for spotting wildlife.
There is also the opportunity for you to take an optional helicopter flight over the gorge or to a remote ad exclusive rock art site (additional cost).
We depart Nitmiluk Gorge and head north again to Leilyn (Edith Falls), which is part of Nitmiluk National Park and is well known for it’s picturesque waterfalls and pools. The large pool at the base of the escarpment is great for a swim and you also have the option of taking the Leliyn Trail - a walk that takes you across the top of the waterfall, where you can have a swim in the upper rockpools and will get views of the waterfalls and Edith River from a couple of lookouts.
Our accommodation this evening is at Mt. Bundy Station. The station has an interesting history and is set in 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.
Overnight accommodation at Mt Bundy Station- a range of options are available
Day 5 (B,L)
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 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.
After lunch we continue to Wangi Falls and after a swim and some time to explore, we depart Litchfield and begin our drive back to Darwin. We arrive at approximately 5.30pm and you will be dropped off at your accommodation.
B = Breakfast / L = Lunch / D = Dinner
This tour is only operated as a private charter (sole use of vehicle and driver guide)
and is valid for travel from May to September only due to seasonal conditions- please enquire for prices and further
This itinerary can be changed to suit your requirements, time frame and interests, such as wildlife photography.
We can also include the services and instruction during the trip, from a professional photographer, at your request.
• Sole use of 4WD tour vehicle with professional driver guide and purpose built heavy duty trailer
• Meals as stated
• Jumping Crocodile cruise
• 2 hour Sunset Yellow Waters Cruise
• Kakadu park entry Tickets
• 3.5 hour sunset dinner cruise at Nitmiluk Gorge (Katherine Gorge)
• Pre & Post tour accommodation
• Travel insurance
• Arrival / departure flights
• Optional activities such as Nitmiluk Gorge helicopter flight
• Photography equipment- please bring your own
• Instruction by a professional photographer- unless requested in advance (extra charges apply)
David can't speak highly enough of your tour services, the organisation of it, the care taken with details and he is recommending you to anyone he speaks to. He says that he's really happy that he decided to do that trip- he thoroughly enjoyed it.
Marlies on behalf of her husband, David, who did a Top End photo tour with us in Sept 2018