12 Day - Gulf Savannah Expedition

Darwin to Cairns

 

Elsey River NP - Limmen NP - Lorella Springs - Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) NP - Riversleigh Fossils – Undara Lava Tubes

 

This 12 Day journey operates in both directions.

27 July departure operates from Darwin to Cairns.

 

13 August departure operates in reverse from Cairns to Darwin

 

11 nights: Camping (single travellers get their own tent at no extra cost guaranteed!)

 

Maximum group size is 11 passengers.

 

Trip cost: $4200 including GST

 

 

Includes:

 

  • Experienced & Professional Guide

  • Comfortable 4WD transport

  • National Park permits & fees

  • Traditional land permits & fees

  • Camping fees

  • Undara Lava tube guided tour

  • Meals indicated on itinerary by B, L, D)

  • Trail snacks for hiking

  • All camping gear including comfortable swags with clean linen & quality tents

  • Pick up and drop of at your pre and post tour Accommodation


 

 

Not Included:

 

  • Flights or transport pre or post trip. 

  • Pre and post tour accommodation

  • Alcohol

  • Soft drinks, ice creams and souvenirs at roadside stops

  • Dinner at Hells Gates Roadhouse

  • Dinner at the Club Hotel, Croydon

  • Lunch on the final day

  • Optional Canoe hire at Lawn Hill

 

 

This trip explores a vast landscape seen rarely by travellers in Australia. It’s a big journey and one that takes in so much diversity. You’ll explore Elsey National Park, the land of the Never Never, the lost city of Limmen national park and the gorge filled oasis of Lorella Springs. We continue on to Adel’s Grove where we explore Boodjamulla National Park (Lawn Hill) and the Riversleigh fossil fields then it’s onto historic outback towns founded on gold fever. Toping of this incredible journey is another truly unique experience as we go underground to explore the Undara Lava tubes. Starting in Darwin and finishing in Cairns this is a journey so many of you have been asking for…. And here it is!

 

This trip will be run in an exploratory style; so whilst we have a basic itinerary outlining our intention with key points of interest; we have also built in time to explore, absorb and relax around other lesser known points of interest. Some locations or experiences have been omitted or scarcely described in the itinerary as we feel it may promote them more widely in a way that’s not sensitive or responsible. We’ll be exploring some new well researched places on this trip and your willingness to explore the unknown in a flexible way is definitely required! 

 

 

 

A couple of important notes to consider when booking: 

 

Driving times in this region can vary wildly depending on local track conditions. Being able to negotiate these roads and tracks at a safe speed and make changes to the itinerary en-route is the only way we could safely run this trip!

 

Being an exploratory trip there are places we plan to visit that access will be at the discretion of land holders and traditional owners; and cannot always be guaranteed.  

 

 

 

Trip itinerary

 

 

Day 1 – Darwin to Elsey National Park

 

Departing Darwin, we head south for Katherine. It’s our last supply opportunity for at least for a good week so you’ll have the chance to get anything last min that you may need. 

Continuing south to Mataranka where we’ll stop of for a swim in the oasis that is Berry Springs.  It’s then out to Elsey National Park where we’ll camp. Walk and explore at your leisure from camp along the Roper River. In one direction you’ll find the tufa dams that form the gentle rapids known as Korowan (Mataranka Falls). The other direction has nice river side spots worth enjoying. 

Overnight in Elsey National Park, toilets and swimming opportunities. (L, D)

 

Day 2 - Limmen National Park camp  

From Mataranka we head towards Roper Bar and into the remote & isolated Limmen National Park.  We travel tracks through the park today before choosing a camp in the Southern region of the National Park for the night. 

 

Overnight in Limmen National park, camp has toilets. (B, L, D) 

 

 

Day 3 –Limmen NP, the Lost City & Lorella Springs

 

We hike around 5km today whilst exploring the Southern Lost City and Butterfly Gorge.  Travel onto Lorella springs where we setup camp beside a spring fed river for and head out for a short sunset walk before dinner.

 

Toilets and hot showers (if you start the fire, donkey hot water here!) (B, L, D)

 

 

Day 4 & 5  – Lorella Springs Wilderness park

 

3 nights and 2 and a half days exploring Lorella Springs. Each day we’ll head out from camp in our 4wd and explore another gorge, thermal spring or rocky range. 

 

Having a million acres of wilderness on our doorstep, Lorella Springs is an amazing property to explore. The list of places worth exploring goes on and on! Local knowledge & conditions will dictate our explorations. You can expect short walks amounting to around 5 km per day, and lots of swimming at waterholes. 

 

At the end of each day unwind and rejuvenate with a swim in the thermal spring and river next to camp

 

Toilets and hot showers (if you start the fire, donkey hot water here!) (B, L, D)

 

Day 6 – Borroloola and Hells Gate

 

Leaving Lorella Springs we head towards Borroloola and the QLD border. Overnight either at a bush camp near the border or at Hells Gate roadhouse.

 

The road can be either terrible or good and if later we’ll likely make it to Hells Gate roadhouse by the end of the day, if not it’ll be a bush camp near the QLD border. 

 

If we make it to Hells Gates, we’ll take advantage of the hospitality and have a night off from cooking…. So, head to the bar & restaurant, mingle with other travellers and sit down for a meal (own expense tonight). 

 

Either bush camp near the QLD boarder with little to no facilities or the roadhouse campground with toilets & showers (B, L)

 

 

Day 7, 8 & 9 – Boodajilla NP (Lawn Hill) & Riversleigh Fossil Fields 

 

Travel onto Boodajilla National Park (Lawn Hill) and the world heritage listed Riversleigh fossil fields. 

 

Expect between 5 – 8 km hiking on each of the two full days exploring the National Park.

Adel’s Grove is home for the next 3 nights whilst we explore the National Park.

 

There is gorgeous clear swimming hole to camp near and great facilities on hand.

Our camp has toilets & showers. (B, L, D)

 

 

Day 10 - Historic town of Croydon

 

Travel onto the historic gold mining town of Croydon. You’ll have time to walk at your own leisure whilst exploring the historic buildings and the museum. 

 

Tonight, we head out to the historic Club Hotel Est in 1887 where the local outback feel is always apparent. Dinner is own expense tonight. 

 

Overnight camp, toilets and showers. (B, L)

 

Day 11 – Udara Lava Tubes

The morning travelling onto Undara lava tubes. Afternoon exploring the area including a 2-hour underground tour with a local guide. 

‘Undara’ is an Aboriginal word meaning ‘long way’. The park protects one of the longest lava tube cave systems in the world. About 190,000 years ago, a large volcano erupted violently, spewing molten lava over the surrounding landscape. The lava flowed rapidly down a dry riverbed. The top, outer-layer cooled and formed a crust, while the molten lava below drained outwards, leaving behind a series of hollow tubes.

 

We camp at the large campground nearby the Undara Experience. Toilets & showers. (B, L, D)

 

Day 12 – Undara hike & Cairns

Our final day starts with morning hike of around 3km. We’ll spend the rest of the day travelling onto Cairns. Lunch is own expense today as we pass through one of the local villages en route to Cairns. (B)

 

 

PLEASE NOTE: Please be aware that the region explored in this trip can be subjected to unseasonal weather conditions that can alter our proposed itinerary. We have chosen the dry season as it is cooler and more comfortable to walk & travel. There are very few insects in the dry season and cool nights allows for comfortable camping. It is also the time of year where access is generally assured. We do however have in placecontingencies in the case of unseasonal weather, wildfires or culturally sensitive reasons that inhibit our access to the areas proposed in the itinerary.