Arnhemland, Top End & the Tiwi Islands
Arnhemland is to the east of Darwin and Kakadu. Beautiful and diverse with remote and rugged coastlines and white sandy beaches, this vast area of nearly 100,000km2 is a stronghold of traditional First Nations culture. Bordering the Arafura Sea, the main town is Nhulunbuy (Gove).
The Top End, covering the northern half of the Northern Territory, features some incredible, remote areas, massive cattle stations, First Nations homelands and communities, and expanses of desert.
Bathurst and Melville are the largest and best known of The Tiwi Islands, situated north of Darwin in the Timor Sea. With a thriving Aboriginal arts culture, fishing lodges, coastal landscapes with breathtaking sunsets, the Tiwi Islands are like no other. The people on Tiwi Islands are famous for their traditional lifestyle, stunning artworks, vibrant fabrics and textiles, plus an exuberant passion for football
Kakadu National Park is located within the Alligator Rivers Region, east of Darwin. With exceptional geological formations, diverse habitats, myriad bird species and more than 5000 recorded art sites illustrating First Nations culture over tens of thousands of years, it’s a spectacular area.
Maningrida is a community in the heart of Arnhemland. The name Maningrida is an Anglicised version of the Kunibídji name Manayingkarírra, which comes from the phrase Mane djang karirra, meaning ‘the place where the Dreaming changed shape.’ The town is the major service centre for the population of 2,300 as well as more than 30 outstations or homelands around Maningrida. It’s a hub for art - Maningrida Arts and Culture artists’ co-op represents more than 700 artists who work with bark paintings, timber sculptures, fibre art, didjeridus, prints and bronze sculptures. Great fishing can be found in the area as well.
Davidson’s Arnhemland Safaris, West Arnhemland
Davidson’s Arnhemland Safaris covers 700km2 of sub-tropical savannah and pristine wilderness, nestled against the Arnhemland escarpment, in western Arnhemland close to Kakadu. Mt Borradaile, known for its amazing rock art, is owned and managed by its traditional custodians, the Amurdak people. Max Davidson’s Arnhemland Safaris has been given honorary custodian status, allowing access to the lucky few. The central lodge is the hub of the resort. Meet other guests and discuss the day’s explorations over a drink by the pool, read up on some of the local wildlife in the library, and savour fabulous food with attentive service. Deluxe cabins offer comfort in the tropics and glorious views of the surrounding bush. Relax on your verandah, listen to the birds and take it easy.
At Davidson’s, there are no itineraries or busy time schedules to adhere to. Cruise along the billabong to see the sun set over the floodplain and watch Mt Borradaile light up with magnificent colours. Explore the wetlands which shelter thousands of myriad birds. Marvel at ancient sandstone escarpments, savannah woodland and rainforests. See amazing ancient rock art and meander through the rocky billabong areas for a few quiet hours, swim, fish or just relax.
Tours featuring Davidson’s Arnhemland Safaris:
Ultimate Outback Air Safari
Banubanu Beach Retreat, East Arnhemland
Situated on Bremer Island, just off the coast from Nhulunbuy, Banubanu is an eco-sensitive beach retreat built in partnership with the Yolgnu people to show guests the natural wonders and culture of this tranquil location. With only 6 bungalows, the whole retreat can be reserved for groups. Relax on your deck and watch the ocean, indulge in your outdoor shower and fall asleep to the sounds of the waves. Touring at Banubanu is relaxed and based around the tides. Learn about Yolgnu people’s connection to this region, twitch and click at the island’s 65 identified bird species, and keep a watch for turtles nesting on the beaches. Drop in a line or charter a boat for more intensive fishing, follow a walking trail around the island or just laze about and enjoy the peace. Meals are prepared from the freshest local and Australian produce, with any catches from the day’s fishing activities served hours after being caught.
Tours featuring Banubanu Beach Retreat:
Cape York & Northern Islands
Tiwi Island Retreat, Bathurst Island, Tiwi Islands
Tiwi Island Retreat is on the incredibly remote Bathurst Island. Recently upgraded and expanded, the resort has a relaxed beach vibe, and features ocean front rooms and a wonderful pool deck with views over the ocean – perfect for relaxing and lazing away the day. Delicious seafood is a focus, with ocean to plate and locally-sourced produce tempting your mouth to water. Fishing is a highlight here – with an experienced skipper and all fishing equipment included, visit some of the most remote, pristine fishing environments in the world, targeting a range of tropical species including Barramundi, Blue Salmon, Black Jewfish, Golden Snapper, Mangrove Jack and many more.
Tours featuring Tiwi Island Retreat:
Cape York & Northern Islands
Bamurru Plains, east of Kakadu, Top End
Bamurru Plains is a true private safari camp on the fringe of Kakadu, away from the hordes of people. Bamurru
is built on 300km2 of private concession, set amongst the savannah bush and fringing floodplains. The safari tents offer unobstructed views of the surrounding wetlands and their teeming populations of birds and animals. The Lodge offers a myriad of wildlife viewing activities in your stay. The property is so large that there are four distinct habitats. Floodplains and wetlands full of magpie geese and big crocs, stunning melaleuca forests and savannah woodlands for brumbies, buffalo, dingo and riverine where you may spot barramundi leaping out of the water. Explore the property with expert guides by airboat, open top safari drive, river cruise or from the hide. 236 different bird species inhabit the area including raptors, jabiru and brolgas to name a few.
Tours featuring Bamurru Plains:
Ultimate Wildlife Air Safari
Bullo River Station, Top End
Bullo River Station is near the border of WA, with a landing strip right at the homestead. On this half-million-acre cattle station, you can explore the station by foot, 4WD or All Terrain Vehicles (ATV), depending on your interests. See the wildlife as they congregate on the water’s edge, soak up the landscape as it takes on different perspectives throughout the day. Cruise the stunning Bullo River Gorge or do a spot of bird watching - there are 200 bird species native to the station. View timeless rock art of the Miriwoong and Gajirrabeng people that are hidden in rugged red cliffs and ridge lines. Or for a truly authentic outback experience, go behind the scenes to learn more about remote station life.
Tours featuring Bullo River Station:
Ultimate Outback Air Safari
Finniss River Lodge, Top End
Finniss River Lodge is a newly created luxury lodge not far from the Timor Sea. On a working cattle station, the lodge opened in May 2022. With only 6 stunning rooms overlooking floodplains, the lodge can be booked out for groups. A choice of a selection of activities will fill your days. Enjoy chef prepared, local produce. The serenity will fill your soul. Rise early to spot some of the countless wildlife. Skim through forested waters as your airboat hugs each bend. Learn all about the fauna that inhabit these environments, from barramundi to brolgas and of course the prehistoric saltwater crocodile. Relax on your verandah or by the pool, with magnificent views over the plains.