The Top End of Australia with its tropical climate is a place of breathtaking landscapes, outstanding biological diversity and cultural heritage.
The national parks of the region are among the world’s finest and renowned for their brilliant examples of Aboriginal rock art, spectacular sandstone formations, gorges and waterfalls, billabongs and floodplains, monsoon forests and woodlands, an incredible variety of plants and countless creatures, great and small.
Kakadu National Park
Kakadu National Park is one of the very few World heritage areas listed for both its natural and cultural values. This park protects an amazing variety of plants and animals, many of them rare or found nowhere else on this planet, as well as the values of one of the world’s oldest cultures.
Aboriginal people have been living in this area for approximately 50.000 years.
We would like to introduce you to this enormously rich culture and share some of the creation era or dreamtime stories with you. Learn about Warramurrungundji (Earth Mother), Namarrgon (Lightning Man), Mimi spirits, the rainbow serpent and many more.
Approximately 5000 art sites have been recorded in Kakadu National Park and you can see some of the finest rock art in the world, reminding us of the continuing close relationship between Bininj (the Aboriginal people of Kakadu) and their traditional land.
The name “Kakadu” comes from Gagudju, one of the formerly common languages spoken by the Aboriginal people of the East Alligator area in the northeast of the park.
Today only three major languages are spoken by Bininj, which are Kunwinjku (in the northeast), Gundjeihmi (central region), and Jawoyn (southern region).
Let us show you the variety of habitats for the animals and plants of Kakadu National Park: the sandstone escarpment of the ancient Arnhem Land Plateau, monsoonal rainforests, rocky hills and ridges, tropical woodlands, rivers, floodplains and billabongs, all in an area of 19,804 km².
Be amazed by the abundance of birds (more than 260 species), over 10,000 insect species, 60 mammals, 120 reptiles, 55 freshwater fish, 1,600 species of plants, etc.
And always beware of lurking estuarine (saltwater) crocodiles!
For more specific information on Kakadu, its people and their culture, wildlife, geology, photo gallery and lots more go to: http://www.ea.gov.au/parks/kakadu
To learn more about some of our native wildlife go to: http://www.frogwatch.org.au
Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge) National Park
Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge) National Park, adjoining Kakadu National Park in the south, shares a very similar geological history with it’s bigger neighbour. It is one of the most frequently visited parks in the Northern Territory and covers an area of 2920 km².
The main features of the park are the Arnhem Land Plateau, hills, ridges, escarpment and gorges – beautiful rugged country with a strong Aboriginal cultural heritage.
We take you to Katherine Gorge and Leliyn (Edith Falls), the major attractions of the park.
In the south, the Katherine River has cut a zigzag course into the sandstone of the Arnhem Land escarpment, forming the majestic Katherine Gorge.
Edith Falls or Leliyn, as the Jawoyn people (Traditional Owners of Nitmiluk) call it, is a series of waterfalls where the Edith River descends the Arnhem Land escarpment.
Litchfield National Park
Litchfield National Park, just an hours drive southwest of Darwin, attracts visitors all year round. With its picturesque waterfalls cascading from a sandstone plateau called the Tabletop Range, fascinating magnetic termite mounds and tropical vegetation there are plenty of photo opportunities.
The Top End Seasons
Bininj (the Aboriginal people of Kakadu) distinguish six seasons of the year.
Their calendar is based on their intimate knowledge of changes in nature.
These seasonal changes also determine our tour itineraries.
heavy rains, flooding rivers
Wildlife on the move to higher ground
|“knock ’em down storm” season,
floodwater slowly receding,
harvest time for many bush foods
|cooler but still humid season,
river levels continue to fall, little rain,
|cold weather season,
low humidity, creeks stop flowing,
|hot dry weather season, cloudless skies, waterbirds congregating on water rapidly receding from floodplains
|pre-monsoon storm season,
rising humidity, afternoon storms,
many animals once more become active