• Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton

Top End

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Explore the tropical ‘Top End’ of Australia beginning in Darwin. The perfect time to visit the Top End is in our summer and this itinerary combines beautifully with an extended holiday through the Kimberley and Bungle Bungles

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Top End

The perfect time to visit the Top End is in our summer and this itinerary combines beautifully with an extended holiday through the Kimberley and Bungle Bungles.  It could also link to a rail journey on the Ghan.

Day 1: Darwin
Day 2: Kakadu Adventure
Day 4: Darwin
Day 5 Bamarru Plains
Day 7 Darwin

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Description

Here is a suggestion for a week’s itinerary that may be added on to the Red Centre – link by the Ghan Train or by air

Day 1: Darwin
Darwin is a small but sprawling city with bags of character. Take a town tour, or ride the Tourist Tub, but however you get around, ensure that you are on a harbour cruise as the sun goes down. The Top End is famous for its sunsets – the colours of the after glow are spectacular.
Darwin 1 night

Day 2: Kakadu Adventure
An early start this morning for the start of your Kakadu adventure. Here we suggest a two night camping tour but longer options are possible. The first day takes you into the Kakadu National Park, visiting the rock art site at Ubirr, before taking a leisurely cruise on the Yellow Water Wetlands – you will almost certainly see your first crocodile here, to say nothing of the wide variety of birdlife and your first taste of the paperbark swamp. Whilst enjoying the cruise, your guide will have stoked up the campfire and have dinner on the go ready for your return.

Day 3: Kakadu Adventure
After a hearty cooked breakfast, break camp and head on to Nourlangie for a morning walk. Here, again, you will see examples of rock art – your guide will walk with you and explain and interpret these fascinating sites. A quick visit to the excellent interpretation centre near Cooinda and then head south to Gunlom Falls. The road roughly follows the line of the Escarpment and as you head south he scenery becomes more rugged and dramatic. Your overnight camp is at Gunlom. For the energetic a climb up a steep rock path brings you to an idyllic pool – ideal for an early evening swim. Dinner around the campfire before retiring to your tent for the night.

Day 4: Darwin
Break camp again this morning after breakfast – there may be time for another swim before leaving the Kakadu Park behind. Longer tours may include Katherine Gorge and/or the Litchfield Park; this tour takes you to the small mining town or Pine Creek and Adelaide River before finally returning to Darwin in the early evening.
Darwin 1 night

Day 5 Bamarru Plains
After breakfast, depart by road, or light aircraft to your luxury lodge home for the next two nights. A low swoop over the airfield clears any wildlife grazing the edges of the runway before the little plane touches down. A bus will be waiting to whisk you away to your wilderness lodge. Fine food, a well stocked wine cellar, a welcoming and shady pool and exquisite views across the sparkling water await. The lodge offers guided walks and safaris for the adventurous, fishing trips or simple relaxation in beautiful surroundings. 2 nights is lovely, 3 even better
Bamarru Plains 2 nights

Day 7 Darwin
Light aircraft or road transfer back to Darwin and civilisation before continuing your travels…

Photographs Tourism Australia Copyright

NT Kakadu

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Little Gems

For a luxurious interlude in this adventure, do plan a stay at the Wild Bush Luxury Lodge at Bamurru Plains.  In their words… Bamurru Plains is located just to the west of Kakadu National Park on the Mary River floodplains. A profusion of bird and wildlife are on the doorstep of a unique bush lodge that exudes ‘Wild Bush Luxury’ and brings a touch of style to the discovery of a remote and beautiful wilderness.

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The Red Centre

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Picture courtesy of Australia Tourism. Whether you arrive by rail or air, your first impression of the Red Centre will be awesome; a vast area of arid outback, punctuated by strangely shaped rocks and small hills that change in colours according to the time of day. A short itinerary incorporating Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kings Canyon and Alice Springs

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The Red Centre

Uluru/Ayers Rock was originally named by the Pitjantjatjara people and subsequently by surveyor William Gosse in 1873, but it is only since 1993 that the feature was officially given its dual name.  It is, none the less, not only one of the major attractions of the Red Centre and Northern Territories, but of the whole vast continent of Australia.

Day 1: Alice Springs

Day 2: Glen Helen

Day 3: Kings Canyon

Day 4: Uluru (Ayers Rock)

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Description

 

Whether you arrive by rail or air, your first impression of the Red Centre will be awesome; a vast area of arid outback, punctuated by strangely shaped rocks and small hills that change in colours according to the time of day. This itinerary offers a four wheel drive self drive itinerary following the Mereenie Loop Road…

Day 1: Alice Springs
Pick up your 4WD and spend the first night in Alice Springs itself. This little town nestles at the base of the MacDonnell Ranges, and formed a vital link in the laying of the Telegraph line from the new lands of Australia to England. A visit to the Telegraph Station gives an impression of the original settlement, before the centre of the town grew on its current site. Visit the School of the Air and the Flying Doctor base.
Alice Springs 1 night

Day 2: Alice Springs to Glen Helen
Today’s drive takes you through the West MacDonnells to Glen Helen – a drive of a little over 100km as the crow flies. Along the way, you may linger at the many chasms, gorges and creeks clearly marked from the main road.
Glen Helen 1 night

Day 3: Kings Canyon
Your entire journey today will be on the gravel road, joining the Mereenie Loop Road. The scenery will change dramatically from the rugged hills of the West MacDonnells to the flatter scrub of the desert. Gosse Bluff should not be missed; allegedly a crater formed by a meteorite crashing to ground and with spiritual significance for the indigenous people. Arrive at Kings Canyon in time for an evening walk in the base of the canyon.
Kings Canyon 1 night

Day 4: Uluru (Ayers Rock)
Rise early to walk along the canyon rim – about 6 km of spectacular scenery but not for the faint hearted as the first stage involves a steep climb. Today’s drive takes you to Uluru. You will be rewarded with your first sight of the Rock itself – inspirational, eerie, quiet – decide for yourself. Two nights at Ayers Rock Resort will give you time to visit Uluru at dawn and dusk, visit Kata Tjuta (The Olgas), take part in the Sounds of Silence dinner, or sunrise breakfast. Finally, drop your car at Ayers Rock Airport before continuing your adventure…
Two nights Uluru (Ayers Rock)

All photographs: Tourism Australia Copyright

Canoeing on Katherine Gorge      Kings Canyon

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Little Gems

The true spirit of the outback is the ice cold ‘stubbie’ thrust in your hand as a welcome to Glen Helen – before you’ve even checked in!

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Client Feedback

 

Well, where do we start? The itinerary you devised for us could not have been better. Everything worked out so well and the accommodation was great, although when you said that Glen Helen was rather basic, you were not wrong! We were glad it was only the one night, but the staff were friendly and helpful enough and the food was good. It all added to the ‘experience’! So, all in all, we couldn’t fault any of the accommodation you booked for us. All the flights (all nine of them!) worked out fine, the worst delay was San Francisco to Honolulu where we were delayed by only around 50 minutes! Ayers Rock was a fantastic spectacle. 43 degrees and billions of flies! It’s a not-to-be-missed sight, one of those ‘icon’ destinations.

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Region: Northern Territories

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With Darwin as the only major gateway city, the Northern Territories can often be overlooked as a stand alone holiday state.  But think again.  Uluru (Ayers Rock) in the Red Centre and near Alice Springs, is perhaps the most famous icon, the extraordinary vista of this dome shaped mountain in the middle of the desert is a sight that everyone should experience, but remember also the Kakadu and Arnhemland in the north, the Tiwi Islands and Cobourg Peninsular, Katherine Gorge and the Litchfield National Park.  Darwin is also the end of the road (or the beginning) for the Ghan train as it wends its way south through the arid Outback.  There is more to the Northern Territories than meets the eye.

Ayers Rock and 4x4 Northern Territories

Credit Jackie Appleton


Northern Territories - NT Cobourg Peninsular

Credit Jackie Appleton


Northern Territories - NT Kakadu

Credit Jackie Appleton

            

 

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