Over The Top

Darwin - Cairns

Over the Top adventure from Darwin to Cairns (or reverse). Discover the rugged ‘Top End’ including spectacular wetlands adjacent to the world-famous Kakadu National Park and the many remote islands that skirt the NT coast. Explore the ruins of the ill-fated Victoria Settlement and fish for the elusive barramundi. And then for something completely different, soak-up the rainforest fringed coastline of Cape York and, the wonder of the Great Barrier Reef – all in a single itinerary! Other highlights include mud crabbing, light game fishing, visiting Cooktown and swimming with giant potato cod.

This itinerary is provided as example only – prevailing conditions, local arrangements and indeed, what we discover on the day, may cause variation. Helicopter flights can be purchased additional to the indicated tariff as a package or individually.


Rates per person - 2020

  • Ocean $17,995
  • River $21,995
  • Explorer $24,995


Night One

Your ‘welcome aboard’ is in the frontier city of Darwin. Embarkation is 1700 hours – time for a cocktail with your fellow adventurers before departure at approximately 1800. Dinner is served shortly after leaving port and then it’s an overnight steam to the East Alligator River!


Day One

This morning the TRUE NORTH’s favourite ‘tender’ will provide some not to be missed opportunities to fly over spectacular wetlands adjacent to the world famous Kakadu National Park. Back on the water there will be some hot fishing action in our ‘other tenders’ for both the novice and experienced angler alike – reef fishing, mudcrabbing and, of course, barramundi fishing are all on the agenda! If you’ve never heard of the elusive barramundi before – you’ll soon know everything there is to know about this revered sport fish!  A hard-hitting tenacious fighter prone to leaping from the water; barramundi are equally respected for their fine eating qualities and our guides are never short of a ‘barra’ story!

Join your fellow adventurer for some ‘up close’ sightseeing in one of our comfortable adventure boats and take in the rugged beauty of Australia’s remote top end as we visit Coopers Creek and Minimini Creek. Don’t forget to keep an eye on those pesky crocodiles because you won’t want to miss dinner tonight! A crisp white will be the perfect accompaniment to barra cooked just the way you like!


Day Two

Wake off the Coburg Peninsular and to another “not to be missed opportunity” in the helicopter! This time we explore the ruins of the ill-fated Victoria Settlement. The outgoing flight also visits Frenzy Creek where sharks, eagle rays, dugong, turtle and crocodiles can all be seen in shallow waters and, on the way back search for banteng cattle – they can only be found in the local wetlands!

Join a walk to a nearby wetland – our guides will help you identify some of the 85 species of mangrove found in Australia and the bird watchers will encounter avian fauna of every imaginable colour! Squeeze in some more fishing time and sample mouth-watering oysters direct from the rock – they don’t get any fresher than this!

And at days end, the TRUE NORTH’s alfresco bar will be the perfect spot for an ‘outback sunset’ and our evening meal tonight will likely be traditional “Aussie Fare” in honour of the 1838 settlers.


Day Three

Spend the morning exploring the picturesque Gouldburn Islands. There will be numerous opportunities for reef fishing, bird watching and beachcombing. Then enjoy a leisurely lunchtime voyage back into the coast for some more barra action! There will be also opportunity to visit sites frequented by the Macassans – fishermen from Celebes (Sulawesi) that came in search of prized trepang (sea slugs) long before he arrival of the English settlers. Explore the many mangrove creeks or join the helicopter for an exhilarating view of the coastal vista.
Finish the day with a cocktail before yet another unforgettable evening meal!


Day Four

The barra will be on the bite early this morning and we will see every kind of water bird on scenic flights over the Arafura Swamp – possibly the largest paper-bark swamp in the world!  Everyone on deck for ‘action-stations’ as we shoot the Gugari Rip – a spectacular tidal surge that is sure to get the adrenalin pumping!

Then some light game fishing for mackerel and other surface predators will keep the tempo up!

Fly over the outer reaches of the Wessel Group in the helicopter and then join the crew ashore at Jensen Bay for pre-dinner drinks and aperitif.


Day Five

This morning is your last chance to land “the biggest one yet” as we prepare to leave Northern Territory waters. Reef fishing, beachcombing and sightseeing opportunities will unfold all day as we explore the Wessel Islands and Cape Wessel area. Perhaps some delectable reef fish will be on the menu tonight before the ‘sometimes outrageous’ goings-on at the “Captains Party”.


Day Six

Today we are ‘on passage’ across the Gulf of Carpentaria! Time to recharge the batteries, update the travel log, enjoy the onboard activities and of course, indulge in more gastronomic delight!


Day Seven

This morning join a coach tour of Thursday Island. There will be opportunities to meet the local people, to shop for local art and, to just
wander around this idyllic island community!

At days end revel in a sunset shore excursion to Cape York – a unique photo opportunity on the northern most tip of Australia!


Day Eight

Start the day with some trolling and bottom fishing, explore the Macmillan River and then spend the rest of the day on beautiful Forbes Island. Enjoy a picnic lunch, snorkel in crystal clear waters, visit nearby sand cays and ‘have a go’ at the beach activities!


Day Nine

At Davie Reef the delights of the Great Barrier Reef are just a fin kick away – and in swimming pool like conditions you will be astounded by the colours of corals and fish alike! A day devoted to swimming, snorkelling and diving.


Day Ten

Down a rainforest fringed coast to Lizard Island – here a hike up to Cook’s Look is a must! There is more world class snorkelling including the giant clam gardens. Beautiful palm lined beaches, rainforest, and breathtaking coral – does it get any better? Yes it does – something very special this afternoon when we visit the famed Cod Hole where everyone gets an opportunity to have close encounters with the giant potato cod!


Day Eleven

Lizard Island and another day devoted to swimming, snorkelling and diving! There will also be opportunities for scenic flights in the helicopter and reef fishing.


Day Twelve

Last chance for a swim on the Great Barrier Reef as the TRUE NORTH graces Ribbon Reef #3. Then take a coach tour of Cooktown and the surrounding mountains before spending some free time shopping for gifts and, getting to know the locals! Then it’s back onboard for a farewell dinner to remember and the overnight steam into Cairns.


Day Thirteen

Our arrival in Cairns is in time for an early morning coach transfer to your accommodation or connecting flights – our crew is already looking forward to the next opportunity to welcome you aboard the TRUE NORTH!

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