Fantastic, family friendly trip - I can't recommend it highly enough!My family and I (wife and kids who are 7 and 9) recently completed an 8 day trip from Darwin to Broome. I can honestly say it was one of the great family holidays we've taken. We opted for a personal tour because we are relative newcomers to the world of 4-wheel driving and camping, we were on a reasonably tight timeframe and because we were slightly apprehensive about taking on a trip of that scale with relatively small kids. After a fair bit of online research, we decided upon Charter North because of the ability to do a private tour, but also because they allowed flexibility in the itinerary, which we felt was important with the kids. It proved to be an inspired choice. GT and Alina were fantastic in their communication and advice in the lead up to the trip, which ensured we were well prepared, and from the moment GT picked us up from our hotel in Darwin, he was a fantastic and engaging host. He is a walking encyclopaedia of knowledge about the region, and is more than happy to impart that knowledge. He was great with the kids, and engaged with them really well. We took up a package with a camp trailer, which meant we had very comfortable accomodation, and GT's well choreographed evening routine meant we could go from pulling over at a campsite, to having the camp trailer popped, beds ready, the fire going, snacks being served and a cold beer in hand (in a can preferably) in less than 30 mins. And then GT would invariably demonstrate his culinary skills using a trusty wok and a campfire - I was expecting 8 nights of BBQ'ed sausages, but we ended up with everything from stir fries to tacos to pasta, all cooked on an open fire. So the dinners were great, and it would be remiss of me not to mention Alina's muesli and GT's coffee, which got the mornings off to a great start. The campsites we used were a combination of established camps and bush camps. GT knows the area like the back of his hand, so the bush camps were great, and if you ask the kids, probably their pick of the places we stayed (although they loved night swimming in Manning River one evening, so that's right up there as well). And then the days themselves were packed with great experiences - from the Bungles (helicopter flight highly recommended), through Emma Gorge, Manning Gorge, Bell Gorge, Barnett River Gorge, Winjana Gorge, each day was like a highlights package. There was some hiking involved, which could have been challenging with the kids, but GT tailored it well for us, and most hikes ended up with a swim under a waterfall, or in a deep gorge, so that allowed us to bribe the kids to get them through to the end. It was hot, but not oppressively so because humidity was low when we were there, but generally we'd look to be hiking early morning or late afternoon, and avoid the heat of the day, which made it all very manageable with the kids. And beyond the physical beauty, the kids also loved some of the wildlife experiences - freshwater crocs, water monitors, wallabies, bower birds and a friendly snake, as well as some of the cultural highlights such as aboriginal rock art, and the broader history of the area, which I don't think is generally well understood. At no stage did we feel the slightest hint of danger - we felt we were in safe hands the whole way, helped by GT's meticulous preparation. So if you combine professional and knowledgeable service, with great company, super comfortable accomodation, good food and coffee, with great experiences all in a safe and kid-friendly package, it's a pretty hard combination to beat. So we would all highly recommend the tour, and if anyone has reservations about taking on a trip like this with kids, I can honestly say that it's one of the great family holidays, and those concerns can be put to rest. Cheers!
Travelled in September 2017 on 8 Day Family Kimberley Tour.
Totally loved our time spent exploring Kakadu National Park. The expert guidance, knowledge of the indigenous history and care from GT our tour guide, made this a holiday of a lifetime. The 3 nights and 4 days were packed with amazing moments: Country is a spectacular sacred space, the views from the mountain top overlooking the wet lands just blew my mind, the infinity pool and the natural spa whirl pool were moments that took my breath away. I feel the call of the ancient wild ways and some part of me will forever remain embedded in the rich red earth. The memories will forever live on in my heart. Thank you!!Travelled in October 2017 on 4 Day Private Kakadu Tour.
Awesome! A ton of fun and quite an experience!
My girlfriend and I were lucky enough to be the last tour party for this year. Greig (GT) was our wonderful tour guide, and he kept up a constant string of stories, jokes and regional information during the travel segments. The countryside is a sight to behold, with the most incredible vistas, waterfalls, valleys and rock structures. We got to see some amazing rock art, all sorts of wildlife, and the most incredible rock pools I’ve experienced. You’ll be thankful for a quick swim when the heat gets up there. On our last night we were treated to the first electrical storm of the season with the best vantage point to enjoy the thunder, lightning and rain. Thankfully the tent was up to the job! Being in the middle of all that natural splendor was a real honor. The food, banter, and company were all excellent and I can’t recommend these guys highly enough.Travelled in October 2017 on private 4 day Kakadu Tour.
4 Day/3 Night Tour of Kakadu and Litchfield ParkAMAZING!!! We are a family 5 with children 8,10 & 12 and could not have been happier with the entire experience. Communication with Alina and Grieg leading up to our tour was great so that we could have input on what we wanted to get from tour; the itinerary suited us perfectly; and our tour guide Heath was fabulous! Doing this tour was so far removed from our normal lives and kinds of holidays that we normally do and whilst I was a bit anxious setting out I was nearly crying heading back at the end - I did not want to leave! We left the kid's screens at home and the lack of 3G in most areas meant that my husband was free from work e-mails and calls!! We spotted native animals, saw some aboriginal drawings and went swimming in the most beautiful waterfalls. We gathered firewood and enjoyed surprisingly great food all cooked over campfire. They had all the supplies we needed and the experience to make it awesome. Already trying to figure out when we can make it back and do the Kimberley Tour!
Travelled August 2017 on Private 4 Day Kakadu & Litchfield Tour.
9 day Kimberley Tour from Darwin to Broome
We were a French familiy (3 teenagers with their parents) visiting Australia for the first time. We wanted to experience something different and authentic there. We really enjoyed our 9 day trip from Darwin to Broome, camping in awesome sites we probably wouldn't have been able to find by ourselves if Greg and Alina hadn't been there, to guide us around the fabulous Gibb River Road. Beautiful weather (not too hot in August) ; blue skies during days, many stars at night ; amazing sunrises, sunsets ... and moonrises ! Looking now, back to France, at the fabulous pictures we took there, we would absolutely recommend to visit Lake Argyle (stunning sunset !), the Bungle Bungle Range (don't miss the helicopter flight !), the Cockburn Range behind the Pentecost River (drinking a beer while the sunset is coming is really a great memory), wild Barnett River and Manning Gorges ... and so many other places ... We regret only one thing : not to have had more time to see more ! Thanks a lot to Greg and Alina !Travelled on 9 Day Private Kimberley Tour, August 2017.
Fabulous experience - fell asleep watching the stars
We thoroughly enjoyed our 6 days exploring Kakadu and Litchfield. It was an experience we'll never forget. Lying in our swags and looking up through our netted tent to a million stars. Magical. The sunrise at the Yellow Water Cruise with mist rising off the river and the miriad of bird-life waking up. Katherine Gorge - spectacular. Do the helicopter flight too. It's worth it. Jim Jim Falls and swimming in crystal clear water holes. We were four adults plus guide so fitted comfortably into the four-wheel drive vehicle. Heath was friendly, efficient, knowledgeable and resourceful. Added to that he had a great sense of humour something which is a must when travelling at such close range for a period of time. Not a bad cook either! He also had a broad interest and knowledge of the bird life and the methods of using plants and other objects from nature which would have featured in the lives of indigenous Australians for thousands of years. I'm glad too that I shared this time with good friends as we'll recount our adventure for years to come.Travelled on private 6 Day Kakadu & Beyond Tour, July 2017.
A million star experience...
We have just returned from our 8 day Darwin-Broome trip with Charter North – what a fantastic experience for my family of four! From the very first contact with Greig (GT) and Alina, I was confident that we were in safe and experienced hands, and their prompt and detailed communication (despite their frequent road trips) answered any questions we had. GT tailored a terrific itinerary to suit our family’s individual needs, and adjusted it daily on the road as required to suit tired children. His welcome in Darwin was terrific and put us immediately at ease, and I relaxed as he took care of driving on the 2800 kilometres of road ahead. GT is the ultimate leader – his knowledge of the environment (animals, plants, weather and landscapes) is enormous, and he loves to share his enthusiasm for the Kimberley. His trailer was like a magical world – each night he would conjure up incredible meals, and the breakfasts and lunches weren’t neglected either, with bacon and eggs, French toast, pancakes (to celebrate Bastille Day!) and damper filling our stomachs each morning. Alina’s muesli was delicious too. Our family love fresh, home cooked meals, and it was nothing short of amazing to see fresh food, including fruit and salad, appear every day on the road, despite the lack of electricity and distance from shops. My caffeine-obsessed husband fell upon the strong fresh coffee GT brewed on the campfire each morning. That Tardis-like trailer also housed every necessity for our luxurious camping. We all preferred bush camping sites (my girls loved not having to shower each day!), and my husband and I loved the tranquillity and space in camping away from the crowds. Our tents were spacious, and the swags were so comfortable and warm – in fact, with the warm nights, we often found ourselves sleeping on top of our swags. GT is so incredibly organised and has anticipated every need, so that we wanted for absolutely nothing. He also keeps an eagle eye out observing your preferences at mealtimes, camps and hikes, so that the trip became even more customised as it progressed. I have organised trips like this in the past, and I truly appreciated the level of detail and care invested in our charter, and the amount of effort this would have taken. His equipment is top notch, including sturdy camp chairs and a food preparation table, great cooking supplies, not to mention the very comfortable Landcruiser in which we travelled. Take note of his detailed pre-departure packing lists and advice too: this will make your trip all the more comfortable if you are travelling lightly but with all the essentials he suggests. We used Greyhound Freight to transport our excess luggage from Darwin to Broome at GT’s suggestion, and it was terrific to travel simply, but then arrive at our accommodation in Broome to find a suitcase of clean clothes awaiting us. The Kimberley is not a bad backdrop to this experience either. GT knows all the best places to watch sunrises and sunsets, and the most perfect campsite locations. You can’t place a price on this sort of knowledge. From our first moonlit campsite somewhere east of the NT-WA border, to drinks and nibbles overlooking the sunset over Purnululu, to watching the moon rise at Home Valley, and even to our last peaceful camp in Boab Valley, every location was perfect, and has given our family great memories to share. Every suggestion GT makes is worth taking up – from a helicopter tour over Purnululu (you won’t regret the 30 minute ride, and with the doors off the helicopter the view is sensational and the ride so thrilling), to freshly baked scones at Ellenbrae Station, to hikes and swims by gorges, and even to fish and chips in Derby on our last day (easily the best barramundi of our Top End holiday!). And the soundtrack to these places and experiences is GT’s wonderful storytelling, bringing the history and current events of the Kimberley to life. Your tour with Charter North is truly a million star experience, as each evening we sat by the campfire and looked up into the sky to see planets, satellites, shooting stars and the Milky Way. Don’t hesitate: if you are active and adventurous, and wanting the best possible experience of the Kimberley, this tour is absolutely for you. We cannot wait to return.Travelled on private 8 Day Kimberley Tour ion July 2017.
10 day Camping trip Broome to Darwin
Absolutely fantastic. Just the right amount of adventure in this stunning area. Loved the bush camping. Every day we set out for a new adventure, experienced new beautiful sights. GT amazed us with his knowledge on history and indigenous culture. The cooking skills also exceeded expectation, never thought it possible to cook such good meals on a camp fire. And in between all that there was plenty of banter and laughter which made it fun for everyone, if you were friends already or not. An experience of a lifetime I can wholly recommend. Thanks to GT and our friends who invited us along.Travelled on 10 Day mixed group Kimberley Tour, July 2017.
Ten day camping trip Broome to DarwinHow does one put into words such an awesome experience? Greig is the best outdoor guide I have ever encountered and I have experienced many. Not only does he have deep knowledge of the geography, history and indigenous people, he knows how to share it with guests in an interesting and entertaining way. It's pretty wild and lonely in the Kimberleys, but we had full confidence in him to take care of us in every respect. The food far exceeded our expectations thanks to his culinary skills. Greig possesses great people skills and ensured every member of the trip was included. Most of all we had a huge amount of fun! Thanks so much. Highly recommend Charter North to anyone wanting to explore the top of Australia.Travelled on 10 Day mixed group Kimberley Tour, July 2017.
Six day trip to Kakadu and Katherine Gorge and LitchfieldWe, a family of four, children aged 12 and 15, had a 6 day tour of Kakadu. This was a great trip with Heath, far exceeded our expectations, we really enjoyed the whole experience. We went to some amazing and beautiful places, Heath was a great guide, really knowledgeable but also had a real love for the place and that really showed through. We had been a bit nervous about the camping but in actual fact really enjoyed this especially our last night when we went bush camping, actually wishing we had done more of this. We would definitely recommend Charter North, we loved going with a small company who listened to what we had to say about what we wanted to do and also took into account some of the reservations that we had. For us this was one of our best holidays, great for families, good to be together and away from technology. Would love to go again and will hopefully return to do see the Kimberly, if we do we would choose Charter North and would be very happy to have Heath as our guide again.Travelled on private 6 Day Kakadu & Beyond Tour, August 2017.
Fantastic Broome to Darwin outback campingWow....what an amazing outback camping experience. Trip of a lifetime. My wife and I, with our good friends, cannot thank Greig enough for sharing his experience and vast knowledge of the Kimberley. Every day, we were in absolute awe of this beautiful enormous landscape; and Greig simply let it unfold before us. His professional management and good humour made the trip so much fun....and he can also cook and sing. A highly recommended bush camping experience for anyone wishing to leave the phone at home. Alina is right, Greig should be cloned. Travelled on 10 Day mixed group Kimberley Tour, July 2017.
Dreamland of KakaduWe had a magnificent 6 day adventure with best of what Kakadu offers with Charter North. Great camp sites, great breakfasts and dinners over the fire.... every day varied and full of action and memories to last a lifetime. We had super cool guide who knew exactly where to go and what to do and there was plenty of surprise every day and many stops for coffees and icecremes and swimming spots... A definite must do! Thanks to our guide Heath who was highly experienced and knowledgeable and made great dinners and baked bread over the fire and for for making our trip excellent!Travelled on private 6 Day Kakadu & Beyond Tour July 2017.
Inspiring Broome to Darwin camping adventure
Our family is from Melbourne , we have a 15 year old boy and 12 year old girl and we really wanted them to experience the real Australia. We all went outside our comfort zones with " Bush " camping [ no toilets or showers] and it was amazing. Greig and Alina made it look very easy. The hiking was terrific and revealed so much of the hidden beauty of Australia. Greig's knowledge of the land and the indigenous people and the history of the area was brilliant. As a private tour he was also able to tailor the trip to personal interests, such as rock art, photography, helicopter flights etc.Travelled on private 8 Day Kimberley Tour in July 2017.
Fantastic family holiday we'll never forget
We have just returned from an extraordinary 7 day Kakadu and Beyond private charter with Charter North 4WD Safaris and could not recommend the experience more highly! We started planning the trip with Greig back in January and were impressed with his knowledge of the Top end and willingness to tailor the itinerary to our requirements. We had a long 2 hour teleconference where we explored options and devised a program which included 5 days in Kakadu, 1 day at Katherine Gorge and 1 day in Litchfield NP. We were a little disappointed that Greig was touring the Kimberley at the time and was therefore unable to be our guide, but we were totally delighted with our guide Heath Whiley.
Heath knows the top end like the back of his hand. Quite frankly, he provided us with an adventure that we would not have been able to procure on our own. As we were up for a bit of adventure, Heath took us off the beaten track, away from the crowds. We climbed up to the plunge pools at the top of Jim Jim where we saw only one other group the entire day - amazing views and a refreshing swim in many many pools. We explored the gorges behind the Gumlom and Maguk plunge pools - clambering over rocks and duck diving through submerged holes in the rock. We avoided the crowds at Litchfield by taking a 4WD track through 0.5m deep water and then hiking to the secluded Tjaynera falls. We camped only at bush camps (again at our request to avoid crowds) and enjoyed an amazing sunrise over Sandy Billabong and sunset over a lagoon near Edith falls. We loved our scenic flight with Kakadu Air (highly recommended on day 1 to get a sense of the amazing landscape); our canoe trip on the second and third gorges of Katherine Gorge and a sunset cruise on the Yellow Water Lagoon where we saw 7 salt water crocs. Heath has incredible knowledge about bird life and our 13 year old son was soon spotting birds and using Heath's phone app to identify their calls. He taught us all about bush tucker and even persuaded our 9 year old daughter to lick the bottom of a weaver ant (yes, it tastes like lime!) By the end of the week, we were all dusting off the nectar of fern leaf grevillea (so sweet) and (once outside the park) putting the yellow kapok flowers on our salad. Heath shared his passion for photography with us all, but especially our 15 year old son who was soon borrowing Heaths's tripod to capture sunset & moon rising shots at Ubirr Rock and at Jim Jim (amazing water reflections of the sandstone escarpment). He taught us all about the indigenous rock art @ Nubirr and Nourlangie and aboriginal bush craft. He gave the younger kids a DJ name (for when they took turns choosing the tunes for car trips); was patient with my husband and his torn hammy and dealt with my FOMO! We all thought he was fantastic! As for the camping, we used the new camper trailer which popped out in 15 minutes. We called it the "Taj" - with two double mattresses and plenty of room for 2 swags and extra gear, it was super deluxe. The food was great & all meals other than lunch were cooked over the fire. We enjoyed freshly brewed coffee and cooked breakfasts (eggs and bacon; jaffles); bread cooked in the camp oven (including damper; multigrain and a banana bread); Bbqs, curries, pasta and stir fries for dinner and plenty of chocolate and marshmallows for toasting over the fire while star gazing. Heath had snacks aplenty, including wine/beer and cheese and dips for sunset (we also took some wine on tour). All in all, it was an incredible holiday which we could not recommend more highly.Travelled on private 7 Day kakadu & Beyond Tour in July 2017
Fantastic Kakadu Safari with HeathJust returned home from a 4 day trip through Kakadu with Heath as our guide. Our family group of 6 ranged in age from 6-71 years and we all loved it. Heath was the consummate guide. He was very knowledgeable about the park, the indigenous people, bush tucker, rock art etc and gave us an experience we would not otherwise have had. Heath was super organised whilst looking relaxed and able to adapt to suit us as we went, a great camp fire cook who produced a constant supply of delicious food, the marsh mellow and chocolate chip damper was a highlight and the daily brewed coffee was a nice surprise. Heath ensured that we all made it safely and comfortably to all the lookouts and swimming holes. By the second day we felt like he had become a member of our family, he charmed Granny and entertained the kids! I trusted him to take my kids to see a Death Adder snake we had been told about! The car we travelled in was very comfortable for 6 of us, the swags were great to sleep in and everything we needed was supplied. This was the trip of a lifetime, Kakadu is a stunning place to visit I thoroughly recommend it you go with Heath and Charter North who give a very comfortable full outback sleeping under the stars experience. Travelled on private 4 Day Kakadu Tour in July 2017.
4 Day Kakadu with Charter North guide Heath WhileyOur family gives Charter North a 5 star rating from planning to the execution of the actual trip. Greig Taylor and Alina Baldrich owner-operators followed up quickly and in such detail that it was easy to know our options and what to expect. We were not disappointed!! And it was better than expected! We chose the 4 Day Kakadu experience because it fit in nicely with the rest of our travel plans! We had our own personal Guide, Heath Whiley who was exceptional, knowledgeable, super personable and as our 15 year old says, "super dope" which means super cool! He was great with our 17, and 15 year old boys, he helped my husband find several species of birds he hadn't seen before, and he was patient with my pace at times when I needed to go slow! And He calmed our fears about crocodiles We loved Heath and talk about our trip every day! Our Itinerary was as follows but so much more because we saw heaps of wildlife and had heaps of fun and gourmet cooking to boot which I only acted as sous chef! We did the Boat cruise on Corroboree Billabong, Ubirr rock art site Camp at Muirella Park with Matty Gubara exploration, up to the castle Sunset yellow waters pontoon Top of Maguk Camp at Gunlom Top of Gunlom and swim in the infinity pool Back to Darwin via pine creek (Python snake) Sunset mindil beach The food was amazing and we had never slept in Swags, but it was the best sleep I'd ever had Camping. The campgrounds were remote but all were clean! Heath took the time to get to know us all and worked well with each of us. He took us off the beaten path and although we were in the Kakadu over a 3 day weekend, Heath planned our trip perfectly so we could avoid the crowds. I knew we were in for a great trip when within a short time Heath pulled off the road to show us some wild life which he would often do. On the rest of our Australian trip... we would say Let's do a "Heath"and go back and look at that rather than push on and miss something special. And by the way he an exceptional photographer too! Thank you Greig, Alina and Heath for a fantastic trip of a lifetime. Travelled on private 4 Day Kakadu Tour in June 2017.
Incredible camping tour through Kakadu.Wonderful tour of Kakadu with Heath. His knowledge of and passion for birds, wildlife and indigenous culture was contagious. The trip was well planned and executed. Heath made it all very easy and stress free. The kids enjoyed helping set up tents and cooking damper in the camp oven Heath knows the park like the back of his hand and you benefit from his expertise. Heath is also a passionate photographer and showed great spots for pics. Can't recommend these guys high enough. We will look forward to our next tour with them. Travelled on private 5 Day Kakadu & Litchfield Tour in June 2017.
Kakadu Cultural Customized TourWe felt as if we were on National Geographic Wildlife/Cultural Tour. Our tour was exciting and awe inspiring thanks in no small part to our guide - Heath. Kudos for his ability to spot wildlife, photo tips, cultural knowledge, respect for the environment and gourmet cooking! We told Charter North what we wanted to see and they customized an amazing adventure for our first trip DownUnder from the USA. They provided our camp gear, food, permits, itinerary making the experience easy and enjoyable. Leave the driving to Charter North. The 4WD vehicle was roomy and comfortable. We would not hesitate to recommend Charter North. They were great!Travelled on private 3 Day Kakadu & Arnhemland Tour in June 2017.
Amazing Kimberley adventure!Our family of four (two boys aged 7 and 10) have just returned from an 8-day tour from Darwin to Broom and loved it! We swam in waterfalls, walked through magical places, saw crocodiles, camped in the bush while listening to howling dingoes, had showers under the stars, ate great food cooked on the camp fire, watched beautiful sunsets and drank excellent coffee at sunrise. The tour guides were very knowledgeable and passionate about the country and accommodated all our whims. I can recommend this tour to anyone who likes a bit of adventure and who has a moderate level of fitness. It was a great trip! Travelled on private 8 Day Kimberley Tour in June 2017.
Thank you Heath Whiley and Charter North Tours!Heath arrived right on time on 1 June and immediately impressed us with his organisation. Off we went on a wonderful 4-day journey into Kakadu - just the two of us and Heath, plus our cameras and lenses. Our first stop, Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve immediately yielded photo opportunities with Kingfishers and Rainbow Bee-eaters basking in great sunlight along the electricity wires. With Heath's interest in everything Kakadu, we had chalked up almost 30 varieties of birds that morning! Heath knew all of their names and he was able to demonstrate their calls on the app on his phone. Over the coming days we learned a great deal about the flora - the difference between similar-looking fruit, one with strychnine and the other with bitter, but edible, quinine. It mattered not whether we were looking at a bird, an insect, a plant or ancient rock art, Heath's interest, knowledge and enthusiasm was inspiring. We opted to camp under the stars and enjoyed all of the night noises - the dingoes, possums and bandicoots wandering around our camp through the night, with the dawn being marked by a flock of red-winged parrots feasting on the many flowering plants. The landscapes were breathtaking, the swimming holes were magic, and the sunsets, much enhanced with the smoke from burning off, were unforgettable. Charter North put a fantastic itinerary together and Heath, our guide, delivered an experience we will never forget. Always well organised, always mindful of our safety, always patient and responsive, always inventive with his fantastic meals, we are truly grateful to have come away from Kakadu learning much more about our beautiful country. Thank you Charter North and Heath Whiley. Travelled on private 4 Day Kakadu Tour in June 2017.