The Ghan and Wildlife Discovery

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The Ghan and Wildlife Discovery

The Ghan and Wildlife Discovery

Escorted Small Group Tour
12 Days Adelaide to Darwin
03 – 14 August 2022

Overview

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Join us on this small group tour departing Adelaide on board the world famous Ghan to Darwin then its off on safari to discover the magnificent wildlife that inhabits the Top End. We start with an overnight excursion to the Outback Wrangler’s Matt Wright, Top End Safari Camp which offers bucket list outback adventure that ticks all the boxes including a helicopter flip over the wilderness and a trip onboard the exciting airboat. We then venture off to explore the Tiwi Island and a full day trip into Litchfield National Park. Our adventure continues with a 3 night safari into Kakadu National Park where we explore the highlights of this world famous National Park and discover the rugged and remote beauty of Australia’s biggest National Park.

Contact us for more information on The Ghan and Wildlife Discovery.

Itinerary

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Day 1: 03 August 2022 – The Ghan (LD)
Board The Ghan in Adelaide at noon and enjoy lunch as you watch Adelaide’s gracious outskirts roll into pastoral lands and undulating wine country before flattening into rugged mallee scrub. Pass through coastal Coonamia and Port Augusta. Cross over the Dingo Fence – the world’s longest fence, built to keep dingoes out of southeast Australia – and speed through the outback train station of Cadney Homestead, at the gateway to the Painted Desert. Look out at the small, rustic railway towns and vast tracts of Aboriginal land, where communities have maintained their connection with country for thousands of years. Watch the sun setting over the vast expanse of the outback as you meet new friends over cocktails in the Outback Explorer Lounge. In the classically-styled Queen Adelaide Restaurant, dine on South Australian produce from an ever-changing menu that represents the regions traversed by the train. Finish with a platter of local cheeses, which pairs perfectly with a hearty red wine from South Australia’s McLaren Vale or Clare Valley regions.
Overnight: The Ghan – Gold Twin – LD

Day 2: 04 August 2022 – The Ghan (BLD)
Alight the train at Marla in South Australia, which marks the start of the remote Oodnadatta Track, to watch the sunrise and enjoy a light breakfast in the heart of the outback. Back on the train, cross the Northern Territory border and travel through the small bush town of Kulgera and over the generally dry Finke River before arriving in Alice Springs at about noon. Visit the Alice Springs Desert Park to learn more about the landscapes that The Ghan traverses. Alternatively, do a tour of the town, where you can visit the base of the Royal Flying Doctor Service, which offers airlifted medical support to Australia’s outback community. You can take an optional upgrade and enjoy a scenic helicopter flight over the ancient red MacDonnell Ranges or ride a camel in the desert. Reboard the train in the late afternoon and travel north through the desert as you enjoy dinner in the train’s Queen Adelaide Restaurant.
Overnight: The Ghan – Gold Twin – BLD

Day 3: 05 August 2022 – The Ghan (BL)
The train races through the gold mining town of Tennant Creek as you’re eating breakfast. It stops at the historic pioneering township of Katherine, where numerous excursion options await. You could enjoy a leisurely cruise in Nitmiluk National Park’s Katherine Gorge, and admire towering sandstone cliffs and crocodiles basking in the sun. Alternatively, head out to Katherine Outback Experience, owned by multiple Golden Guitar winner Tom Curtain. This fantastic show celebrates life on the land through real horse-starting and working dog demonstrations entwined with live music and humorous bush tales. Optional upgrades include a scenic helicopter flight over the 13 gorges of Nitmiluk National Park or a 90-minute fixed-wing scenic flight over both Kakadu and Nitmiluk national parks. Back on board, enjoy a late lunch as the rainforest of the Northern Territory outback rushes by the window. Pass through the old gold mining town of Pine Creek and Adelaide River, once a World War II military headquarters. You’ll roll into the Northern Territory’s tropical capital of Darwin in the evening. On arrival transfer to your hotel Double Tree by Hilton for overnight.
Overnight: Double Tree By Hilton – BB

Day 4: 06 August 2022 – Matt Wright Top End Safari Camp (BLD)
Collected form your hotel this morning for an adventure of a lifetime – combining truly unique Top End activities with an amazing outback glamping experience. Situated in a private location off the Finniss River system we showcase some of the best activities and experiences the Top End has to offer. Transfer to the Outback Wranglers’ Matt Wright Top End Safari Camp. Experience the thrill of an airboat whilst spotting crocodiles, wildlife and birds. Immerse yourself in the nature and beauty of the Top End with views from a scenic helicopter flight. Then return to our sky deck to soak up an incredible Top End sunset over the floodplains followed by a gourmet dinner, star gazing around our fire pit and an unforgettable, bespoke outback glamping experience.

Beat the crowds, immerse yourself in nature our overnight excursion will include Crocodile encounter and feeding, Airboat cruise, 10-minute scenic helicopter flight over floodplains, Sunset cheese boar, Dinner on the open star deck, Overnight outback glamping experience in deluxe lotus belle tent (Not bathroom facilities are shared) and a fabulous BBQ breakfast.
Overnight: Matt Wright Top End Safari Camp – BLD

Day 5: 07 August 2022 – Darwin (B)
After leisure breakfast we return to Darwin for 4 night at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel. Afternoon at leisure in Darwin.
Overnight: Double Tree By Hilton – BB

Day 6: 08 August 2022 – Tiwi Islands (L)
Depart this morning on a once in a lifetime visit to the Tiwi Islands, an opportunity to visit a modern-day Aboriginal community. It will provide you with an insight into the Tiwi people’s rich culture and lifestyle. The tour will reveal scenes seldom seen by many outsiders and will leave you with a lifetime memory. Many cities are blessed with island destinations close by, but only Darwin has the Tiwi Islands.

Take a 2½-hour ferry ride from Darwin aboard Tiwi Mantawi to Bathurst Island. Join a local guide for a journey through this progressive modern community. Visiting Tiwi Museum with its interesting displays of traditional art and depictions of Tiwi Dreamtime stories, and Early Mission Precinct with its unique Tiwi-style Catholic Church. Spend some time with the Tiwi ladies while they weave and paint. Enjoy a Smoking Ceremony to bless the visitors, and demonstrate totem dances and explain the meaning behind them. Lunch will be provided with a sample of local billy tea and damper with your lunch. Visit the Arts & Crafts Centres then return by ferry. Overnight at the hotel.
Overnight: Double Tree By Hilton – BB

Day 7: 09 August 2022 – Darwin (BD)
Day at leisure in Darwin to explore or relax – this evening depart on the Charles Darwin Dinner Cruise. With beautiful views of the Top End city, there is no better way to experience Darwin’s renowned sunsets than on board the Charles Darwin. Enjoy a Territory-style dinner with fresh seafood and local produce. This two and a half hour cruise is the perfect way to experience Darwin’s world-famous sunsets.
Overnight: Double Tree By Hilton – BB

Day 8: 10 August 2022 – Litchfield National Park (BL)
Depart this morning on a full day guided tour to Litchfield National Park. Established in 1986, Litchfield National Park is a stunning location. You can take in the splendour of thundering waterfalls, rainforest pockets and historic sacred sites. It is a haven for hundreds of native bird species and the plateau supports a rich range of woodland flora. During the course of the day we visit Florence Falls – View the double falls from a high vantage point before making your way down to take a swim in the plunge pool. Enjoy an Interpretive Guided walk -There’s time for a walk through the scenic bush and monsoon vine forest. Visit Tolmer Falls – This is a spectacular photo opportunity; it’s home to colonies of rare ghost and orange horseshoe bats. Take a lunch break at Litchfield Cafe. Visit Wangi Falls – Swim in the large plunge pool, the most accessible of all in the region and the perfect place for a final dip today. Howard Springs Nature Park – Feed the barramundi and turtles. Magnetic Termite Mounds – The work of local termites, standing upright like magnetic compasses, they make for a fun photo. Return to the hotel for overnight.
Overnight: Double Tree By Hilton – BB

Day 9: 11 August 2022 – Kakadu National Park (B)
This morning we depart Darwin and travel through pristine wetland regions to Kakadu National Park. First stop Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve. These wetlands have international significance because of their beauty and natural ecosystems. A great variety of fauna can be found here throughout the year as well as a large variety of birdlife. Boardwalks take you through the different landscapes to observation platforms to view the large number of resident wading birds. From here we stop at the Famous Humpty Doo for lunch (own expense) – perhaps try our famous Trio Burger with Barra, Buffalo and Croc Burgers with fresh salad and chips. Next it onto the stunning Ubirr and view Aboriginal rock art dating back some 20,000 years. Take the short climb to lookout from the top of this rocky outcrop for superb views over the flood plains and escarpment country. Enter into Kakadu, a 20,000 square kilometre suite of landscapes varying from red-hued escarpments that shelter historic Aboriginal rock art dating back thousands of years to floodplains teeming with wildlife before our arrival at Cooinda Lodge Kakadu.

Cooinda Lodge Kakadu – a village style property located beneath a canopy of trees beside Yellow Water Billabong, home to world-renowned Yellow Water Cruises, where crocodiles and birds are seen on the flood plain amongst Paperbark, Pandanus and Fresh Water Mangroves. With its oasis style atmosphere, Cooinda Lodge offers an inviting shaded swimming pool, bistro-style dining, bars, petrol station and a store that offers locally-made crafts as well a wide range of essentials for touring.
Overnight: Cooinda Lodge – BB

Day 10: 12 August 2022 – Kakadu National Park (B)
We start our morning on a Yellow Waters Wetlands cruise. Yellow Waters billabong is located at the end of Jim Jim Creek, a tributary of the South Alligator River. This is the largest river system in Kakadu and contains extensive wetlands, including river channels, floodplains and backwater swamps. About one third of Australia’s bird species are represented in Kakadu National Park, with at least 60 species found in these wetlands. There are also plenty of crocodiles in their natural habitat, and buffalo on the floodplains. Whistling Ducks and Magpie Geese are the most abundant. Eagles can be seen hovering searching for prey, and at times you will see distinctive Jabirus and may even get to see Brolgas dancing. We then visit the Warradjan Cultural Centre before continuing onto the ancient Aboriginal artwork at Nourlangie. Here you’ll find some of the world’s oldest and most impressive rock art, and spectacular views of the Arnhem Land escarpment. Nourlangie is one reason why Kakadu is World Heritage-listed for outstanding cultural values. This famous site, with its stunning rock paintings, documents life in the region from 20,000 years ago to the first contact with European explorers. This 1.5 km walk invites you to take a visual journey through time to an outdoor cultural museum where paintings, shelters and artefacts present traditional ways of life from numerous epochs. Later this afternoon we arrive at the Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel where we check in for two nights.
Overnight: Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel – BB

Day 11: 13 August 2022 – Kakadu National Park (B)
There is so much to do in Kakadu, today is free for optional touring including cruises, helicopter flights, Jim Jim Falls, Fishing trips or join us on our Full day excursion to Arnhemland.

Option: Full day Arnhemland Cultural Tour – $278 per person (8 hours)
Journey across Cahill’s Crossing on the East Alligator River into Arnhem Land. Visit the entrance to Mikkinj Valley with its stunning scenery of billabongs, wildlife & towering escarpment. Enjoy either morning tea or lunch beside the Inkiyu Billabong. Travelling in comfortable 4WD buses, you will experience the region’s world-famous landscapes consisting of sandstone escarpment outcrops, rock art sites, forests, floodplains and billabongs alive with abundant birdlife. Arnhem Land permits, refreshments & lunch are included.
Overnight: Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel – BB

Day 12: 14 August 2022 – Kakadu National Park (B)
After a leisurely morning we leave the park and slowly make our way back to Darwin. First stop the Corrobboree Park Tavern for some lunch (own expenses) then onto the famous jumping Crocodile Cruise. Spectacular Jumping Crocodile Cruises is the only aboriginal owned cruise on the Adelaide River. This means you are not just getting a croc cruise, you are introduced to the floodplains ecosystem, it’s history, wildlife and a peek in to over 40,000 years of human interaction with this stunning environment. Suitable for all levels of fitness or mobility. After all, everyone should be able to witness the power of the mighty Australian Estuarine (Saltwater) Crocodile. Continue onto Darwin where we say goodbye.

Price + Inclusions

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The Ghan and Wildlife DiscoveryPrice per person
Twin Sharefrom $7,350
Single Roomfrom $9,590

Includes:

  • 2 nights – Gold Twin/Single on Board the Ghan with all meals and excursions
  • 1 night – Matt Wright Safari Camp – fully inclusive
  • 8 nights – Superior accommodation
  • Full day Tiwi Island Excursion with lunch
  • Full Day Litchfield National Park Excursion with lunch
  • Breakfast daily
  • Meals as per itinerary
  • All touring and transfers as per itinerary
  • Maximum 14 guests only
  • Yellow Water Wetland Cruise
  • Jumping crocodile Cruise
  • Services of a Tour Escort

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