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5 Day Darwin, Kakadu and Litchfield Tour

4 nights, Darwin to Darwin

5 Day Darwin, Kakadu and Litchfield Tour

The Northern Territory offers contrasting landscapes of red deserts, clear waterholes, and tropical wetlands. This 5 day escape is exactly that, taking you into some of the most remote landscapes on earth. From the cultural melting pot of Darwin, journey into Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks and connect with the oldest living culture on Earth. Witness crocodiles in their natural habitat, be dwarfed by Magnetic Termite Mounds and see how the local Aboriginal communities have lived and thrived for thousands of years.

Tour map

Included in this New Zealand self drive holiday

  • This New Zealand holiday starts at price per person (see details)
  • 5 days / 4 nights from Darwin to Darwin
  • Accommodation is Hotel 3-4 star (can be customised)
  • A superb range of rental cars to choose from
  • Rental car insurance with full coverage (variable excess/deductible)
  • Unlimited kilometres, GPS navigation, airport and ferry fees
  • Can be fully customised to suit you
Tour map
 

Day 1 - Arrive into Darwin

Itinerary information by APP & in country support

Access to our exclusive Touring App. The App includes your full itinerary and reservation details, all available online and offline as well as lots of other great information such as restaurant guides, weather forecasts, and local activity suggestions. Instant itinerary updates and changes are available and it's easy to keep in touch with us. The App is free and easy to download on your mobile using Android or IOS.
You also have access to our free call number and after-hours service if you require support while on tour.

Collect your rental car

Your holiday can be customised and priced with any of the rental cars available in our fantastic range, from economy hatchbacks to prestige sedans and SUVs.

Arrive into Darwin

Welcome to the Northern Territory's unhurried capital, Darwin. The city is a melting pot of cultures, with an array of Aboriginal cultures and languages as well as strong Asian influences in its cuisine, thanks to its close proximity to Asia. Spend a balmy night at the buzzing night markets, see crocodiles up close, or slow things down with a cruise on the harbour.

Crocosaurus Cove - General Admission - suggested

Be introduced to the World’s largest display of Australian reptiles and some of the largest Saltwater Crocodiles in the world, right in the heart of Darwin City. Crocosaurus Cove is passionate about showcasing the huge array of reptiles found primarily in the Top End of Australia. Meet a variety of critters that you are likely to encounter at various times of the year across the Kimberley, Kakadu & Litchfield National Parks and Arnhem Land regions and further afield to the Central Australian desert. It is these unique landscapes that are home to the many varieties of species that you will encounter at Crocosaurus Cove. From the freshwater aquarium’s Barramundi, Whipray & Turtles to 70 reptile species on display in the Reptile House and the active juvenile crocodiles in the Fishing for Crocs area, Crocosaurus Cove provides the perfect introduction to your Northern Territory adventure.

Accommodation: Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront

Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 11 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 2-5 mins
  • Parking: onsite paid parking
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Restaurant on site
  • Breakfast service available
  • Dinner service available
  • Bar on site
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Room service available
  • Hair Dryer
  • Gym/fitness centre
  • All rooms non smoking

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Day 2 - Drive from Darwin to Jabiru in Kakadu National Park

Driving distance and time: 315 kms / 195 miles : 3.4 hours

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

Darwin to Cooinda Lodge via Burrungkuy

Set off from Darwin eastbound towards Humpty Doo and keep an eye out for the Big Boxing Crocodile as you travel along the highway. After about 32km, you will reach the town of Wak Wak, where you can join a Spectacular Jumping Crocodile Cruise. Seize the opportunity to get up close and personal with these giant, prehistoric creatures from the safety of your boat. This one hour cruise will take you out on the Adelaide River and entice crocodiles up to 6 metres long to jump.
If you're interested in learning more about the local culture, head down the road to the family-run Pudakul Aboriginal Cultural Tours where you will learn about local bush food and medicine, weaving, spear throwing, and playing the didgeridoo.
When you are ready, continue travelling east on Arnhem Highway. Mary River National Park is a beautiful wetland reserve located down the road from Wak Wak. Bird lovers will be spoiled with the diversity of species living here and will have plenty of opportunities to spot them while cruising the billabongs. For the anglers out there you can also enjoy world-class fishing, with the opportunity to catch barramundi, getting up to 1.4m in length!
From here it is a very straightforward drive to Jabiru, the main township of Kakadu National Park. Before leaving town, stroll down the Bowali Track to the Bowali Visitor Centre and get some great local tips on what you can do and see in the region. There is also some beautiful art on display at the Marrawuddi Gallery before journeying south to explore the Yellow Water and Mary River regions of Kakadu.
Your first stop is to Burrungkuy (Nourlangie), where you will find a painting of the culturally important creation ancestor Namarrgon (Lightning Man). From the carpark, take the walking track to see the painting. If time allows, explore some of the other scenic walks that showcase the biodiversity and beautiful landscapes that make up this part of the Arnhem Land escarpment.
Continue on the Kakadu Highway towards Cooinda Lodge. If you have extra time in the region and you are looking for some hikes to do, the Mirrai Lookout Trail is not far from Burrungkuy but it is a steep and challenging track. Those who complete it will be rewarded with some expansive 360 degree views of the park. The 2km track takes a moderately fit person 1.5 hours to complete. Be sure to have adequate sun protection, sturdy footwear, and lots of water as it can get very hot here, particularly in October and November leading up to monsoon season.
While you are here, doing a Yellow Water Cruise is a must-do. Cruising along the beautiful billabong to find sea eagles, jacanas, brolgas, crocodiles, and buffalo.

Yellow Water Cruise

Cruise Kakadu's most famous wetland and see the billabong come alive. Located at the end of the Jim Jim Creek, Yellow Water is part of the South Alligator River system. This river system is unique as it is included in its entirety within a UNESCO World Heritage listed National Park.
Kakadu is home to over 280 different species of birds being around a third of the bird species found in Australia. Kakadu National Park has such a large footprint that multiple ecosystems and habitats exist within its border providing a home for the many species that live in the Park.

Accommodation: Cooinda Lodge

Accommodation type: Hotel 3 star

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 10 am
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Restaurant on site
  • Swimming pool
  • All rooms non smoking

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Day 3 - Head back to Darwin today

Driving distance and time: 292 kms / 182 miles : 3.1 hours

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

Cooinda to Darwin

Head north back to Jabiru, before turning off to go west on the Arnhem Highway past the Mamukala Wetlands and Mary River National Park as you head towards Darwin. If you're interested in learning more about the local culture, head down the road to the family-run Pudakul Aboriginal Cultural Tours where you will learn about local bush food and medicine, weaving, spear throwing, and playing the didgeridoo.
Your journey ends in Darwin, a city full of contrasts with Asian-influenced food and its unique tropical lifestyle. While you're here, take time to learn about the history of Darwin's recovery after it was bombed in 1942 during World War II, and when Cyclone Tracy ripped through the city in 1974.

60 Minute Scenic Heli Tour of Litchfield National Park with Nautilus Aviation - suggested

Covering an area of more than 1500km2, exploring Litchfield by scenic helicopter is the practical choice, providing a true appreciation of the scale and variety of the National Parks unique landscape while ensuring you don’t miss any of the highlights!

Charles Darwin Dinner Cruise with Darwin Harbour Cruises - suggested

With beautiful views of the Top End city, there is no better way to experience Darwin’s renowned sunsets than on board the Charles Darwin. Enjoy a Territory-style dinner with fresh seafood and local produce. This two and a half hour cruise is the perfect way to experience Darwin’s world-famous sunsets.

Accommodation: Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront

Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star

Meals included: Breakfast

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Day 4 - Explore the incredible Litchfield National Park

Driving distance and time: 279 kms / 173 miles : 3.5 hours

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

Darwin to Litchfield National Park

Just a 1.5-hour drive from Darwin lies Litchfield National Park. Get up early and pack a picnic and your swimwear to make the most of your day by exploring the highlights of this incredible national park.
Heading towards Batchelor, your first stop will be one of Litchfield’s most impressive sights, the Magnetic Termite Mounds. These stand up to two metres (6.5 feet) high and can be more than 100 years old. Stop by the nearby information centre to learn about the fascinating creates that build these natural structures.
Just ten minutes further down the road will bring you to Florence Falls, your first chance to pop in for a swim or to dip your feet in the refreshing water today. From the Florence Falls car park, walk just three minutes to a viewing platform that offers breathtaking views over the gorge and pools below. Continue down the staircase to be met with a crystal-clear plunge pool, along with two cascading waterfalls – they’re especially impressive after the wet season ends in April.
From Florence Falls, choose between driving a few minutes down the road, or taking the 3.2-kilometre (two-mile) walking track that connects to Buley Rockhole. Buley Rockhole is a series of natural pools that flow from one to the next.
The next stop is the one waterfall not to be missed in Litchfield, Wangi Falls. Located 25 minutes drive from Buley Rockhole, the falls are home to a picnic area and a café, but what makes this place a must-do is its incredible natural beauty. Two breathtaking waterfalls plunge over the rock escarpments and splash into the waterhole below. From Wangi it is a one and a half hour drive back to Darwin.

Accommodation: Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront

Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star

Meals included: Breakfast

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Day 5 - Depart Darwin

Depart Darwin today

Explore more of Darwin before dropping your rental car at the airport depot and continuing your onward journey.

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