This is an outline of the 21-day adventure through the heart of Australia's Top End - a 1750 km journey.
Top End Itinerary: 21 days
- Day 1. Alice Springs
From Alice Springs airport our journey begins north along the Stuart Highway before heading onto the Tanami Track, arriving at Tilmouth Wells Roadhouse mid to late afternoon. We arrive to set up our camp for the first time.
- Day 2. Tilmouth Wells - Tanami Desert - Rabbit Flat
We spend the day on the Tanami Track, one of the most remote tracks in the outback. Tonight we make a bush camp in the vicinity of Rabbit Flat. (Limited facilities).
- Day 3. Tanami Desert - Wolfe Creek Meteorite Crater- Halls Creek
This morning we head east towards the Western Australia/Northern Territory border. We then cross the Sturt Creek and pass by Billiluna before stopping off at the Wolfe Creek Meteorite Crater (road conditions permitting). We then head to Halls Creek where we arrive at the Kimberley Hotel for our overnight stay.
- Day 4. Halls Creek - Bungle Bungles
We stock-up on supplies before continuing on to the Bungle Bungle Campground. Two nights here.
- Day 5. Cathedral Gorge - Echidna Chasm
To Purnululu National Park (better known as the Bungle Bungles). Today we explore Cathedral Gorge. The walk into the gorge is approximately 2 hours return (medium level of fitness required). A dry creek bed takes us from the domes up to the gorge, renowned as being one of the most spectacular in the Kimberley. We then return to our campsite for lunch before heading off to Echidna Chasm in the northern end of the park. We arrive back at our campsite late in the afternoon for our second and final night in the Bungle Bungles.
- Day 6. Bungle Bungles - Fitzroy Crossing
We depart the Bungle Bungles Campground and re-join the Great Northern Highway en route to Fitzroy Crossing via Halls Creek. We arrive at the Fitzroy River Lodge Campground late afternoon to set up camp.
- Day 7. Fitzroy Crossing - Geikie Gorge Cruise - Broome
This morning we depart Fitzroy Crossing en route to Broome. We head out to Geikie Gorge for a 1 hour cruise. Over the years, the river has carved through an ancient limestone barrier reef, exposing age old fossils on the walls of the gorge. We return to Fitzroy Crossing later in the morning before continuing on to Broome, where we check-in to the luxurious Cable Beach Club Resort for the next 2 nights.
- Day 8. Broome Sightseeing
This morning enjoy breakfast at the resort before heading off on a town tour of Broome. We'll visit the Japanese Cemetery, Gantheaume Point and Chinatown. We also visit the Pearl Luggers Museum to gain an insight into the Pearling History of Broome. After lunch enjoy a free afternoon. You may wish to soak up the sun on Cable Beach, or shop in Chinatown. Tonight enjoy dinner at the Resort.
- Day 9. Broome - Derby - Tunnel Creek
This morning we head along the Windjana Way to Derby. Enjoy a town tour including the Boab Prison Tree, Myalls Bore and Cattle Trough and the Old Derby Gaol. After morning tea we begin our journey along the Gibb River Road. We visit Tunnel Creek National Park, where we are able to walk through a 750m underground river that has cut its way under the Napier Range. We make our way to Windjana Gorge and set up camp. Enjoy a guided walk through the gorge before sunset.
- Day 10. Windjana Gorge - Manning Gorge
This morning we enjoy another walk into Windjana Gorge to admire the wildlife, including some freshwater crocodiles. After breakfast we depart the gorge and continue our journey along the Gibb River Road, traveling through the heart of the Kimberley. Gorges and scenery. We arrive at Manning Gorge late afternoon to camp. Maybe time for a swim.
- Day 11. Manning Gorge - Mitchell Plateau
This morning we make an early start and head up the Kalumburu Road. From here we head pass Drysdale River Station and before joining the Port Warrender Road to the Mitchell Plateau and continue on to the Mitchell Falls Campground where we will set up camp for the next 2 nights.
- Day 12. Mitchell Falls, Little Mertens Falls and Big Mertens Falls
Today is definitely one of the highlights of the tour. Departing early we begin our walk down to the Mitchell Falls. The walk is approximately 4km, mostly downhill. Along the way there are numerous rock art galleries featuring ancient Bradshaw and Wandjina rock art. Explore these galleries with an indigenous guide from the local Kandiwal community (if available). There are also several spots for a swim along the walk.
At the end of the walk we arrive at the 3 tiered Mitchell Falls - one of the most stunning attractions in the Kimberley. Admire these thunderous falls from several vantage points before boarding helicopters for a scenic flight transfer back to the top of the walk (included in fare). Enjoy a relaxing afternoon at the campsite before spending our second night on the Mitchell Plateau.
- Day 13. Mitchell Plateau - Drysdale Station
This morning we pack up our camp and head south along the Kalumburu Road to the Mitchell Plateau turnoff. At the King Edward River we view exceptional Bradshaw and Wandjina rock art galleries. After a picnic lunch by the river we continue south and arrive at Drysdale Station mid-afternoon. We setup camp for our overnight stay on this historic Kimberley cattle station.
- Day 14. Drysdale Station - El Questro Wilderness Park
We continue along the Gibb River Road and arrive at Emma Gorge Resort (tented safari cabins with en-suite facilities). There is an opportunity to walk up to the Emma Gorge waterfall. (This walk is optional - medium level of fitness required).
- Day 15. El Questro Wilderness Park - Wyndham - Kununurra
We depart Emma Gorge and try the Zebedee Thermal Springs before driving to Wyndham for a visit to Five Rivers Lookout – a spectacular view over the Cambridge Gulf. We arrive at Kununurra in the late afternoon and set up our camp at Kimberleyland Campground for the next 2 nights.
- Day 16. Kununurra - Ord River Cruise
This morning we begin the day with an exhilarating boat cruise up the Ord River. A true highlight of the trip, this 3 hour cruise starts at Lake Kununurra and heads upriver to the dam wall of Lake Argyle. Return to Kununurra late morning via the Durack Homestead museum before taking a tour of Kununurra including the surrounding Ord Irrigation farming area.
- Day 17. Kununurra - Katherine
Today we return to the Northern Territory via the Victoria Highway. We pass through Timber Creek and Victoria River. This afternoon we continue to Katherine where we spend the night at the Paraway Motel.
- Day 18. Katherine - Kakadu - Jabiru - Katherine River Gorge - Yellow Waters Cruise
This morning we travel out to Nitmiluk National Park for our 2 hour cruise on the spectacular Katherine River Gorge. After the cruise we head back into Katherine and commence our journey to Kakadu National Park. We enjoy a picnic lunch and a visit to the Warradjan Cultural Centre. Then we take a 90 minute cruise on Yellow Waters Billabong at Cooinda, an extensive wetlands area at the end of Jim Jim Creek. Experience this diverse and sublimely beautiful area and its associated wildlife from your canopied cruise boat.
We arrive in Jabiru late afternoon to set up our first campsite at the Aurora Kakadu Lodge Campground. We camp here for the next 2 nights.
- Day 19. Ubirr Rock - East Alligator River Cruise
This morning we enjoy a 90 minute cruise on the East Alligator River. Following the cruise visit Ubirr Rock to view some Aboriginal art sites and admire the sensational view over the Arnhem Land Floodplains. We return to Jabiru early in the afternoon for lunch and a visit to the Bowali Visitor Centre.
- Day 20. Kakadu - Litchfield National Park - Darwin
Today we depart Jabiru, heading for the Litchfield National Park. The park is characterised by pockets of dense monsoon rainforest and cascading waterfalls. Enjoy a visit to Wangi Falls before continuing on to Darwin. This afternoon we check-in to the centrally located Mantra on the Esplanade Hotel overlooking Darwin Harbour. Enjoy a farewell dinner in the hotel restaurant.
- Day 21. Darwin
After breakfast we enjoy a city tour including the Darwin National Museum and Aviation Heritage Centre. We also visit Cullen Bay, Fannie Bay and the Stokes Hill Wharf area.
This camping / accommodation tour gives you one of the best Australian Outback travel experiences. 7000 km of travel is packed into 21 days. We travel where the early explorers travelled, follow some of the droving trails, meet with and experience some of the local Aboriginal folk and their customs, see our fill of crocodiles, eat well and have a superb time in the outback.