Tour itinerary from Lords Safaris
Arrive in Darwin: Thursday 8 May 2014
Overnight: One night twin share accommodation in Darwin
Day 1: Friday 9 May 2014
This morning we will collect from your accommodation before we begin making our way south for a short time on the Stuart Highway, until we turn left on to the Arnhem Highway which leads to the World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park. Our first stop en route is Fogg Dam Reserve. Fogg Dam has year round water coverage, which assures its position as an important feeding and roosting site for a wide variety of water birds and other animals. Next, we travel onto the Adelaide River where we have the opportunity to witness the fabulous jumping crocodiles and other wildlife. These saltwater crocodiles are a magnificent sight – these animals are surprisingly powerful as they can project their bodies almost totally out of the water– you will gain a good understanding of why they have survived for more than two hundred million years! This serves as a great introduction to how wild the Top End still is today.
Lunch is at the Bark Hut Inn, an Aussie roadhouse built during the buffalo era which and is a reminder of earlier, wilder times.
We will leave the main road to enter into Kakadu via the Old Darwin Road. Our last stop for today is at Cooinda – here we will experience one of Kakadu's icons – a Yellow Water cruise. This 10 square kilometre pristine environment supports a truly wonderful variety of plants, birds, crocodiles and Top End wildlife. You may see saltwater crocodiles, a jacana bird walking on water, the magnificent sea eagle or any one of the many other 280 species that call this billabong home. Here we will witness at close hand the wealth of wildlife in this tranquil habitat and enjoy one of the Top End's great sunsets.
Overnight: Permanent bush camp. Lunch, dinner included.
Day 2: Saturday 10 May 2014
Today we visit Aboriginal Lands (Arnhem Land). Access to this area is restricted to a select group of tour operators.
Visitors to Arnhem Land are able to experience a fascinating mixture of traditional and living culture. Arnhem Land is perhaps the one area in Australia where Indigenous culture is still dominant, despite a long history of interaction with other cultures, for example the Macassens who visited the shores of Arnhem Land for more than 500 years to harvest sea slug. They came by sailing boats from the Indonesian island of Sulawesi and left their legacy with the Aboriginal people.
While we are in Arnhem Land, a traditional Aboriginal guide will show you excellent examples of rock art on Injalak Hill (Long Tom Dreaming). This area has some of the best rock art examples in western Arnhem Land. The view from the top of the hill is simply breathtaking, looking out across the floodplains and around the escarpment. When we farewell our Aboriginal guide back at the Injalak Art and Craft Centre there is time to see artists and weavers at work and to browse or purchase goods from this non-profit Aboriginal organisation.
This afternoon we are privileged to have access into the valley, with its stunning scenery of billabongs, birds and the escarpment. This is truly a place where you can escape and experience this remarkable part of the Northern Territory.
Overnight: Permanent bush camp. Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Please note: This tour requires a reasonable amount of balance and agility.
Day 3: Sunday 11 May 2014
Today we head to the southern end of Kakadu, to the pristine waterfall, Gunlom (Waterfall Creek). This area was immortalised in the first 'Crocodile Dundee' movie. Its white sandy beach and 120-metre cascading waterfall is a great photo opportunity. A more challenging walk to the top of the waterfall is rewarded with a swim and the best view for miles around. Enjoy it while overlooking the beautiful South Alligator Valley.
After leaving Gunlom we then head onto Bamurru Plains which is an exclusive wildlife experience on the magnificent Mary River floodplains. Located on Swim Creek Station, this safari-style camp is surrounded by savannah woodland teeming with wildlife. The camp boasts comfortable free-standing rooms that are spacious and expose guests to the sounds of the floodplains, a dining area with commanding views across the wetlands, a 10-metre wet edge pool and a library. The focus of your stay at Bamurru is in the environment around you and the wildlife and birdlife for whom it is home. Each individual safari suite is designed to blend with the surrounding bush and as such exposes guests to the sights and sounds of the bush around you, whether it is the haunting call of a whistling kite, the raucous cacophony from the blue-winged kookaburras as dawn breaks or the sound of a buffalo splashing its way through the floodplains just a short distance from your bed. The morning chorus of tens of thousands of magpie geese, after whom the camp is named, is an experience in itself. The Mary River catchments are home to 236 species of bird, many of which are found at Bamurru Plains. The significance of this particular property comes in the variety of habitat: black soil floodplains, paper bark swamps, savannah woodland, river mangroves and coastal beaches support an extraordinary diversity of birdlife.
We will experience a sunset over the floodplains while enjoying a glass of wine.
Overnight:Bamurru Plains safari suite. Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Day 4: Monday 12 May 2014
While we are at Bamurru camp we will enjoy a variety of activities, from airboat rides to four-wheel-drive safaris. The floodplains abound with waterfowl, wild buffalo, pigs and wallabies. The floodplains of the Mary River region form one of the most significant ecosystems in Australia. Dominated by the climatic extremes of the tropical monsoon, the wetlands and savannah woodlands that fringe the coastal regions between Darwin and Kakadu National Park harbour an extraordinary diversity of flora and fauna. This morning we will take an airboat ride across the floodplains, which is home to thousands of birds including plumed whistling-duck, egrets and ibis. A morning trip out on the plains in an airboat is utterly exhilarating and the only way to truly experience this environment. We have the opportunity to explore one of the few remaining stations close to Kakadu National Park.
Return to Darwin. Includes breakfast and lunch.
Overnight: One night twin share accommodation in Darwin.
Depart Darwin: 13 May 2014