Inala’s Top End Tour - Birds and Wildlife of Kakadu and the Kimberley
20-28th June 2023
Day 1. Tue 20 June 2023. Tour starts am today. Explore Darwin area
Day 2. Wed 21 June 2023. Darwin to Jabiru. Kakadu
Day 3. Thu 22 June 2023. Kakadu National Park
Day 4. Fri 23 June 2023. Kakadu to Pine Creek
Day 5. Sat 24 June 2023. Pine Creek to Timber Creek
Day 6. Sun 25 June 2023. Timber Creek
Day 7. Mon 26 June 2023. Timber Creek to Kununurra
Day 8. Tue 27 June2023. Kununurra
Day 9. Wed 28 June 2023. Kununurra and depart
This tour explores some of Australia's most iconic areas of Northern Australia, including Kakadu and the Kimberley. Some of our most sought-after birds, including Gouldian Finch and Hooded Parrot inhabit some of our most stunning landscapes. Join us for on our next journey across Australia’s Top End!
Around 200 species of birds including range-restricted species like Hooded Parrot, Rainbow Pitta, Banded Fruit Dove, Sandstone Shrike-thrush, White-quilled and Chestnut-quilled Rock-pigeon, Gouldian Finch and Yellow Chat. Sought-after mammals include Short-eared and Wilkin’s Rock-wallaby, Antilopine and Black Wallaroo, Black Flying-fox and Dingo. Enjoy Kakadu’s vast wetlands, the Kimberley including Lake Argyle, as well as spectacular scenery, indigenous rock art and amazing boab trees (Adansonia gregorii).
This small group tour has been designed to follow our Red Centre tour 14-19 Jun 2023
This small group tour has been designed to precede our Kimberley ( Kununurra to Broome ) tour and our Broome-Dampier Peninsula tour which allows for maximum flexibility in exploring this remote and little-explored area of Outback north-western Australia.
B- breakfast; L- lunch; D-dinner
Day 0. Monday 19 June 2023. Optional extra: Arrive Darwin or fly Alice Springs to Darwin if also taking our Red Centre tour.
We can organise additional accommodation in Darwin tonight if required (not included in price except if taking both Red Centre and Top End combination).
Day 1. Tuesday 20 June 2023. Darwin and surrounds.
The tour will start in Darwin this morning. Darwin is surrounded by a fantastic diversity of habitat types that we will spend the day exploring for a range of interesting birds and mammals. Mangrove and monsoon forests are especially rich, hosting an impressive range of possible highlights includes the elusive Chestnut Rail, Rufous Owl, Orange-footed Scrub-fowl, Rose-crowned Fruit Dove, the striking Rainbow Pitta, Forest Kingfisher, Red-headed Myzomela, Mangrove Robin, Green Oriole, Blue-faced Honeyeater, Green-backed Gerygone, Spangled Drongo, Blue-winged Kookaburra, Great Bowerbird, Pheasant Coucal, Pied and Silver-backed Butcherbird and Red-collared Lorikeet. Little Red Flying-fox and Agile Wallaby are possible mammal highlights.
Accommodation: Darwin (en suite hotel room). Meals included: L, D. (and B if taking both Red Centre and Top End tour combination)
Day 2. Wednesday 21 June 2023. Darwin to Jabiru (Kakadu)
This morning we start the day with a visit to Fogg Dam. This well-known site is an excellent area for waterbirds including Magpie Goose, Green Pygmy-goose, Pied Heron, Glossy Ibis, the stately Brolga, White-browed Crake and the quirky Comb-crested Jacana. En route to Kakadu we will enjoy a stop at the Adelaide River crossing for lunch where we may see Mangrove Golden Whistler and a variety of flycatchers like Shining, Paperbark and Broad-billed Flycatchers. As we enter Kakadu we’ll start seeing iconic waterbirds like Magpie Goose, Plumed and Wandering Whistling Ducks, Radjah Shelduck, Black-necked Stork, and Green Pygmy-goose. After dinner, if time permits, we may do some spotlighting for nocturnal species such as Southern Boobook, Tawny Frogmouth, Large-tailed Nightjar and Australian Owlet-nightjar.
Accommodation: Jabiru Hotel (en suite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 3. Thursday 22 June 2023. Kakadu National Park.
This morning we will visit Ubirr, a site of typical Arnhemland Escarpment rock outcrops, that is home to some impressive aboriginal rock art. The art depicts creation ancestors and animals of the area, including several fish and turtle species, wallabies and possums. Hopefully Wilkin’s Rock Wallabies may be present in the shade of the rocks, and birds we may see here include Sandstone Shrike-Thrush & Chestnut-quilled Rock Pigeon. Elsewhere throughout the park we’ll hope to connect with tropical woodland species like Partridge Pigeon (red eyed form), Rainbow Bee-eater, Black Bittern, Long-tailed Finch and Rufous-throated Honeyeater.
In the afternoon we will enjoy a cruise on the Yellow Waters Billabong, Kakadu’s best-known wetland. This impressive wetland of channels, swamps and floodplains is a delight to explore and is home to crocodiles a-plenty and a variety of waterbirds including Nankeen Night-heron, Black-necked Stork, Little Kingfisher, White-bellied Sea-eagle, Pied Heron and Purple Swamphen. The stately Great-billed Heron and Black Bittern may also be seen. In the early evening we will check in to our accommodation, and after dinner if we’re feeling energetic we can spotlight for mammals like Black-footed Tree-rat and Savannah(Sugar) Glider.
Accommodation: Cooinda (en suite cabins). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 4. Friday 23 June 2023. Cooinda to Pine Creek.
This morning we will make an early visit to Nourlangie Rock where we have a reasonable chance of seeing the range-restricted Black Wallaroo, Banded Fruit-dove and White-lined Honeyeater. Also here are Little Woodswallow, Black-tailed-treecreeper and the sandstone form of Helmeted Friarbird. We will then enjoy a last look around Kakadu before making our way out of the park and south west towards the Pine Creek area. We will be sure to stop for any new birds and mammals on the way.
After checking in to our accommodations we will have a look about town where the highly sought-after Hooded Parrot may be coming in to water, and also Red-winged Parrot, Gouldian Finch, Northern Rosella, Red-backed Kingfisher, the delightful Red-backed Fairy-wren, Australian Figbird, Great Bowerbird and Masked, Long-tailed & Double-barred Finches are possible.
Accommodation: Pine Creek (en suite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 5. Saturday 24 June 2023. Pine Creek to Timber Creek.
Today we begin our journey west across the Top End. En route we have additional chances for Hooded Parrot and with luck, we may see the uncommon northern race of Crested Shrike-tit. We will explore the cane-grass habitat on the fringes of the Victoria River for the lovely Purple-crowned Fairy-wren and Yellow-rumped Mannikin. Freshwater Crocodiles are common here and, unlike their saltwater cousins, subsist mostly on fish, and thus pose little threat to large mammals (humans included!). Other possible species today include Red-tailed Black-cockatoo, Cockatiel, Rufous-throated, Black-chinned and Banded Honeyeaters and Buff-sided Robin.
Accommodation: Timber Creek (en suite hotel room). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 6. Sunday 25 June 2023. Timber Creek.
Today will be dedicated to continuing our search for the stunning Gouldian Finch. This area is also home to rich diversity of species and there will be plenty to keep us entertained while we search for our quarry. Highlights may include Spinifex Pigeon, Yellow-tinted & Grey-fronted Honeyeaters, Tawny Grassbird, Spotted Harrier, Star, Long-tailed & Masked Finches, and Chestnut-breasted and Yellow-rumped Mannikins.
Accommodation: Timber Creek (en suite hotel room). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 7. Monday 26 June 2023. Timber Creek to Kununurra.
This morning we continue our sojourn west, and cross the Western Australia border. We will be on the lookout for the very rare Pictorella Mannikin, as well as Budgerigar, Australian Bustard, Diamond Dove and various raptors as we go, including Square-tailed Kite & Black-breasted Buzzard. While today is a travel day, we will be passing through spectacular countryside and making regular stops to stretch our legs and enjoy any birding highlights. In the late afternoon, we will arrive in Kununurra in the fabled Kimberley area.
Accommodation: Kununurra (en suite hotel room). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 8. Tuesday 27 June 2023. Kununurra.
Today we have a full day to explore the riches of the Kimberley in the Kununurra area. A certain highlight is bound to be a boat trip on Lake Argyle, where we will enjoy a wonderful variety of waterbirds, as well as search for two very special birds, the highly sought-after Yellow Chat and White-quilled Rock Pigeon. Australian Reed-warbler may be seen in the lakeside vegetation, as might White-browed & Baillon’s Crakes, Crimson Finch and Pheasant Coucal. Local conditions will determine where we spend the rest of the day, with additional possible birding highlights such the localised Kimberley form of Purple-backed Fairy-wren, Northern Rosella, Silver-crowned Friarbird, White-gaped Honeyeater, Bar-breasted and Rufous-banded Honeyeaters, and Sandstone Shrike-thrush being possible. Mammals in the area include Short-eared Rock-Wallaby and Northern Nail-tail Wallaby.
Accommodation: Kununurra (en suite hotel room) Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 9. Wednesday 28 June 2023. Kununurra and depart.Those participants who are not continuing onto the Inala Kununurra to Broome tour will make their own arrangements for activities today and departing from Kununurra airport. For those flying back to Darwin today, there are 2 flights: Qantas flight QF8648 15:40-18:10 and QF8651 17:30-20:00 (not included in tour price). These are code-shared with Airnorth so please check both websites for the best flight prices. This tour has been designed to adjoin our Kimberley to Broome (27 June- 7 July 2023) and Broome-Dampier Peninsula tours (6-15 July 2023) for those who wish to continue their journey with us.
Accommodation: none. Meals included: B
Tour Price: AU $5,980 per person sharing for a minimum group size of 6 people. Single supplement: AU $1,100
Price includes: 8 nights’ accommodation, specialist guide and transport, meals, entrance fees and activities as mentioned in the itinerary.
Price does not include: International and domestic airfares, gratuities, alcoholic beverages, snacks, internet, laundry or other items of a personal nature.
This small group tour has been designed to follow our Red Centre tour (14-19 June 2023). If taking both sections, we will organise accommodation in Darwin on 19 June for no additional cost plus offer a $200 discount, which represents a saving of almost $500. Further discounts may apply if taking more tour combinations
Additional accommodation: We would be pleased to arrange accommodation in Darwin on 19th June so that you will be available to maximise your birding and wildlife viewing experience in Darwin at the start of the tour on day 1 above.
Meals and drinks: Breakfast generally consists of a continental style breakfast with cereal, fruit and yoghurt and tea/coffee. Full cooked breakfast is not generally offered at most locations. Lunch will generally consist of a packed lunch style meal eaten in the field, with sandwich/filled roll, fruit, and a drink. Dinner usually consists of several options for main with the choice of either an appetiser or dessert. Drinks (soft and alcoholic) are generally not included but at lunches and breakfasts juice may be made available.
The itinerary: Whilst we aim to follow the itinerary as planned, please note that the itinerary provided should only be used as a guideline. Depending on individual trip circumstances, weather, and local information, the exact itinerary may not be strictly adhered to. The guides reserve the right to make changes to the itinerary as they see fit.