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ATE21 - Tropics Meets the Outback


Darwin / Kakadu / Katherine - 6 Nights, 7 Days

Familiarisation Description

Your tropical Top End adventure begins in Darwin, the Northern Territory’s vibrant capital city. Start your journey taking in one the spectacular Top End sunsets on-board a Darwin harbour cruise before hitting the road and experiencing the highlights of the Nature’s Way drive.  
Journey to where the “Tropics Meets the Outback”, Nitmiluk National Park, famous for the stunning Katherine Gorge.  Then it’s off to dual World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park - the jewel of the Top End.  In Kakadu we’ll learn about Aboriginal culture that dates back more than 50,000 years; take to some of the great bushwalking trails; and cruise the famous rivers and billabongs teeming with wildlife including birds, water buffalos, brumbies and the mighty saltwater crocodile.   

We look forwarding to having you in the NT!

Below is a day by day breakdown of your "Tropics Meets the Outback" itinerary.

All meals and snacks are included as part of this itinerary, at no extra cost.

Arrival Day: Monday 31 May

•    Arrive into Darwin and make your way to the Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront to check into your room. 
Check in opens from 3pm, earlier arrivals will be able to securely store luggage with the hotel and make the most of a day in Darwin.  
•    You will have the afternoon to explore Darwin – the vibrant, tropical, capital city of the Northern Territory by taking a street art tour, jump on a scooter or settle in with a refreshing drink and watch the world go by at one of the many cafes and bars dotted around Darwin. 
•    In the late afternoon you will meet with your Tourism NT Host and the rest of your familiarisation group and enjoy dinner overlooking Darwin Harbour.
•    Overnight: Darwin – Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront.

Day 1: Tuesday 1 June

•    You will have an early rise this morning to make your way to Katherine and meet multiple Golden Guitar winner and horseman extraordinaire, Tom Curtain, at Katherine Outback Experience. 
Tom and the team put on a fantastic show, celebrating the Northern Territory's rich pastoral and cultural history through real horse-starting and working dog demonstrations, entwined with live music and humorous bush tales.
•    After the show you will enjoy lunch in Katherine, before making your way out to the famous Katherine Gorge in Nitmiluk National Park, which you will be calling home tonight. 
•    You will have some time to refresh and settle into your accommodation before embarking on a special dinner cruise floating between the spectacular, sheer red escarpments of Katherine Gorge. 
•    Overnight: Katherine – Nitmiluk Tours.

Day 2: Wednesday 2 June

•    This morning you will head back into Katherine to have breakfast in one of the many vibrant cafes. 
•    After breakfast you will make your way to meet Manual and the team at Top Didj to learn about the culture of the Aboriginal people of the Top End through music, art and ancient traditions. Manual will teach you how to paint your own artwork to take home as a souvenir, using the traditional rarrk technique, used by the Aboriginal people in the northern parts of Australia. 
•    After the cultural experience you will farewell Katherine and make your way into dual World Heritage Listed, Kakadu National Park. Stopping for a picnic lunch along the way you will arrive and check in at Kakadu Tourism’s Cooinda Lodge. 
•    This afternoon you will join the famous Yellow Water Cruise at sunset. Yellow Water Cruises provides you with a unique opportunity to experience the mighty Saltwater Crocodile in its natural habitat, you may even spot buffalo, wild horses and a myriad of birdlife on the floodplains. 
•    Overnight: Kakadu National Park – Cooinda Lodge. 

Day 3: Thursday 3 June

•    Today you will head off on Kakadu Tourism’s, Spirit of Kakadu 4WD Adventure Tour for the day. Today’s adventure will have you swimming in natural waterfalls or tracking down the elusive red and blue Leichhardt's grasshopper on a bush walk with experienced guides. Please note: a reasonable level of fitness and agility is required as this day tour involves walking  over rocky terrain.
•    Return to Cooinda and travel the short distance to Jabiru. Check into your Suite at Anbinik Kakadu Resort.
•    Overnight: Kakadu National Park - Anbinik Kakadu Resort.

Day 4: Friday 4 June

•    Today you will embark on a very special adventure into Arnhem Land with Top End Day Tours. A local Aboriginal guide will take you on a walk to see ancient rock art and share stories passed down from thousands of generations. With its stunning scenery of billabongs, birds and escarpments, Arnhem Land, is truly a place where you can escape and experience this unique untouched haven of the Northern Territory.
•    Your tour include lunch and snacks. This Arnhem Land day tour is suitable for active people with reasonable fitness and mobility. You need to be agile enough to walk over uneven surfaces and sandy rocks and fit enough to walk up a hill to fully enjoy and make the most of our this day tour.
•    Return to Anbinik Kakadu Resort for the evening. 
•    Overnight: Kakadu National Park - Anbinik Kakadu Resort.

Day 5: Saturday 5 June

•    This morning you will travel to Ubirr, a highlight of Kakadu National Park. Take the walk through ancient rock art galleries and immerse yourself in the stories of the Aboriginal people who inhabit this area. Not only is Ubirr an immensely important place to the local people, the stunning escarpments are a spectacular back drop, overlooking both Kakadu National Park and West Arnhem Land. 
•    After your tour at Ubirr you will start your journey back to Darwin, stopping along the way for lunch at a quintessential outback pub. 
•    Arrive in Darwin and settle back into the Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront. 
•    This evening you will enjoy another spectacular tropical sunset aboard a Sunset Dinner Cruise on Darwin Harbour. 
•    Overnight: Darwin – Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront. 

Departure Day: Sunday 6 June

•    This morning you have at leisure before your departure flight to Sydney. 
•    If time permits you can join your Tourism NT Host on a street art walking tour of Darwin city. 


Below are several flight options arriving into Darwin and subsequently departing Darwin following this familiarisation.

Flights into Darwin – Monday 31 May

Perth to Darwin
VA1433 0855 – 1400 (3H35M) DIRECT FLIGHT
QF850 1100 – 1555 (3H25M) DIRECT FLIGHT

Adelaide to Darwin
JQ 0640 – 1020 (3H40M) DIRECT FLIHT
QF1956 / QF1961 1325 – 1815 (4H50M) VIA ASP

Melbourne to Darwin
QF836 0815 – 1215 (4H30M) DIRECT FLIGHT
QF406 / QF1952 0630 – 1230 (6H30M) VIA SYD
VA309 / VA449 0710 – 1350 (7H10M) VIA BNE

Brisbane to Darwin
JQ674 1535 – 1910 (4H5M) DIRECT FLIGHT
QF824 0830 – 1210 (4H10M) DIRECT FLIGHT
VA449 0950 – 1350 (4H30M) DIRECT FLIGHT

Sydney to Darwin
QF840 0830 -1230 (4H30M) DIRECT FLIGHT  
VA909 / VA449 0700 – 1350 (7H20M) VIA BNE

Darwin to Sydney - 6 June

Sunday 6 June 
QF841 13:20 – 18:00 (4H10M) DIRECT FLIGHT

QF825 / QF547 (via BNE) 12:55 – 19:15 (5H50M)
QF825 / QF549 (via BNE) 12:55 – 19:45 (6H20M)
QF825 / QF551 (via BNE) 12:55 – 20:15 (6H50M)
QF837 / QF482 (via MEL) 13:00 – 19:55 (6H25M)

Page last updated on 11 May 2021