You’ve arrived in Darwin – it’s yours to explore. Spend the day at your leisure before checking in to your accommodation.
OVERNIGHT: 2 nights Double Tree by Hilton Esplanade (or similar)
DARWIN, DARWIN HARBOUR DINNER CRUISE
Take in the top sights of this tropical city on a morning tour, including the Stokes Hill Wharf area, Botanic Gardens, the Chinese Temple, the Mooring Basin, and Museum andArt Gallery of the Northern Territory, plus Darwin AviationMuseum. In the evening, admire a spectacular sunset while feasting on a Territory-style dinner featuring local seafood and produce on a Darwin Harbour Sunset Cruise, (B, D).
DARWIN TO KAKADU NATIONAL PARK
Depart Darwin heading towards Kakadu National Park. Much of the route is along the Arnhem highway, passing the productive region of Humpty Do, where a vast array of tropical fruits is grown, and crossing the Adelaide River, with its vast wetlands, which attract migratory birds. At theMary River, take to the water on a cruise that showcases the local wildlife, including saltwater crocodiles and the abundance of birdlife in the region.Continuing east, you’ll arrive at World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park and check in to the Crocodile Hotel atJabiru, so named for the crocodile shape it takes. (B,L,D)*During March and April, the cruise will be on Adelaide River, with crossings at Mary River, West & South Alligator Rivers.
OVERNIGHT: 2 nights at Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel*Due to availability, some stays may be at Cooinda Lodge
KAKADU NATIONAL PARK TO DARWIN
Begin the day with a drive to the East Alligator River region, known as the gateway to Arnhem Land. Arnhem Land. Take a walk to the World Heritage Ubirr art site, home to some of the world’s most outstanding rock art. There will be time for those feeling fit to climb to the top of the escarpment for a magnificent view across the Magela floodplain.TOP END EXPLORER ext up, take a local indigenous cruise on the East AlligatorRiver. Hear the stories of the region as you spot the large saltwater crocodiles that dwell in these waters. Returning to our sturdy yet comfortable vehicle, we’ll traverse Cahill’sCrossing to visit the town of Oenpelli, stopping at the Injalak gallery to admire the indigenous artworks.
Returning to Jabiru, you’ll gain another perspective on the incredible environments you experienced today on a 30-minute scenic flight that takes you over ancient escarpments, floodplains and winding rivers and exhibits the results of 1.8 billion years of continuous erosion. This flight includes live commentary from your pilot as you glide over these spectacular ancient lands. (B,L,D)**During March and April, touring may visit Nourlangie Rock Art, and the Bowali Visitor Centre, and cruise theSouth Alligator River in place of Ubirr, Injalak Gallery and cruising the East Alligator River. The order of sites is subject to change according to weather conditions.
KAKADU NATIONAL PARK, LITCHFIELD NATIONAL PARK, DARWIN
Check out after breakfast to return to the Arnhem highway, diverting towards the town of Batchelor, the gateway to Litchfield National Park. Litchfield National Park contains several types of typical Top End habitats, including lush monsoon forests, termite mounds, unusual rock formations, waterfalls, and cascades. Your first stop is Florence Falls, but one waterfall is never enough, so you’ll continue on to Wangi Falls. After a light lunch, you can take a dip in the large, crystal-clear pool of the waterfall before returning to Darwin and checking in to your hotel. (B, L)
OVERNIGHT: 1 night DoubleTree by Hilton Esplanade Darwin (or similar)
BOARD THE GHAN EXPEDITION IN DARWIN
Settle into the comforts of The Ghan, relax in your cabin or mingle with fellow travellers in the Outback ExplorerLounge. Enjoy lunch ahead of your Off Train Experience inKatherine. In a region renowned for jaw-dropping natural assets, Katherine boasts one of the Top End’s best – the incredible Nitmiluk Gorge. (B, L, D)
OVERNIGHT: 3 nights The Ghan
THE GHAN EXPEDITION, ALICE SPRINGS
Your arrival into Alice Springs after breakfast provides you with time to explore this iconic town in the red heart of Australia. Your Off Train Experience choices today include visiting the spectacular Alice Springs Desert Park andReptile Centre, walking Simpsons Gap, or exploring the historic Telegraph Station and Royal Flying Doctor Service.In the evening, dine under a blanket of stars at the AliceSprings Telegraph Station. (B, L, D)
THE GHAN EXPEDITION, COOBER PEDY
From your morning stop at Manguri, you’ll venture into the weird and wonderful opal mining township of Coober Pedy, where more than half of the residents live underground. Here, you’ll enjoy a day of discovery, and a gourmet lunch in the most unique of locations: underground. Dinner is served back on the train, where you can enjoy a nightcap as your journey continues. (B,L,D)
THE GHAN EXPEDITION, ADELAIDE
This morning, you’ll see a dramatic change in landscape as the rich ochre tones of the outback make way for the green fields of South Australia. Enjoy a leisurely brunch as you pass through the majestic Flinders Ranges before your arrival into Adelaide, completing one of the world’s great rail experiences. (B)