Expedition into Top End & Arnhem Land

Journey into the land of the ancestors - home to the first true inhabitants of Australia as we venture off the beaten track into the Top End and Arnhem Land in Northern Territory on an inspiring sojourn exploring the fascinating cultures, primitive life and magic of the sacred land of the aborigines. 

HIGHLIGHTS

Journey off the beaten track in the Top End & Arnhem Land

Stay in amazing camps and homesteads

Discover the fascinating cultures and land of the Aborigines

ITINERARY

DAY 1: DARWIN / MARY RIVER NATIONAL PARK

Be met in downtown Darwin today and proceed on a 2hrs drive past changing landscapes into the wild Mary River National Park, one of Australia's true eden of nature and wildlife where an "Africa Experience" awaits. On arrival at the mesmerizing Wildman Wilderness Lodge, be orientated to the surroundings and the lodge, situated on the beautiful Mary River wetlands - Australia's very own answer to Africa's Okavango Delta in Botswana. Enjoy a unique and exciting Airboat safari experience as you are taken out over the Mary River floodplain to witness abundant bird life, salt water crocodiles and the occasional water buffaloes as we hover above reeds and lilies to sense the diverse and vast beauty of this magical landscape. This evening nearing sunset, be taken on a journey through forests and savannahs to Leichhardt Point where we stop for a sundowner to watch the amazing sunsets over the wetlands. 

Overnight: Wildman Wilderness Lodge, Mary River National Park

Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 2: MARY RIVER NATIONAL PARK (EXCURSION TO KAKADU)

After a good rest, we begin the day in spectacular fashion as we head out on a full day guided excursion to the UNESCO-listed Kakadu National Park. An early morning start takes us on a drive along the Arnhem Highway where en route, we stop by the South Alligator River before continuing past lush floodplains and billabongs and finally reaching the iconic Ubirr Rock, famous for its ancient indigenous rock art sites and overlooking the panorama of the floodplains and escarpments. Enjoy a picnic lunch near the East Alligator River before taking a short walk to Cahills Crossing to spot one of the many local crocodiles that inhabit the area. Our last stop will be the Mamukala observation platform for stunning views over the wetlands and an incredible variety of birdlife before returning to Wildman Wilderness Lodge. 

Overnight: Wildman Wilderness Lodge, Mary River National Park

Meals: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch & Dinner

DAY 3: MARY RIVER NATIONAL PARK / MOUNT BORRADAILE

This morning, we leave Wildman Wilderness Lodge on a comfortable 4WD along the Arnhem Highway to the Aboriginal community of Oenpelli/Gunbalunya for a visit to the Injalak Art and Craft Centre which plays important part of the indigenous people, a non-profit organization that supports the Kunwinjku people to produce authentic aboriginal art inspired by ancient dreamtimes stories and images from the nearby rock art galleries on Injalak Hill. Thereafter, join your aboriginal guide to explore these amazing rock art that dates back to more than 8,000 years. Later, we arrive at the airstrip to board a Cessna light aircraft for a short but scenic journey to the Davidson's Arnhemland Safari Lodge, located on an exclusive lease of 700 square kilometres of pristine wilderness in north-west Arnhem Land. We settle into the surroundings and later, enjoy a cruise along the billabong to see the sun set over the floodplain and Mount Borradaile light up with magnificent colours. 

Overnight: Davidson's Arnhemland Safari Lodge, Mount Borradaile

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 4: MOUNT BORRADAILE

An amazing day beckons as you are taken through 40,000 years of aboriginal culture in an inspiring landscape. Marvel at some of the most stunning rock art galleries in the world where the walls of these rock shelters are decorated with innumerable pictures documenting traditional Aboriginal life over thousands of years. Hop onto your 4WD and explore Mount Borradaile on this expedition to remote areas and experience an inspiring step back in time where it all began. 

Overnight: Davidson's Arnhemland Safari Lodge, Mount Borradaile

Meals: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch & Dinner

DAY 5: MOUNT BORRADAILE / COBOURG PENINSULA

This morning, leave Mount Borradaile for a Cessna light aircraft flight to Cobourg airstrip in the Cobourg Peninsula where we then arrive into the Cobourg Coastal Camp. After some orientation, we explore the Northern Territory's largest marine park by boat. Cobourg is abundant in some amazing marine life including six species of marine turtles, dolphins, sharks, crocodiles, stingrays, mud crabs and many others. As we cruise the Marine Park, we stop and visit the Victoria Settlement ruins. Established prior to Darwin as a military outpost by the British, this site represents the third failed attempt at settlement in Northern Australia. After surviving for 11 years between 1838 and 1849, it was abandoned and stone ruins still stand on the shoreline of Port Essington and serve as a reminder of the hardships faced by the early colonists. Thereafter, we depart the settlement and enjoy a slow journey back to camp stopping along the way to spot marine life. This evening, spend leisure time and then dinner will be some amazing freshly-caught seafood. 

Overnight: Cobourg Coastal Camp, Cobourg Peninsula

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 6: COBOURG PENINSULA

Today, we will explore the eastern side of the park by 4WD. Cobourg is home to the first RAMSAR wetland (wetlands of international importance) in the world with freshwater paperbark swamps and billabongs just 100m from the coastline. Continue on via the northern beaches, commonly used as turtle nesting areas and covered in a wide range of shells. Low tide provides opportunities to explore exposed coral reefs and rock pools which are home to a variety of marine life. After lunch, you will have opportunities to go hunting for mud crabs using traditional Aboriginal methods. Learn how to hunt and gather these local delicacies before having a go yourself. Later, we will also visit the park's Cultural and Information Centre before making our way back towards camp. 

Overnight: Cobourg Coastal Camp, Cobourg Peninsula

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 7: COBOURG PENINSULA / DARWIN

We say farewell for a wonderful week spent in the Top End and Arnhem Land as you are transferred to the Cobourg airstrip for your Cessna light aircraft journey return to Darwin for your onward journey. 

Meals: Breakfast

HOTELS

Wildman Wilderness Lodge is situated on the beautiful Mary River Wetlands - halfway between Darwin and the Kakadu National Park offering a distinctive and stylish eco-friendly lodge experience in comfortable tents and a wilderness experience to soak in the magic of the wetlands, wildlife and exquisite landscape and scenery. 

Wildman Wilderness Lodge, Mary River National Park

Davidson's Arnhemland Safari Lodge at Mount Borradaile is a registered aboriginal sacred site in an exclusively leased 700 square km area nestled against the Arnhem Land escarpment. Its rugged ranges fringed by idyllic billabongs, flood plains, paper bark swamps and monsoonal rainforests. Each of the cabins has its own unique natural setting and patio and designed for comfort in the tropics with ensuites and hot shower. 

Davidson's Arnhemland Safari Lodge, Mount Borradaile

Cobourg Coastal Camp is a unique safari-styled camp located within the Garig Gunak Barlu National Park in the Cobourg Peninsula in northern Arnhem Land nestled amongst savannah bushland overlooking the bay of Port Essington. Canvas safari tents provide comfortable accommodation equipped with outdoor showers with solar hot water. 

Cobourg Coastal Camp, Cobourg Peninsula

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