NT trip itinerary comments & suggestions

Submitted: Sunday, Aug 01, 2004 at 12:01
ThreadID: 15188 Views:2413 Replies:5 FollowUps:1
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Hi
Once again I turn to the invaluable advice of the forum for putting together an itinerary for a trip around NT in mid Sep. We wish to hire a 4WD and try out of of the following itineraries, so any suggestions for a good hire company in Darwin, Broome or Alice Springs would be most appreciated.

ITINERARY 1: DARWIN - KAKADU – KATHERINES GORGE – ALICE SPRINGS

This option depends ultimately on the ability to rent a vehicle in Darwin and return it in Alice Springs (is this possible ?)

Day 1- From Darwin, rent a 4WD and drive to Kakadu NP early in the morning.
Try to see: Mamukala Wetlands, Ubirr and Anbangbang and Gunwarddehwardde Look Out. Stay the night in the park.

Day 2 - Visit Jim Jim Falls and Twin Falls. There is a 4WD track from the main park road to these water falls. Either overnight in Kakadu or head for Katherine and overnight there.

Day 3 – visit Nitmiluk National Park (Katherine’s gorge) and take the morning boat tour or canoe through the gorge. Stay the night in Katherine.

Day 4 – drive the 665 Km from Katherine to Tennant Creek – try to visit the Devils Marbles before Sunset. Overnight in Tennant Creek.

Day 5 – drive from Tennant Creek to Alice Springs.

Day 6 - drive another 450 Km from Alice Springs to Uluru. Overnight Uluru

Day 7 - back to Alice Springs

OPTION 2: KIMBERLEYBROOME TO KUNUNURA

Assuming it is possible to rent a 4WD in Broome ?

Day 1 – drive Broome to Fitzroy Crossing via Derby (approx 395 km) on the The Great National Highway (GNH). At Derby take the off road route Gibb River Road which links up to the GNH 42 km west of Fitzroy Crossing. Overnight at Fitzroy Crossing.

Day 2 – drive Fitzroy Crossing to Halls Creek. Sleep the night at Halls Creek.

Day 3 – plane or helicopter ride over the Bungle Bungle (Purnulu National Park). Alternatively drive (160 km from Halls Creek) into the park and do some sightseeing. Is there accomodation available at Bungle Bungle ?? If no accomodation go back to Halls Creek.

Day 4 – If staying at Bungle Bungle then spend another day exploring the place. Otherwise drive from Bungle Bungle to Kununurra on the GNH. Stay the night at Kununurra

Day 5 -- Do the boat ride on the Ord River and if time permits we see the Mirima National Park – similar to the Bungle Bungles.

Day 6 & 7– drive back to Broome – 900 km

OPTION 2A: GIBB RIVER ROADDERBY TO KUNUNURRA

Take the Gibb River Road from Derby to Kununurra, taking 4 days. Visit some gorges or do plane trips above the gorges. The idea of this trip is to “experience” the true outback feeling. Return via the GNH

If you have managed to read this far a big THANK YOU, and I look forward to your suggestions !
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Reply By: Lynn2 - Sunday, Aug 01, 2004 at 12:45

Sunday, Aug 01, 2004 at 12:45
Whatever, you do you should travel the Gibb River Road if you want to experience some more remote areas of Australia. Absolutely beautiful gorges, wonderful places to camp. We were there 3 years ago, and on a trip from Manning Gorge to Leonard Gorge we were the only people there (and swimming, relaxing) for quite some time.

We did a somewhat longer trip than you are planning and covered all the areas mentioned above. After the GRR, Katherine Gorge was very disappointing - many, many, many tourists, queues and the gorge not half as spectacular as a result. Something worth considering perhaps???

Twin Falls was great. You have to swim/wade/float in to twin falls - there is no direct vehicular access. It was a wonderful experience. Ubirr also great, but very touristy, depends on your wants.

We took a helicopter flight from Broome to the Bungle Bungles which included a walk in and lunch etc. Apparently the road in is quite rough (but this was according to some English tourists, so I don't know how true this was). It is good to see the Bungles from the air as you get an amazing perspective.

I don't think I've helped, just been confusing. Whatever you decide I know you'll love it.
Lynn

AnswerID: 70723

Follow Up By: mcboom - Sunday, Aug 01, 2004 at 14:10

Sunday, Aug 01, 2004 at 14:10
Thanks for that Lynn. Will be sure to include the Gibb River Road !
0
FollowupID: 330921

Reply By: MrBitchi - Monday, Aug 02, 2004 at 08:44

Monday, Aug 02, 2004 at 08:44
"Day 5 – drive from Tennant Creek to Alice Springs.

Day 6 - drive another 450 Km from Alice Springs to Uluru. Overnight Uluru

Day 7 - back to Alice Springs"

If you do this you won't get much time to look around. Make Uluru 2 nights and have time to climb the rock and see the Olgas. Maybe return via Kings canyon.
BTW, all these destinations (option 1) can be accessed in a standard car. Much cheaper to hire, can definitely drop off in another location, more comfortable and economical for long distance touring.
Enjoy your trip whichever you do....
John
AnswerID: 70839

Reply By: Oz Trekker - Monday, Aug 02, 2004 at 09:07

Monday, Aug 02, 2004 at 09:07
G'day mcboom,

Being a Top Ender I can offer some up to date info if you elect to go with option 1. In answer to your query about renting a 4wd here in Darwin and dropping it off in Alice, the answer is yes you can. All the major players like Thrifty, Britz etc are up here and provide that option, but you would need to make a booking fairly soon as the international and interstate tourist season is full on at the moment.

According to the number counters, this years tourist numbers are close to reaching a record high and no matter where you go, it is shoulder to shoulder with a zillion other people. To only give yourself 2 days in Kakadu would be a bit of shame considering how much there is to see. I was out at the Mamukala Wetlands a week ago and it was a bit disappointing, but then I had just finished a 2 day trip along the Red Lilly Billabong track which was absolutely great - fantastic scenery and heaps of wildlife. To really have a 'good' look at Kakadu, you need at least a week.

I was down at Katherine Gorge a few weeks ago and regardless of what anybody should say, it is well worth the visit, but once again, completely swamped with tourists.

Just for the record, it is no longer possible to swim at Twin Falls due to the current ban in place.

Jeff
AnswerID: 70841

Reply By: Member - Bob - Monday, Aug 02, 2004 at 15:59

Monday, Aug 02, 2004 at 15:59
McBoom
where are you coming from? What are your start and end points? The problem with the itineraries that I see are that you are trying to cover too much distance, esp with option 1. My thoughts would be to choose between either:
1. a top-end tour starting and finishing in Darwin (Darwin, Kakadu, Katherine, Litchfield, Darwin)
2. the Kimberley (Broome, Derby, GRR, Kun., Bungles, Halls Creek, Fitztroy Xing, Geike Gorge, Broome)
3. the Centre (Alice, East Macs, West Macs, Mereenie Loop, Kings Canyon, Uluru, Boggy Hole/Palm Valley, Alice)
Each of these will easily fill seven days, and you won't be spending the majority of your time in the car.
AnswerID: 70914

Reply By: mcboom - Monday, Aug 02, 2004 at 22:21

Monday, Aug 02, 2004 at 22:21
Thanks again guys !
AnswerID: 70986

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