Kimberley & the Top End

Take in breathtaking vistas of the Kimberley region and the Top End. Traveling by air gives you remote access to areas only few have the privilege to experience. Soak in the birds eye views of some of Australia’s most rugged lands. This fully customizable itinerary can be tweaked and tailored to meet your personal style, pace and budget.

Explore the Kimberley & Top End by Helicopter

Pricing from $44,879 per person

Welcome to Western Australia!  You will be met upon arrival at Kununurra Airport and transferred to your hotel. 

Tomorrow, you will begin an adventure of a lifetime – a 5 day, 5 night unforgettable private helicopter safari exploring the stunning Kimberley wilderness in true style. Enjoy views of the extraordinary Kimberley, best viewed from above! Land on a mountain pinnacle to watch the sun set over your favourite cold drink, fish in wild rivers, view galleries of the oldest rock art on earth, soar through gorges and touch down to swim in secret springs and waterfalls. Your accommodation is in the region’s best luxury lodges and coastal wilderness retreats.

Check in to your accommodation, pack your safari bag that will be in your room on arrival, and freshen up ready for collection at a time pre-arranged with your pilot. Spend time chatting about your adventures to come over a coffee at a local cafe in the afternoon, or with pre-dinner drinks at the Pumphouse Restaurant overlooking the Ord River sunset. If you arrive on a Monday, pre-dinner drinks will be at the Kununurra Country Club Resort in the centre of town. Your pilot will discuss all of your interests with you, whether that may be rock art, waterfalls, fishing or just simply relaxing at the stunning locations you will stay at, so that they *we?* can give you the best experience possible during your journey. We can pre-arrange a dinner reservation for you at the Country Club if you would like to stay on for dinner (paid locally).

Overnight Freshwater East Kimberley Apartments, Kununurra or similar

Lift off from Kununurra at approximately 7.00am and take in the view of this remarkable remote town and follow the Ord River northwest where you will see the huge amount of agriculture taking place around the Ord Irrigation Scheme. Wyndham is where five huge rivers meet, marvel at the incredible patterns in the mud flats with mangrove lined creeks emptying into the Cambridge Gulf. Crossing the Gulf, pass over ancient traditional lands of the Balangarra People. Onwards, the ranges rise ahead with the watercourses of the De Lan Court and Berkeley Rivers beneath us. 

Fly along the Berkeley River to the Timor Sea and continue along the coast to the astounding spectacle of King George Falls, towering tall at 80-100 metres. Arrive at the remote Aboriginal community of Kalumburu, where you have a chance to visit the mission that houses a mind-boggling museum curated by the Benedictine monks who have spent their lives here. A picnic lunch here is included. Back in the air, land at the remote Eagle Falls for a swim and following on, fly past Steep Head Island before landing on the shelly beach of Kimberley Coastal Camp where staff will be waiting to greet you. 

Kimberley Coastal Camp is a unique wilderness retreat situated on the fringes of Admiralty Gulf in the far north of WA and is the most exclusive retreat in the top end. Because it is accessible only by air or sea, they can promise you a stress and crowd free escape with guests limited to a maximum of 16. It is truly a place for the heart and soul. 

Combined with the joys of isolation and luxury camping at its best, sleep in comfort in your spacious unique beachfront style bungalow, with fans and panoramic views. You can set the pace and be as active or laid back as you like. Activities may include guided fishing, mud crabbing and oyster gathering. Explore on foot to experience the local birds, wildlife, bush tucker and Aboriginal rock art. Head out on the boat to try your hand at fishing for the fabled Barramundi, Mangrove Jack, Fingermark and dozens of other tropical species. Shark feeding, abundant wildlife, bush and coastal walks all with spectacular views simply add to your experience. 

During your stay you have the following inclusions:

* Unique beach front bungalow.

* All gourmet meals, snacks, non-alcoholic & alcoholic beverages. Reserve list wines & top shelf spirits are an additional cost

* Professional passionate & knowledgeable guides

* Guided fishing, mud crabbing and oyster gathering

* Quality fishing tackle & equipment (excludes fly fishing) 

* Guided ancient Indigenous art & cultural tour and much more 

The remainder of the day will be yours at leisure to enjoy your spectacular accommodation and surrounds. (B,L,D)

 2 nights Kimberley Coastal Camp or similar

Choose from many of the exciting excursion options offered by your lodge, or just relax and enjoy the wonderful facilities and incredible scenery. (B,L,D)

Departing after an early breakfast, fly across to the Mitchell Plateau, orbit around and land at the top of the mighty Mitchell Falls. Have time to explore and snap many photos of this iconic Australian beauty. When ready, fly to the coast and Naturalist Island to refuel if necessary, you may have the chance to see turtles here. 

Continue through Prince Frederick Harbour with bays, coves, spectacular cliffs, and mangrove forests. Land at Careening Bay, the sandy cove where Phillip Parker King beached his vessel, the Mermaid, and the boat’s carpenter carved the inscription; HMC Mermaid 1820 on the famous boab “Mermaid Tree” that is approx. 12 metres wide and is National Heritage listed. View the Kings Cascades flowing into the Prince Regent River, Mt Trafalgar, Mt Waterloo and much more. Continue over rugged inland pastoral leases to Drysdale River Station where will stop for a chance to stretch your legs as we refuel the helicopter. Fly over parts of the Gibb River Road, Home Valley Station and the famous Pentecost River Crossing. 

Enjoy sunset drinks at a stunning location to view the glow of the afternoon sun on the surrounding ranges before descending into El Questro Homestead. 

Nestled within the Kimberley’s vast and ancient landscape and hidden amongst burnt-orange cliffs and lush, green lawns sits El Questro Homestead, a pocket of luxurious exclusivity where you’re encouraged to make yourself at home with a maximum of 18 guests. During your stay at the Homestead you are offered complimentary excursions, allowing for a fully immersive Kimberley experience. With almost 700,000 acres to explore, the Homestead’s surrounding landscape is dramatic and expansive with something to offer everyone. 

Explore by foot, four-wheel drive, helicopter, boat or horseback. Whichever way you prefer, a personal tour guide is always on hand to ensure nothing is missed. 

During your stay you have the following inclusions.

* Luxury Accommodation

* Gourmet meals daily

* Fine selection of wine/sparkling, beer & basic spirits 

* Chamberlain Gorge Cruise

* Access to your own self-drive private boat

* The Bush Culture, History & Nature Tour

 * Bird Watching Tour

* Exclusive use of Zebedee Thermal Springs

* Sunset at Buddy’s Point

* Guided walks to the most spectacular gorges. 

The staff at El Questro Homestead look forward to welcoming you and ensuring that you have the most memorable stay. (B,L,D)

2 nights El Questro or similar

Choose from many of the exciting excursion options offered by your lodge, or just relax and enjoy the wonderful facilities and incredible scenery. (B,L,D)

Viewing vast tracts of cattle station empires, marvel at the tenacity of our early pioneers in settling this rugged land. Pass over the traditional lands of the Kija and Djaru people and their community at Warmun/Turkey Creek. Our destination is Purnululu National Park, a World Heritage Listed area, celebrated for the valuable cultural and natural assets it holds including the Bungle Bungle Range. 

Landing at Bellburn Airstrip, you will be met by your private guide and set off by 4×4 to the Bungle Range. Leaving the vehicle at the Piccaninny carpark, it’s time to set off on foot with a 3km walk. Wander throughout the famous eroded towers and orange banded beehive shaped domes of the Bungle Bungle. Stop and take in your amazing surrounds as you enjoy a morning tea break. Explore Cathedral Gorge, where you will experience the amazing natural acoustics created by the towering cliffs that envelope you. After a short break and a tasty picnic lunch, your guide will lead you to the start of Piccaninny Creek where you will see the unique erosion formations caused by the powerful waters of the monsoon season. Learn about the flora, fauna and Indigenous history of the Bungles.

In the afternoon, depart flying north over the Argyle Diamond Mine, where rare pink diamonds are mined and then along the western shoreline of Lake Argyle. The surrounding ranges will be glowing in the late afternoon light and you will land on a mountain pinnacle where you can drink a toast to the Kimberley and its spectacular landscape. Flying into Kununurra and the Ord Valley is always spectacular, an oasis of lush farms, big waters and colourful ranges and is a fitting end to your unforgettable helicopter adventure. Upon landing you will transfer to your hotel in Kununurra. 

· Recommended hiking equipment includes a camera, small backpack, good sturdy walking shoes, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, refillable water bottle and light cotton clothing.

· Fitness level is moderate to easy, walking along a creek bed through sand, stones and loose rocks. Climbing small ladders with handrails

Overnight Freshwater East Kimberley Apartments, Kununurra or similar

Today you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Broome.  You will be collected upon arrival at Broome Airport and you will be transferred to your accommodation – The Billi Resort. 

The Billi Resort was affectionately called after the local Indigenous name for the coastal area of Cable Beach; Bilingurr. The Billi is the ideal private escape. Enjoy the superb tropical gardens, raised timber walkways and the tranquil surroundings, as you stay in a Luxury King Eco Tent that reflects the richness of the Kimberley with it’s stylish interior, and local artwork. (B) 

Overnight Billi Resort in a Luxury King Tent (with air-conditioning) or similar

This morning you will fly from Broome to Darwin. You will be transferred from the airport to your hotel. 

Australia’s only tropical capital city and gateway to the Top End, Darwin, on the traditional lands of the Larrakia, gazes out across the Timor Sea. It’s closer to Bali than Bondi and certainly feels removed from the rest of the country, which is just how the locals like it. Tables spill out of street-side restaurants and bars, innovative museums celebrate the city’s past, and galleries showcase the region’s rich Indigenous art. Darwin’s cosmopolitan mix − more than 50 nationalities are represented here − is typified by the wonderful markets held throughout the dry season. 

2 nights Mantra on the Esplanade, Darwin or similar

This morning, your transfer will pick you up from your hotel lobby and take you to the helicopter base to begin your helicopter itinerary covering the three National Parks – Kakadu, Litchfield and Nitmiluk. Heading east in your chopper, you will discover the vast wetlands of the Adelaide and Mary river systems and Alligator river systems of Kakadu with possible sightings of wildlife such as Buffalo, Pigs, Birds, Brumbies and Crocodiles. Your first landing is in Arnhem Land at the Injalak Art Centre at Gunbalanya. At Injalak, you will view (and can purchase) world renowned Aboriginal art, weavings and carvings created on-site and meet and talk to the artists and local people. 

Next, you head into the rock country of Arnhem Land to view an ancient Aboriginal Rock Art gallery with exclusive visitation permission of the Traditional Owner. You depart the art site heading upstream on the majestic East Alligator River and into the endless rock county of the Kakadu/Arnhem Land boundary to Magela Falls and on to Jabiru for fuel. 

Once fuelled up, it is only a short hop to Cooinda for lunch and to check in for the night at Cooinda Lodge. Following lunch enjoy some free time to explore the area before departing at 4.30pm on a 2-hour sunset Yellow Water Cruise, getting up close to the flora and fauna of the Kakadu Wetlands. You will end the day with dinner at your lodge. (L,D) 

Overnight Cooinda Lodge or similar

Enjoy breakfast at your leisure, perhaps followed by a walk through the Warradjan Cultural Centre. It’s then time to check out of your lodge and get back to the chopper.  You will head for the heart of Kakadu and the vast escarpments to fly over Jim Jim and Twin Falls and over the spectacular southern Rock Country of the Park including the upper South Alligator River. Leaving the northern river catchment area behind, head south into the catchment of the Katherine River and Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge) National Park. Be impressed by the stunning view of the 130-million-year-old Nitmiluk Gorge before landing in Nitmiluk National Park and checking in to the Cicada Lodge. There will be free time in the afternoon along with drinks and canapes by the pool before a 3-course dinner with paired wines. 

Overnight Cicada Lodge or similar

Start the day with a 2-hour gorge cruise at dawn, a truly magical time to experience the gorge. Breakfast will be at your lodge before you head north-west into the Daly River catchment and Tipperary Station. You will continue to Litchfield National Park where you will fly over the waterfalls and magnetic termite mounds.  From there it is on to the Finniss River wetlands and Crab Claw Island for lunch and a drink before flying over Darwin harbour and the city and landing at the base about 4pm. 

Overnight Mantra on the Esplanade or similar

This morning you will take a flight from Darwin to Ayers Rock Airport (also known as Connellan Airport). On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your accommodation, Longitude 131. With views direct to Uluru and across the desert to Kata Tjuta, Longitude 131˚ is Australia’s most celebrated luxury camp. Dotted among the red-rust dunes of the Central Desert are sixteen tented pavilions, each offering connection with the outback landscape and its heritage. Discover vibrant Aboriginal artworks alongside relics from the region’s explorers, a bar and restaurant offering contemporary Australian dining and friendly staff ready to share a yarn.

Nestled among ancient dunes, Longitude 131° is designed to offer both luxurious sanctuary and a profound sense of place. Unparalleled views of Uluru’s changing lights play out from the end of your bed, or on balconies from the warmth of a luxury swag unfurled in the cool night air. Custom furnishings invite stylish lounging, while works by local Indigenous artists offer inspiration. Private floor to ceiling windows yield unparalleled views of Uluru, quite literally at the end of the bed, opening onto an expansive balcony with day bed, armchairs and fireplace. 

Tonight, you will enjoy an Uluru Sunset experience. A pop-up bar exclusive for Longitude 131° guests is set up in prime position to watch the light change its cast over Uluru, a little further along the sandy pathway from other travellers. Enjoy French Champagne, Australian craft beers and premium spirits accompanied by canapés with fresh Australian ingredients and outback flavours. 

Discover an outback wonderland as the Uluru sunset continues, with the mighty monolith fading slowly to the background as the field of lights takes centre stage. Wander at leisure along pathways through the award-winning sculptor Bruce Munro’s incredible light installation. An outback fairyland, the celebrated open-air art phenomenon is made up of some 50,000 individual stems crowned with colourful frosted glass bulbs that bloom and appear to sway as the inky night blankets Australia’s spiritual heartland. 

The evening seamlessly segues into an exclusive dining event amongst the dunes at Table 131°. Set among the red sand dunes in a remote, secret location, Table 131° features a decadent four-course dinner with matched wines, perfect for a special occasion. You will discover the wonder of the outback’s inky night sky, which allows Milky Way to play centre stage, shining brightly without the distraction of city lights. (D) 

3 nights Longtitude 131 in a Luxury Tent or similar 

Wake up to magnificent views of Uluru. An unforgettable discovery of Kata Tjuta, this early morning adventure heads to the World Heritage-listed site where 36 mighty red rock domes gather in the desert landscape. The group appears mistily on the horizon, glimpsed between desert oaks and spinifex on the approach.

In the company of a Longitude 131° guide (and other Longitude guests) you will learn about the geology and history of the formation, formerly known as The Olgas. The site is sacred for the local Aboriginal people and it is kept as a closely held secret as part of Anangu men’s business. Longitude 131° guides are permitted to know and share some of the Tjukurpa, and these stories offer a more personal understanding and connection to this special part of the country. 

Your guide will lead you through Walpa Gorge, with its towering rock walls and surprising tree-lined creeks and waterholes. From there the tour heads to the Kata Tjuta viewing platform, which offers a step-back view of Kata Tjuta and the chance to capture a panoramic view including Uluru. It’s a magic spot for morning tea, with coffee, tea and freshly-baked goods on the menu.

A visit to the Cultural Centre at Uluru completes a morning of discovery in the Red Centre. The centre is designed by the local Anangu people, with long pathways providing cool refuge. Here, guests learn about the history of the Aboriginal people at Uluru-Kata Tjuta, and about their art and culture. Aboriginal artists often spend time at the centre painting, carving and sculpting. 

After lunch, you will have an excursion (shared with other Longitude guests) to the base of Uluru and learn about the Aboriginal Mala people. Longitude 131° guides will lead you on a discovery trail along the caves which occur around the rock and whose walls reveal ancient Aboriginal artworks. Learn the significance of each ‘room’ and the cultural stories each one tells. A meandering pathway leads through groves of green trees and along boardwalks over spinifex and occasional streams, depending on the weather. At dusk your group will reach Kantju Gorge, a giant ‘fold’ among Uluru’s rippling surface. Here you will enter a cool reserve lined by trees which leads to a waterhole which the local Aboriginal people use for swimming. As the sun sets, it casts a golden light across the rock faces, striking it a brilliant red against a deep blue sky. 

Enjoy a moment of reflection at the pool, before sampling canapés and sipping sunset drinks at the Longitude 131° pop up bar. 

For dinner, Relax in the Dune House with its feel-at-home open bar or toast the view from the Dune Top. Dine at your leisure in the restaurant from 7pm. (B,L,D)

This morning, you will join your Longitude guide (and other guests) for an excursion to a peaceful waterhole at the base of Uluru, as the sun rises over the ancient monolith. A morning walk around Uluru’s base tells the Aboriginal Tjukurpa story of Kuniya Piti and reveals the swimming hole and frequently running waterfall at Mutitjulu. It’s also the home of wanampi, an ancestral watersnake. Lush green trees and grasses are a surprising sight in this section of Uluru. The Aboriginal story of Kuniya Piti is integral to a better understanding of Uluru and the Anangu belief system. When walking around Mutuitjulu Waterhole visitors are surrounded by the presence of two ancestral beings: Kuniya the woma python and Liru the poisonous snake. 

Enjoy an afternoon at leisure. Take a dip in the pool or plunge spa, lounge on your balcony with a good book or consider a visit to Spa Kinara for a rejuvenating treatment (additional charges apply).  

Savour sundowners overlooking the outback icons before enjoying a private four-course dinner as you enjoy the ambiance of the Dune Top, where intimate pods offer a window to the outback after dark.  (B,L,D)

Rise early for a sunrise walk or enjoy a sleep-in before taking breakfast in the Dune House.  Then it will be time to transfer to Ayers Rock Airport (Connellan) in style. You will travel by private helicopter on a 55 scenic flight transfer that will take in Uluru, Kata Tjuta & Lake Amadeus. You will arrive at the airport in time for your onwards flight.