You simply must see this amazing area of Australia. Nature at it's best!
Welcome aboard our scenic Across the Top Tour. This afternoon we enjoy a leisurely journey to Melbourne for our Overnight Stay at Best Western Airport Motel.
After breakfast we transfer you to Tullamarine Airport for an early morning flight to Darwin. You will be met on arrival by your coach crew and enjoy a short introductory tour of Darwin, our most northerly capital city, once devastated by Cyclone Tracy. This evening we end our day with a memorable Sunset Dinner Cruise on Darwin Harbour. The Next Three Nights are at the Adina Vibe Hotel, Darwin.
Today we explore Darwin taking in all its highlights. We inspect the World War II gun emplacements at East Point, and enjoy the beautiful Botanic Gardens. The Botanical Gardens were founded in 1886, with plantings for ornamental & scientific purposes, including baobab & palm trees. See Fannie Bay and visit the Darwin Museum, a unique complex showing the life and history of Northern Territory. Maybe a little time to shop and explore before returning to our motel to freshen up for dinner. The Mindil Beach Market is on tonight for those that may be interested.
This morning and enjoy a visit to the Territory Wildlife Park. See the native wildlife in its natural habitat, unique to the Northern Territory. We visit Litchfield National Park which is a must see if you are in the Top End. Its home to several stunning waterfalls that cascade into crystal clear pools, iconic magnetic termite mounds and clusters of weathered sandstone pillars at the Lost City. The park covers approx. 1500 sq km and contains representative examples of most of the Top Ends natural habitats, intriguing magnetic termite mounds and historical sites. Whilst shady monsoon forest walks provide retreats from the heat of the day. We return to Darwin to our motel for dinner.
This morning after breakfast we depart for Kakadu and visit Window on the Wetlands Visitor Centre which is perched on Beatrice Hill, one of the highest points on the Adelaide River floodplain. Window on the Wetlands provides an introduction to the northern coastal wetlands. There are interactive displays about the ecological processes that occur in the wetlands, the seasonal changes and the abundant wildlife. The Ubirr Art Site is the next visit on our itinerary. At Ubirr (prounounced oo-bir) you can see a range of different art styles and how new paintings are often superimposed over older ones. Stories about behaviour and law are told at the Mabuyu, Namarrgarn Sisters and Rainbow Serpent paintings. We then move onto Kakadu for our stay at the Gagudju Crocodile Inn for the next two nights.
After a satisfying breakfast we depart for the Kakadu Airport where we delight in a 30 minute Scenic Flight taking in the sights of Ancient escarpments, winding rivers, spectacular 1.8 billion years of continuous erosion, billabongs, flood plains, view the Archway, Arnhem Land Escarpments, East Alligator Valley, Mikinj Valley Billabongs and Magela Floodplains. We visit Bowali Visitor Centre, named after the Bowali Creek which flows nearby, the centres long linear design was inspired by an Aboriginal Rock Shelter. The Bowali Visitor Centre contains a wealth of information about Kakadu. This afternoon we arrive at Yellow Water Cruises for a spectacular journey through Kakadus wetlands. Yellow Water Billabong is at the heart of Kakadu offering a remarkable journey through the regions wetlands, with its rich wildlife, dramatic scenery and ever changing landscape. If time permits we visit Nourlangie Rock while on our return to our motel for dinner.
Breakfast time! This morning we travel to Pine Creek and then onto Katherine for an early lunch. We then enjoy the spectacular Katherine Gorge Cruise, now called Nitmiluk. Enjoy a detailed commentary from our guide and see the ancient rock walls ablaze with brilliant colour, dotted with caves and Aboriginal paintings. Next, we visit Mataranka Thermal Pool which is a 500m waterway fed by an underground spring that gently flows down a watercourse lined with cabbage palms. Mataranka Thermal Pool is another favourite and known for its warm springs, which are around 30C and pump out 30.5 mega litres of water each day. We also visit Elsey Homestead before making our way to our overnight accommodation at Territory Manor Motor Inn, Mataranka
Following breakfast, we travel out to Elsey Cemetery then continue down to Daly Waters Hotel where we purchase a takeaway lunch (own expense). We eat our lunch enroute as we make our to Cape Crawford. On arrival in Cape Crawford we board our Scenic flights to the Lost City. The Lost City is a collection of rock formations that have been left behind as the softer sandstone cap of the table top range eroded away. The Lost City became famous with the old wagon road used by early pioneers passing through this rock formation. Tonight we stay at the Heartbreak Hotel, where we enjoy our evening meal.
We leave early this morning heading down the Tablelands highway towards Barkly Homestead for Lunch. We then travel the Barkly Highway into Camooweal for our overnight stay at the Post Office Hotel/Motel, Camooweal.
Today we travel to Mount Isa and experience a tour of the Hard Times Mine which offers a truly authentic modern mining experience. The visit takes visitors 25 metres underground to experience the realities of a miners working day. We have time to explore the info centre on completion and have lunch here. We then venture underground at Mount Isa Underground Hospital and discover how residents lived in fear of being bombed. With the advent of World War II and the bombing of the Darwin Hospital, precautions were taken to protect Mount Isa district hospital in the event of an air raid. We explore the town before heading to Cloncurry for overnight stay at the Gidgee Motor Inn, Cloncurry.
This morning we visit the John Flynn Museum before travelling the path first ventured by Burke and Wills, to Karumba located on the Gulf of Carpentaria, renowned for its large prawn fishing fleet. We make our way to Karumba and enjoy a spectacular sunset cruise. Our Overnight Stay is at the Karumba Lodge Motel Karumba.
We farewell Karumba and make our way to Normanton where we ride the Historic Gulflander Train before continuing onto Croydon, once a booming goldfield. Then its on through Georgetown to Mt. Surprise.
Our Overnight Accommodation is at Undara Lava Lodge Undara (unique accommodation).
A unique experience today as we visit the most spectacular geological feature of Australia the Undara Lava Tubes. Our Gulf Savannah Guide escorts us through the ancient Lava flow, explaining this rare phenomenon. A chance to walk inside these mysterious tunnels is truly an exhilarating experience. We make our way to the Atherton Tablelands where we visit the famous Curtain Fig Tree - a photographers delight. We continue onto Cairns and settle in for the next Three Nights at the lovely Oasis Resort, right in the heart of Cairns.
Today is all about choices. Relax at the Resort, explore Cairns or take a flight or cruise out to the Great Barrier Reef (own cost). Dinner tonight is at the Resort.
A relaxing start today before we travel via the Skyrail to Kuranda where we explore the variety shops and famous Kuranda Markets. Then we make our way to the picturesque Kuranda Railway Station for an exciting ride on one of the worlds most spectacular rail journeys via Barron Falls and Gorge as we enjoy magnificent views over Trinity Bay to Cairns. Return to our Resort in time to freshen up for Dinner.
After Breakfast we travel to the airport for our flight to Melbourne. On arrival in Melbourne we are met by a Cardwells representative who will escort us home to our respective destinations, after a thoroughly informative and enjoyable trip Across the Top.