How far is Kakadu from Darwin?

To drive into Kakadu from Darwin takes approximately 3 hours. Most sites throughout Kakadu are quite spread out so a couple of hours driving here and there should be expected.

When is the best time to travel?

Weather in the Northern Territory is largely dictated by the annual monsoon cycle. While November to April is referred to as the ‘wet’, and May to October is the ‘dry’ season; in the vast expanse of Kakadu National Park, the local Aboriginal people recognise six different seasons.

The wet season runs from November until April, and is characterised by high humidity, monsoonal rains and storms. Temperatures typically range from a minimum of 25°C to a maximum of 33°C.

From October to December is the season of spectacular electrical storms, an event eagerly awaited by locals who watch the show from beachside restaurants and bars.

Tours and attractions operate year round in the Top End, however, weather conditions during the wet season can restrict travel to some areas, and some destinations may be closed between December and May.

January and February is considered by many as the most beautiful time of year in the Top End. Sunny days and afternoon storms refresh the landscape, and animals and plants flourish. The rivers and waterfalls are flowing and the countryside turns a lush green. One of the best ways to appreciate these natural wonders is from the air on a scenic flight.

As the heavy rains begin to ease in March and April, the rivers subside and the transition from wet to dry begins. Fish are plentiful in the rivers and billabongs. This is considered the prime fishing time and anglers flock to the tidal rivers around Darwin to catch barramundi.

The ‘dry’ season, from May until October, is characterised by warm, dry sunny days and cool nights. Temperatures typically range from 21°C to 32°C, and humidity levels are much lower.

Darwin really comes alive at this time of year as everyone makes the most of the clear skies and heads outdoors. This is a great time to recline in a deckchair and watch a movie under the stars at the open-air Deckchair Cinema; or watch the sunset over the Indian Ocean after visiting the famous Mindil Beach Markets. It is also the perfect time to explore the more remote areas of the region that can be off-limits during the wet. The Darwin Festival, the Top End’s annual celebration of arts and culture, is held in August.

Birds in their millions converge on the diminishing waterholes and rivers in Kakadu National Park, Litchfield National Park and the Mary River wetlands during August and September. Birdwatchers come from around the world to see up to a third of Australia’s bird species congregate in one place at the Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve.

Relatively cool weather arrives in May, and until July, nights are crisp and the mornings are misty with temperatures ranging from 17-23 °C during the night and a pleasant 29-32°C degrees during the day.

Information courtesy of Australia.com

What do I need to supply on tour?

Water Bottle:

Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. We recommend at least a 1.5litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Iced cold water is supplied for refilling water bottle throughout the tour.

Batteries/Power Source:

Most of our trips have access to power to recharge batteries for phones and cameras every couple of days. We always recommend that you carry an extra battery for your camera just in case. Your vehicle will be equipped with a 12 volt “cigarette lighter” socket which may be used at the crew’s discretion, however, do bear in mind that only one piece of equipment can be charged at a time and it will not be allowed if there is a risk of running the vehicle’s batteries low. We suggest you bring a mix of normal and rechargeable batteries and the appropriate recharging unit. Most campsites have electricity for charging of batteries at the toilet blocks, However as our camps are a short walk from them, it is advise to not leave them behind.

Headlight or torch:

A headlamp or torch is recommended for around your accommodation at night. Some properties have limited lighting and are powered by generators that switch off at a certain time. It’s a good idea to bring a headlamp or torch to navigate your way around at night.

Do I need to bring my own camping equipment?

We supply all the necessary equipment to make your camping experience as comfortable as possible.

We provide swags, tents, camp chairs, cooking equipment, tables, lamps/lights, torches and eskies.

What is the group size of your tours?

12-16 pax

Do you take children?

Min age recommended for our 2021/22 tours is 15 years of age, however will take children as young as 8 years

What should I wear on tour?

We have a saying that “”A clean shirt is a cool shirt”” ensure you have a couple of light long sleeve cotton shirts. This also helps with pesky mozis in the more humid nights.
Daytime temperatures and humidity can be extreme from Oct to March with temperatures over 35 degrees Celsius. Night time temperatures can also be high at this time of year.

We recommend that you bring loose, cool, cotton clothing to protect yourself from the harsh sun. A sun hat, sunscreen, swimwear, towel, sturdy walking shoes and sunglasses are a must.

Daytime temperatures can be extreme from Oct to March with temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius. Please bring a large refillable water bottle. We strongly recommend the use of dehydration salts and sports drinks as a way to combat dehydration during times of extreme heat.

How fit do I need to be?

Kakadu, Arnhemland and Litchfield are rough and rugged stone bush country. In many of the places we access and those listed in the itinerary, there are cleared walking tracks, but not boardwalks or handrails. Some of the walks are over slippery and uneven ground, and we will always advise caution when walking over these surfaces. A reasonable level of fitness & stable footing is required for most locations in these itineraries and to make the most of the experience. Territory Expeditions has designed these tours for the fit and active.

To get the most out of this trip you need to be prepared for walks of between 3-8 km on some days. This may be on rough ground and perhaps getting feet wet in rivers and creeks. From Oct to March you will experience temperatures of over 35 degrees Celsius (and sometimes well into the 40’s) so be prepared to endure extra physical stress due to the heat at these times, especially while on walks.

These extreme outside temperatures can also place stress on the air-conditioning units within our vehicles which can make travelling uncomfortable. Your tour guide will assist with regular breaks and information to assist in keeping well hydrated.

What sort of vehicles will I be travelling in?

You will be travelling in a vehicle specifically designed and built for Australian outback conditions. All our vehicles are 4WD, air conditioned for your comfort, have Ipod connections and large panoramic windows for uninterrupted sightseeing.

What is your cancellation policy?

Travel insurance is highly recommended for all our trips, even for Australian travellers. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

Tour Departures:

  • Minimum 20% non-refundable deposit to confirm bookings of regular departures
  • All tours booked with an agent may result in an additional cancellation fee. You will be advised to contact your booking agent if you need to cancel your tour.
  • Cancellation Inside 15-30 days will incur a 50% cancellation fee.
  • Outside 30 days full refund is given.
  • Cancellations inside 14 days – 72 hours will incur a 75% cancellation fee.
  • Within 72 hours of departure of a public tour 100% cancellation fees will apply.

 Private Charters:

  • All tours booked with an agent may result in an additional fee. You will be advised to contact your booking agent if you need to cancel your tour.
  • If cancellation of a tour of private charter occurs outside 30 days from the departure date, a full refund will be given.
  • Cancellation Inside 15-30 days will incur a 50% cancellation fee.
  • Within 14 days of departure of a private charter 100% cancellation fees will apply.
  • Upon confirmation a 50% deposit is required with full payment due 30 days prior to date of departure.

What about luggage limits?

Pack only your bare essentials. Due to limited space and strict road laws limiting gross weight of vehicles, you are required to limit your luggage to one small to medium sized soft bag or backpack (max 10 kg’s) and a small daypack, which can be carried inside the vehicle. Extra luggage can usually be stored at your hotel.

Are meals included in my tour?

Hands on tours!

On most days, breakfast, lunch and dinner will be included. Your leader will prepare most of the meals whilst on tour but you will have the opportunity to assist with daily activities such as setting up camp, helping prepare meals and clearing dishes. None of this is difficult however many hands make light work and any assistance provided to crew is always much appreciated. Most people agree that this type of activity helps you feel like less of a tourist and more of an explorer.

Please budget for approximately AUD 100.00 for additional meals and expenses while on your trip which may include ice-creams, souvenirs or the purchase of a refreshing ale for the evenings campfire. If purchasing alcohol we recommend buying it in Darwin for better price and variety. There is a drinks esky provided on the vehicle. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.

I have special dietary needs - are you able to cater for me?

Passengers with special meal requirements must ensure they or their travel agent inform Territory Expeditions of this at the time of booking. Food for the trip is purchased prior to commencement and special requirements cannot be catered for after departing. Vegetarians, Celiac or those with any special meal requirements may need to provide additional assistance to the leader for meal preparation.

What type of accommodation will I get?

These are the different types of accommodation Territory Expeditions offers. This will be indicated for each tour and for each night.

Permanent Safari Tent (twin share with shared facilities)

Air-conditioned dorm accommodation

Bathroom facilities are shared and are located a short walking distance from camp/accommodation.

Will I have phone reception while on tour?

Mobile phone reception is available around all major service centers within Kakadu, Litchfield, Arnhemland and Mardugal campground. There is a Satellite phone on every vehicle for emergencies.

The most important thing to remember is your on holidays and that’s a great reason to not have a phone!!

Can I smoke and drink of the vehicle?

Smoking and drinking alcohol is prohibited inside a tourist vehicle under Australian Government regulation.

Drinking alcohol is permitted at the campsite; however the guide has the right to limit the amount consumed.

Under no circumstance will illegal drugs be allowed in the vehicle. The guide has the right to remove and terminate the tour for any persons found with illegal substances. This will result in no refunds and they will be responsible for their own travel costs at that point.

Territory Expeditions will endeavor to create an enjoyable environment for all our passengers. Therefore we will reserve the right to remove any persons who threaten the safety of the guide or fellow passengers either physically or verbally. This will result in no refunds and they will be responsible for their own travel costs at that point.

Let us share with you the complete Kakadu & Top End Northern Territory experience