5
Moderate
Activities
  • 5 days trekking with a full pack
Accommodation
  • 4 nights wilderness camping
  • 1 nights Safari tent camping
Meals
  • 5 Dinners
  • 6 Lunches
  • 5 Breakfasts

6 Days$3185AUD

Trip Code: JA5

Jatbula Trail Trip highlights


  • Wilderness walking in one of the Top End's best-kept secrets
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the local Indigenous culture with visits to ancient rock art sites
  • Explore the exceptional Arnhem Land Escarpment and Stone Country
  • View magnificent waterfalls tumbling from the high sandstone escarpment
  • Spend evenings under the stars at wilderness campsites
  • Take refreshing dips in the many fresh waterholes along the trail
  • Experience an unforgettable cultural cruise that immerses you in breathtaking scenery, rich Dreamtime stories, and authentic cultural experiences.

Why Book With Us

  • All group camping equipment including mosquito dome tents, comfortable sleeping mats, stoves, cooking and eating utensils provided
  • Fully supported camping based trek including 3 hearty meals per day prepared by our cooks
  • Most experienced operator on the trail

This breathtaking Top End adventure is one of the most popular walking trails with our travellers. The Arnhem Land escarpment is an exceptional wilderness area which winds its way along the edge of Katherine Gorge (Nitmiluk) to Edith Falls (Leliyn) creating a truly extraordinary hiking experience. The Jatbula Trail in the Nitmiluk National Park features magnificent waterfalls tumbling from high quartzite cliffs where shady monsoon forests line the creeks and stunning Jawoyn Aboriginal rock art adorns the caves and overhangs. The tropical equivalent of Tasmania's Overland Track, this full pack carrying bushwalk traverses the heart of this amazing part of Australia. You will trek during the cooler months to ensure the best experience of the tropical environment. With crystal-clear creeks throughout, there are abundant opportunities for swimming and just relaxing in the warm croc-free waters. Combine this trek with a Katherine River Canoe Expedition for the complete Top End wilderness experience.

Activities:

Itinerary

We will pick you up from your Darwin accommodation between 8:00 and 8:30 am, before heading south on the Stuart Highway to Katherine. Upon arriving in Katherine, an iconic top-end town, we will enjoy lunch before transferring to Nitmiluk Gorge. Here, the Jawoyn people will welcome us, and we'll embark on an afternoon cruise through the gorge, guided by cultural experts who will share insights into local flora, fauna, dreamtime stories, and Jawoyn culture. Afterward, we'll head to our nearby accommodation for a hearty welcome dinner. Driving time: approx 4 hours. *You will need to arrive in Darwin the day before your trip, ensuring that you arrive in time to attend the 3:00pm pre-trip briefing.

Meals:  L,D

The starting point of our walk is at Katherine Gorge. We cross the Katherine River in the morning and begin our trek into the stone country. The Northern Rockhole offers a fantastic swimming spot. We then trek to our evening campsite beside the clear, flowing stream of Biddlecombe Cascades. Meanwhile, your professional wilderness guides will be preparing a nutritious and delicious dinner. Walking distance: 8km (approx 4hrs)

Meals:  B,L,D

Today’s trek takes us further into the rugged stone country. We are now deep in the wilderness of the Arnhemland Escarpment and Stone Country which extends almost 1000 kilometres through the heart of the Top End. The trail today includes some interesting Jawoyn Aboriginal rock art sites hidden in the many rocky outcrops and overhangs. The cascades of Crystal Falls are an inviting backdrop to our campsite. Walking distance: 10.5km (approx 4hrs)

Meals:  B,L,D

A good morning trek brings us to the Amphitheatre, an aptly named natural pocket in the escarpment. The shade of the cliffs encourages a rich monsoonal rain forest and the rock shelters exhibit the art of the Jawoyn Traditional Owners. Trekking along the edge of the escarpment with its stunning views, we reach our camp and the spectacular 17 Mile Falls. The rock pools above the falls offer great swimming in the spring fed clear streams. Walking distance: 10kms (approx 4hrs)

Meals:  B,L,D

A bigger day of trekking takes us to the Edith River Crossing as it flows across the stone country. The permanent waterholes here attract abundant birdlife and are a wonderful place to enjoy another delicious picnic lunch. We will follow the course of the river with its gentle gradients to our evening campsite at Sandy Camp Pool. Walking distance: 16.5km (approx 6hrs)

Meals:  B,L,D

We start the day with an invigorating swim, setting the stage for our trek to Sweetwater Pool for lunch. Walking beside the Edith River, with its billabongs and waterholes, offers a chance to spot elusive wildlife like turtles, Brolgas, and Water Monitors. After a refreshing swim and a delicious lunch prepared by your guides, we continue our trek along the river to Leliyn (Edith Falls), where we can enjoy one last swim before we board the awaiting bus and transfer back to Darwin. We aim to drop you back at your accommodation between 5-6pm. This evening your group may like to meet at one of Darwin's great eateries for a celebratory dinner! Walking distance: 15.5km (approx 6hrs) | Driving time: approx 4hrs

Meals:  B,L


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.


Inclusions

  • 5 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 5 dinners
  • Professional wilderness guides (2 guides)
  • All National Park and camping fees
  • All group camping equipment including mozzie dome tent, stoves, cooking and eating utensils
  • Emergency communications and group first aid kit
  • Transport from Darwin
  • Nitmiluk Gorge Cruise

  • Airfares
  • Accommodation in Darwin before and after the trip
  • Items of a personal nature, such as laundry and postage
  • Backpacks
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Travel insurance
  • Face masks and hand sanitiser

Accommodation


Suitability

Moderate

5

This adventure involves trekking for up to 6 or 7 hours a day at a steady pace in remote locations. You will need a good level of fitness and must be in good health. You must be capable of walking over rough ground while carring a full pack (approx 15-17kg). You need to be prepared for walking in hot daytime temperatures (in winter temperatures can reach 30 degrees Celsius). Each day will also present to you a new set of challenges, from river crossings to hill climbs, there will be flat open country on the top of the escarpment and boggy wet country along the creeks that we follow. Previous multi day walking experience is preferred. Suggested preparation: 45 minutes of aerobic type exercise, three to four times a week (this can be cycling, jogging or walking) interspersed with relatively demanding bushwalks carrying a full pack weight (up to 17kg). You should walk regularly with a weighted day pack (5–7kg) for several hours for leg strengthening and aerobic fitness. The best preparation for your trek is multi day bushwalking involving relatively steep ascents and descents and in variable weather conditions.


Departure dates


Notes

H
High Season
Note:
High season supplement applies from 15 June to 15 August, and for any trips that overlap with a public holiday.

Priceper person from

$3185AUD

Options & Supplements*
  • Sleeping Bag HireAUD$30
  • Pack HireAUD$60
  • Single SupplementAUD$100
*Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Jatbula Trail (2025 onwards) trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


Frequently Asked Questions

You can expect to carry between 15-17kg in this full pack expedition.

The food on the Jatbula Trail trip varies from day to day, but generally, you may start the day with a fresh coffee or tea, some cereals or muesli and fruits. Lunch could be a variety of sandwich rolls, wraps, salads and soups. Snacks/entree may include fruits, cheese, dips and crackers, and trail mix. Sometimes we mix it up with seasoned popcorn, papadama, tom yum soup etc. Dinners are yummy filling dishes like pasta, dahl and rice, stroganoff or maybe even a laksa. For dessert, you could enjoy things like an apple crumble, cake slice or fruit and chocolate. This is just a sample menu idea.

We operate the trip from June to August when walking conditions are at their best. During the cooler months, from June to August, the temperatures range from 30 degrees Celsius during the day dropping to 10 degrees Celsius at night. Conditions on the trail start to heat up in mid-August with temperatures rising to over 40 degrees Celsius from October to late November.

The terrain is varied throughout the track. On the jatbula Trail you can expect to experience river crossings and hill climbs, there will be flat open country on the top of the escarpment and boggy wet country along the creeks that we follow. The hike follows the western edge of the Arnhem Land escarpment over sandstone plateau and through woodlands, open forest, monsoon forest and riverine landscapes.

You must arrive in Darwin the day before your trek begins. The trip commences with a COMPULSORY pre-departure briefing in the afternoon on the day before departure. It is ESSENTIAL that you make your travel arrangements to enable you to attend this briefing.

Yes, you should expect to carry about 3kg of the group food along with your snacks for the week.

On the Jatbula Trail, there are no saltwater crocodiles in the designated swimming areas, making them safe for swimming. While freshwater crocodiles may be present, they are shy and generally avoid humans. Always follow park guidelines and swim only in designated areas to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.


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Positive Impact Travel

By joining this trip you are directly supporting positive impact projects in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We’ve offset the carbon emitted by this trip by purchasing credits that support important projects that address the UN’s seventeen SDGs, like reducing poverty, affordable and clean energy, reducing hunger, clean water and climate action.

Proceeds from this adventure purchase carbon credits through the world’s largest and most awarded carbon project developer, South Pole, which are invested into projects accelerating the transition to renewable energy sources in developing countries.

Supported projects are based on internationally recognised standards and are third-party audited. They entail a series of positive impacts on the ground, which benefit local communities and ecosystems, that are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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