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Does my Darwin/Kakadu/Katherine itinerary make sense?

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boston, ma
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Does my Darwin/Kakadu/Katherine itinerary make sense?

I've come up with this itinerary, we don't have a lot of time, 3 days, do I have too many cruises? Have I missed something I could fit in? Should I take something out? We are first time visitors going in July. Thanks!

Day 1: Darwin - Kakadu

Leave Darwin around 8:00am?

9am10am Jumping Crocodile Cruise

11-1:00 pm Drive to Kakadu National Park to

1:30-2:30 Visit the Bowali Visitor Centre

3:00 Take the Guluyambi Cruise along the East Alligator River 1 hour 45 minutes

5:00 Stop at Ubirr to see Aboriginal rock art (1km drive based on dry road, climb up for viewing)

Drive to Jabiru

Day 2: Kakadu - Katherine

9:00-11am Cruise on the Yellow Water Billabong and watch for saltwater crocodiles 88.00

11:15-12:00 Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre..

12:30-1:30Take a guided walk to view Aboriginal rock art at Nourlangie Rock.

1:30-5:30 Drive to Katherine

Evening in Katherine?

Day 3: Katherine

9am-11 Katherine River Cruise

11:30 -1:00 Hike Northern Rockhole and Jatbula Trail

Drive back to Darwin

5:00 Darwin Harbor Cruise

Edited: 23 October 2012, 20:04
Sydney, New South...
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1. Re: Does my Darwin/Kakadu/Katherine itinerary make sense?

Definitely too many cruises. Just do the jumping croc one.

Must-see places:

Howard Springs (near Darwin)

Mataranka Springs (heading south)

Douglas Hot Springs (further down south) and the walk to Butterfly Gorge is awesome

Katherine - swim the gorges or take a tour up a few of them. Better yet, do the helicopter ride over Katherine Gorge.

I could go on and recommend a bunch of things but your time is limited. And be sure to drop in on http://www.dining-downunder.com/shop and order a few Australian wild foods to be sent home for yourself, family and friends . That way you'll be able to take a taste of the Outback for them.

Melb
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2. Re: Does my Darwin/Kakadu/Katherine itinerary make sense?

I'd pick the Yellow Waters cruise before the Jumping crocs myself if you wanted to cut one out.. actually I'd be cutting the Darwin harbour one but that just me. I wouldn't be going south of Katherine either. We enjoyed Fogg Dam on the way from Darwin to Kakadu. Stopping off at Berry Springs (easier and quicker to get to than into Litchfield) for a swim on the way back could be included to. Otherwise quite do-able IMO.

Edited: 25 October 2012, 07:20
Darwin, Australia
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3. Re: Does my Darwin/Kakadu/Katherine itinerary make sense?

Wow..you certainly have this planned to the minute!

I would eliminate the Adelaide river cruise and do sunrise yellow water cruise.

As your time is limited , get up early and use the time better.

Do not go to mataranka as u don't have time. There are ok springs in Katherine you can swim in which are nice and clear as well.

The drive from Katherine to darwin is 3 hours. However you may like to cut out the harbour cruise in darwin- not overly interesting and visit the war cemetery at Adelaide river.

If its views of darwin you want, then spend the evening at the darwin sailing club and have dinner, watch the sunset. Perfect.

Whe does the guyulambi cruise leave from? As xif you are coming from BOwali centre , it is about 45km drive at a slower speed, as there are a few small water crossings. Don't think you can travel along there at 130kmph!

When you come back from ubirr you will be driving in the dark- so once again you do need to take care, especially if you car does not have extra driving lights.

On your way to Kakadu ,as I said , leave the cruise out and stop at the wetlands centre and then at MArmakuka wetlands for a lovely view of wildlife etc.

Have you allowed enough time for your hike at Katherine?

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Does my Darwin/Kakadu/Katherine itinerary make sense?

If you have to cut out a cruise I would agree with it being the Jumping crocs. The Yellow Waters crusie is a Kakadu "must see" IMHO.

You might be interested in reading my trip report from our NT holiday this July tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g255062-i1008-k…

Australia
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5. Re: Does my Darwin/Kakadu/Katherine itinerary make sense?

We did some similar days on our trip to Darwin recently. See trip report under my link if interested. I definitely think you have too much on however the highlights are definitely achievable, have made some suggestions on how I think your itinerary cold work

Day 1: Darwin - Kakadu

Leave Darwin around 8:00am? Suggest earlier start so not cutting times so tight

9am10am Jumping Crocodile Cruise

Drive to Kakadu National Park

Visit the Bowali Visitor Centre

Stop at Ubirr to see Aboriginal rock art (1km drive based on dry road, climb up for viewing)

Drive to Jabiru

Day 2: Kakadu - Katherine

Consider doing the sunrise Cruise on the Yellow Water Billabong , amazing start to morning watch sunrise over billabongs, crocs and birds active

visit Aboriginal rock art at Nourlangie Rock.

Drive to Katherine for evening river cruise. Don't stay in Katherine stay in park near gorges

Day 3

Hike Northern Rockhole and Jatbula Trail

Drive back to Darwin

Darwin Harbor Cruise

Edited: 24 October 2012, 6:04

boston, ma
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6. Re: Does my Darwin/Kakadu/Katherine itinerary make sense?

Thanks everyone. Do I have my locations in proper order? I'm generally very organized, so I like to have things planned.

The Guluyambi East Alligator cruise leaves from the Upper Boat Ramp in

Jabiru. How far is the welcome center from Jabiru time wise? It would seem that Ubirr is between the Welcome center & Jabiru?

We will skip the jumping crocs and plan to leave Darwin at 8am, arriving at the welcome center around 11 or sooner, so that should push our activities up by a few hours?

We can skip the harbor cruise and plan on dinner at the sailing club, I like that idea.

The butterfly gorge walk looks very nice, where exactly is it? Is it very close to the Katherine river cruise? I had thought about the breakfast cruise, but I don't want to get up that early :)

How much time would you suggest for the Katherine hike?

Off to read your trip reports, thanks everyone!

Edited: 26 October 2012, 19:32
boston, ma
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7. Re: Does my Darwin/Kakadu/Katherine itinerary make sense?

I was mistaken, the Guluyambi East Alligator cruise leaves from the Upstream Boat Ramp on the East Alligator River.

It looks like we should stop in at the Mamukala lookout en route to the Visitor Center, how far off the main road would that be?

Sydney, Australia
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8. Re: Does my Darwin/Kakadu/Katherine itinerary make sense?

Not very far at all, less than 1km from memory. I would recommend downloading the visitor guide environment.gov.au/parks/…visitor-guide.pdf

Darwin, Australia
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9. Re: Does my Darwin/Kakadu/Katherine itinerary make sense?

MArmakuka is not far of f the main road and you could stay there about 30 mins , by the time you read the info and have a look. It's only a short walk to the viewing building.

Ubirr is a left hand turnoff from the Arnhem highway . 40 Kim's or so and you will be there.

Ubirr is before the turnoff to BOwali. So you do backtrack if you go to BOwali first and then back up to ubirr.

BOwali is on the main road. environment.gov.au/parks/…jabiru.html

Just another thing, give yourself some time to get to the cruise without rushing on the ubirr road, there are some interesting things to enjoy as you go including the border store.

I would personally make the effort for the sunrise cruise - it's worth the effort and I'm not a morning person either!

Sailing club is casual and we are not talking about a posh expensive place! It does however have the perfect location, great views and good food.

Enjoy

Edited: 27 October 2012, 12:25
Sydney, Australia
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10. Re: Does my Darwin/Kakadu/Katherine itinerary make sense?

Definitely have a vino & dinner at the sailing club its fab for watching the sunset.

Another vote for doing a Cruise on the Yellow Water - The sunrise or sunset cruise's are fab.. its excellent if you can do 2 cruises to see the changes in the landscape & wildlife in the morning & early evening.