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Itinerary thoughts

Canada
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325 posts
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Itinerary thoughts

I was hoping the experts here could look over the itinerary I've come up with for early August this year around the Top End. We're a relatively fit couple, and won't be renting a 4WD. I've included some driving distances that I've gotten off of GoogleMaps.

Day 0: Arrive Darwin, 2230 flight. (stay Best Western near airport)

Day 1: Pick up rental car early AM. Travel to Batchelor (stay Batchelor Resort)

PM in Litchfield NP (2.5h/150km drive from Darwin to Tolmer): Tolmer Falls, Wangi Falls (90 minutes back to hotel)

Day 2: Travel to Katherine (stay Beagle Motor Inn) 3h/220km drive total

AM, Litchfield NP: Florence Falls, Buley Rockhole

PM, Edith Falls

61km to Katherine

Day 3: Katherine (stay Beagle Motor Inn)

Morning helicopter tour

Three gorge cruise @1300-1700

Day 4: Cooinda (stay Gagudju Lodge Cooinda)

255km/3h drive

Warradjan Cultural Center

Yellow Waters Cruise@1630

Day 5: Jabiru (stay Holiday Inn Crocodile)

Nourlangie/Angbang AM

Guluyambi cruise @1300

Ubirr sunset

Day 6: Jabiru (stay Holiday Inn Crocodile)

Jim Jim and Twin Falls Tour

Day 7: return to Darwin (stay Best Western near airport)

Mamukala Wetlands

Corroboree Billabong cruise@1245-~1530

Windows to the Wetlands and/or Fogg Dam and/or Darwin

251 km/3h drive; 88km/70min from Corroboree to Darwin

Day 8: Early 700AM flight out.

I wanted to stay two nights in Cooinda to do the Jim Jim/Twin Falls tour from there and save some backtracking, but it was already full that night when I booked.

Any thoughts for improvement would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance.

Darwin, Australia
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for Darwin
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1. Re: Itinerary thoughts

Looks like a great trip with a well paced itinerary. I think your driving times are ok (if anything a little conservative but that is a good thing as it allows for getting stuck behind caravans, unplanned toilet of photo stops etc.).

The only question I had when I read it is why you would do the Jim Jim and Twin day tour from Jabiru not Cooinda - but you have already answered that one.

Sydney/Melbourne
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2. Re: Itinerary thoughts

Great itinerary.

The only thing I would recommend you consider (given that you say you are relatively fit) is to rent a kayak and paddle up the gorges rather than do a cruise. In half a day you could easily paddle up the first two gorges and back. Doing it alone without the noise of a cruise boat is a seriously awesome experience. You don't need to be expert paddlers (we certainly weren't) and there's very little current to contend with. You don't need to portage kayaks between gorges as the operators leave kayaks at the start of the 2nd gorge.

Darwin, Australia
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3. Re: Itinerary thoughts

Wow, you've got a great trip planned out and like other posters have said, you've done well to consider your driving times. The only suggestions I'd have in terms of your plans are to: consider getting a good sized hire car, not the smallest one around. While the roads are sealed, you will come across some very BIG trucks that can measure 50 metres long and it pays to have good vision and size for the distance you're travelling. Also, please always carry water with you, it is very hot and you'll need plenty, especially if you're delayed for any reason between stops. I just returned from Katherine (this weekend) and stayed at the Beagle - it's a great base. You won't have mobile phone coverage for most of the places you'll be, except when you are in Darwin and some bigger places (like Jabiru and Katherine). Ubirr sunset is wonderful too. You'll climb the rock face to watch from the top (along with loads of others). Get there a little earlier and look around the rock art there - while it is not THE most spectacular, it is still interesting. A small torch won't go astray if you stay on the top until well after sundown - it will help you find your feet on the way down the rocks (not difficult). When you are out and about (even during the day) be aware of mosquitoes that can bite. They don't have malaria but can give you a nasty welt and are not just active at dusk and dawn. Get some spray like RID or BUSHMANS and you'll be fine. There is a kiosk/small cafe at Wangi Falls in Litchfield but not at other sites. There is a small kiosk at Edith Falls and there is a cafe/restaurant at Katherine Gorge. We just did the gorge cruise (morning) and then had a meal afterwards. Might be an option - see what you think. The helicopter tours anywhere in the NT are great because they go over places that are inaccessible, so you not only get another perspective, but get to see things you just would not ever be able to do from the road. Okay, that was a bit of a mish-mash, your trip sounds fantastic, take care and enjoy!!

Canada
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4. Re: Itinerary thoughts

Thanks for the input everyone I'm glad that it seems I haven't overlooked anything major. We've booked a mid size car bravomoon to give a bit more space since we will be spending a fair amount of time in it. Emel, I had looked briefly at the canoe/kayak rentals but hasn't seriously considered them... I'll go back and take another look as that does sound tempting.

Darwin, Australia
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5. Re: Itinerary thoughts

My thoughts on the canoe are they are great for a relaxed way to see the gorge. However, you don't get the informative commentary you get on the cruise. The guides are very good.

You need to get your boat and be organised as early as you can as you dont want to miss out on the time you should have to spend at the end of the gorges you will get to in half day. The nicest parts are at the end. There are 12 in total I think. it is beautiful and quiet. Book early if you plan on doing it

6. Re: Itinerary thoughts

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