Discover the remote Top End, Kimberley and Ningaloo on a small group air safari.

Highlights

  • Meet and engage with traditional Aboriginal elders, a modern day urban Indigenous chef and Aboriginal artists living in a remote and restricted community near abundant rock art galleries.
  • See Australia’s spectacular outback and coastal scenery by air, land, and water with expert guides and local, authentic characters leading you to magical spots in the middle of nowhere.
  • Discover the wealth of Australia’s unique wildlife.
  • Swim with whale sharks, the ocean’s gentle giants, in the pristine turquoise waters of Ningaloo Reef.
  • Stay at exclusive wilderness locations chosen for their breadth of interesting experiences including a bush campsite in the heart of Kakadu, a working cattle station, a cliff-top retreat on 700,000 acres of stunning outback, an award-wining rustic seaside camp accessible only by air or sea, and a desert-meets-the-ocean luxury tented camp.

“The luxury of this century and centuries to come is space. To be able to go out, and not bump into someone else, and not see anybody else, that’s very, very special.”

Marlee Ranacher, Founding family member of Bullo River Station

Day 1: MAY 13: DARWIN

From Darwin airport you will be transferred by private vehicle to your waterfront hotel. Here your Alquemie Host will meet you. Your Host will accompany you for the duration of the trip. You’ll have some time to settle in and relax before the evening’s activities. In late afternoon as the sun begins to lower over the Timor Sea, you’ll be taken to a beautiful sunset location to celebrate the beginning of your incredible Australian journey. The celebration begins with an ancient custom of great significance to many Indigenous people, a private Welcome to the Country & Smoking Ceremony conducted by Aboriginal elders, whose connection to Australia goes back tens of thousands of years. Afterwards, enjoy a very special Welcome Dinner at Alquemie’s exclusive beachside pop-up restaurant featuring a three-course menu showcasing indigenous ingredients. Although the menu will take shape just days before based on the local produce available, you can expect to sample dishes like cured crocodile and green-ant cheesecake. Zach Green, a Gunditjmara and Palawa man and renowned chef, is the mastermind behind this concept. He will take some time to discuss his culture and story with you. Stay: Vibe Hotel Waterfront Darwin – Deluxe View Room

Day 2: MAY 14: KAKADU

Before taking to the air, your remote Top End adventure begins with a two-night 4×4 safari into Kakadu National Park and Arnhem Land. Your guides, Sab and Dean, are regional experts and with them leading the charge you’ll access some of the most culturally historic sites in Australia’s Northern Territory and stunning off-the-beaten-track locations.

Along the way to Kakadu you will stop at one of the most important feeding and roosting sites for a wide variety of both water birds and other animals. You’ll also head out on an air-boat safari where you might get your first glimpse of Australia’s fiercest predator – the saltwater crocodile.

Upon entering Kakadu, your 4×4 journey will take you on a short detour to the beautiful Leaning Tree Lagoon. This billabong is often covered in water lilies and will delight keen photographers. The last stop is at Cooinda where you will experience a Kakadu highlight – a Yellow Water sunset cruise. This 10-square kilometre pristine environment supports a truly wonderful variety of Top End flora and fauna. The wildlife here is too numerous to mention, but you may see saltwater crocodiles, a Jacana bird walking on water, the magnificent sea eagle, or any one the 280 species that call this billabong home. Witness at close hand the wealth of wildlife in this tranquil habitat while enjoying one of the Top End’s great sunsets.

This evening you’ll watch skilled cooks prepare a hearty three-course meal over the campfire as you sip on fine wine or a cold beer.

Stay: Lords Safaris Tented Camp (note: no en-suite bathrooms at this comfortable bush camp)

Day 3: MAY 15: ARNHEM LAND

Wake to the sights and sounds of the bush. Today you’ll visit the restricted Aboriginal Lands (Arnhem Land), north of Kakadu. Visitors need special permission from its traditional custodians to enter this wild and untamed region. It is primarily occupied by Aboriginal communities who have lived in the area continuously for up to 60,000 years. Due to the region’s isolation there are strong cultural traditions and art of its Indigenous inhabitants.

As you leave Kakadu you’ll experience the excitement of true 4×4 action as you forge the East Alligator River at Cahill’s Crossing to enter Arnhem Land. After the crossing, a scenic drive to the Gunbalanya Aboriginal community provides some of the best views in the Top End with floodplains, billabongs, and the Arnhem Land escarpment.

You will meet and watch traditional local artists in action at the Injalak Arts and Crafts Centre. Injalak artists produce authentic art inspired by ancient dreamtime stories, images from nearby rock art galleries, and an unbroken link between the present generation of Kunwinjku people and their ancestors. This creates an intimate setting to get to know the artists and see first-hand how artworks are created.

Next you’ll head up to a rocky sandstone plateau rising 200 metres above the plains where an Aboriginal guide will show you excellent examples of rock art on Injalak Hill (Long Tom Dreaming / Kurrkabal). You will experience breath-taking galleries with facets of Pre-Estuarine, Estuarine, and Contact periods between 100 and 8,000 years old.

Stay: Lords Safaris Tented Camp (note: no en-suite bathrooms at this comfortable bush camp)

Day 4: MAY 16: BULLO RIVER STATION

This morning you’ll head to the southern end of Kakadu for a short walk through a sub-monsoon rainforest that leads to the base of a beautiful plunge pool. This is a scenic and tranquil place perfect for a refreshing swim in a series of small waterholes. The water is crystal clear. After a picnic lunch your 4×4 safari ends at Jabiru Airport signalling the start of your ultimate air safari.

After take off you’ll get a bird’s eye view of the vastness of the country where seasonal rivers and creeks spread across the land like blood vessels and arteries. Apart from the occasional settlement or road, signs of human habitation are few.

Soon you’ll arrive at Bullo River Station, a 500,000-acre working cattle station. Encircled by the coffee coloured waters of the Victoria River and rugged hills inscribed with Aboriginal rock art, this vast property home to around 4,000 Brahman-cross cattle and a stunning variety of local fauna species including wallabies, dingoes, wild buffalo, a myriad of native and migratory birds, fish, and the omnipresent crocodiles.

The pristine landscape, carved with gorges and decorated with waterfalls, makes Bullo River Station one of the most breathtakingly beautiful cattle stations in Australia. Here you’ll enjoy true outback hospitality and adventure with a touch of ‘Bullo’ luxury. You will arrive in time for the sunset and then dinner under the stars in the light of a campfire.

Stay: Bullo River Station Twin Share – King Room Garden View

Day 5: MAY 17: BULLO RIVER STATION

Today is a ‘no fly’ day, which gives you the chance to relax and enjoy the wide range of complimentary excursions at Bullo River Station. Choose a day filled with dust, sweat, and the exhilaration of station life. Or spend the day exploring stunning landscapes, waterfalls, swimming in remote waterholes, barramundi fishing, and discovering Aboriginal rock art and wildlife. All activities can be customised to your interests and passions so just let your host know.

Inclusions at Bullo River Station: all cattle station related activities, including bore checks, lick runs, feeding poddy calves, and other activities detailed upon arrival. Fishing, including guide, gear, and boat. Horse riding, including guide and gear. Guided tour of rock art, gorges, and water holes. 4WD activities. Customised enthusiast trips including bird watching, hiking, art, and photography locations.

Upgrade: HELICOPTER EXPEDITIONS (additional cost)

Stay: Bullo River Station Twin Share – King Room Garden View

Day 6: MAY 18: THE BUNGLE BUNGLES

Today’s highlight is the UNESCO World Heritage-listed beehive striped domes of the Bungle Bungle Range. It was only ‘discovered’ in the mid-1980’s although Aboriginal occupancy in the region dates back tens of thousands of years.

Walk among the eroded towers and black-and-orange banded structures. Your guide will take you into spectacular Cathedral Gorge to enjoy lunch where towering cliffs open to form a space with awe-inspiring natural acoustics. Meander along the bed of Piccaninny Creek, which flows only in the monsoon waterfall season.

After lunch a helicopter will take you on a scenic journey to view the Bungle Bungles and the spectacular maze of gorges from above.

Your accommodation for the next two nights is El Questro Homestead, a pocket of luxurious exclusivity where you’re encouraged to make yourself at home. Each day at the Homestead is likely to start with birdsong and end with a locally sourced three-course dinner, and matched wines, under a blanket of stars.

Stay: El Questro – Gorge View room

Day 7: MAY 19: EL QUESTRO

Another ‘no fly’ day. Choice is yours. With almost 700,000 acres to explore, the homestead’s surrounding landscape is dramatic and expansive.

From your luxurious base you’re invited to choose how to best explore El Questro – by foot, 4×4, boat, or horseback. Whichever way you prefer, an El Questro personal guide is always on hand to ensure nothing is missed.

After a day spent swimming under waterfalls, lounging in private thermal springs, or flying over ancient vistas and geological landmarks, return to the homestead for a delicious dinner.

If you’d like to do something particularly unique or special such as a helicopter experience to a remote location or sunset spots, ask your host for their recommendations.

UPGRADE: HELICOPTER EXPEDITIONS (additional cost)

Stay: El Questro – Gorge View room

Day 8: MAY 21: KIMBERLEY COASTAL CAMP

After a sumptuous breakfast, you will fly to a little outback runway that is Mitchell Plateau airstrip to be taken by helicopter to the top of Mitchell Falls. Photos do not do this place justice. Accessible only by heli (or a six-hour return walk and a few days’ drive), the area is alive with diverse flora and fauna and abundant rock art. Atop the falls you’ll enjoy a gourmet picnic lunch and have plenty of time to relax, swim in the cool flowing waters, and explore.

After lunch you will be collected from the top of the falls where you will have the opportunity to capture fantastic aerial photographs of Big Merten and Mitchell Falls before a scenic flight over the Mitchell Plateau and Admiralty Gulf to the spectacular Kimberley Coastal Camp.

The comfortably beachside rustic Kimberley Coastal Camp is the most exclusive retreat in the Top End and is accessible only by helicopter, boat or seaplane. Here you can enjoy fabulous scenery, gourmet food, unique beachfront accommodation, spectacular fishing, and ancient rock art – all combined with unparalleled hospitality in a remote wilderness location.

Stay: Kimberley Coastal Camp – Beachfront Bungalow (Note: no ensuite bathrooms)

Day 9: MAY 20: KIMBERLEY COASTAL CAMP

Spend today as you please. Whether you wish to relax and take in the beauty of your surroundings or fill your day with activities, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Adventures include fishing in abundant waters (in one day it is possible to catch everything from barramundi to bluebone to bluefin tuna), mud crabbing, oyster gathering, bush or coastal walks, bird watching, and boating.

Wild dingoes, sea eagles, olive pythons, endangered quolls, and many other native animals share this country known to traditional owners as ‘Yalrundair’. The exquisite art forms that adorn caves and rock panels throughout Yalrundair are what make a visit to Kimberley Coastal Camp truly unique.

Stay: Kimberley Coastal Camp – Beachfront Bungalow (Note: no ensuite bathrooms)

Day 10: MAY 22: BUCCANEER ARCHIPELAGO, CYGNET BAY PEARL FARM, BROOME

Today you’ll fly over the incredible Kimberley coastline and the Buccaneer Archipelago, a bright blue sea dotted with islands, to Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm for an insight into the fascinating history of pearling.

At Cygnet Bay they cultivate some of the most sought-after and beautiful pearls in the world. Your guides will demonstrate a pearl harvest, giving a glimpse into a fully operational pearl farm. The experience concludes with an in-depth pearl appreciation session that will leave you feeling like a pearl expert.

Afterwards explore the pristine environment of the Kimberley coast and the immense tidal movements on a sea safari. Experience an abundance of islands that form the Buccaneer Archipelago combined with the world’s largest tropical tides, exposing the unique natural phenomenon of the Waterfall Reef.

You’ll then fly to Broome to spend the night at the award-winning Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa, the only resort overlooking Broome’s iconic Cable Beach. It is the perfect spot to take in Broome’s incredible sunsets. Enjoy dinner and a couple of drinks in one of the resort’s restaurants before spending the evening at leisure.

Stay: Cable Beach Club – Garden View Studio

Day 11: MAY 23: BROOME

This morning enjoy breakfast and spend time at leisure. If you are interested in something a little more adventurous we can book you on a two-hour Broome hovercraft experience (additional cost) where you’ll experience standing in 120 million-year old dinosaur trackways on a secluded beach that was once an ancient planar forest floor.

In the afternoon, discover Broome on a private half-day tour with a local guide. Begin with a delicious lunch at the most remote brewery in Australia. Afterwards you’ll learn about Broome’s fascinating history as you walk through Chinatown, visit Sun Pictures – the world’s longest running outdoor cinema built in 1913 – and the Paspaley Pearl Gallery. You’ll also see local sights such as Town Beach, the Japanese Cemetery, Gantheaume Point, and Cable Beach.

Stay: Cable Beach Club – Garden View Studio

Day 12: MAY 24: SAL SALIS

This morning board your private air charter to Sal Salis, your home for three nights. En route view the beautiful Ningaloo Reef from above. The reef stretches 280 kilometres along Western Australia’s harsh and arid coast. Ningaloo Reef is an extraordinary yet strangely unknown jewel in Australia’s natural heritage.

Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef is a beachside safari camp nestled in the dunes of the Cape Range National Park. Each wilderness tent offers views of the surrounding bush and beach. Sal Salis is located in a designated Dark Sky area, where light pollution is at a minimum. At night the uninterrupted views of the Milky Way will astound you.

At night, fall asleep to the sound of the waves lapping against the beach, after a full day of activity, fine food, and camaraderie. At Sal Salis you will discover the magic of true eco-luxe camping.

Stay: Sal Salis – Wilderness Tent

Day 13: MAY 25: GENTLE GIANT ENCOUNTER

Ningaloo Reef is home to over 500 species of colourful fish and 250 coral species. Just beyond the reef also swim the mighty celebrities of the ocean – whale sharks, manta rays, and dolphins. Today brings the unmatched experience of an up close encounter with some of these gentle giants.

Head out on a private charter boat with an experienced marine scientist guide for a private swimming adventure and the chance to snorkel and swim beside 12 – 18 metre long whale sharks in the warm, clear waters of the Indian Ocean.

(Note: These are wild animals and sightings cannot be guaranteed however between April and August each year, whale sharks journey to the Ningaloo Reef to feed on plankton attracted by the mass spawning of coral. A spotter plane above will help give the best chance of seeing these animals.)

Stay: Sal Salis – Wilderness Tent

Day 14: MAY 26: SAL SALIS

Wake to the song of a butcherbird, the raucous squawks of a galah, or the thump of a wallaroo passing by.

It is time to do as little or as much as you like. While away the day on the beach or take advantage of the knowledgeable guides who love to show off their backyard with guided walks and snorkelling adventures.

The Cape Range National Park allows excellent wildlife and bird life viewing as you explore at a leisurely pace. Red kangaroos, wallaroos, rock wallabies, and Gould’s goannas are regularly sighted along with many of the 100 bird species that exist in this area. For seasoned birders, fairy wrens, zebra finches, honeyeaters, reef herons, and ospreys can all be found either in or close to the camp.

Stay: Sal Salis – Wilderness Tent

Day 15: MAY 27: PERTH

Say goodbye to the turquoise waters of Ningaloo Reef as you depart for Western Australia’s capital city, Perth on a scheduled Qantas flight.

This evening enjoy a group farewell dinner at Post, one of Como The Treasury’s beautiful restaurants. Enjoy a three-course set menu in the private dining room. This is the perfect chance to look back over the last two weeks and the incredible journey you have been on, and say goodbye to the new friends you have made.

Stay: Como The Treasury – Heritage Room

Day 16: MAY 28: DEPARTURE

Departure Transfers

Start your journey

AUD$39,989 per person twin share

16 days / 15 nights

May 13 to May 28 2019

Maximum 8 guests.

Inclusions: All meals and selected alcoholic & non-alcoholic beverages are included, all touring & activities where mentioned, all transfers and charter flights where advised, Alquemie Host throughout.

Call 1800 153 811 today to enquire.

Terms & Conditions apply.

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