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Sit back, relax and watch the Australian outback unfold before your eyes, on this 8 night photography workshop during which we will visit some of the best locations Kakadu and the Northern Territory has to offer!

You could be part of a small group of six participants working with photographer, Alan Barker, which allows for ample time at each location providing the optimum opportunity for 1-1 guidance to help enhance your photography. In partnership with Sacred Earth Safaris, we will travel through the top end in a purpose-built 6WD coach, decked out with tinted windows, air-conditioning and comfortable seats; not to mention spacious as our group of 6 will have the 23-seater to ourselves! David, co-owner of Sacred Earth Safaris, will be our driver and guide and, as a territorian himself, comes with over 35 years guiding and touring experience in the region.

Your outback adventure is fully inclusive of meals, accommodation and transport from the beginning to the end of trip. Special inclusions to look forward to include a 2 hour sunset dinner cruise through Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge); a 2 hour sunrise cruise through Yellow Waters wetlands - some of the most beautiful wetlands in Australia; a sunset cruise at Corroboree Billabong; plus a unique Guluyambi Cultural Cruise along the East Alligator river, the boundary between Kakadu and Arnhem Land.

The focus of the workshop will be spending time out in the field photographing, which is why there are no formal presentations, rather more time fine-tuning your skills and seeking assistance as required.

If your'e still looking for more excitement and photographic opportunities, there will be the opportunity for a helicopter flight over Kakadu (optional, extra cost)

ITINERARY

Arrival day into Darwin (D)- Tuesday 19th July 2022

Upon arrival into Darwin, please make your way to our centrally located accommodation in Darwin City.

The rest of the day is at your leisure- perhaps relax in the hotel pool or take a walk along the Esplanade.

This evening we’ll have our first group dinner. Your driver guide and photography tour leader will run through the itinerary with you for the next week and this is a great opportunity to get to know your fellow travellers.

Overnight accommodation- Hotel room with en-suite in Darwin city

Touring Day 1 (B,L,D) - Wednesday 20th July 

An early start today (to beat other travellers), departing the hotel at 6.30am and heading south, to the beautiful Litchfield National Park.

 We view the amazing magnetic and cathedral termite mounds and we can have a swim at Wangi Falls, Florence Falls and Buley Rockholes which are a series of small waterfalls that are a great place to simply sit and relax. There is also a lovely hike along the riverbank from Florence Falls to Buley Rockholes, 

Mid- afternoon we depart Litchfield and drive to Mt Bundy Station, which is our accommodation for this evening. The station has an interesting history and is set in a picturesque bush setting, attracting a multitude of wildlife- it’s fantastic for photography.

Overnight accommodation at Mt Bundy- rooms with air-con. There is a mix of double, twin and single rooms. 2 bathrooms (1 male and 1 female) are shared between the block, which will have our group only in it  

Touring Day 2 (B,L,D)- Thursday 21st July

 A later start this morning, departing Mt Bundy around 10am. For the earlier risers, you may like to watch sunrise or take a wander around Mt Bundy and photograph the wildlife, including heaps of wallabies, water buffalo, horses, peacocks, donkeys and guinea fowl.

We’re heading south this morning to the township of Katherine, with a stop en-route in the historic town of Pine Creek. Once we reach Katherine, we make our way out to the Katherine Hot Springs. These natural thermal springs are a lovely spot for a dip in the warm waters, framed by native vegetation. For those that don’t want to swim, there are some short walking trails to enjoy too.

 We check into our accommodation and after freshening up, we depart for nearby Nitmiluk Gorge, home to 13 spectacular gorges, carved out of the rock by torrential summer rains, over millions of years. Late this afternoon you’ll cruise for 2 hours through the gorge, discovering the customs of the traditional land owners, the Jawoyn people.  Discover the stories and ways of the Jawoyn people against the magnificent backdrop of the Nitmiluk Gorge, changing colour with the setting sun. The tour includes a three course candle light dinner, featuring fresh, local Australian produce cooked on board, a complimentary glass of sparkling wine, tea and coffee. 

**please note that this is a public cruise, so there will be other people on board. Tables are 4 seater, so we will be split up at different tables**

Overnight accommodation- motel room with en-suite in Katherine

Touring Day 3 (B,L,D) - Friday 22nd July

 Departing Katherine, we now head north again to Leilyn (Edith Falls), which is also part of Nitmiluk National Park. Leilyn is well known for it’s picturesque waterfalls and pools, particularly the large pool at the base of the escarpment which is surrounded by pandanus palms and is a great spot for a swim. A large variety of birds can also be seen in this area.

You also have the option of taking the Leliyn Trail - a walk that takes you across the top of the waterfall, where you can have a swim in the upper rockpools and will get views of the waterfalls and Edith River from a couple of lookouts.

This afternoon,we make our way into World Heritage listed Kakadu National park through the southern entrance. Kakadu is the largest national park in Australia, has some of the world’s finest rock art and a variety of habitats, including floodplains and savannah woodlands.

Kakadu's many habitats support more than 280 species of birds, or about one-third of Australia's bird species. Some birds range over a number of habitats, but many are found in only one environment, including the Chestnut-quilled Rock-Pigeon, Banded Fruit-Dove, White- Lined Honeyeater and the White-throated Grasswren, which are only found within or near Kakadu National Park.

This evening we’ll head down to Yellow Waters Billabong for some sunset photography.

Overnight accommodation in Kakadu- Kakadu Lodge Cooinda, motel rooms with en-suites 

Touring Day 4 (B,L,D) - Saturday 23rd July

 We start today on a 2 hour sunrise Yellow Waters Billabong cruise. Located at the end of Jim Jim Creek, at least 60 bird species are found in these wetlands, the billabong is home to many saltwater crocodiles and you may see other wildlife such as Water Buffalo.

Back to the lodge for breakfast and check out. We now travel to the we travel to the very south of the park, and Gunlom. After a scenic drive in, on an unsealed dirt road, we reach a large plunge pool at the base of the waterfall, which is great for a swim. You also have the option to take the walk to the top of the falls where pristine rockpools and a spectacular view await you. 

Overnight accommodation in Kakadu- Mercure Crocodile Hotel, motel rooms with en-suites 

Touring Day 5 (B,L,D) - Sunday 24th July

 This morning we travel to Nawalandja lookout and the beautiful Angbangbang Billabong, where you have the choice of taking the loop walk around the billabong to watch the birds, or simply enjoy them from the picnic area. The short hike to Nawalandja lookout is rewarded by a magnificent view over the Arnhemland escarpment.

Then onto Nourlangie Rock, which is an ancient Aboriginal shelter. Here we explore the area and the rock art, which you guide will interpret for you. This area is home to the Black Wallaroo (endemic to the Nourlangie area), short-eared rock wallaby, Banded Fruit- Dove, White-Lined Honeyeater and the Chestnut-Quilled Rock Pigeon.

Late this afternoon we drive to Ubirr in the very north of the park. Here we walk through galleries of ancient aboriginal rock art, which your guide will interpret. At the end of the walk we reach the top of the plateau, where you can relax and enjoy the spectacular view over the floodplains and the Arnhemland escarpment. The escarpment is also home to a variety of birds including the Chestnut-Quilled Rock Pigeon, Banded Fruit- Dove, Whistling Kite, Bush Stone- Curlew as well as the short-eared rock wallaby. This is a great spot for sunset and we have plenty of time to enjoy this experience.

Overnight accommodation in Kakadu- Mercure Crocodile Hotel, hotel rooms with en-suites

Touring Day 6 (B,L,D)- Monday 25th July

There is the option this morning for optional scenic flights and helicopter flights over Kakadu (extra cost).

We also take a look around the Bowali Visitor Centre.

 We now travel north again, have lunch and drive to Cahills Crossing. This is the crossing on the East Alligator River that separates Kakadu and Arnhemland and it’s notorious for the larger number of crocodiles that live in the area. We can view the crossing and crocodiles from the safety of the lookout !

This afternoon you are guests of the Bunitj Clan who are the traditional custodians of the Cannon Hill region. Tonight you’ll stay at the Hawk Dreaming safari camp, an exclusive, indigenous owned camp located in a restricted and culturally significant area of Kakadu National Park.

After you settle in, you are treated to exclusive guided touring to nearby rock art sites and a billabong to take in a spectacular sunset on the escarpment and over the wetlands while enjoying appetisers and cool drinks. 

Overnight camp- Hawk Dreaming safari camp in safari tents with en-suites on  Dinner, Bed and Breakfast (DBB) 

There is no air-con here but tents are fly screened allowing the cool air into the tents and they also have ceiling fans.

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Touring Day 7 (B,L,D) - Tuesday 26th July

After breakfast you’ll take the Guluyambi Cultural cruise on the East Alligator River. Take in the pristine wilderness of this World Heritage landscape as you leisurely cruise up stream. An Aboriginal guide provides guests with an insight into their culture, local mythology, the river’s abundant food chain, traditional uses for many plants & animals as well as bush survival skills.

Disembark on the Arnhem Land side of the river for a display of traditional hunting and gathering implements. Limited to just 25 guests, the cruise ensures an intimate and personalized cultural experience.

Meet up with your Sacred Earth Safaris driver guide again and we start our journey back towards Darwin. En-route we call in to the beautiful Mamukala Wetlands, which can be viewed from the observation platform. Mamukala Wetlands are home to an array of wetland birds including thousands of Magpie Geese, Wandering and Whistling Ducks, Green- Pygmy Geese and Australian Pelicans. We may also see birds of prey, such as Black-breasted Buzzard and Square-tailed Kite.

After lunch we depart Kakadu and continue into the Mary River region. After a comfort and coffee stop, we continue to Corroboree Billabong, part of the Mary River Wetlands, which is teeming with bird life. Late this afternoon we’ll take a 2 hour sunset cruise. The wet season transforms the wetlands into an inland sea and replenishes the earth after the long dry and fish, crocodiles and birds breed and flourish. As the flood waters subside, the dry season offers excellent opportunities for viewing birds and wildlife. Keep an eye out for Saltwater crocodiles, Water Buffalo, Wallabies and of course, birdlife.

Species of birds that can be found in the Mary River region include Gouldian Finch, Rufous Owl, Grey Goshawk, Great- Billed Heron, Black Bittern, Rainbow Pitta, Brolga, Jabiru, Kingfishers, Darters, Cormorants and Sea Eagles. 

After the cruise we travel back to Darwin.

Overnight accommodation- Hotel room with en-suite in Darwin city

Touring Day 8 (B) - Wednesday 27th July

Our final early start (but worth it !) for a 1 hour drive out to Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve. These wetlands have international significance because of their beauty and natural ecosystems. A variety of fauna may be found here throughout the year as well as a large variety of birdlife (230 bird species have been listed in this area by The Australian Bird Atlas).

As well as viewing the wetland birds as we drive across the dam wall, we also have the option of taking one of woodlands walks- either the 2.7k Monsoon Forest Walk or the 2.2km Woodlands to Waterlily Walk. 

Along with wetlands birds, such as Brolga, Jabiru, Comb Crested Jacana, Sacred Kingfishers and Royal Spoonbills, we may also have the opportunity to see a range of other birds such as Crimson finches, Double Barred Finches, Rainbow Bee-Eaters and the Rainbow Pitta.

After several hours to explore and enjoy this nature hotspot, we return to Darwin, arriving at approximately 12 noon.

END OF TOUR

B= Breakfast   L= Lunch    D= Dinner

THE FINE PRINT

WORKSHOP DATES: 19 July - 27 July

COSTS: $8240 shared; $1015 single supplement

Inclusions:

  • Professional photographic tuition and guidance throughout the trip
  • Sole use of 6WD tour coach, with air conditioning, tinted windows, reclining coach seats and speaker system  with professional driver guide  
  • All meals and some snacks
  • 8 nights tour accommodation, as listed, including 1 night Hawk Dreaming
  • Kakadu park entry ticket
  • Sunset Corroboree Billabong cruise (public cruise)
  • Sunrise Yellow Waters cruise (public cruise)
  • Guluyambi Cruise
  • Sunset dinner Nitmiluk Gorge cruise (public cruise)

Exclusions:

  • Arrival/departure flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Alcohol
  • Airport transfers

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