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Darwin vs Katherine & Kakadu

Level Contributor
11 posts
Darwin vs Katherine & Kakadu

We are planning a 3 week trip to Australia from 4/24 - 5/14/06. Our tentative itinerary has us staying in Darwin 3 full days, before flying south to Uluru and Alice Springs. We are willing to rent a car. Would we be better off skipping Darwin and instead stay in Kakadu (suggestions would be welcome) to maximize time there - and perhaps take a day off to see Katherine Gorge? We'd be happy not to drive ourselves if we could find a guide with a very small group (no busload) or even private - we want to get the most out of the too-short 3 weeks we have. Also - what weather shold we expect in early May?

thanks in advance for your advice.

Sydney Australia
Level Contributor
8,137 posts
98 reviews
1. Re: Darwin vs Katherine & Kakadu

If you can stretch to it you can hire a guide in the top end. Denise Goodfellow for example. It's like a drive yourself tour, but with a guide along to show you stuff, tours customised to what you're interested in.

www.denisegoodfellow.com this site is worth a look, just for the indigenous information

http://www.earthfoot.org/places/au002.htm

Brisbane, Australia
Destination Expert
for Brisbane, Noosa
Level Contributor
5,947 posts
163 reviews
2. Re: Darwin vs Katherine & Kakadu

Hi , I would stay 1 full day in Darwin, then head to Kakadu.

If you want to go to Katherine Gorge, that is a long drive from Darwin, you can do a day tour but it does take a full day.

Also consider closer to Darwin, Litchfield National Park for a visit.

May should be beautiful weather.

cheers

Jeff

Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
13,719 posts
49 reviews
3. Re: Darwin vs Katherine & Kakadu

You cant really skip Darwin and go straight to Kakadu. It is a very long drive and you will need at least one night to get your bearings and to recover from jet lag etc.

Someone else has suggested Litchfield. I would second that. Also Darwin itself is an interesting city. The Museum is amazing.

As others have said all distances are huge and I think that you are American so remember we drive on the left and in the Northern Territory they have enormous road trains that are very scary to overtake on the single lane roads. No big freeways like you have in the US or Canada.

Level Contributor
11 posts
4. Re: Darwin vs Katherine & Kakadu

I am still deliberating about how best to tour Kakadu and/or Litchfield National Parks in early May. Our travel agent suggests a 3-day AAT tour, out of and returning to Darwin, that starts out with a 45-passenger bus but then shrinks to a smaller number (not sure at what point). The itinerary looks good, but I am uncomfortable with such a large group.I have looked at multiple websites of tour companies - the most appropriate one (so far) appears to be Aussie Adventure Holidays. I suspect my criteria are just "too fussy", but I want to make sure things are okay for my 77-year-old mother who is accompanying us. She's a good sport, but requests overnight accommodation in a "real" hotel-type place: no bush camps, no place without private bathrooms, etc. There seem to be several "boutique" tour guides, but they seem to be designed for fishing afficianados (sp?), or are too "camp-like", and often last more than 3 days (our too-short time in the Top End). Any ideas? Thanks so much for everyone's help - and I promise to stop belaboring this issue!

Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
13,719 posts
49 reviews
5. Re: Darwin vs Katherine & Kakadu

Hi Nurse

I am sure thta you will enjoy the Aussie Adventure It looks great- but unless your mother is extremely fit for her age she will be unlikely to be able to do the walking that is involved. Perhaps you should contact the company and see if they are able to leave her behind and pick up later etc. The walking is not on made tracks but is over rocks and rough ground and although it is in the cooler part of the yaer the weather will still be quite warm - high 20's.