Suggestions for 5 nights in the Top End?

Jan 24th, 2003, 10:07 AM
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Suggestions for 5 nights in the Top End?

Thanks to all who have helped with my numerous itinerary questions so far

We are finalizing our plans, and I am looking for suggestions for a good 5 day intinerary (in July) starting and ending in Darwin. We would prefer to self-drive (not a camping tour).

Jan 24th, 2003, 10:51 AM
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Mary River National Park (Window on the Wetlands)
Kakadu National Park
Mamukala Wetlands (may be too dry)
Jim Jim
Cooinda/Yellow Water (may be too dry)
Katherine - Nitmiluk National Park
Jan 24th, 2003, 11:04 AM
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Start your day very early - before dawn and head for Fog Dam so that you are there for dawn ( locals will tell you where it is but its on the way to Kakadu). There must be millions of birds that take off when the sun comes up and the noise is something else - it is an amazing sight. We used to go and take a champagne breakfast but presumably you won't be doing that as you will want to head on to Kakadu. Not far from Fog Dam and on the way to K is a nice road house where you can have breakfast and you should arrive at the East Alligator River in time for the lunch cruise on the river - they used to do a bbq lunch of Buff and Barra ( Buffalo and Barramundi) but I don't know about the buff any more. Believe me it was something really special. After that cruise carry on to perhaps the Hotel ( folks help me out here with the name and place - that is shaped in the form of a crocodile). The next day you should have time to visit the rock art, Twin falls and have a wonderful swim, and head back to Yellow Waters for the evening cruise on the water - you may wish to turn that around depending on distances and do the Yellow Waters cruise in the morning and the other after that.
Depending on how you feel you could either drive back that evening to Darwin or stay another night in Kakadu.
If you are in Darwin for a Thursday night ( again I am not sure if its Thursday or Wednesday) then a *must do* is the Mindel Beach markets. Arrive about 5PM and get a nice spot, take your wine and taste the wonderful food from the 100 or so stalls and watch the sunset over the Arafura Sea. There is certainly a day or more you can fill in, in and around Darwin.
Take another day to explore Litchfield National Park.
Another 2 days for Kathrine Gorge and Mataranka Springs if you have the time.
So you have 2 days for Kakadu - 1 day in Darwin - 1 or 2 days for Kathrine and you could use that second day at Litchfield.
Enjoy the top end it is very different and even the town/city centre is kind of unique. In Town, by the way, is a restaurant which does Asain stir frys and you can pick what ingredients you want which can include - emu, croc, buff, kangaroo, and several other Aussie specialities which are very nice. Again ask the locals as its been a while since I lived there and I have forgotten distances and names of places.
Have fun!!!!
Jan 26th, 2003, 08:42 PM
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The local aborigine community run boat trips on the East Alligator River (about 30 minutes from Jabiru). We found it very un-commercial and interesting - I think it was about $25/30 each.
The jumping croc boat trips are very touristy.
Mindil Beach market is on Thursday and Sunday evenings in the season. Get there by bus if you can as cars are parked for miles around. The atmosphere and food are great. Another good market is Parap on Saturday morning - great for breakfast or lunch.
The museum at Fanny Bay in Darwin is excellent, particularly the Cyclone Tracy exhibit.
We were at Windows on the Wetlands in July and it was bone-dry, but it is only a short drive from the main highway so worth trying.
Litchfield is definitely worth a visit - make sure you have your swimsuit with you.
The Territory Wildlife is good plus you can make a detour to Berry Springs park next door for a swim in warm water.
A must is the rock art at Nourlangie Rock.
At Mataranka, there are two hot springs. The one at the homestead can be quite crowded, so you could try Bitter Springs at the north end of town.
Jan 27th, 2003, 08:11 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 137
Thanks for the replies! Here are some thoughts for this itinerary:

Thurs: Arrive in Darwin from
Alice Springs
- Mindil Beach market
Fri: Wake early and drive to Kakadu
via Fogg Dam
- explore Kakadu
Sat: Explore Kakadu
Sun: Drive to Katherine
- visit Park
Mon: Drive to Litchfield &
explore Park
- Drive to Darwin to sleep
Tues: Leave Darwin for AM flight to

Does this sound like a good route? Does anyone know where I can find driving distances and times?


KEC is offline  

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