Kakadu & The Top End, Aug 1 - 6, 2019
A 5-Day Photographic Journey with Jeremy Woodhouse
(5 days – 5 nights)
Kakadu is dual-listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list, for both its outstanding natural values and as a living cultural landscape. Only 37 sites worldwide have received this significant honour—and only four sites in Australia. So, when we say Kakadu is world-class we’re not exaggerating. The park was first inscribed on the World Heritage list in 1981, with further areas added in 1987, 1992 and 2011.
Kakadu’s rock art and archaeological sites record the skills and way of life of Aboriginal people over tens of thousands of years. Along the escarpment, in gorges and on rock outliers, rock art documents the creation stories. The paintings constitute one of the longest historical records of any group of people in the world.
Kakadu’s ancient escarpment and stone country spans more than two billion years of the earth’s geological history. In contrast, the riverine and coastal floodplains are more recent, dynamic environments, shaped by changing sea levels and big floods every tropical summer.
Day 1: Aug 1 — Darwin (D)
Upon arrival into Darwin Airport, please make your way to our hotel accommodation, located in the heart of Darwin City. Taxis and a shuttle bus service are available.
Tonight we share our first meal together as a group and your guide will run through our itinerary for the next 5 days.
O/N Darwin- H Hotel
Deluxe king or twin room with en-suite (D)
Day 2: Aug 2 — Darwin - Mary River Wilderness Retreat
An early start today, departing at 6.30am and heading south, onto the Arnhem Highway and into Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve. These wetlands have international significance because of their beauty and natural ecosystems. A variety of fauna may be found here throughout the year as well as a large variety of birdlife (230 bird species have been listed in this area by The Australian Bird Atlas).
As well as viewing the wetland birds as we drive across the dam wall, we also have the option of taking one of woodlands walks- either the 2.7k Monsoon Forest Walk or the 2.2km Woodlands to Waterlily Walk.
Along with wetlands birds, such as Brolga, Jabiru, Comb Crested Jacana, Sacred Kingfishers and Royal Spoonbills, we may also have the opportunity to see a range of other birds such as Crimson finches, Double Barred Finches, Rainbow Bee-Eaters and the Rainbow Pitta.
After a boxed breakfast, we continue along the Arnhem Highway to our accommodation at the Mary River Wilderness Retreat, where we’ll have lunch and then there’s some free time for you to explore the retreat. The park boasts a 3km of Mary River frontage and is sanctuary for both woodland and wetland flora and fauna. There are several walks you can take here.
Late this afternoon we’ll take a 2 hour sunset cruise on Corroboree Billabong, part of the Mary River Wetlands, which is teeming with bird life. The wet season transforms the wetlands into an inland sea and replenishes the earth after the long dry and fish, crocodiles and birds breed and flourish. As the flood waters subside, the dry season offers excellent opportunities for viewing birds and wildlife. Keep an eye out for Saltwater crocodiles, Water Buffalo, Wallabies and of course, birdlife.
Species of birds that can be found in the Mary River region include Gouldian Finch, Rufous Owl, Grey Goshawk, Great- Billed Heron, Black Bittern, Rainbow Pitta, Brolga, Jabiru, Kingfishers, Darters, Cormorants and Sea Eagles.
Dinner this evening is served at the lodge restaurant.
O/N Mary River Wilderness Retreat
Bush Bungalow with en-suite, air-con, tea / coffee facilities, fridge and outdoor seating (B,L,D)
Day 3: Aug 3— Mary River Wilderness Retreat - Hawk Dreaming Safari Camp
For the early risers, you may like to take a walk around the retreat grounds this morning, when the birds and wildlife are most active.
After breakfast,we make our way into UNESCO World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park. Kakadu is the largest national park in Australia, has some of the world’s finest rock art and a variety of habitats, including floodplains and savannah woodlands. After a quick stop at the Bowali Visitor Centre (a permit condition for Photography groups), we continue to the very north of the park and Ubirr. Here we walk through galleries of ancient aboriginal rock art, which your guide will interpret. At the end of the walk we reach the top of the plateau, where you can relax and enjoy the spectacular view over the floodplains and the Arnhemland escarpment.
This afternoon we are guests of the Bunitj Clan who are the traditional custodians of the Cannon Hill region, where tonight we’ll stay at the Hawk Dreaming Safari Camp. This is an exclusive, indigenous owned camp located in a restricted and culturally significant area of Kakadu National Park.
After you settle in, you are treated to exclusive guided touring to nearby rock art sites and the red lily billabong to take in a spectacular sunset on the escarpment and over the wetlands while enjoying appetisers and cool drinks.
O/N Hawk Dreaming Safari Camp
Safari tents with en-suites on Dinner, Bed and Breakfast (DBB) basis. There is no air-con here but tents are fly screened allowing the cool air into the tents and they also have ceiling fans (B,L,D)
Day 4: Aug 4 — Hawk Dreaming Safari Camp - Kakadu Lodge Cooinda
We depart Hawk Dreaming at approximately 9am this morning and continue our journey through Kakadu.
Our destination this morning is Maguk (Barramundi Gorge and waterfall). Termite mounds are abundant along the dirt road that takes us to the Maguk car park and from there, we take a walk through a paperbark forest and then along the pandanus lined creek to reach the gorge. Once we reach the gorge and waterfall, we can have a refreshing swim in the plungepool.
Late this afternoon we visit Nourlangie Rock, which is an ancient Aboriginal shelter. Here we explore the area and the rock art, which you guide will interpret for you, followed by Nawalandja lookout. The short hike to Nawalandja lookout is rewarded by a magnificent sunset view over the Arnhemland escarpment.
O/N Kakadu Lodge Cooinda
Motel rooms with en-suites, TV, air-con, tea / coffee facilities, fridge and outdoor seating. The rooms are set in garden surrounds (B,L,D)
Day 5: Aug 5 — Kakadu Lodge Cooinda - Mt Bundy Station
We start today on a PRIVATE sunrise Yellow Waters Billabong cruise for our group only. Located at the end of Jim Jim Creek, at least 60 bird species are found in these wetlands, the billabong is home to many saltwater crocodiles and you may see other wildlife such as Water Buffalo.
Back to the lodge for breakfast and check out and then we continue to the very south of the park and Gunlom
Departing Kakadu through the southern entrance, this afternoon, we have a break in the historic town of Pine Creek and then continue Mt Bundy Station (ranch), which is our accommodation for this evening. The station has an interesting history and is set in a picturesque bush setting, attracting a multitude of wildlife—it’s fantastic for photography.
Dinner tonight will be served at the Cheeky Bull Bar at Mt Bundy !
O/N Mt Bundy
Rooms with air-con. There is a mix of double, twin and single rooms and bathrooms are shared (1 male and 1 female) (B,L,D)
Day 6: Aug 6 — Mt Bundy Station - Darwin (B,L)
There’s some time this morning for a good look around Mt Bundy.
Then we depart for beautiful Litchfield National Park. We view the amazing magnetic and cathedral termite mounds and we can have a swim at Florence Falls and Buley Rockholes which are a series of small waterfalls that are a great place to simply sit and relax. There is also a lovely hike along the riverbank from Florence Falls to Buley Rockholes,
Mid- afternoon we depart Litchfield and begin our drive back to Darwin, arriving at approximately 6pm.
O/N Darwin- H Hotel
Deluxe king or twin room with en-suite (B,L)
Our Transport a 24 seater Tatra 6WD coach so there will be plenty of room for equipment
Arrival & Departure
Arrival & Meeting Place
Wurrgeng - Cold Weather Season
Wurrgeng, from mid-June to mid-August, is the 'cold weather' time; humidity is low, daytime temperatures are around 30°C and night-time temperatures are around 17°C. Most creeks stop flowing and the floodplains quickly dry out. Burning continues, extinguished by the dew at night. By day, birds of prey patrol the fire lines as insects and small animals try to escape the flames. Magpie geese, fat and heavy after weeks of abundant food, and a myriad of other waterbirds crowd the shrinking billabongs.
Tour dates: Aug 1 - 6, 2019
Cost: Approx $4,000
Single Supplement: $650
Max Group Size: 10
Photographer: Jeremy Woodhouse
Tour Fee Includes
Tour Fee Does not Include
Paying by check
If you would like to pay your deposit and/or balance with a check, please make the check payable to: Pixelchrome, Inc and mail it to:
605 Rouen Drive,
McKinney TX 75070