This is what road trip dreams are made of – breathtaking natural wonders and postcard-perfect scenery greet you around every corner. This sealed road itinerary is well-suited to 2WD vehicles and will take you to iconic sites like Kakadu National Park, Nitmiluk, Lake Arygle, the Bungle Bungle Range and Lake Argyle – a holiday you’ll never forget!
Darwin to Broome
Best Time of the Year
- Kakadu National Park
- Lake Argyle
- The Bungle Bungles
- Mimbi Caves
- Cable Beach
Darwin to Kakadu
Distance 250km - Driving Time 3 hours
Pick up your camper at our Darwin Branch and hit the road towards Kakadu National Park, only three hours from Darwin on the Arnhem Highway. Along the way, jump on a riverboat crocodile cruise on the Adelaide River to see huge saltwater crocs jumping out of the water for a truly memorable wildlife experience. Visit Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve, an historic rice crop area which is now one of the few wetlands that is accessible year-round. From April-October, it’s a birdwatchers paradise – take a stroll on one of the many trails and see the diverse array of birds, including the Jabiru.
Kakadu National Park
Often referred to as the ‘the jewel in the crown of the Northern Territory’, you'll likely find one day won't be enough to properly experience the park's incredible natural and cultural significance. Spanning 20,000 square kilometres, the park is home to 2000 plant species, a quarter of Australia's freshwater fish species and a third of Aussie's birds. Fill your day/s with magnificent waterfalls, naturally-formed rock pools and lush rainforests teeming with wildlife. Call in at either Warradjan Aboriginal Centre and/or Bowali Visitor Centre to get inspired – and be recommended one of over 30 walks in the park. Before you leave, don’t miss a sunrise or sunset over the floodplains at Ubirr, which is also home to incredible Aboriginal rock paintings.
Kakadu to Katherine
Distance 300km - Driving Time 3.5 hours
Departing Kakadu, head south along Stuart Highway to Pine Creek, a small town that experienced a gold rush in 1871. Continue on to Katherine, a gateway to six national parks and over 10 nature parks and conservation areas, including Katherine Gorge. Nature lovers are spoiled for choice here - but must-do's include a refreshing dip in the Katherine Hot Springs (a series of clear pools fed by a natural thermal spring), the Katherine Outback Experience (a fantastic 90 minute show that immerses you in the working ways of the area), the Cutta Cutta Caves which will take you underground into a Australia’s only tropical limestone caves, and a walk and swim at Bitter Springs.
Nitmiluk National Park
Nitmiluk National Park is only a short 30km drive from Katherine. Home to 13 spectacular gorges that you can explore by foot, helicopter, canoe or guided cruise, you'll have plenty to entertain you for a day or more. There are plenty of well-signposted hikes around the area and plenty of opportunities to swim in the idyllic water holes. A favourite for this is Edith Falls with its large plunge pool and the Sweetwater Pool, a secluded tranquil swimming hole.
Katherine to Kununurra
Distance 515km - Driving Time 6 hours
Cross over into WA and to Kununurra today, the gateway to natural wonders like Mirima National Park, the Ord River and Elephant Rock. Meaning ‘Big Water’ in the local Aboriginal language, there’s lakes, rivers and waterfalls aplenty. A sunset walk to Kelly’s Knob Lookout is a great way to end your day after the long drive.
Kununurra to Lake Argyle
Distance 70km - Driving Time 45 mins
Head to the expansive Lake Argyle and admire the amazing marine environment created by the Ord Rive Irrigation System, which transformed this dry region into a lush marine environment. Join a sunset cruise to learn about the history and development of one of the largest man-made lakes in the southern hemisphere, and enjoy a refreshing dip in the cool waters of the lake as you take in the impressive landscapes.
Lake Argyle to Halls Creek
Distance 425km - Driving Time 4.5 hours
Check out the sights of Purnululu and see the curious beehive formations of the Bungle Bungle Range in World Heritage listed Purnululu National Park. Rising 300 metres above the grass-covered plains, these orange and black sandstone domes are a sight to behold. Cathedral Gorge and Echidna Chasm are also worth a visit. Keep in mind that some of the park’s entrance roads aren’t sealed, and you’ll need to explore on a 4WD tour (or even see the Bungle Bungles by air).
Halls Creek to Fitzroy Crossing
Distance 290km - Driving Time 3 hours
Travelling across the Great Northern Highway, you’ll enjoy scenic views and a variety of quirky stops along the way. See the China Wall, a natural white stone wall which closely resembles a miniature Great Wall of China. From Halls Creek, take a scenic flight to Wolfe Creek Meteorite Crater National Park. Measuring 880 metres wide, it’s the second largest meteorite crater in the world and is a truly breahtaking sight. Afterwards, travel across the Fitzroy River to your next destination, Fitzroy Crossing. It’s the perfect place to be immersed in and learn about the rich culture of Bunuba, Gooniyandi, Walmajarri, Nyikina, and Wangkatjunka people. Each of these language groups has its distinctive customs and language, which you can learn about at one of the galleries and museums in the area.
Stay a bit longer in Fitzroy Crossing and take the time you need to uncover the beauty that lies within Geikie Gorge National Park and Mimbi Caves. Geikie Gorge National Park is not to be missed, and can be explored on foot through a range of trails and walks, or by boat. From May to October, enjoy a cruise through the majestic Geikie Gorge, and get up close to a wide array of wildlife including freshwater barramundi, the rare leichardt’s sawfish and the coach whip stingray. Alternatively, you could opt for an indigenous tour to learn more about the local culture, taking in such fascinating subjects as bush tucker and bush medicine.
Your next stop should be the enchanting Mimbi Caves, which is arguably one of the Kimberley’s best kept secrets. Situated on Gooniyandi land, this vast subterranean labyrinth sits at the foot of the Emmanuel Ranges, offering a glimpse at an amazing range of fish fossils, and a significant collection of Aboriginal rock art. Part of a 350 million year old ecosystem, take a tour of the caves to find out more about their geological and cultural significance.
Fitzroy Crossing to Broome
Distance 400km - Driving Time 5 hours
The trip has nearly come to an end and it’s time to head to Broome. Along the way, take a slight detour to visit the Prison Boab Tree near Derby, which has important Aboriginal significance. If you can, extend your holiday with a day or two to see the sights in Broome before you fly out. Built on the pearling trade, the town has a rich and colourful history. Take time out to enjoy its laid-back tropical vibe and sample some local flavours. Hop on a walking tour to uncover the town’s Aboriginal past, or head out on a boat tour to spot rare snubfin dolphins. Whatever you do though, don’t miss the chance to see Cable Beach at sunset. That’s a sight you’ll never forget.