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4-5 day driving loop from Darwin, 2WD, late April-May?

Los Angeles...
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4-5 day driving loop from Darwin, 2WD, late April-May?

Just starting to plan, I am not sure if I'll allow 4 or 5 nights in this area, depending on other stuff.

Our interests are long hikes and wildlife, shouldn't be a problem in this area!

I'm having a bit of trouble figuring out where to stay, hotels seem to be limited, and I'm not at all sure if I want to cram in Katherine. Figuring that we would arrive in Darwin at 2pm on Day 1, should we overnight in Darwin and get an early start the next day, or where could we get to before dark? The flight back to Sydney leaves at 2 or 3 pm on the last day, so we could sleep where and sightsee what before we head to the airport?

Would a couple nights at Jabiru and a couple at Cooinda give us a good base? It looks like Cooinda is only a couple of hours back to Darwin.

Thanks for your help in giving me a start. I am replanning this trip after having to cancel a November trip to reef/rock/Sydney area, the usual, this time around I am seriously considering cancelling the Uluru part and spending lots of time at the Top End, a friend of mine says we'd love it, we love wildlife and nature.

Darwin
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1. Re: 4-5 day driving loop from Darwin, 2WD, late April-May?

Personally I wouldn't do Katherine and you could certainly get to cooinda or Jabiru on your first day just be careful on the roads and don't rush. Spend some time around noarlangine rock, yellow water cruise, then head back to Litchfield for some more walks. You will have a great time. Lou darwin

Melbourne, Australia
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2. Re: 4-5 day driving loop from Darwin, 2WD, late April-May?

we stayed at Argus apartments, very nice and really central. We had a three bedroom and shared with two other couples but still lots of room. Booked direct with them.

Shame on missing out on Katherine Gorge. We did a day trip down there and certainly not to be missed. We also did Litchfield which was fabulous. did not get to Kakadu this visit as primary purpose of visit was to watch son at sporting event.

Edited: 17 October 2013, 03:09
Darwin, Australia
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3. Re: 4-5 day driving loop from Darwin, 2WD, late April-May?

Cooinda is at least a 3,5 hour trip back to darwin. iT depends on what traffic like road trains you encounter etc.

If one of your goals is to. See some of darwin then I would stay one night when you arrive you can squeeze a fair few things in town as all so close . Head out to kakadu for 3-4 days and one in litchfield-which is close 1.5 hrs to darwin.

I would do 1 Jabaru and two at cooinda

Maybe you want to try a day trip to Arnhem Land which includes Ubirr .

Absolutely agree that no point rushing thru kakadu to get in Katherine as well as there is lots to see in kakadu.

If you don't have the vehicle which allows you access to JIm JIm etc think about a day tour there as well

Darwin, Australia
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4. Re: 4-5 day driving loop from Darwin, 2WD, late April-May?

I would focus your time on Kakadu, with maybe a day at Litchfield. Trying to fit in Katherine would make the trip too rushed.

There are lots of great walks in Kakadu, and a wetland cruise such as Yellow Water is a great way to see some wildlife.

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5. Re: 4-5 day driving loop from Darwin, 2WD, late April-May?

Personal point of view - going to Kakadu and not visiting Jim Jim Falls and Twin Falls is like going to Arizona and not seeing the Grand Canyon.

If you don't have a suitable 4WD then definitely go on a tour. It's a decent hike in and out but truly amazing.

Edited: 17 October 2013, 10:47
Los Angeles...
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6. Re: 4-5 day driving loop from Darwin, 2WD, late April-May?

Thanks everybody, this is just the information I was looking for. Now that I have a framework, I can have fun filling in the details!

Darwin, Australia
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7. Re: 4-5 day driving loop from Darwin, 2WD, late April-May?

Just a couple of notes on the other posters comments- The day trips to Arnhem land do not include Ubirr. Ubirr is in Kakadu. The access road into Arnhemland, at Cahills Crossing, opens generally at some point in April (it's different every year, depending on conditions) so May would be safer. Jim Jm and Twin falls do not open until at least June. Untl then you can take a scenic flight over them which is awesome.Depending on the wet season, most of the waterfalls in Litchfield should be open. Gunlom waterfall in Kakadu (4WD only) should be open but Maguk waterfall will likely not be. Ubirr and Nourlangie art sites should both be open as well as Nawalandja lookout. Fogg Dam wetlands are only an hour from Darwin on the way to Kakadu and are a good spot for a leg stretch, offering some good bird watching opportunities. It would be a shame to miss Katherine- Nitmiluk Gorge is stunning and is home to an array of wildlife (birds, wallabies, crocs, fruit bats). Hope this helps.

8. Re: 4-5 day driving loop from Darwin, 2WD, late April-May?

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