Experience the wonders of Kakadu, Arnhem Land and the Cobourg Peninsula in style on this unique 5 day 4WD safari
This small group Arnhem Land experience features two of the Northern Territories iconic, spectacular and remote national parks. World Heritage Listed for its cultural and natural values, Kakadu National Park is the largest national park in Australia. It encompasses a massive area of approximately 20,000 square kilometres or half the size of Switzerland! The park’s rugged and varied landscapes offer adventures truly unique to the Northern Territory.
Kakadu is home to over a third of Australia’s bird species and has the highest concentration of rock art in the world. Nourlangie Rock and Ubirr Rock are the two most well-known rock art sites with art dating back a possible 50,000 years. Nearby lookouts provide panoramic views across the red ochre rocks of the Arnhem Land escarpment country, floodplains and spectacular waterfalls and gorges.
Garig Gunak Barlu was the first National Park in Australia to be jointly managed by the Aboriginal Traditional owners in conjunction with Parks and Wildlife. Located 570 km (by road) northeast of Darwin on the Cobourg Peninsula, at the western tip of the Northern Territory, the national park forms part of the spectacular Arnhem Land wilderness area. It’s one of the last great unspoiled areas of the world and well known for its strong Aboriginal culture, towering escarpments, savannah woodlands, wetlands and wildlife.
The National Park and Marine Park covers an area of approximately 5000 square kilometres, all of which is virtually uninhabited. It includes the entire Peninsula, the surrounding waters of the Arafura Sea and Van Diemen Gulf, and some of the neighbouring islands. Garig Gunak Barlu is a colourful mosaic of sandy beaches, dunes and associated coastal grasslands, mangroves, rainforest patches, swamps, lagoons, coral reefs, sea grass meadows and rich marine life. It protects rare species, including the Dugong and six marine turtles (Loggerhead, Hawksbill, Olive Ridley, Leatherback and Flatback Turtles). Australia’s first recognised RAMSAR Wetlands Area (wetlands of international importance) is located on the far North point of Cobourg and is a major destination for migratory birds.
The area has a fascinating ancient and contemporary history. Archaeologists estimate that Aboriginal people have been living in the area for 40,000 years. The park lies within the clan estates of the Iwaidja speaking peoples of Cobourg Peninsula. Custodianship is shared between Aboriginal clan groups. These clans have continual spiritual links with the land and sea. Their ancestors from the Creation Era (Dreamtime) created the land and all it contains. The Park contains cultural landscapes which have been shaped and managed by cultural traditions and is translated as: Garig (a local language name), Gunak (land), Barlu (deep water).
This eco tour provides a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience these remarkable remote lands and their Aboriginal culture, wildlife and beautiful outback landscapes.
- World Heritage Listed Kakadu National Park including Nawurlandja Lookout and Ubirr Aboriginal Rock Art
- Spot saltwater crocodiles and a variety of spectacular birdlife as you cruise along Corroboree Billabong
- Meet and watch traditional local artists of the Gunbalanya Aboriginal Community at Injalak Arts Centre
- Experience some of the best Aboriginal rock art in Australia on an Indigenous guided rock-art tour
- Mamukala Wetlands birdlife including thousands of migratory magpie geese (seasonal Sept – Oct)
- Spectacular Arnhem Land escarpments and stone country
- Garig Gunak Barlu National Park and Marine Park (Cobourg Peninsula)
- Marine Park boat cruise to Victoria Settlement ruins
- Marine wildlife, spectacular outback coastlines and beaches
- The opportunity to spend a few hours removing marine debris to help conserve marine wildlife
- Beautiful safari-style camp accommodation nestled amongst savannah bushland with stunning coastal views
Duration: 5 days/4 nights
Departs: 14th May and 10th September; on request during May and Sept
Price: From $2,990 per person
Tour inclusions as noted below
Day 1: Darwin – Kakadu National Park
Depart Darwin for the World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park. En route we will join a morning cruise on the picturesque Corroboree Billabong. On this scenic cruise you have the opportunity to view a large variety of birdlife and salt water crocodiles in their natural environment. Learn more about the wildlife on the billabong from your knowledgeable guide who will make the cruise both fascinating and informative.
Continue to the historical Bark Hut Inn for a refreshment stop before entering Kakadu. Travel along the old Jim Jim Road visiting White Lily Billabong before arriving at Maguk (Barramundi Gorge). Enjoy a scenic 1km walk along the edge of Barramundi Creek before arriving at the base of Barramundi Falls. Please note that access to Maguk can be limited – if the site is not open we will visit Nourlangie Rock Art site.
Depart Maguk late afternoon for Nawurlandja Lookout. A short climb takes us up the sloping sandstone to provide views of the sun setting across Anbangbang Billabong, Nourlangie Rock and the Arnhem Land escarpment. Depart after sunset for Jabiru and Anbinik Kakadu Resort, our accommodation for tonight. LD
Overnight: Anbinik Kakadu Resort (Bush Bungalow)
Day 2: Arnhem Land – Injalak Arts Centre – Cobourg Peninsula
After breakfast we travel from Jabiru to the northern region of Kakadu National Park to Cahill’s Crossing on the East Alligator River and enter Arnhem Land. A 15 km scenic drive to Gunbalanya Aboriginal community provides some of the best driving views in the Top End with floodplains covered in bird life and water lilies running up alongside the Arnhem Land escarpment.
Upon arrival at Gunbalanya we will visit the Injalak Arts and Craft Centre. Here you have the opportunity to meet and watch traditional local artists in action before departing with our Aboriginal guide to be shown around the Injalak Hill art sites. Spend the morning experiencing some of the best Aboriginal rock art in Australia before returning to the Injalak Art Centre where we leave our hosts and journey on to the Cobourg Peninsula. The drive takes approximately 3-4 hours with stops and creek crossings along the way. Upon arrival at our camp you will be greeted by the resident camp caretakers and served nibbles on the cliff top. Relax as the sun sets over Port Essington. BLD
Overnight: Cobourg Coastal Camp
Day 3: Garig Gunak Barlu National Park (Cobourg Peninsula) – Victoria Settlement
Awake to the sound of birds and enjoy a special ‘Cobourg-style’ cooked breakfast. This morning will be spent exploring the Northern Territory’s largest Marine Park by boat. Cobourg’s marine life is abundant including six species of marine turtle, dolphins, sharks, crocodiles, stingrays, mud crabs and plenty of fish.
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. Stone ruins still stand on the shoreline of Port Essington and serve as a reminder of the hardships faced by the early colonists. While exploring this fascinating area you will also have an opportunity to spend some time removing marine debris to support marine wildlife conservation efforts.
Depart the settlement and enjoy a slow journey back to camp stopping along the way to spot marine life. Return to camp in the afternoon where you can explore the nearby beaches and creek systems, try your luck at fishing or simply enjoy the solitude while reading a book from a hammock overlooking the ocean. Tonight enjoy a freshly caught seafood dinner. BLD
Overnight: Cobourg Coastal Camp
Day 4: Garig Gunak Barlu National Park
Today is your opportunity to give something back to this spectacular land. Spend a few hours in the morning assisting with Marine Debris removal along remote coastlines while overlooking the beautiful Arafura Sea and Gulf of Carpentaria. After lunch you we go hunting for mud crabs using traditional Aboriginal methods. Learn how to hunt and gather these local delicacies before having a go yourself. Later in the afternoon we will also visit the Park’s Cultural and Information Centre before making our way back towards camp. BLD
Overnight: Cobourg Coastal Camp
Day 5: Ubirr Rock Art Kakadu National Park – Mamukala Wetlands – Darwin
This morning we depart Cobourg early. Sit back and enjoy the bush scenery of Arnhem Land as we make our way back to Kakadu National Park. After numerous stops along the way we will enjoy lunch next to the banks of the mighty East Alligator River.
After lunch visit Ubirr Rock where we spend time viewing some of Kakadu’s best Aboriginal rock art. A short walk to the top of Ubirr offers spectacular views of the surrounding wetlands and stone country.
Depart Ubirr to Darwin via the Arnhem highway. En route to Darwin we will stop and visit the Mamukala wetlands, which at times is a haven for thousands of Magpie Geese (peak migration season is September – October) as well as many other species of native birds and reptiles. Arrive in Darwin approximately 7:00pm. BL
Meal Code: B – breakfast L – lunch D – dinner
This eco tour is graded Medium. We recommend participants have a moderate fitness level. The tour travels to a remote area where facilities are limited and involves walking in warm climatic conditions. The campsite is located a 3-hours’ drive from the nearest medical service.
- Maximum 12 people
- Minimum age for participation is 7 yrs of age
- Participants under 16 are to be accompanied by an adult
- This trip offers guaranteed departures subject to minimum 6 people travelling
All of Naturewise’s Eco Escapes allow you to play a vital role in the conservation of our natural environment, while enjoying some of Australia’s most spectacular places. Many tens of thousands of birds and other marine life such as whales, dolphins and turtles are killed by plastic rubbish and marine debris discarded into our oceans every year. Fishing nets, bottles, plastic bags, and other debris is carried by the ocean currents and deposited on remote Arnhem Land beaches. The visual pollution is significant, but even worse is the impact on the environment, especially the harm caused to wildlife when they ingest or become entangled in this rubbish. Marine life is prone to mistaking plastic bags for jellyfish, ingesting them and dying of intestinal blockage.
During this eco tour there is an opportunity to spend a few hours helping Garig Gunak Barlu National Park’s (Cobourg Peninsula) marine wildlife by removing, sorting and cataloguing the marine debris. These surveys allow for the source of the pollution to be identified and the information provided back into source-reduction campaigns, in order to help prevent further marine debris landing on local beaches.
Location and Transportation
Garig Gunak Barlu National Park is located approximately 570km northeast of Darwin on the western tip of the Cobourg Peninsula, forming part of the spectacular Arnhem Land wilderness area.
The drive from Darwin to the Cobourg Peninsula is in a forward facing air conditioned 4WD landcruiser. The journey takes you through the iconic and breathtaking Kakadu National Park and Arnhem Land.
The Cobourg Peninsula is home to saltwater crocodiles, so no swimming is allowed. Saltwater crocodiles cruise the beaches and sharks, box jellyfish, blue-ringed octopus, stonefish and sea snakes also live in these waters. Never take unnecessary risks in crocodile habitat. Saltwater crocodiles inhabit both saltwater and freshwater habitats. For more on crocodiles please see “Crocwise” information from the Northern Territory Government.
1 night at Anbinik Kakadu Resort in a Safari style bush bungalow. Each bungalow contains a double bed, 1 single size double decker bunk (all linen is included) and a ceiling fan. An external private bathroom is a few steps away from your bungalow.
3 nights at Cobourg Coastal Safari Camp located within the Garig Gunak Barlu National Park (Cobourg Peninsula) in northern Arnhem Land. The camp is nestled amongst savannah bushland overlooking the bay of Port Essington. Canvas safari-tents provide a comfortable nights’ accommodation. The tents are strategically arranged along the cliff top overlooking the water. Each tent contains 2 single beds (all linen is included), a bedside table and light. There are 3 outdoor monsoon showers with solar hot-water and 3 eco-friendly toilets situated near the showers. All soaps are biodegradable and environmentally friendly.
Adults Twin Share: $2,990
Adults Single Share: $3,190
Tours are suitable for children 7 years and above.
Professional guide/driver, transfers ex Darwin in Luxury Toyota Landcruiser 4WD• Corroboree Billabong cruise fee • All Kakadu, Arnhem Land and Cobourg Peninsula permits and entry fees • Arnhem Land royalties • Marine conservation activities • Accommodation and camp fees • Personal water bottle • Meals and activities as stated.
Alcoholic drinks (BYO available) • items of a personal nature • travel insurance • travel to the Darwin departure point.
10 – 14 September 2018 BOOK NOW
Depart: Darwin City Hotels 6.45am
Returns: Darwin City or Airport at approximately 7.00pm
Private group departures are available on request; subject to availability during May and September.
Email us to enquire or book.