Traditions of the Top End – An Air Safari (2022-23)

Be spellbound by the ancient wonders of Australia’s Top End on this immersive 8-day luxury Air Safari.

Journey Overview

Be spellbound by the ancient wonders of Australia’s Top End on this immersive 8-day air safari. From the tropical capital of Darwin to the storied plains of Arnhem Land, led by local guides you’ll take a deep dive into Aboriginal lore and traditional stories of living on the land. Be captivated by the majesty of Kakadu on land and by river cruise, and be immersed in this biodiverse region with a glamping safari in Mary River at breathtaking Bamurru Plains. An all-encompassing adventure, this journey will see you humbled by history, enthralled by picturesque landscapes and enchanted by a kaleidoscope of wildlife.

Journey Highlights

  • Be led by local experts on a guided exploration of Litchfield’s landscapes and storied rock art
  • Stay at Bamurru Plains on an immersive glamping adventure
  • Explore the ancient landscapes of Arnhem Land with privileged access to this indigenous homeland
  • Discover the thriving ecosystems of Mary River on an airboat safari
  • Admire Arnhem Land from the air, soaring the over the ancient escarpments
  • Cruise on the East Alligator River with an Aboriginal guide, learning history and captivating local lore
  • Typically features a small group size of 6–10 guests, travelling in your own private plane

Please click here for information on an alternative version of this itinerary running in 2022.


Journey Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Darwin, Northern Territory

Arrive into tropical Darwin to a warm A&K welcome and transfer by private vehicle to your accommodation, Mindil Beach Casino & Resort, Set among tropical beachside gardens around a lagoon just moments from the CBD.

This afternoon meet your group of fellow travellers and enjoy a two hour guided city tour of Darwin. Highlights include historic Fanny Bay Gaol, Government House, Stokes Hill Wharf, St Marys Cathedral, the Botanical Gardens and the idyllic waterfront. Art lovers will relish a visit to the Museum and Art Gallery of the NT, housing an impressive Aboriginal art collection and a cleverly curated Cyclone Tracy display.

This evening enjoy a welcome dinner and drink.

Mindil Beach Casino Resort | Meals: D

Day 2: Darwin | Indigenous Discovery

This morning, meet your expert indigenous guide for a captivating immersion into indigenous culture on a private full day Litchfield experience. A true wonder of the Top End, Litchfield National Park is possibly the Northern Territory’s best kept secret covering 1,500 square kilometres, of dramatic landscapes sheltering lush waterholes, misty waterfalls and monsoonal vine forests.

Get a hands-on education of bush tucker and medicinal traditions, learning of the bush resources in season. Take a refreshing walk to a picturesque waterfall, your scene for a flame-grilled lunch of ocean-caught barramundi, marinated kangaroo and crocodile eye fillet, before returning to your hotel.

Mindil Beach Casino Resort | Meals: BL

Day 3: Darwin – Arnhem Land | Welcome to the Homeland

This morning, transfer by charter aircraft to your accommodation on Mt Borradaile in the indigenous homeland of Arnhem Land.

Davidson's Arnhemland Safaris Lodge is located on an exclusive lease of 700-square kilometres of pristine wilderness in northwest Arnhem Land. Nestled against the Arnhem Land escarpment, this landscape of rugged ranges fringed by idyllic billabongs allows an immersion in unique ecosystems teeming with birdlife and crocodiles as well as bush food and medicinal plants. Valleys, overhangs and caves carved out by an ancient sea have been occupied by Aboriginal people for over 50,000 years with world-class galleries of rock art, occupation and burial sites.

Arrive to a warm welcome, before enjoying a short walk to see the famous Rainbow Serpent, where you will start to learn about the local rock art, the geology of the area and some of the local bush tucker and medicine that you walk past.

Following lunch, there is the chance to enjoy one of Davidson’s included activities. Try your hand at barramundi fishing, take a walking excursion to view the magnificent galleries of Indigenous rock art, take a dip in a natural swimming hole or simply sit back and relax poolside at the lodge.

Davidson's Safaris Arnhemland Safari Lodge | Meals: BLD

Day 4: Arnhem Land | Design Your Day

Wake up to a strikingly beautiful landscape of rugged ranges fringed by idyllic billabongs, floodplains, paperbark swamps and monsoonal rainforests. After a leisurely breakfast, continue your exploration of Arnhem Land with your choice of the included activities available.

Billabong Cruise
Enjoy sundowners as you drift through the billabong viewing a kaleidoscope of plants and wildlife as the sun sets over the floodplains painting Mt Borradaile in magnificent colours.

Guided Walking Tours
Explore the rainforest areas, savannah woodland, or incredible catacombs with your expert local guide learning about the region’s rich indigenous history and diverse ecosystem.

4WD Excursion
Take a 4WD excursion into the savannah landscapes, woodland areas and rainforest, each with its own distinct array of flora and fauna.

Enjoy a dinner of freshly prepared cuisine amidst a relaxed atmosphere at Mt Borradaile’s dining room, the social hub.

Davidson's Safaris Arnhemland Safari Lodge | Meals: BLD

Day 5: Arnhem Land – Mary River National Park | Regional Discovery Begins

A final morning spent at Davidson’s before boarding your private plane this afternoon for the charter flight to the wildlife haven of Bamurru Plains.

Arrive to a warm welcome and transfer to your safari-style bungalow which gives you an immersion in the sights and sounds of the surrounding bush.

Situated on the edge of Kakadu National Park, Bamurru Plains has exclusive access to floodplains and savanna woodland located along Mary River.

This evening, you may like to take a river cruise in search of crocodiles, or embark on a quad bike safari before savouring a sundowner drink in breathtaking surrounds.

Bamurru Plains | Meals: BLD

Day 6: Mary River National Park | Design Your Day

A choice of activities is on offer today. Make your selection accordingly or simply relax and enjoy your spectacular surrounds. Bamurru has over 300 square kilometres of private concession waiting to be explored. So large is the property that there are four distinct habitats: floodplains and wetlands full of magpie geese and big crocs; stunning melaleuca forests, savannah woodlands where you might bump into brumby, buffalo, dingo and wallaby; and finally a riverine environment where the silver flashes of fish or sunbathing crocs will catch your eye as you cruise slowly by.

Airboat Safari
Ride across the floodplains by airboat. This wildlife-packed journey takes you from wide open grasslands to a lagoon surrounded by peeling paper bark trees. Feel the rush as you skim the surface at speed, then float in silence listening to the sound of nothing but the bush.

Open Top Game Drives
One of the best ways to witness the variety of wildlife in this diverse environment is on an open-top game drive, more akin to an African safari across the savannah. You’ll see agile wallaby, estuarine crocodile, wild horses, buffalo and some of the 236 bird species on the property.

Walking Safari
Head out on a short drive before continuing on a guided walk, learning the Indigenous uses for the various plants and animals on Bamurru, and how wildlife can be tracked through the forest.

Return to the lodge this afternoon to enjoy canapés and sundowners on the deck before a sumptuous dinner of bush-inspired recipes.

Bamurru Plains | Meals: BLD

Day 7: Mary River National Park | Top End Safari

Today a private tour of Kakadu National Park beckons. Soar over the Top End on an exhilarating flight to Jabiru. Explore the landscapes and ancient Aboriginal rock art at Ubirr, considered one of Kakadu’s most famous spots for breathtaking Aboriginal art sites, in your custom-built safari vehicle led by a knowledgeable local guide.

Then embark on a cruise on the East Alligator River through wonderful pristine wilderness. Led by an Aboriginal guide, uncover the secrets and history of one of the richest biological regions in the national park.

Stop at the Bowali Visitor Centre for an engaging look at the history and traditions of the land, before arriving back at the lodge in time for drinks and canapés as the sun sets before your farewell dinner.

Bamurru Plains | Meals: BLD

Day 8: Mary River National Park – Depart Darwin

Depart this morning after breakfast, flying by private charter to Darwin airport, where you will transfer to your onward flight.

Meals: B

Journey Details

Internal air included: Private charter flights

All accommodation as detailed on a double/ twin share basis with private facilities; Travel in a private aircraft as specified in the itinerary; Meals as specified; Bottled water during transfers and touring; Wine and beer with all included dinners; Airport welcome; Assistance with luggage and group transportation by private air-conditioned vehicle; Services of Local Guide(s) and Lodge Guides in select locations; All entrance fees, planning, handling, operational and communication charges.

Note: Proof of COVID-19 full vaccination is required for this program.

Tailor-Made Travel with A&K

If scheduled departure dates don’t work for you, or you would prefer to travel privately, please talk to one of our expert Journey Designers or your travel agent about creating the perfect bespoke tailor-made journey for you, or your own small group with family or friends.

Show Full Itinerary
Preferred Accommodation

Preferred Accommodation

This journey features the following Preferred Accommodations:

Bamurru Plains, Mary River National Park

Traditions of the Top End – An Air Safari (2022-23)

The focus of a stay at Bamurru is on the environment around the camp and the wildlife and birdlife to which it is home. Each individual s... Read more

Davidson's Safaris Arnhemland Safari Lodge

Traditions of the Top End – An Air Safari (2022-23)

Davidson's Arnhemland Safaris Lodge is located on an exclusive lease of 700-square kilometres of pristine wilderness in northwest Arnhem... Read more

Dates & Prices

Journey Dates & Prices

Prices are per person, based on double occupancy

Oct 8, 2022 - Oct 15, 2022
Price AU$10,595pp Single Supplement AU$2,870 Internal Air (From) AU$0 Availability Available Book
Apr 30, 2023 - May 7, 2023
Price AU$11,695pp Single Supplement AU$3,325 Internal Air (From) AU$0 Availability Available Book

Availability shown here is updated weekly and indicative only. Availability on any product or journey shown here is not specific to a category of travel and may not denote availability at the cheapest ‘From’ price. For real time availability, talk to your travel agent or call Abercrombie & Kent on 1300 851 800.


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