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.
Wonderful tour of Kakadu and LitchfieldFantastic four days on a private tour of Kakadu and Litchfield National Park, great scenery and relaxing swims in waterfall rock pools, most of which we had to ourselves. Everything was perfectly organised, with Greig taking care of all the details, from making sure we got the best out of the sites we visited, to well prepared meals and a secret camping ground, so that we could just relax and enjoy ourselves. Greig is a very experienced guide with deep local knowledge. Was a great way to do our first visit to these areas. Visited on 4 Day Kakadu & Litchfield Private Tour in April 2017.
“Kakadu national park during wet season.....unique adventure!!!!!”Recommended for anyone who likes adventure and individual travel. Greig is a very friendly, professional guide who impressed us with his knowledge about the wilderness and the historical background of the places he showed us. His comfortable car and his cooking skills made our day trips very special. The tour was ideally adjusted to our needs so that we could get a unique impression of kakadu national park in wet season. We will always remember the hiking, swimming and the boat trip in kakadu. Greig's personal support, the complete service and the stunning beauty of the park made the tour an absolute highlight of our visit. Visited February 2017 on 3 Day Kakadu Green Season Tour.
Raw beauty! Tranquil nature.If you like camping, this is the trip to go on if you want or need to get away from it all. Grieg Taylor leads you over hills, valleys, rocks, and streams to see the best and most remote of this Outback region. I appreciated his knowledge and love of the land and learned much about the Kimberly wilderness and its beauty. I also gained a great appreciation for the beautiful Aboriginal people and their culture. Grieg is one of Australia's national treasures. I will be back! Travelled on 11 Day Mixed Group Kimberley Tour in July 2016.
Darwin to Broome 11 days
Absolute stunning tour. Recommendable to all who want to see as much as possible of the Kimberleys. Greig always knew when to be at a place in order to avoid a lot of other tourists. He is a very friendly and extremly experienced guide and a fabulous cook. It was luxury to be in a such small group! Even we were not used to do camping we felt very comfortable with the swags and tents. Like a home from home. We would always return and would like to thank you again for that unforgetable experience! For us the Kimberleys were the best part of Australia!!!
Broome to Darwin 10 Day TourShadowed gorges and echoing waterholes, hushed attention to rock art and glowing campfire evenings only begin to describe this trip. It was comfortable in swags and small tents. Greig's extensive knowledge answered all our questions and he adapted to our pace and fostered wonderful communication between six people (2 couples, 2 singles) who had been strangers at the beginning. This is the best travel I've known. Too full for writing a daily diary and utterly memorable.Travelled on 10 Day Kimberley Tour in July 2016.
Up close & personal way to experience the KimberleyIf you want to experience the Kimberley in an 'up close and personal way' then this is the trip to be had. We have just spent 10 days camping through the Kimberley with Greig and 4 other travellers. We had the best time - sleeping in swags in easy to erect tents, being served wholesome, delicious food cooked over a campfire every night, walking, swimming and experiencing breathtaking landscapes that leave an imprint on the soul. Greig's knowledge of the Kimberley, his personable nature and his desire to provide the best experience possible has provided us with wonderful memories that will last a lifetime. Travelled on 10 Day Kimberley Tour, July 2016.
The most wonderful 10 Day Kimberley ExperienceWe recently returned from the most wonderful 10 Day Kimberley experience, travelling with Charter North's Greig Taylor, and four other lovely guests/ companions from Broome to Darwin. By way of review, we concur completely with other folks' comments. The only variation from the comprehensive words written by "Fiona and Darryl of Brisbane" were that we missed meeting Alina and Frankie Holden! As we had a full complement of six guests, Alina had to stay home and plan further improvements - though it is hard to see what they could be! Travelled July 2016 on 10 Day Kimberley Tour.
Gorgeous - A must for experiencing the KimberleysWe (a family of 2 adults and 3 children aged 16, 14 and 11) spent 10 days on a charter tour from Broome to Darwin with Greig and Alina. The experience was just AMAZING! Very well organised camping (with perfect material), sometimes real bushcamping in the middle of nowhere, ready for the sunrise every morning, the sunset and gazing at the stars from our open tents. Food (an important topic for all of us) was tremendous, very varied, very healthy (fresh fish twice during the tour, lots of vegies), incredible what Greig and Alina were able to cook. We discovered all splendours of the Kimberleys, with very nice hikes (30' to 2h30, some experience of hiking and good condition required), plenty of time to swim in the gorges and rivers, a wonderful day canoeing and walking in Dimond Gorge. Greig and Alina were not only our guides and drivers: they did participate to all activities and we had so much fun together. Moreover, we got a lot of information about the Kimberleys: Greig, who has been touring since 20 years in the area, knows everything about everything, from the indigenous history, rock art, culture to the animals, plants, rock formations. What an incredible wealth of knowledge! And of course the driving was always very good and safe. We would strongly recommend such a tour with Charter North in the Kimberleys: both the destination and the tour operator are fantastic! Thank you again mates!
Kimberley 10 day Darwin to Broome - Soft Adventure camping tour - Charter North is the obvious choiceGreig and Alina made our dream Kimberley trip comfortable, relaxed, safe, worry-free, educational and fun. We had a great itinerary adapted to circumstances to maximise our enjoyment and outback adventure experience such as sunrise breakfast at Purnululu, breakfast at Five Rivers Lookout ( a surprise bonus location due to being ahead of schedule ), sunset nibbles and drinks in amazing locations at Purnululu and Home Valley. As well as wildlife spotting ( bustards, brolgas, corellas, kites, crocodiles, dingoes, snakes, goannas, wedge tailed eagle ), we even did some celebrity spotting and got to meet Frankie J Holden while viewing the sunset at Purnululu! Tasty, plentiful, varied and always exceptionally healthy meals prepared and washed up for us. Loved Alina's homemade muesli, the lunchtime fresh salad wraps, and delicious dinners. We are amazed how fast Alina and Greig can prepare amazing meals anywhere. We used airy, spacious, 4 person tents for each couple or single. They are quick & easy to erect & pack up. We enjoyed our first time sleeping in swags. The single swags unroll and unzip to reveal a dense mattress, top and bottom sheets, doona with cover, real pillow and pillowcase and are much more comfortable than using sleeping bags on an airbed! Greig is a careful, experienced driver ( with automotive mechanic qualifications and vast driving and mechanical experience ) driving a luxury new Landcruiser with excellent air conditioning, snorkel and after market suspension upgrade so we felt safe, comfortable, well equipped and had peace of mind travelling long distances on dusty, corrugated, remote, outback roads. In fact, we expected our trip to be more bumpy! Greig's sturdy trailer is like Dr Who's Tardis revealing endless amounts of fresh water, foods, condiments, spreads for toast and crackers, camping equipment, luggage, beverages, cookware etc. Alina and Greig do not cut any corners as they select quality equipment and foods for their tours from the new, top of the range Landcruiser, heavy duty, comfortable, camp chairs to the types of meats, fish, condiments and dips offered. It was great to travel with only 5 clients in our tour group - although we did not know Alina, Greig, the other couple or single lady before - all 7 of us got on well with each other so our 10 days together was very enjoyable and harmonious as our group helped each other scrambling over rocks and crossing rivers to reach beautiful gorges and swimming holes. By chance, all clients chose the same helicopter rides which made for wonderful, memorable, shared, group experiences and a better per person price! Alina and Greig both relate well to people. They are cheerful, fun, professional, organised, knowledgeable, informative, thoughtful, sincere and very hard working. multi-skilled people as well as being physically fit, strong and agile. It is obvious they have put a lot of thought into every aspect of their business and continually strive to make improvements as they consider even minute details ( such as using alfalfa sprouts which pack and travel better than lettuce ) and actively request feedback. Alina and Greig are very conscious of their clients and aim to ensure each client is fully enjoying their trip. They made us feel comfortable and relaxed on our outback camping adventure and we were never out of our comfort zone. They make a great team. We enjoyed the fun, inclusive, easy going conversations which made the long driving distances melt away. It was a great opportunity to ask and learn more about camping and outback driving, how to keep foods fresh for 10 days without a fridge, how to manage with no running water, how to start a fire and cook on it, where and what firewood to collect, what type of camping and cooking equipment to select and why, how to drive on outback roads, expedition planning, what foods cannot be taken into Western Australia etc. This is all far removed from our daily lives so we embraced the learning opportunity from outback travel experts as well as learning facts about the natural environment. We learnt so much from Greig and Alina's experiences that cannot be read in books or on the internet. We got to see the well known Kimberley sites ( Purnululu, El Questro's Emma Gorge, Mitchell Falls etc ) but Greig also took us to lesser known aboriginal art sites and sunset locations which are not sign posted and a self traveller would not have knowledge about. The Kimberley is a spectacular, vast, remote location with few services and little infrastructure so is not a cheap destination. Over several years, we have considered many options to see the Kimberley from self driving a rental 4WD, joining a small group tour ( usually of at least 13 people ), joining a tag a long tour ( still having to self drive - but there is support and education available ). As well travelled, city dwellers who are value oriented, enjoy active DIY travel with personal interactions and avoid coach tours, we did not feel comfortable or confident with any of these options or the responses we received from other tour operators. As soon as we saw Charter North's micro-group tours ( maximum 6 guests ) and Kimberley 10 day Darwin to Broome itinerary and dates, we made immediate contact and received a prompt, warm and welcoming response from Greig and Alina ( note: communication range is not consistent and does not extend everywhere in the remote outback ) - we knew this was the tour for us and jumped at the chance. Before the tour started, we were apprehensive about group dynamics, camping comfort levels, feeling rushed on the walks or rushed to depart, how long would be spent in the car, how cramped the car would be, what the toilets would be like, not always having a shower after a hot day etc but our concerns were unfounded. The other travellers were active, fit, slim, easy going people, camping was very comfortable and more fun once you accept and embrace the ever present red dust, we felt very relaxed and not rushed at all, we had adequate stops when travelling and felt able to request a stop without shyness, the car interior was wide and comfortable, the composting toilets are a fantastic invention and airy ( National park toilets have come a long way from the old, smelly, mosquito ridden toilets of the old days ), we felt refreshed after a swim or used wipes to freshen up when swimming and showers were unavailable. This style of self sufficient travel allowed us to enjoy beautiful and natural camping settings and gave us opportunities to see the sunrise and enjoy breakfast in remote locations away from hoards of other tourists. The booking process was very easy, secure and seamless. As we chose to pay by credit card, Greig phoned us and cheerfully answered our questions. The tour with Alina, Greig and our other travellers far exceeded our expectations. We feel validated that we did the research and chose the best option with the best value for our dream holiday destination.Visited May 2016 on 10 Day Kimberley Tour
Fantastic Kimberley Experience - Darwin to Broome
My 10 day tour with Greig and Alina felt more like an adventure with friends than an organised tour with the added bonus of not having to cook.Greig and Alina are passionate about the Kimberly and have an extensive knowledge of the history of the area which they passed on to us during casual chats in the car and around the camp fire. At the end of the trip I didn’t feel like I’d just been and saw but rather I had experienced the Kimberley region and had an understanding of the history and the essence of this beautiful area of Australia. I would recommend Charter North to anybody wanting to experience the Kimberley region.
What a fantastic experience!My wife Paula and I experienced a 12 day Kimberley Tour from Broome in May/June 2015. What a fantastic experience! Our guide Greig took us to places the average person would not even dream of. We had no idea of what the Kimberleys were really like. The Bungle Bungles, Lake Argyle, Elquestro Station, Emma Gorge, Mitchell Falls were magnificent to see. We were so privileged to see this part of Australia and would recommend the tour to anyone and everyone!
Best holiday yet!
Did a 10 day Kimberley Camping Tour with Charter North August/September 2015. Stunning area to visit made even more special by Greig and Alina from Charter North. Greig and Alina are extremely knowledgeable in everything to do with the Kimberley region. To make the experience even more special they provide comfortable bush camps and provide great food. Would have to say that it was our best holiday yet. Looking forward to travelling with them again. Visited September 2015
Kakadu – Start of the DryTotally enjoyed our experiences in Kakadu and Katherine Gorge. The countryside was magnificent. It is easy to understand why the indigenous nations feel so tied to their land. Greig added just the right blend of history, stunning vistas and indigenous viewpoints. Camping experience was great and the food plentiful and tasty. Dry season weather was hot, but not unpleasant. Visited May 2015