Black-necked Stork (Jabiru)
From: $2,200 USD
Duration: 3 Days/2 Nights
Type: Private Charter.
Interests: Reptiles & Amphibians.
About Lords Kakadu & Arnhemland Safaris:
Lords Kakadu and Arnhemland Safaris has been connecting guests to the Top End’s remarkable natural beauty and indigenous culture for 30 years. Consummate bushman and owner, Sab Lord leads the team of advocates, active in protecting and preserving Kakadu & Arnhem Land, one of the most cherished ecosystems and untouched wilderness areas of Australia. The team’s passion for the region is infectious as is the connection with the land and the indigenous communities that call the area home. This relationship formed over many decades, allows access to a range of culturally significant sites. Combined with the vast unpopulated pristine landscapes, guests can not helped being moved and reinvigorated by this World Heritage Listed area.
Price per person travelling with four passengers, based on double occupancy, including touring, meals & accommodation. Black-out dates may apply. Pricing is subject to availability and all prices, itineraries and routings are subject to change without notice. Currency fluctuations may affect prices as quotes based on AUD. Prices are current at time of posting (1/4/2023) and may differ when you book your travel. Please contact us for our current pricing and itinerary details*
Guests will venture towards the World Heritage Listed Kakadu National Park via the magnificent Fogg Dam Reserve. These wetlands fringed by rainforest are a birdwatchers paradise, with year round water coverage assuring its position as an important feeding and roosting site for over 200 different bird species, water pythons and freshwater turtles. Forest Kingfishers, egrets, ibis, herons, Whistling Kites, Brown Falcons, Green Pygmy Geese, cormorants and monitor lizards are common sightings.
“Fogg Dam is a location where we often see birds en masse, and it’s a very interesting setting because it’s a dam wall, with lush wetlands on one side and dry wetlands and grasslands on the other. Ducks and ibises abound in huge numbers in the wetlands, while Magpie Geese, spoonbills, brolgas and jabirus are easily spotted on the dry side. Some guests have never seen so many birds in one place and on such a scale. We’re talking thousands and thousands of birds at the one time.”
Dean Hoath - Guide
From here, the group will explore the Mary River wetlands, enjoying a 45 minute Airboat Safari. Travelling through the seemingly endless floodplains of the Mary River Wetlands, guests will have the opportunity to spot countless crocodiles and birds, hovering above a breathtaking blanket of lilies and reeds.
A short detour off the highway is the beautiful Leaning Tree Lagoon; this Billabong is often covered in flowering Blue Lillies making, it a popular quick stop for photographers. Lunch is at the Bark Hut Inn; this Aussie Roadhouse was built during the buffalo era and is a reminder of earlier, wilder times.
The last stop for the day is at Cooinda to experience one of Kakadu’s icons; a Yellow Water Cruise. This pristine environment supports a truly wonderful variety of plants, birds, crocodiles and Top End wildlife. The immense concentration of birds, especially in the dry season including Magpie Geese, Whistling Ducks, Great Egrets, Royal Spoonbills, Black-winged Stilts, Comb-crested Jacanas, Azure Kingfishers, Sacred Kingfishers, White Bellied Sea-Eagles, Brahminy Kites, Plumed Whistling Ducks, Nankeen Night-Heron and Little Bitterns make this one of the world’s greatest birdwatching sites.
Overnight Accommodation: Lords Private Tented Camp
Departing the Northern region of Kakadu National Park, guests will cross the East Alligator River and enter Arnhem Land. The scenic drive to the Gunbalanya Aboriginal community provides some of the best driving views in the Top End with floodplains, billabongs & the Arnhem Land escarpment. Upon arrival at Gunbalanya guests will visit the Injalak Arts and Craft Centre to meet and watch traditional local artists in action.
Gunbalanya is the Aboriginal name for the Oenpelli settlement (which was originally a mission). The area includes the flood plains of the East Alligator River that are covered by water from December to April and a rocky sandstone plateau rising up to 200 metres above the plains. The view from the top of the hill is simply breath-taking, looking out across the floodplains and around the Arnhemland escarpment while having lunch in the shade of one the many overhanging ledges.
A traditional Aboriginal guide will show guests excellent examples of rock art on Injalak Hill (Long Tom Dreaming or Kurrkabal). This area is documented as having some of the best rock art examples in Western Arnhem Land - some say Australia. The main gallery is the visitor's first contact with rock art and is the most intense. It is an extensive shelter featuring layered paintings created over thousands of years.
When travellers farewell the Aboriginal guide back at the Injalak Art & Craft Centre, there is an opportunity to browse or purchase goods from this non-profit Aboriginal organisation.
“In the township of Gumbalanya, which we visit before we begin our walk, we pop into Injalak Arts to see artists producing their art, whether that be fabric, weaving or painting, after which a guide joins the group to travel to the hill. Our lunch stop is my favourite lunch stop ever. I set the picnic up in a rock shelter and we all dine together admiring vistas over the wetlands and rock art above our heads. There’s nowhere else like it."
Dean Hoath - Guide
Across the sandstone escarpments, visitors may spot the Brolga, Black Necked Stork (Jabirus), honeyeaters, Sandstone Thrush, Black Wallaroo, Chestnut-quilled Rock Pigeon, Short-eared Rock Wallaby, Channel-billed Cuckoo, Pheasant Coucal and the Red tailed skink.
Overnight Accommodation: Lords Private Tented Camp
Venturing out to the Southern end of Kakadu, visitors will enjoy one of the most beautiful and pristine waterfalls in the park named Maguk (Barramundi Gorge). A short walk through sub-monsoon rainforests of Paperbarks and a Pandanus lined creek leads to the base of a stunning plunge pool.
Located in stone country, water seeping from surrounding rock walls and alluvial soils provide an important micro-environment for plants and animals. Many animals rely on these areas for refuge during the drier months such as the Chestnut-quilled Rock Pigeon, Short-eared Rock Wallaby, Black Wallaroo, and Merten's Water Monitor. After exploring this incredible ecosystem, the group will return to Darwin at approximately 5:00pm.
Private Group Size: Maximum 6 guests.
Pick-up and Drop Off Point: Darwin
Pick-up and Drop-off Time: Approximately 8:00am, returns at approximately 5:00pm.
Special Notes: This tour demands a reasonable amount of agility as we do a hill walk where there are no formed pathways or handrails, a reasonable level of fitness is important. Access to Arnhemland is by invitation by the local Aboriginal people, and the traditional owners may deny access at any time.
Lords Kakadu & Arnhemland Safaris contributes observations of flora & fauna via iNaturalist, the world’s leading global social biodiversity network. This platform allows our team to create research-quality citizen science data that enables a more detailed picture of our national biodiversity, and assists bodies such as the CSIRO, ecologists and other decision makers to deliver better outcomes for the environment and our species.
Our guides record observations with iNaturalist Australia by using the iNaturalist app on mobile phones or desktop computers. An observation records an encounter with an individual organism at a particular time and location in the Top End. We require photos to be attached to observations for them to become research grade and added to the Atlas of Living Australia.
This is where you can greatly assist us in capturing images out in the field! Although we make broader observations that we think are valuable to the local scientific community, we have identified the following species to track when we are exploring the Top End by vehicle or on foot.
Key species we're looking out for include:
Lords Kakadu & Arnhemland Safaris has spent decades working closely with local Aboriginal clans and share a mutual respect with the local indigenous people and their relationship with the land. Owner, Sab Lord, was raised on a station that is now part of World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park, with his father employing Aboriginal families who taught him their indigenous language and involved him in traditional ceremonies.
Sab's ongoing relationships and understanding of their culture has earned him the rare permission to share culturally significant sites and stories.
On itineraries featuring Arnhem Land, guests visit Injalak Hill, to experience the traditional culture of the Kunwinjku people hosted by an Aboriginal guide employed by the organisation. This area is documented as having some of the best rock art examples in Australia. Upon arrival at Gunbalanya, guests visit the Injalak Arts and Crafts Centre to see artists producing their works, whether that be fabric, weaving or painting. Injalak Arts is a nonprofit Aboriginal-owned social enterprise whose members are the artists and community. Injalak artists produce traditional art inspired by ancient Dreamtime stories. Nearby rock art galleries demonstrate an unbroken link between the present generation of Kunwinjku people and their ancestors.
Lords Kakadu & Arnhemland Safaris operate a permanent Kakadu Bush Camp, almost entirely energy neutral, with solar panels powering lighting, fridges and fans. Australian Wildlife Journeys is in the process of setting science-based targets, implementing mechanisms to enable the calculation of carbon emissions across all organisation types and decreasing emissions through technological advancements in hybrid and hydrogen technologies.