We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

3 days - day-by-day?

NY
Level Contributor
243 posts
2 reviews
Save Topic
3 days - day-by-day?

Hello,

I am arriving to Darwin on 20.10 at 1pm, renting a car, so I should be ready to start travelling around 2pm. I would like to drive to Kakadu, from there to Litchfield and back to Darwin.

Flying out from Darwin at 6pm on 23.10.

What is the best way to organize this day-by-day? Where to spend nights? I will have no camping equipment. What to see each day? (I like fast pace and don't mind a lot of driving)

Should I spend first night at Jabiru? I guess I will be there around 4:30, seems like too early to stop for the night. Can I go farther on the first day?

I saw some suggestions to drive to Arnhelmland on second day and stay at Arnhelmland Barramundi lodge. I look at the map and it seems to be out of the way. What do you think?

Is there any need to rent 4x4? I know I don't have to but will it give me possibility to go somewhere really interesting?

Tours in Australia are quite expensive, especially considering that there are 2 people, so I would like to go without tours but if there is something REALLY amazing that I cannot see myself, f.e. because it involves a boat that I do not have, please, tell me.

Thank you

Darwin, Australia
Destination Expert
for Darwin
Level Contributor
4,501 posts
50 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: 3 days - day-by-day?

First of all I would not try and fit both Kakadu and Litchfield into the time you have, there is plenty to do just in Kakadu.

But I can tell from your previous posts that you are determined to fit in as much as possible so if you really want to do it you could try this.

It will take you at least 3 hours to drive from Darwin to Jabiru. Instead of going straight to Jabiru go to Ubirr, great rock art and scenery, stay for sunset then drive to Jabiru for the night.

Day 2 drive to Nourlangie, do the walk and then drive back a little to see Anbangbang Billabong.

Drive to Batchelor - if you have time I highly recommend stopping on the drive to do a wetland cruise at Corroboree Billabong - worth the money, corroboreebillabong.com.au/corroboree-billab…

Another option is the Yellow Water cruise while you are still in Kakadu but if budget is an issue this is much more expensive. Overnight in Batchelor.

Day 3 Litchfield and back to Darwin for your flight.

You will not have time to go to Arnhem Land - you need a permit and a 4WD to do this and the driving is too far.

You will not need a 4WD for this itinerary.

Have fun

Darwin, Australia
Destination Expert
for Darwin
Level Contributor
4,501 posts
50 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: 3 days - day-by-day?

Oops I just realised you have 3 nights not 2 nights - in that case add an extra night in Kakadu, you could stop at Fogg Dam and Mamukala Wetlands on the drive to Jabiru and then save Ubirr for the afternoon of the second day. The Warradjun Cultural Centre is worth a look and there are plenty of great walks for you to choose from.

Edited: 28 September 2013, 03:10
Darwin, Australia
Destination Expert
for Darwin
Level Contributor
5,242 posts
93 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: 3 days - day-by-day?

Just a FYI- you should not drive at night - even sunset is problematic with wallabies, buffalo etc that are on the road. You will have no chance of not having a accident if you hit one.

The other issue is taking a car over the Majela creek crossing towards Ubirr. If it has been raining water levels around the area rise quickly , you will not or should not take your hire car through water crossings.

There are some good day trips y can get from within kakadu that go to Arnhem Land, oepnelli etc, and you can't reach these yourself easily. Many cars- I'm talking4wd even come unstuck at cahills crossing , including crocodile traffic- so it's not something take lighthearted.

Check out Bowali visitors centre for more information.

The trip to kakadu is at least a three hour trip. Should not be rushed As the roads are not great.

NY
Level Contributor
243 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: 3 days - day-by-day?

Shazdwin, thank you. What if I go all the way and, instead of spending second night and third day in Kakadu, drive on the second evening to Katherine, and spend the third day canoeing in Nitmuluk before driving to Litchfield? From your description, I got the impression that without 4x4 I can easily see the most interesting things in Kakadu in an evening+1 whole day.

Sydney/Melbourne
Level Contributor
18,129 posts
74 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: 3 days - day-by-day?

It depends on your definition of 'interesting'. We spent 3 nights and 4 days in Kakadu and felt we had hardly scratched the surface.

The round trip from Darwin to Kakadu, Katherine, Litchfield and back to Darwin without detouring off the highway to see anything is about 1000 km.

My own view is to see less and experience more.

NY
Level Contributor
243 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: 3 days - day-by-day?

>>We spent 3 nights and 4 days in Kakadu and felt we had hardly scratched the surface.

What would you suggest we do in Kakadu?

Sydney/Melbourne
Level Contributor
18,129 posts
74 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: 3 days - day-by-day?

What we we did:

Day 1- dove to Kakadu. Stopped at Windows on the Wetlands, did a Jumping Crocs tour (definitely do one of these - fun and informative), went to Fogg Dam. Arrived at Jabiru in time to get to Ubirr for 4:30 free ranger tour then up the escarpment for sunset.

Day 2 - Nourlangie rock art site. Ranger talk. Did the walk to Anbangang Gallery and Gun-warddehwardde lookout. Afternoon and evening at Nawurlandja lookout. Did some walks in the area including the Bubba Walk but the billabong was dried out so a very hot walk and not many birds. Lots of buffalo tracks and signs warning of activity and sightings though so a bit nerve wracking.

Day 3 - Jim-Jim Falls and Twin Falls (4WD essential).

Day 4 - Yellow Waters cruise then off to Katherine.

Things we missed out on:

More time to walk around Yellow Waters would have been good.

A day to do the Barrk walk

At least half a day to explore Gunlom

A visit to the Warradjan Cultural Centre.

A day to find a magic spot and just sit and contemplate the world.

Edited: 07 October 2013, 00:05
Darwin, Australia
Destination Expert
for Darwin
Level Contributor
5,242 posts
93 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: 3 days - day-by-day?

Narod5 There are heaps of great suggestions above as to what to do in Kakadu.

I would just say again- do not drive at night to Katherine. The roads are not lit, so its incredibly dark and its also remote with not much regarding services once you leave Cooinda to a few hundred kms to Pine Creek- which even is a tiny town.

Canoeing in the gorge is lovely- but you should do for a whole day and not the half day option. It will be very hot though with temps in the gorge over 40 degrees c. Another problem with canoeing at that time of year is the water level of the gorge has dropped and tp get to the next gorge you do need to drag your canoe over larger stretches of rocks to get to the next gorge. If you are not fit or strong its an onerous job.

As I mentioned above there are some fantastic tours which can take in Arnehm land from Jabiru and well worth it for a day trip for those without 4WD.

Fast pace is fine but please remember that the temps out in Kakadu are very high 30's now and walking in the mid day is hard work.

Darwin, Australia
Destination Expert
for Darwin
Level Contributor
4,501 posts
50 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: 3 days - day-by-day?

I would definitely not recommend trying to fit in Katherine as well. As Eva said there is so much to do in Kakadu (keep in mind this national park is roughly half the size of the country of Switzerland). In my suggested itinerary I suggested some of the interesting places in Kakadu, but by no means all of them.

Even doing both Kakadu and Litchfield in your timeframe is more than I would recommend to most people.

Many people who try and do Kakadu too fast leave disappointed. I recognise you like to travel fast, but this is one time I would really slow down a bit and enjoy.

Edited: 07 October 2013, 11:44
NY
Level Contributor
243 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: 3 days - day-by-day?

Hamiriver, you wrote that water levels in the gorge will be low. Should I expect the same of Jim Jim waterfall? Would going there still be worth it the time and $200?