Experience the majesty of the Northern in luxury. Explore Kakadu’s ancient gorges, spectacular wetlands and unique wildlife home to over 10,000 crocs! Meet Aboriginal clans who have lived here for over 65,000 years and hear about their rock art some of which are over 20,000 years old. Your journey then takes you to the majesty of the Red Centre. Natural wonders abound with the iconic Uluru, the mystical domes of Kata Tjuta and windblown Walpa Gorge. Travelling with no more than 20 like-minded guests, our expert Travel Directors bring this region to life to create a truly memorable journey.
Darwin – Mary River
As this journey departs early morning, accommodation will need to be pre-booked for the previous night at Mantra on the Esplanade.
Begin your epic Top End adventure in the sleepy city of Darwin, where you’ll meet your local Travel Director and Driver Guide and board the luxury 4WD vehicle. Your brush with Australia’s natural treasures begins in Litchfield National Park. Hear how the local Aboriginal people’s ancestral spirits have shaped the landscape, before embarking on a cross-country journey along the rugged Marrakai Track (seasonally accessible) to the Mary River Wetlands. Tonight stay in private, permanent safari tents.
Mary River – Kakadu
Wake up with the wildlife of Mary River and head to Corroboree Billabong, where you’ll board a wildlife cruise in the company of a local guide to explore its floodplains and spot the creatures that find sanctuary in its lotus-covered waters. Journey into the tropical depths of the iconic Kakadu National Park next, stopping at Bowali Visitor Centre. Prime your adventurer legs this afternoon for a sunset walk at the rock art galleries of Ubirr. Perched atop Nadab Lookout, watch the sun dip into the lush Kakadu floodplains.
Kakadu – Katherine Gorge
Enjoy a leisurely start to your day or take to the skies on an early morning scenic flight over Kakadu and Arnhem Land (own expense) before venturing to Nourlangie to admire the ancient Dreamtime art of the Bininj and Mungguy people that is said to span 20,000 years. Continue cross-country to Gunlom Falls – hike to the top of the falls rewarded with a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear plunge pool. Enjoy lunch in the shade of rustling gum trees before you continue to Nitmiluk National Park , where you’ll stay tonight in a five-star eco-lodge.
The hypnotic rhythms of the didgeridoo take centre stage this morning as you meet Manuel Pamkal and share in his passion for the rich traditional culture into which he was born. Learn about life in the bush and experience first-hand the fine art of rarrk painting using a special reed brush, after which you’ll create your very own masterpiece to take home. Later, board a special Highlight Dinner cruise and learn about the history and culture of the local Jawoyn people.
Katherine – Darwin
A leisurely start to the day could see you relaxing at the lodge or embarking on a walk. Later, leave the wilderness behind and journey north along the Stuart Highway, stopping to cool off in the cascading waters of Edith Falls. Next, continue to Adelaide River War Cemetery and pay homage to the heroes who gave their lives in the service and defence of Australia before returning to the tropical Northern Territory capital of Darwin.
Darwin – Alice Springs
This morning you will travel to Alice Springs where your Travel Director will share their take on what life is like in such an isolated Australian town like Alice Springs. We’ll visit the historic Overland Telegraph Station and School of the Air, a crucial service providing education to children living in remote Australian communities. This afternoon you will travel out to Simpson Gap where we will meet our local indigenous guide and take a walk into Simpson Gap. Your local guide will talk to you about bush tucker (food) and how the locals have lived on the land for thousands of years. You will then enjoy an incredible dinner experience in a bush setting. Have a drink and walk around before dinner as the sun is setting changing the McDonnell Ranges. Dinner will be cooked in a bush oven with the burning Mulga wood giving extra flavour to the meal. It will be a delicious 3 course meal and feature some traditional bush food. Your host will share some tips on his cooking style and his knowledge of aboriginal bush foods while you dine under the Milky Way.
West MacDonnell Ranges
The West MacDonnell Ranges is the ideal place to experience the geology, land forms and variety of native flora and fauna. You’ll take a walk to the dramatic Angkerle (Standley Chasm) which was created over millions of years, the deep red sandstone formation contrasts with the carpet of lush, green ferns and gum trees on the valley floor. There’ll be time to cool off with a swim at Ellery Creek Big Hole. This afternoon you’ll also visit the Royal Flying Doctor Service to see how this facility provides medical assistance to those living in remote outback Australia.
Alice Springs – Kings Canyon
Gaze across the deep chasm at the edge of Kings Canyon as Travelling off-road along Ernest Giles Road, first up you’ll travel to the Henbury Meteorite Conservation Reserve, formed when a meteor hit the earth’s surface 4,700 years ago. This afternoon enjoy a relaxed walk along the Creek Bed of Kings Canyon. This evening you’re treated to the unique dining experience, Under a Desert Moon, set in the wilderness under a canopy of the Southern Night sky (weather permitting). The only light comes from the moon and the flickering glow of the fire and the only sound is soft music intertwined with the whispering of the breeze through the Desert Oak trees and the crackling flames. Enjoy sparkling wine and canapés followed by a four-course dinner, prepared from fresh produce and ingredients unique to the Australian Outback.
Kings Canyon – Uluru (Ayers Rock)
This morning you’re off on a 6km Rim Walk exploration of the spectacular Kings Canyon. As you venture around the rim, highlights include the domed ‘Lost City’, a stop at Cotterill’s Lookout, and the luscious ‘Garden of Eden’. Your next stop is Curtin Springs which has been home to the Severin family since 1956 when Peter Severin arrived with his young wife Dawn, their toddler son Ashley and 1,500 head of cattle! Sit down to a BBQ lunch as you hear about the Severin family and the logistics of running a million acre cattle property. This afternoon we enter Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park and make our way to the domes of Kata Tjuta (the Olgas). Here you’ll join your Travel Director for a guided-walk through Walpa Gorge. The large, steep dome-like formations of Kata Tjuta are amazing to walk through and have great cultural significance for the Anangu people. As the sun sets, you’ll see spectacular changing colours over Uluru from the prime sunset viewing area. This evening share a few laughs with your fellow travellers over a delicious meal at Ilkari Restaurant.
Farewell from Ayers Rock Resort
You’ll start the day with an impressive sunrise over Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) and Uluru (Ayers Rock) from the fantastic Kata Tjuta dune viewing area. From here it’s off to the Uluru – Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre for breakfast an insight into the history of the local Anangu People. Take a walk around the base of Uluru and hear timeless stories, see rock art, and visit Mutitjulu Waterhole, an important water source for the Aboriginal people and animals in the area. In the late morning your journey comes to and end and you’ll be transferred to the airport for your flight.
- Hand-picked accommodation
- Complimentary refreshments throughout the journey
- Airport transfers