Inala’s Top End Tour - Birds and Wildlife of Kakadu and the Kimberley 11-19 June 2020
Day 1. Thu 11 June 2020. Explore Darwin area
Day 2. Fri 12 June 2020. Darwin to South Alligator, Kakadu
Day 3. Sat 13 June 2020. South Alligator to Cooinda, Kakadu
Day 4. Sun 14 June 2020. Kakadu to Pine Creek
Day 5. Mon 15 June 2020. Pine Creek to Timber Creek
Day 6. Tue 16 June 2020. Timber Creek
Day 7. Wed 17 June 2020. Timber Creek to Kununurra
Day 8. Thu 18 June 2020. Kununurra
Day 9. Fri 19 June 2020. Kununurra and depart
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
Sought-after mammals including Short-eared and Wilkin’s Rock-wallaby, Antilopine and Black Wallaroo, Black Flying-fox and Dingo. Enjoy Kakadu’s vast wetlands. Gouldian Finch and Yellow Chat. Visit the Kimberly including Lake Argyle.
Spectacular scenery, indigenous rock art and amazing boab trees (Adansonia gregorii).
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!
B- breakfast; L- lunch; D-dinner
Day 1. Thursday 11 June 2020. 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, Orange-footed Scrub-fowl, Rose-crowned Fruit Dove, the striking Rainbow Pitta, Forest Kingfisher, Red-headed Myzomela (Honeyeater), 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.
Day 2. Friday 12 June 2020. Darwin to South Alligator (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, Restless and Broad-billed Flycatchers. On arrival in Kakadu we will take a short walk to local lagoon to enjoy sunset. After dinner, if time permits, we may do some spotlighting for nocturnal species such as Barking Owl, Tawny Frogmouth, Large-tailed Nightjar and Australian Owlet-nightjar.
Accommodation: South Alligator (en suite cabins). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 3. Saturday 13 June 2020. South Alligator to Cooinda (Kakadu).
This morning we will make a stop at the impressive Mamukala Wetlands where, if conditions are right, we can enjoy thousands of birds of many species. Plumed and Wandering Whistling Ducks, Radjah Shelduck, Black-necked Stork, Magpie Goose and Green Pygmy-goose are possible highlights. After this there is an option to visit Ubirr, a site of rock outcrops in Kakadu 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. In the late afternoon, Short-eared Rock Wallabies may be seen emerging from their shelters. Species we may enjoy at several other short stops today include Sandstone Shrike-Thrush, Chestnut Quilled Rock Pigeon, Partridge Pigeon (red eyed form) 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 and Purple Swamphen. The stately Great-billed Heron and Black Bittern may also be seen as might the rare Black Falcon. In the early evening we will check in to our accommodation.
Accommodation: Cooinda (en suite cabins). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 4. Sunday 14 June 2020. 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, White-lined Honeyeater, Little Woodswallow, Black-tailed Treecreeper and 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 visit a dam where we may see Gouldian Finch. We may also opt for stops at the Water Gardens and the Old Cemetery where Red-winged Parrot, the sought-after Hooded Parrot, Northern Rosella, Red-backed Kingfisher, the delightful Red-backed Fairy-wren, Australian Figbird, Great Bowerbird and Masked, Long-tailed and Double-barred Finches are possible.
Accommodation: Pine Creek (en suite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 5. Monday 15 June 2020.
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 Black-tailed Treecreeper, Rufous-throated, Black-chinned and Banded Honeyeaters and Buff-side Robin.
Accommodation: Timber Creek (en suite hotel room). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 6. Tuesday 16 June 2020. 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 the sought-after Spinifex Pigeon, Yellow-tinted Honeyeater, Star, Long-tailed and Masked Finches and Chestnut and Yellow-rumped Mannikin.
Accommodation: Timber Creek (en suite hotel room). Meals included: B, L, D.
Day 7. Wednesday 17 June 2020. Timber Creek to Kununarra.
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 and raptors as we go, including Square-tailed Kite. 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. Thursday 18 June 2020. 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 Crake and Pheasant Coucal. Local conditions will determine where we spend the rest of the day, with additional possible birding highlights including Brolga, Northern Rosella, Silver-crowned Friarbird, Blue-faced Honeyeater, Bar-breasted and Banded Honeyeaters, and Sandstone Shrike-thrush. 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. Friday 19 June 2020. Kununurra and depart.
Today after breakfast we will transfer to the Kununurra airport where the tour will end. Based on 2019 flight schedule the following possibilities are available for onward travel: Kununurra to Broome 11:25-12:50 (and Broome to Perth 13:50-16:25) or Kununurra to Darwin 15:55-18:25.
Meals included: B
Tour Price: AU $5,655 per person sharing for a minimum group size of 6 people
Single supplement: AU $1070
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.
Please note: We would be pleased to arrange accommodation in Darwin on Wednesday 10 June 2020 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.