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Get back to nature with this genuinely spectacular and unique driving experience in the Northern Territory. The drive will take you on a round trip from Darwin, to Kakadu National Park with all the joys in between - it is the adventure of a lifetime. We recommend that the Nature’s Way journey of approximately 958km journey is driven done over a minimum of 10 days, so you can take in as much of this unique part of Australia as possible.
Time: 2 hours 43 minutes
We begin our drive from Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory and a popular waterfront location housing several beaches and lush green spaces, great for picnics and outdoor activities. As we hop on the road, our first pitstop will be Mt Bundey where we can stop for something to eat and drink and perhaps a little playtime too. There are plenty of places to see and ways to wander with signature experiences, including wetland cruises & safari tours - you might even see a crocodile or two! Mt Bundey is also known for being a training area used by Defence for a variety of military activities.
It's back on the Arnhem Highway and onto our next stop, Kakadu. There is so much on offer in Kakadu that it's hard to choose what to do. Here are some of our recommendations to get you thinking:
It is easy to see why you need 1-3 days here (if not more). The longer you have here in Kakadu, the quicker you will be planning your next trip back.
Accommodation: Anbinik Kakadu Resort
Caravan & Campsites: Aurora Kakadu Resort Campgrounds
An extra day exploring Kakadu National Park is exactly what the doctor ordered, covered in wetlands, biodiverse nature reserve and the immense landmass, the Park is home to over 2,000 plant species and wildlife, such as saltwater crocodiles and flatback turtles. The Kakadu National Park is a World Heritage-listed site and Australia's largest national Park, so definitely something to tick off the bucket list. Take the shuttle boat to the Twin Falls gorge, it's a site to put on the map while you are visiting the area. We recommend allowing at least 2-3 hours to explore. Please note that you will require a parks pass to enter the National Park, so save time and purchase these ahead of your travels.
Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
It takes around about an hour and a half to get to Pine Creek from the Kakadu National Park, so begin the drive south along Kakadu Highway to Pine Creek, a small town that experienced a rush for gold in 1871. You may want to have a pit stop here, it is the perfect way to check out the local landscape, with ponds, water gardens, and scenic walks to keep you busy. A further 90km down the Stuart Highway, we make our way to Katherine. The town is situated on the Katherine River and is known as where 'the outback meets to tropics'. Katherine is the gateway to six national parks and over 10 nature parks, reserves, and conservation areas, including Katherine Gorge (Nitmiluk National Park). Enjoy everything Katherine has to offer, including Mataranka, Aboriginal culture, Cutta Cutta Caves Nature Park, Bitter Springs, and the world-famous Jatbula Trail (not for the faint of heart - and will add on approximately five days to your trip). Take in the fantastic jewel of Australia and really get to know the land and the people.
Accommodation: Cicada Lodge
Caravan & Campsites: Nitmiluk Tents and Campgrounds
Time:2 hours 30 minutes
Finishing up in Katherine and the surrounds, its time to jump back on the Stuart Highway and drive towards our next destination, Litchfield. Make a stop on your drive in the town of Adelaide River, which are two locations: the town and the river itself. The town is a small service centre noted for the Adelaide River War Cemetery and is the only Australian war cemetery on Australian soil. The river, particularly on that section where the Arnhem Highway crosses it on the way to Kakadu National Park, is famed for its Jumping Crocodile Cruise where crocodiles leap out of the water tempted by pieces of raw meat.
Onto Litchfield and the Litchfield National Park is a must-see if you're in the Top End. It's home to numerous stunning waterfalls that cascade into crystal clear pools, iconic magnetic termite mounds and clusters of weathered sandstone pillars at the Lost City. Swimming under the falls and relaxing in waterholes is a favourite pastime for visitors and locals alike. Litchfield National Park is also a popular destination, and many visitors choose to stay overnight (or longer) in one of the campgrounds.
Accommodation:Litchfield Tourist Park
Time:1 hour 55 minutes
The last leg of our road trip is as exciting as the first, as we head back to Darwin via the Territory Wildlife Park. Wander through treetop aviaries, around a natural lagoon and walk through the aquarium to see animals, including the saltwater croc, in their natural habitats. Before you enter Darwin, stop at Berry Springs Nature Park. A recreation camp for armed forces personnel during the war, today it is a popular spot for a barbecue and a dip in the freshwater pools.
Drive big in the Northern Territory - there are plenty of unique and extraordinary things taking on an adventure like this one.
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