FROM DARWIN G4 02 “EXPLORE KAKADU”, ROCK ART & CULTURE – Premium, Gold, Platinum & Safari Class – 3 DAYS
Darwin – Windows on the Wetland – Old Jim Jim Road – Yellow Water Wilderness Cruise – Guluyambi Cultural Cruise – Oenpelli – Guided Rock Art Sites – Sacred Sites
ALSO VISIT EAST ALLIGATOR RIVER, ARNHEM LAND GUIDED VISIT, A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE ANOTHER G4 UNIQUE EXPERIENCE Tour Code G4 02 – ()
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ALSO VISIT EAST ALLIGATOR RIVER, ARNHEM LAND GUIDED VISIT, A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE ANOTHER G4 UNIQUE EXPERIENCE
G4 = minimum/maximum 4 clients private charter travelling in a top of the range
4X4 vehicle with special Driver/Guide
Three days of memorable experiences with your own specialist accredited Guide, your own up-market, top-of-the-range 4WD and knowledgeable Aboriginal Guides to supplement the commentary and in-depth learning experience. Follow some of the old roads and tracks, spend time walking and exploring the diversity of Kakadu National Park and a special introduction to Arnhem Land. An itinerary exclusive to Austour.
DARWIN AND KAKADU IN-DEPTH EXPERIENCESDay1
• Depart Darwin 8am to begin this exciting and memorable adventure.
• Visit Fog Dam; a wildlife haven for birds and animals and superb photographs
• Stop for morning tea at a typical Northern Territory Road House – ‘Bark Hut Inn’ which was the noted centre for Buffalo hunting in the early days
• Our first off the sealed road experience is to follow the Old Jim Jim Road which was the pioneering tracks of the explorers, fishermen and hunters of the last century.
• Visit to Maguk Gorge (Barramundi Gorge) noted for its regular water flow. Enjoy a picnic lunch and short walks and maybe a swim.
• An afternoon wilderness cruise on the Yellow Waters Billabong. Here we cruise the beautiful wetlands where you’ll see up close and personal, crocodiles, abundant bird life, tropical vegetation – a photographer’s delight. Afternoon tea and snacks included.
Kakadu National Park
Aboriginal traditional owners have occupied the Kakadu area continuously for at least 40,000 years and the park is renowned for the richness of its Aboriginal cultural sites. There are more than 5,000 recorded art sites illustrating Aboriginal culture over thousands of years. The cultural and natural values of Kakadu National Park were recognised internationally when the park was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List; an international register of properties recognised as having outstanding cultural or natural values of international significance. Kakadu is home to 68 mammals (almost 1/5 of Australia’s mammals); more than 120 reptiles, 26 frogs; over 300 tidal and freshwater fish species; more than 2,000 plants and over 10,000 species of insects. It provides habitat for more than 290 bird species (over 1/3 of Australia’s birds). Its internationally important wetlands are a major staging point for migratory birds.
Landscapes & Habitats
Within the vast landscapes of Kakadu there are 6 main landforms. Each landform and the habitat it contains has a range of plants and animals. As you move through Kakadu look out for savanna woodlands, monsoon vine forests, stone country, tidal flats, mangroves, floodplains, rivers and billabongs
The Rainbow Serpent
The Rainbow Serpent was a major creator being. She created passages through rocks and formed waterholes in the Kakadu landscape. She split rock faces and created ranges of hills helping form the habitat for all beings.
Mimi spirits were the first of the Creation Ancestors to paint on rock. They taught some Bininj how to paint and other Bininj learned by copying Mimi art. At the end of the journeys, some Creation Ancestors put themselves on rock walls as paintings and became djang (dreaming places).
Six Seasons of Kakadu
Throughout the year Kakadu landscapes undergo spectacular changes. Bininj/ Mungguy recognise up to six different seasons as well as subtle variations that signpost the transition from one season to another. This knowledge of nature is fundamental to the culture of Kakadu and its people. Bininj/Mungguy have lived with the changing landscape for tens of thousands of years, adapting and using the land for food, shelter and general well-being.
- Morning and afternoon tea, Lunch and Dinner
- Kakadu Crocodile Hotel
A CROCODILE CRUISE ON THE EAST ALLIGATOR RIVER – VISIT TO ARNHEM LANDDay2
• Depart at 8am for one of the major highlights of the three day journey your Guluyambi Cultural Cruise. Your Indigenous Guide will point out the crocodiles resting, nesting and infesting this tidal waterway.
• Demonstration of spear throwing by the Indigenous Guide – the way to catch the barramundi.
• The experience of crossing the East Alligator River at low tide. (Todays schedule may vary in timing to suit the low tide)
• Our journey on dirt roads passing wetlands and rugged ranges to Oenpelli (Gunbalanya). Lunch on a rock ledge overlooking spectacular Arnhem Land/Oenpelli.
• Stop at the local store and the Art Gallery.
• Join your Guide for a visit to a magnificent gallery of rock art in the nearby hills. A very sacred site.
Cruise on East Alligator River
Approximately 160 km long, the East Alligator River rises in the northern part of the Arnhem Land Plateau and flows with tributary streams through magnificent canyons northwest towards Van Diemen Gulf. Join a cruise at Cahills Crossing and witness significant rock art along the river and learn about the uses of riverside trees and plants. There is plenty of wildlife to experience most notably crocodiles and a multitude of bird life.
Crocodiles are the world’s largest living reptiles. They are also on of the most ancient, having existed unchanged for nearly 200 million years. There are more than 20 species of crocodilians in the world. Two species occur in Australia – the freshwater and the estuarine (saltwater) crocodile.
Kunbarllanjnja, also spelt Gunbalanya and historically referred to as Oenpelli, is an Aboriginal community in west Arnhem Land in the NT. West Arnhem Land is home to some of the most significant rock art in the world, dating back thousands of years. It is called Kunbarllanjnja by Kunwinjku speaking people, who began moving into the area from the east following the creation of a cattle station there in 1909.
Declared an Aboriginal Reserve in 1931 and bordered by Kakadu National Park, the Arafura Sea and the Gulf of Carpentaria, Arnhem Land is a vast unspoiled wilderness, rich in Aboriginal culture. The Yolngu people are the owners of Arnhem Land and have occupied the region for at least 60,000 years. The scenery is beautiful and diverse, with rugged coastlines, remote islands, rivers teeming with fish, lush rainforests, towering escarpments and savannah woodlands. Wildlife is abundant throughout Arnhem Land, including many saltwater crocodiles.
The Role of Fire
Aboriginal people have burned country for tens of thousands of years. The ancestors gave them a cultural obligation to look after and clean up country, a duty handed down from generation to generation. Signs in nature told them of the time to burn, a time when minimal harm would be done to country but huge benefits would be gained.
‘This earth, I never damage. I look after. Fire is nothing, just clean up. When you burn, new grass coming up. That means good animal soon, might be goanna, possum, wallaby. Burn him off, new grass coming up, new grass coming up, new life all over’. Bill Neijie – Bunitj Clan.
Kakadu Crocodile Hotel
From the marble foyer to its uniquely crocodile shaped exterior representing Kakadu’s most famous inhabitant, the saltwater crocodile, the indigenous owned Kakadu Crocodile Hotel is a deluxe retreat in the wilderness of Kakadu National Park and within close proximity to the shops.
- Breakfast, Morning and afternoon tea, Lunch and Dinner
- Kakadu Crocodile Hotel, Jabiru
UBIRR ROCK ART – MAMUKALA WETLANDSDay3
• Travel to Ubirr which is recognized as one of Kakadu’s best rock art sites.
• Visit Mamukala Wetlands and Bird Hide and take shelter in the bird hide to watch bird life undisturbed across the waters of Mamukala.
• Time to visit the Ranger National Park Headquarters, the Bowali Visitor Centre or to stop for a moment to absorb and photograph this great wilderness – so significant to the Aboriginal people.
• Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea included provides a variety of venues and perhaps the opportunity to boil the billy and sample some local bush tucker.
• Visit Windows on the Wetland – an interesting educational centre.
• Stop and browse through a didgeridoo factory and talk to the Indigenous owner.
• Our arrival back in Darwin will be at approximately 6.00pm
Ubirr Rock Art Site
The Ubirr Rock Art site contains some of the oldest records of groups of people found in the world and was once densely populated by Aborigines due to an abundant food source and shelter provided by overhanging rocks. There are three main areas of rock art: the Main Gallery housed underneath overhanging rock; Rainbow Serpent denoting a place of great value and Namarrgarn Sisters based on the legendary story of the Namarrgarn sisters.
Arts & Crafts
For Bininj/Mungguy, art is an expression of cultural identity and connection to country. Traditional paintings with ochres are commonly done on paper and canvas – a more sustainable practice than on bark, which is less often used now. Didgeridoos, clap sticks, carvings and hunting tools are made from different bush timbers. Women have a long tradition of collecting plant fibres and bush dyes which are woven into ornaments such as baskets, mats and jewellery pieces. Another increasingly popular art form is screen printing traditional and contemporary designs onto fabrics.
Bowali Visitor Centre
Bowali (Bor-warl-ee) is a Gun-djeihmi name for the local area and creek on land owned by the Mirrar clan. The building’s design was inspired by an Aboriginal rock shelter.
Every half an hour there is an audio visual presentation giving different perspectives on Kakadu and highlighting how much there is to see and do.
The Marrawuddi Gallery promotes Aboriginal fine art by artists from Kakadu and the wider region.
Windows on the Wetlands, Arnhem Hwy, Humpty Doo
Windows on the Wetlands Visitor Centre is perched on Beatrice Hill, one of the highest points overlooking the Adelaide River floodplains. The upswept line of the roof echoes the wings of the dancing brolga, one of the most spectacular wetland birds. Flooded for half of the year and baked for the other half, this is a region of great contrasts. Touch screen computers allow visitors to find detailed information on local Aboriginal and European history, land management and the diversity of wetland animals.
- Breakfast, morning tea and afternoon tea, Lunch
you choose your departure date, year round (excluding 23rd December to 26th Dec and 28th Dec to 01 Jan)
Tour cost includes:
- Pick Up and Drop Off from your hotel.
- The provision of a modern, top of the range four wheel drive vehicle.
- The services of an experienced and accredited Indigenous driver / guide.
- Morning and afternoon tea.
- The provision of breakfasts, lunches and evening meals.
- Welcome drink prior to evening meal.
- The payment of all accommodation, visits, attractions and entry fees as per itinerary.
- Accommodation: choice of Premium, Gold or Platinum Class
- Evening supper.
- Single accommodation – on application.
- Items of a personal nature.
- Provision of alcohol with meals except where stated on itinerary.
Special Notes: Travel insurance is highly recommended – please read Austour’s Conditions of Travel as listed on our website. Refer Bookings. Accommodation and itinerary may change on a seasonal basis depending upon road access and client discussion before departure.
Child: up to and including 16 years of age and price based on sharing with two adults.