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Katherine River Wildlife ‘n’ Nature Tour, NT, Australia - 3 Days

Katherine River Wildlife ‘n’ Nature Tour, NT, Australia
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Katherine River Tour in the Northern Territory

A fantastic exclusive river tour, suitable for lovers of nature, wildlife, bird watching (birding) for both inexperienced and experienced campers and paddlers alike proving to be a very popular family experience. The expectation of sitting around a campfire in an exclusive campsite under the clear star-studded skies of the Australian 'Outback' is often apparent when visitors come out to Australia - This Katherine River Tour does not disappoint!!

Float discerningly and with little environmental impact down an unspoiled Tropical, Savanna River affords the opportunity to have close encounters with the wide variety of Birdlife and other wildlife. The camping is surprisingly comfortable with tables and chairs and a nice warm 'swag' to curl up in on the cool 'Dry-season' evenings.

Top 5 Highlights

  • The ability to float quietly on a river with very little impact, drifting passed unassuming wildlife.
  • The constantly changing scenery as we travel along the river, from tranquil still pools to long, shady bowered sections of intimate channel and shallow rock-bars creating a fun but easy cascading rapids.
  • Sitting exclusively on a tranquil riverside beach, with no others within kilometres of you.
  • Enjoying a campfire in pristine surrounds with family and friends and enjoying hearty fresh campfire prepared meals.
  • Sleeping in a 'swag' (bedroll) under the clear skies. The sky is not affected by light pollution and the milky way is clearly visible, revealing the expanse of the universe and also famous constellations such as the iconic 'southern cross'

This is our most popular tour and we have been running it since 1994. With top-quality equipment and experienced, qualified guides and safety guaranteed, this tour aims to be a 'once-in-a-lifetime' unforgettable experience.

Day 1
Day 1 - Arrival | Prepare and Pack Boats | Set off on the Katherine River

We will pick-you at your Katherine accommodation between 7-7:30am (self-drive option if prefferred). You will then be transferred to the Gecko depot, where you will pack your personal effects required for the tour into waterproof bags. You will be fitted with Personal Flotation Devices (PFD) a requirement, to be worn whilst on the river.

We then drive to the Katherine River in a 4WD vehicle, sometimes over un-made roads and tracks. After loading the boats, we have a safety brief and paddling instructions for kayaking and canoeing before entering the water. At a relaxing rate, there will be stops along the river for a morning break, lunch, swim and time to view the diverse river environment, bird and wildlife.

At approximately 4 pm we will step ashore for an overnight remote camping experience (no set campsites). There will be time to relax; fish or read all whilst your guide prepares the evening meal. After a campfire meal, enjoyed with your favourite bottle of wine or spirit, sleep in a bed-roll (swag) under a blanket of stars.

Day 2
Day 2 - Morning Swim | Hearty Breakfast | Continue river paddling

Wake to a dawn chorus in the brisk morning air. There is time for an early morning swim. After a hearty cooked breakfast, we pack-up camp and continue paddling down-stream.

As we get further from immediate civilisation, the feel of remoteness sets in. The river continues to change from shady paperbark forests to lush pandanus channels, through open sections, surrounded by the river woods and over some small sparkling rapids which are fun and easy to negotiate. At the end of this satisfying day, you will find yourself in a bit of a routine and will have camp set-up quickly. Leaving yourself enough time to explore, relax, chat, check-out some animal tracks, or just ‘find yourself’.

Day 3
Day 3 - Breakfast | Relaxing Day Paddle | Exit River

After a sumptuous breakfast, we will pack up camp for the last time (you will now know where everything goes), we will return to the kayaks for one last relaxing day. You will be ‘tuned in’ to all the sights and sounds around you and will find yourself exhilarated by every experience, enjoy it while the moment lasts. At approximately 2:30pm (14:30) you will be picked up from the river and transferred in a 4WD back to Gecko depot to collect your belongings. You will then be transferred to your Katherine accommodation or bus terminal as per prior arrangements made. Tour end 5:30pm approximately.

Some of the wildlife we expect to see are:

Key Birds: Black-necked Stork, Brolga, Great-billed Heron, Great Egret, White-faced Heron, Nankeen Night Heron, Black Bittern, Red-tailed Black Cockatoo, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Galah, Cockatiel, Red-winged Parrot, Northern Rosella, Red-collared Lorikeet, Northern Fantail, Arafura Fantail, Willie Wagtail, Shining Flycatcher, Paperbark Flycatcher, White-bellied Sea-eagle, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Black-breasted Buzzard, Brown Goshawk, Grey Goshawk, Collared Sparrowhawk, Rufous-throated Honeyeater, White-gaped Honeyeater, White-throated Honeyeater, Spangled Drongo, Barking Owl, Southern Boobook owl, Crimson Finch, Double-barred Finch, Chestnut-breasted Mannikin

Mammals:  Agile Wallaby, Common Wallaroo, Antilopine Wallaroo, Grassland Mylomys , Little-red Flying Fox, Black Flying Fox, Asian Water Buffalo, Wild Donkey

Reptiles and Frogs: Rocket Frog, Roths Tree Frog, Northern Dwarf Tree Frog, Green Tree Frog, Cane Toad, Freshwater Snake (Keelback), Slaty Grey, Black Whip Snake, Olive Python, Water Python, Brown tree Snake, Golden Tree Snake

Insects: Scarlet Percher Dragonfly, Blue Damselfly, Tiger-wing Butterfly

What is included?

  • Transfer from Katherine Accommodation and to the river access
  • 2 X Breakfasts, 3 X Lunches, 2 X Dinners, Fruit and Snacks, Tea and Coffee All fresh 'homestyle' food
  • 1 X 10L Drybag, 1 X 20L Drybag
  • Swag (Bedroll), Sleeping Bag, Liver, Pillow, Choice of net or light tent
  • All Paddling equipment
  • Chair and dining table/s
  • Bouyancy Vest
  • First Aid Kit and Satellite Phone (for emergency use only)
  • Transfer to Katherine Accommodation

What is not included?

  • Travel Insurance
  • Insect Repellant, Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Katherine Accommodation (Unless organised in a package)
  • Transfer from darwin to Katherine and return (Unless organised in a package)
  • Anything else not mentioned in “What is included”

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Why book with NT Immersions?

We are a LOCALLY BASED, highly accredited and award winning company, proud to have lived and operated in the region for 25+ years. We have a high standard of guiding and often train and support other operators. We are a very personable operation which really focuses on our GUESTS experience in fine detail. We cater to those who wish to really experience the Top End, to get out there and get up close to nature. We are a local Katherine Tour Operator guiding the Famous Jatbula Trail in Nitmiluk National Park and offering some really wild walks – The Dreaming Place Trail from the Manyallaluk Aboriginal Community to Nitmiluk Gorge, and a new walk from Koolpin Gorge to Twin Falls in Kakadu National Park.

The Canoes/Kayaks

We use a range of ‘Scupper Pro’ sit-on-top kayaks or 2 person canoes, (mainly for adult/child or couple pairing). The sit on tops are self draining, comfortable and very stable. The canoes are 4.5m open style polypropelene suited for touring. Many of our guests have never paddled before. Our fully qualified and accredited guides ensure that this is not a problem.

Are there Crocodiles? Is it safe?

Your Safety and Enjoyment are our upmost priority. It is indeed a safe trip (we have been running it for 25 years). We are extremely experienced and the conditions are actually quite friendly. All safety equipment is provided and a 'hands-on' approach whilst on the river and camping is used. Crocodiles Do Inhabit River Systems in the Katherine Region The Katherine/Flora/Daly System does not have a large concentration of these animals, however, we operate on the premise that an animal is present and safety procedures reflect that, (eg swimming, camping and paddling rules). Freshwater Crocodiles (Crocodylus johnstoni) are the predominant species in most of our Katherine Region rivers. The Estuarine Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) also inhabits the waterways of the Katherine Region, however the numbers are distinctly less. The Parks & Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory have a Crocodile Management Plan that is utilised in the Katherine River, this allows crocodiles to be located, trapped and removed to a local Crocodile Farm for research and breeding. Parks & Wildlife use helicopter spotting and night spotlighting from boats to keep track of what is in the rivers. We have also volunteered our eyes and ears to help the process. As we are regularly utilising the river, we keep track of movements and sightings of crocodiles, passing this information onto Parks & Wildlife to help with their research and records. A healthy tropical savannah river system isn’t complete without the presence of crocodiles. If we are very quiet and lucky, we may see one as they are shy animals and hide as soon as they are alerted to our presence. Freshwater Crocodile (Crocodylus johnstoni) The Freshwater Crocodile is the most common in the Katherine Region. It ranges in size from 30cm to 3m. Most commonly seen crocodiles are between 50cm and 1.5m, generally sitting very still in the water or on a log over the water. The Freshwater Crocodile is a shy animal. Food for these animals consists mainly of small fish and insects which are easily swallowed, when the opportunity arises bats, birds and small reptiles are also eaten. 6 Day Tours For those guests participating on our longer tours; Be Aware that we will be passing through areas which will almost certainly be inhabited by larger Estuarine (Saltwater Crocodiles – Crocodylus Porosus).

Do you need to be an experienced paddler or camper?

No, not at all. We pride ourselves in taking even beginners on the river, after all, why should the experience only be for experienced paddlers? We like the opportunity to 'go a little extra' and make things a little bit more special in a special area. A bit of comfort (although basic) helps you to settle in and appreciate the environment around you, allowing you to fully 'connect' and experience all there is to experience.

What are the river conditions like?

The river (during the paddling season) is quite clear and gentle. A 'drop pool' river provides long pools of tranquil water and is broken up by a channel or low grade shallow rapid (easy to stand-in) every hour to make things a little more active and fun. We can help you down these sections quite easily. The temperature during the day is about 30°C and low humidity. In the evening the temperature can get to below 10°C. It rarely rains during our 'Dry Season' however, early or late season could provide some.

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3 Days

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AUD1,290 / per person
Group Discount Available
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This tour is operated by: NT Immersions
5 based on 1 reviews

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5 Based on 1 reviews
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Tour Facts

  • Top End, Northern Territory
  • Set Departure
  • Multi-Day Tour
  • 4 to 8px
  • 3 days
  • + 13 years
  • May to September
  • Leisurely
  • English
  • Darwin International Airport
  • Darwin International Airport