Apart from being incredibly scenic, this is also a fantastic introduction into the cultural context of the Northern Territory!
Kakadu National Park and Arnhem Land make up a huge part of the Northern Territory. It would take a couple of weeks to see all that is there, but if your time is limited, the Guluyumbi Cruise is highly recommended. It is wonderfully scenic and a great introduction to the Aboriginal cultural context of the Territory.
Bob and Ngaire McDonald run Outback NT Touring Company and Kakadu Air services. Their cruises are operated entirely by Aboriginal guides, who explain the history of the area, the mythology and traditional hunting methods of their people, pandanus weaving, fire-lighting, spear-making and who may even treat you to a didgeridoo concert.
The cruise vessel travels 5km upstream and back through majestic scenery encompassing three environments: monsoon vegetation, passing into sandy beaches and finally a rocky gorge-like escarpment.
It's believed Philip Parker King, a Norfolk Islander, gave the names South, West and East Alligator Rivers in 1818 after mistakenly thinking the crocodiles he saw were alligators. You will certainly see crocodiles on your cruise, so keep everything inside the vessel. You will also see masses of birdlife.
A highlight of the tour is leaving the boat to stand on Arnhem Land, something not many people have done. There is a billabong here and your guide will tell you how it came into being.
Guluyumbi (Aboriginal for paperbark raft) Cruises go along the East Alligator River four times a day during the dry season, which runs from May to October. They use something a little more sturdy than a paperbark vessel an 8.5m aluminium vessel with outboard motor, canopy for protection from the sun and all necessary safety equipment. Up to 25 can go on a cruise, which is a comfortable number in such a serene area.
Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory.
Guluyambi Aboriginal Culture Cruises cost $35 for adults and $15 for children. They operate between May and October.
Please note prices are valid at time of transmission and to the best of our knowledge are inclusive of GST.
Outback NT Touring Company
Box 95 Jabiru NT 0886
Ph: (08) 8979 2411 1800 089 113
Fax: (08) 8979 email@example.com
Qantas: 13 13 13