We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

bus tour or self drive katherine gorge area from Darwin

Canterbury, NZ
Level Contributor
99 posts
45 reviews
bus tour or self drive katherine gorge area from Darwin

I am wondering if we (a couple) are better to do a day bus tours with a major operator - long day for about $700-800 Aus$ for us both or hire a car, and visit the sights, waterfalls, 2 or 3 gorge tour etc on our own , and overnight in Katherine before returning to Darwin. Main concern is snakes crossing walking tracks etc and not used to them at all as from New Zealand. We are looking at June next year. any advise would be helpful. Thanks

6 replies to this topic
Arlington, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Arlington
Level Contributor
14,974 posts
121 reviews
1. Re: bus tour or self drive katherine gorge area from Darwin

Everything I have read about these 1-day trips to Kakadu sound like a lot of bus riding for not that much sightseeing.

Having been to Kakadu, I’d recommend renting a car and spending at least 2 days there with an overnight in the park—not in Katherine.

Darwin, Australia
Destination Expert
for Darwin, Kakadu National Park
Level Contributor
3,164 posts
190 reviews
2. Re: bus tour or self drive katherine gorge area from Darwin

You are referring to Katherine not Kakadu? They are two different areas. My suggestion is to hire a car then you can do it at your own pace.There is a lot of accommodation in Katherine but in June a lot could be booked out by the bus tours. At Katherine there are various tours up the gorges, some involve more walking than others.

If you are referring to Kakadu then a day tour will not take you to many places, two days gives you more time to look around. Three days will enable you to book a tour from Cooinda and visit Jim Jim falls though some years the track is not opened until late June.

Both Katherine and Jabiru are over a 3 hour drive from Darwin one way so that's 6 hours in a bus just travelling.

Canterbury, NZ
Level Contributor
99 posts
45 reviews
3. Re: bus tour or self drive katherine gorge area from Darwin

definitely not intending to visit Kakadu. We have visited Australia many times but first time up to Darwin so thought only Katherine NP, and Licthfield NP during our stay. I know Katherine is 3 hours away - my main concern is snakes on the tracks if doing it yourself, rather than with a tour group.

Darwin, Australia
Destination Expert
for Darwin
Level Contributor
7,093 posts
94 reviews
4. Re: bus tour or self drive katherine gorge area from Darwin

You wont find snakes everywhere so relax, in fact up this way, i have only ever seen snakes in the Kimberleys and back country Kakadu where there are no tracks and central Australia.

How many days do yuo have for this trip?

Do you planon doing Litchfield and Katherine in one overnight /two days ? If so very rushed.

Katherine gorge for a walk, gorge crusie, hot springs, edith falls is over days activities. Litchfield- allow 4-5 hours for several walks and swims minimum.

Do not drive at night due to animals on the road etc.

You can self drive very easy .

One issue here is that tourists rush and drive off the sides of our roads...

Canterbury, NZ
Level Contributor
99 posts
45 reviews
5. Re: bus tour or self drive katherine gorge area from Darwin

thanks for info re snakes. we planning 8-10 days in Darwin, but want to relax and wander about the town (history,market and sunshine) and maybe go to Mandorah  by ferry too so planning a hug day by bus to Katherine gorge etc, then relax for a few days before going to litchfield for a whole day visit. Maybe will hire a bike or scooter to explore for a couple of days and/or a car or tour for a day to go the litchfield. Travelling without our kids this time, but Darwin don't apppear to be the cheapest - can flight return to Europe for a similar cost !!!! as return flights to Darwin, and no decent times for flights connecting to Christchurch , NZ are not friendly either (maybe have to overnight in one big city).

Darwin, Australia
Destination Expert
for Darwin
Level Contributor
7,093 posts
94 reviews
6. Re: bus tour or self drive katherine gorge area from Darwin

8-10 days in Darwin is far too long.

I cant understand why you would do a daytrip to katherine when you will be faced with minimum7 hours of driving. Whats the rush :) ?

There is nothing at ferry side of Mandorah. I wpuld do a pearl lugger sun set cruise.

Day trip to Litchfiled makes sense as its only 1-45 or so via the sealed road through Batchelor.

Or do a day trip to the Tiwi islands on the ferry.

Darwin is only a small yown of 120,000 people. Its small

Edited: 05 September 2018, 07:19
Reply to: bus tour or self drive katherine gorge area from Darwin
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted
Get answers to your questions about Northern Territory
Recent Conversations