The Best of the Top End & The Kimberley

The Best of the Top End & The Kimberley

Written by Pedro O'Connor on Wednesday, 17 June 2015. Posted in News from our guides in the field

Brad and Pedro are just back from hosting renowned UK journalist, Sophy Roberts, on her first ever Australian adventure. They spent 11 nights exploring Kakadu, East Arnhem Land and the Kimberley region; they hiked up spectacular sandstone gorges, air boated over miles of endless floodplains into crocodile infested paper bark swamps, enjoyed four wheel drive safaris through pandanus groves and termite mound ridden terrain and cruised up river gorges by towering granite escarpments dotted with aboriginal rock art. The journey culminated in a breathtaking helicopter safari into the most beautiful freshwater swimming hole they have ever swum in before the mind-blowing experience of landing on top of King George Falls.   

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All of this with very few people in sight….after all they were in some of the remotest regions in Australia. Being remote did not mean having to rough it though, each evening they returned to their own private lodge which offered a taste of wild bush luxury; spectacular views, sundowners, high thread count linen and soft mattresses, all complimented with the freshest produce and paired with quality Australian wines.

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Locations such as Bamurru Plains and Davidsons Camp are the closest thing Australia has to an African style safari camp. On their doorstep are prehistoric sized crocodiles, mobs of agile wallabies, hundreds of water buffalo and more species of birds than one has ever ticked off.  

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The distances, like the characters of the Top End are big. This is why they opted for private flights and helicopters to ensure most time on site in locations such as Cathedral Gorge and Piccanniny Creek in the Bungle Bungles; with a small group of four or more it is very economical and makes for total seamlessness whilst offering the best views of the ever changing landscape from 8,000 ft.

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The newest property in the Kimberley is the Berkeley River Lodge, located at the mouth of the picturesque Berkeley Gorge are 20 luxury suites with panoramic views overlooking a squeaky white sand beach and escarpments that light up red on sunrise and sunset.  

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The property exudes barefoot luxury yet the professionalism of the staff is first class. General Managers Ross and Jen Penegar were groomed over 7 years on the acclaimed Lizard Island so unsurprisingly their style has rubbed off. If one wishes to catch the biggest fish of their life then the Berkeley is a good starting point. If you want to beachcomb and search for turtle nests on miles of deserted beaches then this is the place. 

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Epic recommends visiting the Top End from May through October (winter months). For anyone seeking to experience ‘real Australia’ we would love to share our stories in more depth.   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Check out the footage from our trip! Click here, or on the photo below.

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About the Author

Pedro O'Connor

Pedro O'Connor

Pedro O'Connor spent his formative years growing up on Queensland's Great Barrier Reef. He moved to South Africa for the latter years of his secondary school education and spent time on safaris to Rhodesia, Swaziland and Mozambique. He later experienced the cultures of Mauritius, the Middle East and Europe. A passionate traveller, Pedro has trekked the Himalayas, ridden camels in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan, been chased by elephants in Zambia, climbed active volcanoes in Java and surfed the best waves of Indonesia.

Pedro operates out of Cairns, the gateway to the Barrier Reef, where his focus is to tailor private tour adventures for Epic's discerning clientele.

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