Darwin and Kathrine Explorer Including Nitmiluk National Part

 Darwin

Immerse yourself in the history of Darwin. From ancient Aboriginal Dreamtime stories and the pioneering spirit of the early settlers, to survival stories of WWII, the bombing of Darwin and Cyclone Tracy. Darwin’s history and heritage is vast, diverse and captivating in every way. There are a great deal of things to do in Australia’s northern capital.

Local markets are a big part of Darwin’s personality.

At the famous Mindil Beach Sunset Markets, sample international cuisine from over 60 food stalls, including Indonesian, Malaysian, Sri Lankan, Turkish, Greek, Cambodian, and Japanese just to name a few.

Known as the laksa capital of Australia, you’ll find plenty of food stalls serving up the spicy noodle soup. If you’re looking for Australian fare, look no further than the local barramundi fish or even a crocodile dish.

Enjoy dinner on the beach as you watch the sun setting into the ocean. Darwin is famous for its spectacular orange sunsets over the Arafura Sea.

After dinner, browse the art and craft stalls, then relax with a local ice-cream or mango smoothie as fire twirlers, musicians and street performers entertain the crowds.

Sense of adventure
Step outside your everyday and open your eyes to adventure.

See prehistoric crocodiles as they launch from the water to catch food on a jumping crocodile cruise. Feel how soft crocodile skin really is as you hold a baby crocodile (with its mouth safely closed).

Take a scenic flight and see waterways winding through wetlands. Savour a sunset as you sail on the sparkling blue waters of the Arafura Sea on a harbour cruise. No matter what your pace, Darwin has something for you.

Dive into the saltwater Recreation Lagoon and frolic under its fountain or just float around awhile.

Wriggle your toes in the sand, and join throngs of others lounging, under trees and shade structure, at what is probably the Top End’s cutest and safest beach. Mesh screens are in place to prevent marine stingers entering the Lagoon, and there is a stinger net providing more protection on the beach side.

For a swim with swell, buy a ticket for the Wave Lagoon, where the siren signals serious fun: twenty-minute bursts of waves perfect for tubing and boogie boarding, for kids of all ages. open 7 days a week.

Nitmiluk National Park

This 292,008 hectare National Park is owned by the Jawoyn Aboriginal people and jointly managed with the Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory. Some of the park’s features include spectacular dissected sandstone country, broad valleys and numerous, significant cultural sites. The deep Nitmiluk Gorge carved through ancient sandstone by the Katherine River is the central attraction of the area, and creates a wonderful ‘natural playground’ for many activities.

For thousands of years Nitmiluk has been the foundation of the Jawoyn Aboriginal people, providing an abundance of water and food, a gallery of art and artefacts and the today it’s a living testament of ancient Aboriginal culture.

Many visitors to the Northern Territory choose to immerse themselves in the natural beauty and culture of Nitmiluk Gorge and National Park

Vibe Darwin

If you want to be in the middle of the action and close to the Darwin CBD, Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront is the place for you. Choose to stay in one of the hotel’s 121 well-appointed guest rooms. Perfectly positioned amongst the entertainment and dining hub of Darwin’s seafront promenade, Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront is surrounded by great shopping, a range of Territorian pubs, as well as some of the most amazing restaurants and cafés in the NT. Whether you’re tasting craft beers at The Precinct Tavern, enjoying hand crafted menus at Il Lido or Wharf One, or trying NT favourites at the Oyster Bar or Hot Tamale, you’ll feel right at home at this picturesque location.

Nitmiluk Cicada Lodge

FACILITIES
Cicada Lodge offers guests a wealth of unrivalled services and amenities.

Open all year round, the lodge has been designed to provide a comfortable base from which our Guests can take part in an experience very few have the chance to embrace. The Gorge jetty is within a pleasant 15 minutes stroll from the lodge.

Facilities include an outdoor pool, restaurant, room service, concierge and airport transfers available on request.

Eco-friendly accommodation
The lodge has 18 rooms, which are all air conditioned and feature full length doors to the private balconies. Each room features Indigenous artwork from local artists – the rich colours blending with and complimenting the more modern design and fittings. The ancient stories within the paintings weave the modern with the traditional to create a unique blend that is Cicada Lodge.

Accomodation Choices

ROOMS
All 18 rooms are air conditioned and feature full length doors to the private balconies, allowing our Guests the choice of opening the room to the sounds and sights of the native bush or closing them for the cool privacy of their room sanctuary.

Each room features Indigenous artwork from local artists – the rich colours blending with and complimenting the more modern design and fittings. The ancient stories within the paintings weave the modern with the traditional to create a unique blend that is Cicada Lodge.

Food and Wine

Dining at Cicada Lodge is about the total experience.

Guests are invited to taste, experience and enjoy native Australian foods, incorporated into a fresh, contemporary menu. Wherever you are in the world, the opportunity to try local ingredients makes for a unique dining experience and Australia’s Northern Territory is certainly no exception.

Dining at Cicada Lodge gives our Guests the opportunity enjoy the best of what Australia has to offer, with dishes combining traditional elements and incredible flavours from the region. Our cuisine is about mixing and matching traditional herbs and fruits with the freshest of local produce.

A key element of the Cicada dining adventure is the Chef’s Menu which will feature a specialty dish of the Chef’s choice, based on the season and the availability of quality local produce. The Chef’s Menu allows our Guests to sample and experience dishes that are truly unique to the region.

The Cicada Lodge Restaurant regularly features as one of the winners of the prestigious Gold Plate Awards, and in 2018 has won Gold at the QANTAS Australian Tourism Awards for Best Restaurant and Catering services.

Getting There

Airnorth flies from Darwin to Katherine 3 times a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Flight time is around 45mins and costs range from $300 – $500 one way. From Kathrine we can organise a transfer to the property alternative we can organise a private charter to the property

 Getting here by car
Nitmiluk National Park is a 3.5hr drive from Darwin. Simply head down the Stuart Highway until you reach Katherine. Heading along Gorge Rd, Nitmiluk National Park is the located 30mins out of Katherine.

Accommodation Options

Cicada Lodge
Cicada Lodge is designed for the sophisticated traveller looking for an authentic Indigenous and natural Australian “experience-of-a-lifetime,” in the heart of Northern Australia’s timeless north. A sanctuary of elegant comfort, the Lodge provides a level of excellence in accommodation, service and dining.
Cicada Lodge features 18 rooms, all of which are air conditioned and feature full length louvered doors to private balconies. The Lodge’s award-winning restaurant offers a total dining experience.
Our guest services team are on hand to assist with any aspects of your Nitmiluk experience.

Permanent Tents
Valid: 01 April 2021 – 31 March 2023
Our permanent tents are located within the Nitmiluk campground, a short walk from the resort-style pool and amenities block. The permanent tents area is shady, fully fenced off from the campground and has its very own fire pit.
The tents are unpowered, clean and comfortable. Tents are inclusive of linen and are ready made prior to arrival.

Nitmiluk Cabins

Air Conditioning
Cooking Facilities (Stove Top & Microwave) Tea/ Coffee Making Facilities Bathroom (Shower & toilet),Balcony Refrigerator
Free-to-air TV Cutlery & Crockery

Sample 7 Day Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive Darwin and Transfer from the Airport or Train Station to your hotel Vibe Darwin. Perfectly positioned amongst the entertainment and dining hub of Darwin’s seafront promenade, Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront is surrounded by great shopping, a range of Territorian pubs, as well as some of the most amazing restaurants and cafés in the NT.

Day 2

Explore Darwin at your Leisure optional ideas

Discover each of Crocosaurus Cove’s 9 interactive shows daily, and learn all about Australia’s incredible wildlife. Watch a huge saltie dine on his lunch during the Big Croc Feed Show, cuddle a snake or lizard during the Meet the Reptiles Show, and feed a feisty juvenile croc from the Fishing for Crocs platform. Then, capture a family photo with Fluffy the baby croc, or go for a dip in the Swim with the Crocs pool.

OrPack a picnic or some meat to barbecue and head to Berry Springs Nature Park, a hugely popular day trip an hour from Darwin. Swim from one pool to the next via a pretty pandanus-lined creek and take your goggles to spot small fish and other aquatic life that live in the clear pools.

Day 3

Darwin at Leisure

Day 4

Depart for Kathrine by Flight, or Transfer and arrive at Cicada lodge.The Jawoyn people invite you to experience the beauty of one of Australia’s most spectacular destinations.

Day 5

This morning we take a tour of Cutta Cutta Caves

Formed millions of years ago the Cutta Cutta Caves system is home to a variety of native wildlife and is rich in Indigenous culture and modern European history.

Tonight embark on your dinner cruise.

Discover the stories and ways of the Jawoyn people against the magnificent backdrop of the Nitmiluk Gorge, changing colour with the setting sun, and concluding with the shimmering of the stars and the moon. From group celebrations to intimate getaways, the cruise has its own chef and wait staff, so you won’t have to worry about moving from the comfort of your seat as all your food and beverage needs are taken care of. The Tour includes a three course candlelit dinner, featuring fresh, local Australian produce cooked by one of our chefs on board, accompanied by a complimentary glass of sparkling wine.

Day 6

Today embark on your self guided canoe tour.On this self-guided canoe adventure you will no doubt be drawn into the lush hanging gardens. This is a fertile section of the gorge with an almost rainforest-like atmosphere. Enjoy the shade and cooling atmosphere from the green foliage.

Or

An intense 3 gorge buzz, a breathtaking 8 gorge flight or an aerial journey over all 13 gorges, there’s a scenic flight to suit everyone’s desires and budget. A scenic flight will give you a great perspective of Nitmiluk Gorge system with spectacular views.

Day 7

Return to Darwin for overnight before returning home

Tours in Nitmiluk

Nitmiluk Gorge is made up of 13 separate Gorges, sculpted from the sandstone over countless millennia by the Katherine River. You are invited to experience the beauty, history, and culture of Nitmiluk National Park.
During the tour, our knowledgeable guides will share stories and information on the landscape, history and culture of Nitmiluk as you travel up the first 2 – 3 Gorges.
Each gorge is separated by natural rock barriers, therefore walking between the gorges is required on all tours to change boats. Walkways are man-made, however can be uneven in areas as they follow the natural contours of the bush landscape. The pathways include steps with handrails. A moderate level of mobility is required.

Canoe Adventure Tours
Nitmiluk Gorge is one of the most picturesque places to canoe in Australia – a canoe trip is a great way to escape the crowds and experience the splendour of the gorge yourself. Canoeing in this environment can be as challenging as you choose, but always rewarding for those who want to get in touch with nature. All canoe tours are self-guided, allowing you freedom to explore at your own pace. Canoe tours are inclusive of life jackets and paddles (double ended).
Canoe tours commence with a scenic boat ride through the first gorge, before canoeists take to the water on a self-guided adventure through the second gorge and beyond.

Helicopter Touring
Nitmiluk Heli-Touring is the sole operator permitted to land with-in the National Park and offers a unique selection of breathtaking landing sites, only accessible by helicopter. All flights depart from the helipad, located a three-minute drive from the Nitmiluk Visitor Centre. There are a variety of flights to choose from, all offer magnificent views from the air and include photo or video opportunities of Nitmiluk Gorge, the Arnhem Land escarpment and local wildlife.

Boat Transfers

Nitmiluk National Park is home to many waterfalls, most of which are seasonal and rely on the annual rains to bring them into full flow. December – March are typically the wettest months in the Top End.
The Southern Rockhole is a seasonal waterfall, located towards the top of the first gorge. This Rockhole is 4km (each way) by foot, or alternatively you can catch a ferry! Ferries are available either one-way (with the option of walking one way) or return. The ferry will take you within 150m of the Rockhole, you are then required to walk the remainder of the way. The walk is not a manmade path, and is rock-hopping most of the way in. As such, a moderate level of fitness and mobility is required. Swimming is only permitted when the Rockhole has been opened by NT Parks and Wildlife.
The Jatbula Trail is an iconic walk venturing from Nitmiluk Gorge to Edith Falls, following the traditional song lines of the Jawoyn Ancestors. Once a booking has been secured for this 5-day trek, guests are required cross the river to commence the walk. The short boat ride will start your memorable journey through Jawoyn CountryCultural Experiences
The Jawoyn people are the traditional owners of the area known as Nitmiluk National Park. For thousands of years they have maintained their culture and traditions through the stories passed from one generation to another (The Dreamtime). Learn and discover this ancient culture through one of our Cultural Experiences.
Ancient Garlarr River Safari: Designed for guests wanting a more intimate experience of Jawoyn Country, this 2.5hr river tour is guided by one of our knowledgeable cultural guides through the first gorge. Guests will learn about Jawoyn traditions, and how many are still practiced today.
Footsteps of our Ancestors – 2hr Presentation: This two-hour cultural presentation will provide an insight to the Jawoyn Culture. Our Indigenous guides will provide information on traditional activities such as basket weaving, spear throwing, fire lighting, painting, and didgeridoo playing.
Footsteps of our Ancestors – Hands on Experience: Be welcomed by members of the local Indigenous community for a hands-on cultural experience. You will spend the day with the Jawoyn people, sharing their culture, learning their ways and trying some of the skills developed over thousands of years. Activities include basket weaving, spear throwing, fire lighting, painting, and learning the didgeridoo. A traditional meal of kangaroo tail and barbequed meat served with a selection of fresh salads will be served for lunch.

NitNit Dreaming Two Gorge Tour

Along the way cultural guides will share their knowledge about plants, animals, dreamtime stories and culture. Surrounded by the limestone escarpment, the scenery is second to none. Immerse yourself in the cultural significance and geology of the park – discover historical facts, such as how the river has been named.

Nabilil Dreaming Sunset Dinner Tour

Discover the stories and ways of the Jawoyn people against the magnificent backdrop of the Nitmiluk Gorge, changing colour with the setting sun, and concluding with the shimmering of the stars and the moon. From group celebrations to intimate getaways, the cruise has its own chef and wait staff,

 Morning Two Gorge Dawn Tour

Prior to departing on this two gorge cruise a light snack is served. Depending on the time of year it may still be dark prior to boarding, which adds to the anticipation of what lies ahead. The cruise requires guests to walk between the first and second gorge prior to boarding another boat that takes you into the second largest gorge in the gorge system.

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