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Darwin - Darwin | 10 days | Travel, culture and National Parks | Northern Territory

With a week of travelling in Darwin and its surroundings, you have enough time to discover why Lonely Planet named the capital of the North one of the ten cities in the world to visit in 2012.

In addition, you will have the chance to discover the beautiful surrounding national parks such as Litchfield National Park, Nitmiluk National Park and the famous Kakadu National Park.

You can also learn about the history of Darwin and Australia during WWII and the history and life of the Aborigines.

Step 1: Darwin

Start the day with breakfast by the harbor, try the "Boatshed House" at Cullen Bay Marina, it has a great view of the passing yachts.

For a little culture, explore the collections of the Northern Territory Museum and Art Gallery. If you prefer to cool off, the lagoon is a safe place to swim, This man-made lagoon is a sandless beach with man-made waves up to 1.7 meters high.

A beautiful and popular place to shop for Aboriginal art, the art galleries in the town and suburb of Parap on the outskirts of town are sure to delight you. Here you can find paintings, sculptures and textiles created by artists from Darwin, the Tiwi Islands, and the Kakadu and Arnhem regions.

If you are interested in wildlife, head to "Crocosaurus Cove". You can even swim with these animals. Crocosaurus Cove is a huge aquarium, including one with over 200,000 liters of water. It houses the largest collection of living reptiles in the world.

Campsite: Oasis Tourist Park: With electricity from $ 38 per night

Step 2: Darwin Litchfield National Park

Today, heading for Bachelor, a small town at the entrance to Litchfield National Park

Close to Darwin, Litchfield is a popular spot with day trippers who come from the city for a dip in Frorence Falls, Buley Rockhole and Wangi Waterfalls.

Then continue towards the curious magnetic termite mounds, or take the 4x4 track for the rock formations of the "Lost City" and the "Tjaynera" falls.

Note that many hiking trails start from the most popular sites. The walks vary between 1 and 3 kilometers, or for the more experienced walkers, you can complete the 39 kilometer loop in several days.

There are many places throughout the park to pitch your tent. Some sites are accessible on foot, others by 4x4 only.

Campsite: Litchfield Safari Camp: With electricity from $ 38 per night

Step 3: Litchfield National Park Katherine
Katherine is a great place to start exploring the gorges region and to discover local art.
You can visit the many Aboriginal art galleries and even meet the artists.
Before setting up camp for the evening, stop at "Katherine Hot Springs," a series of transparent pools fed by a natural hot spring located on the banks of the Katherine River.

In the evening, go on a guided tour to meet the local fauna: indeed, a large part of the region's fauna is nocturnal. You will see crocodiles, owls and more. The tour includes a barbecue for dinner, and the departure is at "Springvale Homestead".

Campsite: Big 4 Katherine Holiday Park: With electricity $ 40 - $ 51 per night
Step 4: Katherine

Today you explore the world-famous national park, Nitmiluk Park.
It covers a large part of the region including 13 gorges carved by the Katherine River.
Start your day at the tourist hub of the park, then take a river cruise to see sheer cliffs, sandy beaches, and rock walls painted by the Aborigines. You can also rent a canoe and explore the gorges on the water, which gives you a different perspective of this place. You can also fly over the park by helicopter or on foot.

In the evening, you return to Katherine for a traditional dinner on the grounds of the Outback Museum. Accommodation in Katherine includes hotels, hostels and campsites.

Campsite: Big 4 Katherine Holiday Park: With electricity $ 40 - $ 51 per night

Step 5: Katherine Kakadu National Park

Today you turn back and head back to Darwin on the Stuart Highway. You then head towards Kakadu National Park at the intersection. Your first stop will be the Bowali Visitor Center. It is a good base to learn more about the park. Armed with new knowledge, it's time to see some of the sites in the park. On the water, you can go on an excursion on the "East Alligator River".

As your guide talks about the local culture, mythology, survival situation, keep an eye out for the ever-present crocodiles. You continue on foot to Arnhem for an exhibition of traditional hunting and gathering techniques.

Nearby, Ubirr is a major Aboriginal rock art site where you will see a wide variety of paintings and artistic styles. Walk the one-kilometer loop through the galleries. Then climb to the top to admire the sunset over the flood plains. You spend the evening in Jabiru, which has a variety of accommodation options, from camping to hotel.

Campsite: Anbinik Kakadu Resort: With electricity from $ 42 per night

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Step 6: Kakadu National Park

Today you start your day with an overview of the region, it is an unmissable activity. Scenic flights depart regularly from Jabiru Airport, and between December and May you will see Jim Jim Falls and Twin Falls in all their beauty.

Then visit the "Nourlangie Rock", the site of the Anbangbang galleries. The aborigines used to shelter inside this site during thunderstorms, there is now evidence of occupation dating back more than 40,000 years.

Continue to Cooinda and the Warradjan Cultural Center, where you can learn about the culture and beliefs of the Aborigines. You will also discover traditional weaving and local cooking techniques. A great way to see the wildlife of this region is to take a cruise on a Yellow Water Billabong during sunset. In the cool of the setting sun, your guide will spot sea eagles and other wildlife.

Campsite: Anbinik Kakadu Resort: With electricity from $ 42 per night

Step 7: Kakadu National Park - Darwin

Before heading back to Darwin, take the round trip to Gubara, a six-kilometres (return) walk along sandstone cliffs, to a shady rainforest. Then go cool off by taking a dip in the swimming pools which attract a multitude of butterflies.

Your return trip to Darwin continues into the "Mamukala and Bird Hide" swamps to see birds and abundant wildlife.

Further on, stop at the Swamp Visitor Center, which explains the geography of this region. Upstairs, you have superb views over its flood plains. During the rainy season, you may even witness a spectacular lightning storm.

Before arriving in Darwin, stop and join a cruise to see huge saltwater crocodiles soar skyward to devour the lures that hang from the boat.

Campsite: Oasis Tourist Park: With electricity from $ 38 per night

Step 8: Darwin
Back to darwin, you drop off your motorhome at the branc h and take a taxi to go back to the airport, this is the end of your holiday

"I will continue to recommend you to those who would like to discover New Zealand or Australia."

Dominique - France