14 Day Kimberley AdventureMy wife has always wanted to visit the Kimberley, but we are retired and whilst we had been to Australia before, we had never been to the top end. We did not have so many firm ideas, but we knew that we wanted to see the real rural outback, and we knew that we did not have knowledge to plan it ourselves, we needed local expertise. I e-mailed a couple of UK travel companies, and got no response. I contacted Charter North and got an immediate and very comprehensive reply. Right from the first contact we got good responses and lots of ideas, accommodating our thoughts and needs. We were planning our trip for almost a year, and during this time my wife had some health issues. We talked to Greig and Alina and made adjustments to the plan to cope with our limitations. The trip was excellent in every way, the journeys, the route, the scenery, the accommodation (we did mainly accomodated but some camping as well, the food. All this with great local knowledge and a sense of humour. We can't say anything other the excellent to the whole experience from planning to delivery. Travelled on 14 Day accommodated Kimberley Tour in May 2019.
Kakadu 4 day private tour
We have recently finished a 4 day Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks Tour with Charter North. Alina was very helpful from the beginning answering all my queries and then planning a tour to suit us. Sean was our wonderful guide who showed us the parks major sights and was a wealth of knowledge of the area. We certainly learned a lot along the way. The food was really good especially the barramundi Sean cooked on the first night. We stayed in cabins at Anbilik in Jabiru and Mount Bundy Station. Both were good. We even got to hear Sean sing and play guitar around the campfire at Mount Bundy Station which added to our whole experience. We highly recommend Charter North to see the Top End.Travelled on private 4 Day Kakadu & Litchfield Tour in May 2019.
What an amazing adventure!With visiting friends from overseas, we decided choose charter North for their expertise and flexible itinerary. From the beginning, Greig was professional and knowledgeable of the areas we visited, Kakadu, Katherine and Litchfield National Park. He catered to our every need and abilities. We enjoyed the food he made for us everyday, we didn’t go hungry! A huge thank you to Charter North for a fantastic, memorable adventure... I look forward to our next trip with them, Kimberley is next!!!! Travelled on 6 Day Kakadu & Beyond Tour in April 2019.
Wonderful Private CamperVan Safari with GT
Our trip to the outback of Darwin with GT was great. He taught us a lot about the environment and nature. He took us to great waterfalls and given the season (April) at some we were on our own. GT is a great campfire cook. The meals were delicious and so all breakfast and lunches with a great variety. Our sons loved helping out getting the wood and lighting the fire. GT is not only very service minded, he was great with our kids (10 and 11 years old). GT's knowledge of the parks comes in handy as he is able to change plans while on tour depending on your needs and wants or weather circumstances. A must do if you consider going to Darwin.Travelled on 4 Day Kakadu & Litchfield Tour in April 2019.
Unforgettable adventure in the land of fire and floodPre dawn, Day 6…..there is a familiar rustling sound in the semi darkness. 5 days ago we might have suspected an inquisitive wallaby had wandered into camp. Now we recognise the sound of our guide, GT, quietly taking down his tent, rolling up his swag and making first preparations for breakfast. That means lighting the campfire. We’ve grown to love this time, just before sunrise. It is cool and peaceful. It is October, so the Kimberley is getting hot. We fell asleep on top of sleeping bags but now lie underneath them. Last night the sky was filled with activity. Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars were all visible, in a vertical line, starting at the horizon. Aquarius, Pisces and the incomparable Scorpio were also seen. We are lucky. The crescent moon started our trip as just a sliver, and so after 6 days remains no impediment to star gazing. But now the earth has turned away from the part of the sky that last night held these planets and constellations….(please, attend Greg Quicke’s stargazing presentation in Broome to learn more about this wonderful terminology)…new stars are faintly visible in the lightening sky, but we will soon face the part of the sky that contains our sun. GT has set up the camp so that we will be shaded from the early morning rays. I’m especially excited this morning, as last night I donated a valuable can of beer to the production of dough….and this morning we will devour the damper that GT is baking on the open fire. Breakfast has been a highlight on this trip, we’ve had eggs, pancakes, cereals, honey and yogurt, fire cooked toast and wonderful fresh coffee. There’s an easy pace to life on the trip. An early start each day is followed by a hike, a swim in a dazzling waterhole or a wildlife excursion. We look to travel in the heat of the day. The Land Cruiser is very comfortable. The girls, aged 7, 9 and 11 have space in the back and can enjoy the views, play games or read books. GT knows the history, landscape and wildlife of the region and has the stories to bring it to life. We might talk for an hour, then spend the next in quiet contemplation. We stop for lunch, have an afternoon excursion and set up camp, which means a beer and cards around the campfire whilst GT makes dinner. The Gibb River Road is an adventurous drive, a harsh road in harsh conditions. We feel very safe with our guide, who has decades of experience in the region and is his own mechanic. On a particularly rough stretch of road, a ruined ‘shocker’ on the trailer is quickly replaced whilst the family tuck into ham sandwiches by the side of the road. GT explains to us that the Kimberley is a land of fire and flood. The haze on the horizon is testament to the wildfires that are a part of life here. The rains will come in the next month, turning the parched landscape green. The wildlife is varied. We’ve been introduced to Wallabies, Rock Kangaroos, freshwater crocodiles, (no salties outside of the wildlife sanctuary) native bees, flying foxes, bats, ‘screeching’ corellas, freshwater crustaceans, fish who use their mouth as a water pistol and even a nosy Bandicoot. After 8 nights out, we set eyes upon the impeccable white sands of Broome and the adventure is over. 4 days at the beach makes for a wonderful finale to the holiday. I won’t rehash a lot of what has been said in other reviews, other than to confirm that our experience matched the most positive of those you can read there. The communication and preparation pre arrival was excellent. GT was very flexible with our activities and he understood what we liked to do and what conditions allowed. You can swim in the gigantic Lake Argyle, you will visit the edge of a giant desert and travel one of the world’s great off road tracks. You will learn about mountain ranges that are millions of years in the making, and observe a night sky that is aged in the billions of years. It is a trip we are thrilled to have taken. Now, if they will just sort out regular direct flights from Singapore, we can visit more frequently. Travelled on private 9 Day Kimberley Tour with Camper Trailer in October 2018.
Great Family Trip!We recently finished a 4 day Kakadu/Litchfield vacation with our two teenager grand children (16 and 15) . My wife and I are both 65 and wanted to share a memorable holiday with our grand children, but really did not have the capability to take on Kakadu... hence we wanted the experience without the worry of organising etc. Greig was outstanding, from the time he picked us up in Darwin until the time he dropped us back. He listened to our requirements, helped shape the itinerary and then ensured we made it through each day... He had a great depth of knowledge, whether it was the vegetation, wildlife, indigenous art or just 4wd .... he did not push, but responded to our questions. We appreciated the healthy meals and enjoyed new season mangoes. His twenty years experience in the top end really came through. Apart from being a competent guide, he displayed a genuine interest in the teenagers and what they were doing etc... and helped them thoroughly enjoy their time. We could not have asked for more. Travelled on private, accommodated Kakadu & Litchfield Tour in October 2018.
Kakadu 3 days/2 nights private tour
We have been on many holidays and this one would have to count as one of the most memorable. We are a family of four (children ages 11 and 9) and only had limited time to spend in Kakadu. We gave Grieg a list of bucket list items that we wanted to tick off while in Kakadu and he fulfilled each of them with expert knowledge and professionalism. If you want a holiday that allows you to really connect with your loved ones against a backdrop of some of the world's most diverse and beautiful landscapes and habitats, hike to the most stunning swimming holes, learn about ancient rock art and Australia's indigenous culture, all while not having to lift a finger in terms of camping preparation, cooking, navigation and driving, then Charter North is for you. Greig was driver, navigator, tour guide, camp host, chef, and fireside story teller all in one and he worked from 6am in the morning til well after we had all gone to bed at night to make sure our experience was as rewarding and comfortable as is possible in the harsh climates of the Australian outback. The hikes he took us on were a particular highlight as we would never have been able to locate these incredible locations without him. I would have no hesitation in recommending Charter North to family and friends.Travelled on private 3 Day Kakadu family camping Tour in October 2018.
Kimberley 9 day camping tourTravelled on mixed group 9 Day Kimberley Tour in September 2018.
I'm born and raised in Australia but have never explored the top end so i was looking for some personalised, detailed local knowledge to ensure I saw more than the average tourist. Greig & Alina supplied a seamless, fun, educational and active experience. Meeting the locals in each area was important to me and Greig knows them all. The camp sites were fantastic, meals fantastic, hikes and swims also fantastic! Thanks Guys, (K)arl.
9 day Broome - Darwin Camping TourTravelled on mixed group 9 Day Kimberley Tour in September 2018.
Thanks to Alina and GT for a organising a fantastic introduction to the Kimberley. Although a mixed group, GT managed to integrate into the programme a nice balance of hiking, swimming and culture. The campfire meals were delicious and the nights under the Kimberley sky magical. We particularly appreciated being guided to front row seats for some of the most spectacular views the Kimberley has to offer - often with no one else around! Truly an amazing experience.
9 Day Broome to Darwin Camping Tour
Guided by Grieg our experience met and surpassed all expectations, taking in a huge itinerary in a perfect blend of hikes, swims, visits to rock art sites, galleries and world heritage sites. The comfortable vehicle carefully and competently piloted by Grieg got us through the Gibb River Rd where others came to grief! Greig’s detailed knowledge of the route extended to a list of hidden campsites where we could enjoy the incredible night sky in privacy and comfort. By the time we set up our tents and rolled out our swags the multi-talented Grieg would have the campfire blazing and another gourmet meal under preparation. It’s hard to pick winners on this trip when it includes so much like the sunset trip (and champagne fuelled swim) on Lake Argyle and a memorable visit to the Bungle Bungles. Thanks Alina and Grieg!Travelled on mixed group 9 Day Kimberley Tour in September 2018.
Unique Kimberley experience with a true Aussie legend!
Charter North organised a remarkable 9 day trip on the Gibb River Road from Darwin to Broome for our family group of six adults and six children aged from 6 to 13.GT (Greig) was our guide, organiser, chef, raconteur and chief tyre change adviser / observer. He arranged a trip that ensured that we not only saw all of the must-see sights of the Kimberley (Bungle Bungles, Lake Argyle, Emma Gorge, Bell Gorge, Manning Gorge and Windjana Gorge) but also covered some unique experiences such as sunset at our campsite looking over the Cockburn Range or swimming in deserted river gorges, watched only by rock wallabies and, perhaps, a freshie or two. His knowledge of the area is remarkable and makes for a richer understanding of the landscape and the characters that inhabit it. Even on a long stretch of dirt road, there is always a funny story from his years of guiding that will come out! To be able to take a group of city slickers and show them a true Australian 4WD camping experience is a real skill and GT has all the experience necessary to make it happen. All we needed to do was turn up in Darwin and it was all taken care of. Sitting around the campfire each night with the whole family was something to be treasured, particularly after GT had created another wonderful meal over the fire! All in all, a unique experience and one to be recommended to anyone looking to see the real Kimberley from a swag under the stars, without the stress of trying to organise it all yourself.Travelled on private 9 Day Kimberley Tour in July 2018.
Fantastic experience - highly recommend!
We recently returned from a 6 night 7 day guided trip from Darwin through Kakadu to Katherine, finishing in Litchfield National Park before heading back to Darwin. It was a family trip - 2 adults and 2 kids (12 and 10) and it was fantastic in every respect. Greig and Alina were very professional in organising the trip for us and every detail was covered. Our guide Daniel (Dan) was superb - knowledgeable, organised, good fun and a fabulous cook!! Dan really got the measure of our capabilities and interests early in the trip and organised the daily intinerary accordingly. We had such a variety of fabulous experiences - swimming at Jim Jim Falls; a challenging but super rewarding trek to the top of Jim Jim; lots of croc spotting (including a stuffed one), viewing amazing rock art at Ubirr and Nourlangie; seeing the wonderful bird life on the Yellow River cruise; swimming in more waterfalls than we thought possible including the gorgeous Maguk and learning so much from Dan and others about indigenous history, culture and custom (plus the odd campsite Jenga showdown!). It was a truly fantastic trip - so many great family memories created. We can't rate Dan highly enough - his experience and good nature meant we always felt we were in good hands and just made the trip so enjoyable and fun (plus he laughed at a lot of our jokes!). Thanks so much. Chris (aka Luddy), Emma, Lucy and Alice.Travelled on 7 Day Kakadu & Beyond Tour in July 2018.
Kimberley and Kakadu Safari Trip
We had a fabulous 13 day camping trip with GT. He is very experienced and yet extremely passionate and knowledgeable about the environment, plants, animals, bird life and the indigenous people of this area. GT is a great guide who made our group feel incredibly relaxed to enjoy this amazing landscape. Nothing is too much for GT and we would highly recommend him and love to travel with him again.Travelled on 13 Day Kakadu & Kimberley Tour in July/ August 2018.
A camping adventure with two young girlsTravelled on 4 Day Kakadu & Litchfield Tour in August 2018.
We booked this trip with Charter North, the whole booking experience was very easy and Alina was most accommodating indeed. We were met at our Hotel in Darwin by Dan our guide for the 4 days. Dan was a super host, he interacted with us all and the kids enjoyed their time with him, swimming, cooking, toasting marshmallows and just general outdoor fun. Dan made the trip for us all, he was knowledgeable and most personable. Kakadu is a special place and well worth a visit. We enjoyed it so much I spoke to a friend today about it and he is going to book a similar trip himself. Making memories is good and we made a lot on this trip. Highly recommend.
Better than we could have imagined! Spending what we thought would be 6 days traveling with a complete stranger, turned into one of our best holidays we've had! Dan, our personal guide, was a sensational guy, he knew every inch of the Top End, was incredibly knowledgeable of the flora and fauna and had a fantastic sense of humor. Not only was he friendly, he was hard working, patient, super organized, efficient and had very creative cooking skills. We learnt quickly he was very well known in the area and well regarded. Dan's planning was immaculate and we were always ahead of the big tour groups. I highly recommend Charter North for an unforgettable experience. Thanks Charter North, and thank you especially Dan!Travelled on accommodated 6 Day Kakadu & Beyond Tour in July 2018.
Kakadu, a unique place of beauty
We were well satisfied with the Itinerary offered us and in the leadership provided by Daniel. Dan was terrific. His trailer and equipment was just great, his meal management and standard of meals was totally satisfactory, his adaptability to Twin Falls not being available and selection of alternative sites and items of interest was good, his education and information story was rewarding and able to be absorbed by our 12 year old grandsons, we felt totally safe in the car and finally his conversation and general interest in our lives was friendly and genuine. The campsites selected were totally adequate. We accepted we were camping in outback NT and therefore the ablutions, corrugated roads and dusty conditions were just part of the deal. The Corroboree Wetlands Cruise with Chris as our skipper and guide was so good, and a great introduction to Kakadu. The whole of the communication and organisation with Alina, Greig and Dan gave us confidence and great service.Travelled on 4 Day Kakadu Tour in July 2018.
The trip my children will tell their children about
Having done all the overseas trips with my family (husband and 22 and 18 year old daughters), this trip to Kakadu with Greig of Charter North 4WD Safaris will be THE one my girls will tell their children about. Kakadu is absolutely stunning in its pristine beauty. The play of the light on the landscape changing all the time is a photographer’s dream. Being able to appreciate it better through the guidance of Charter North enhanced our experience 100 fold. Greig was able to take our small party of 4 away from all the tourists and on secluded walks and to private water holes. From his vast knowledge, we learned about local culture, plants and animals and felt like the first explorers ever to enjoy the magnificent views from the huge rock outcrops. Greig judged our fitness and climbing skills like the true professional he is, challenging all of us in different ways with the 12km Barrk Walk, rock scrambling, and jumping off rocks into deep waterholes, at all times keenly aware of safety issues but also entertaining us with stories of crocodiles and buffalo and the elusive macropods! As a parent, I saw a new side to my children, engaging in fast flowing conversation with Greig, such as debating about the aboriginal rock paintings – was that a head dress or did the hunter sit on the same rock as us just before a storm and his hair stood on end too with the electricity in the air? There was much laughter on our trip and we are definitely looking at asking Greig to plan a Kimberley tour for us in the future. Charter North offered modern, clean and comfortable equipment, from the 4WD to tents and swags (with pillows!). The numerous emails and “what to bring” list was spot on, and ensured we were well prepared. The day was always started with a fresh cup of percolated coffee and a spread of cereals, breads, fresh fruit and when time permitted damper, eggs and bacon, often with an open fire. We were all surprised at the quality and variety of food Greig prepared. Fresh, organic, delicious and plenty thereof, always thinking of the environment in our use of the camping area, roads and bush. Thank you Greig for giving us a first class insight into our wonderful country.Travelled on 4 Day Kakadu Tour in April 2018.
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.
Amazing 4 day/3 night tour of Kakadu and Litchfield
We’re a family of five (17, 15 and 10 year old kids) who’ve just returned from a fabulous trip with Charter North to Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks. I’m so happy I discovered this great tour guiding company after chancing upon reviews on Trip Advisor; now I’m hoping someone else will read my review and make a booking! First up, Charter North really can provide a unique ‘bespoke’ tour that can cater for all individual needs. They are so flexible and we were very impressed with their clear and comprehensive communications in the run up to our trip. Initially we were going to do a 3 night/4 day camp, but unseasonably hot and humid conditions were persisting in mid- April, so Alina and Greig gave us the last minute option of switching to air-conditioned accommodation. With temps of 38 degrees every day and hot nights, we were happy we made the last minute change (the 10 year old was struggling a bit with the heat). The accommodation selected worked perfectly, we particularly loved Mount Bundy Station and just wish we had more time to spend there. Even after the owner Sue casually mentioned that a 6 foot freshie had strolled across the driveway a couple of days before! Greig is truly a master at his job. He really is like an ever-ready battery with boundless energy; if he wasn’t guiding us around the Aboriginal rock art and hikes etc, then he was busy driving or preparing delicious meals for us. His passion for the environment and reverence for the Aboriginal culture and rock art is infectious. Greig was so personable and respectful and had a knack of making each person feel special. His knowledge about the indigenous culture, wildlife and the diverse landscapes is second to none. We fully expected 3 nights of BBQ sausage in rolls so it was fantastic to get a really delicious home-cooked meal every evening, from stir fries to homemade pasta sauces. Plenty of snacks and a hearty breakfast (and espresso coffee..no international roast here!) set us up for the day. Greig just seemed to keep on producing more and more food from ‘the tardis’ trailer, which meant we never went hungry; including two plus-six foot teenage boys. There’s no doubt in my mind that we wouldn’t have got anywhere near as much out of a self-drive to Kakadu. Greig took us to some magical sites, some of which were not yet accessible to the general public. Highlights: the infinity pool at Gunlom Falls; the incredible rock art at Ubirr; the most stunning sunset at Nardab Lookout with 360 degree panoramic views of Kakadu; campfire under the stars at Mount Bundy Station; swimming under waterfalls in Litchfield...the list could go on and on. I really hope that some day we might be able to do another Charter North tour to the Kimberley. Greig and Alina: you provide an exceptional and unique service, thank you!Travelled in April 2018.
The Real Deal
I’m one of those people who is difficult to please. I want to see the most beautiful sights and sites on Earth, but I don’t want anyone else to be there. I want to ‘get back to nature’, but I want crisp linen sheets and sparkling clean glassware. I adore being social and chatty - but love my solitude. So is always a struggle for me to find the perfect solution when we travel to tourist locations. I think Charter North was the ideal choice for our family. An early pick up from our hotel in Darwin got us on the road for the quick trip to Coroboree Creek for our boat cruise. We’d done a ‘jumping croc’ tour a few days ago and had no interest in doing another, but thankfully this was a complete contrast. A cool early morning breeze meant that it was extremely pleasant cruising down the billabong and we saw crocs, an abundance of birds and some gorgeous lillys. Then off to Ubirr for the rock art and sunset. Our guide has an intimate knowledge and love of indigenous culture and heritage - we never felt like we were just getting a ‘spiel’. In fact one of the highlights of the tour was just how well our guide interacted with my two children - either he’s the world’s best actor or he genuinely relates to young people (the latter for sure!). Our first night’s camp was a bit of a disaster - Kakadu had had a long, hot wet season and we caught the tail end. So we were assaulted by a plague of mosquitos, a stinking hot night and techno music drifting over from the backpackers camp next door. To be fair Charter North did warn us that it would unpleasant and offered us the choice of booking into accommodation. But, being the awkward bugger that I am, I insisted on camping and then whinged about how awful it was! We hightailed it out of the mozzie hell hole first thing and instead had a lovely breakfast under a tree just before our first hike to a secret water hole. This was more like it - not a soul and just pristine water and wilderness. I wanted the whole tour to focus around water - I knew the only way I could get the kids to go on hikes in 38 degree heat was to plunge into a waterfall at the end of it. So Charter North certainly delivered - we visited 4 totally different water holes, with the highlight being an early morning visit to Gunlom where we were the ONLY people there. Unheard of and the reason it’s definitely worth booking with a well established tour operator who has early season access permits to avoid the crowds. The second campsite was a real hit - hardly any mozzies, a handy Creek down the road for a quick dip and absolute serenity on the second night when the backpackers left after the weekend. Meals were healthy and huge portions. We never went hungry. As I said in the title to this review - Charter North is the real deal. It’s definitely not glamping - if you’re soft and want hot and cold running water, flushing toilets and French linen then stick to Longitude 131. But if you want a genuine, fully immersive, no BS, true blue Aussie bush experience with guides who are truly passionate about what they do and live, breathe and dream Kakadu then book with Charter North.Travelled on 4 Day Kakadu Tour in April 2018.