- Bamurru Plains (L, D)
This morning your driver will collect from your accommodation (9.00) before we begin in 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 both 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 then two hundred million years! This serves as a great introduction to how wild the Top End still is today. A short detour off the highway is the beautiful Leaning Tree Lagoon; this Billabong is often covered in water lilies making it a popular quick stop for photographers.
Lunch is at the Bark Hut Inn; this Aussie Roadhouse was built during the buffalo era and is a reminder of earlier, wilder times.
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 an amazing assortment of wildlife, reptiles and birds. The camp boasts of comfortable free-standing rooms that are spacious and expose guests to the sounds of the floodplains, a dining area with commanding views across the vast 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 full grown 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 some 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.
- Bamurru (B, L,D )
While we are at the camp we shall enjoy a variety of activities, from airboat rides to a 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 harbor an extraordinary diversity of flora and fauna. This morning we will take an airboat ride across the floodplains of the Mary River catchments. The key natural feature of this area has some of the most important in the country, home to thousands of Magpie Geese, Plumed Whistling- Duck, Egrets, Ibis and a host of other birds. 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.
- Dinner at Cicada is a special experience
- Overnight Cicada Lodge
We will depart Bamurru Plains after lunch and en route to Cicada Lodge in Katherine we will visit the beautiful Edith Falls.
Next stop is Cicada Lodge, your private sanctuary from which to embrace the ancient landscapes and Indigenous culture within the iconic Nitmiluk National Park
Cicada Lodge is designed for to enhance your authentic Indigenous and natural Australian “experience-of-a-lifetime,” in the heart of the Top End. A sanctuary of elegant comfort in the Katherine Gorge, just 29kms from the historic township of Katherine, the Lodge provides a level of excellence in accommodation, service and dining.
Nitmiluk Gorge is the centrepiece of Nitmiluk National Park, and comprises a system of 13 immense gorges carved over the millenia by the Katherine River through the ancient stone country of the region. More than a location of beautiful landscapes, the gorges hold great cultural value for the Jawoyn people. For these traditional owners, Nitmiluk refers to a cicada dreaming place – the place where the spirits of creation abide.
Integral to the Cicada Lodge experience is the opportunity to explore the ancient landscapes of Nitmiluk National Park, home to Nitmiluk Gorge.
Cicada Lodge is core to the future of the Jawoyn people. Training programs and employment of the local people across all aspects of the operation are integral to that future. Eco-accredited Indigenous guides run the Gorge cruises and tours providing commentary on the region sharing their knowledge of the local flora and fauna as well, ancient stories creation and Jawoyn life, enabling visitors to embrace a journey of learning and discovery in this spiritual and spectacular part of NT’s Top End.
- Overnight Cicada Lodge
Nitmiluk Scenic Helicopter Flights depart from the helipad located just 3 minutes’ drive from the Visitors Centre within the spectacular Nitmiluk National Park. There are a variety of flights to choose from and all offer magnificent views from the air, with ‘photo’ or ‘video’ opportunities of Nitmiluk Gorge, the Arnhem Land escarpment and local wildlife. They are also the only company permitted to land inside the National Park and offer a unique selection of breathtaking landing sites that are only accessible by helicopter. A scenic flight will give you a great perspective of the Nitmiluk Gorge system with spectacular views from our 4 seater helicopters where everyone gets a window seat!
Todays flight is The ‘Jawoyn Rock Art Tour’. Turn back the clock as you depart the Nitmiluk helipad. Destination: 40,000 years ago. Fly deep into the heart of the Dreamtime to an amazing Jawoyn art site. Your guide will assist you in interpreting the artwork and the secrets of this ancient land. Enjoy a refreshing swim before flying back over the rugged stone country and all 13 Gorges on your return to the modern world..
Tonight enjoy a very special dinner Cruise – Sit back and relax as the tranquil surroundings transport you into a spiritual world of the Jawoyn culture and history. Discover the stories and ways of the Jawoyn people against the magnificent backdrop of Nitmiluk Gorge, changing colour with the setting sun. Tour includes a three course candle light dinner, featuring fresh, local Australian produce cooked on board, and a complimentary glass of sparkling wine.
- Return to Darwin mid afternoon
This morning we will enjoy the area around Katherine before making out way back towards Darwin. We shall stop at Pine Creek which is an old gold mining town also we shall enjoy a picnic lunch. Then onto the township of Adelaide River which came to prominence following completion of construction of the Overland Telegraph Line, followed by a hotel, a police outpost and a railway station. Here also in the pub is Charlie The Buffalo from the movie Crocodile Dundee.