Gecko Canoeing offers a range of experiences – from a relaxing respite to a hard-paddling adventure – in the Top End of the Northern Territory.
The operation has been canoeing and kayaking in Northern Australia since 1994, adding bushwalking and trekking to their wilderness immersions in 2000.
Gecko Canoeing offers a selection of scheduled tours for a maximum of eight guests. Canoeing experiences are offered on the Katherine River and the Ord River in the famous East Kimberley; hiking/trekking experiences are offered on the Jatbula Trail and the Dreaming Place Trail (Nitmiluk National Park) and Kakadu Twin Falls Trail in the Kakadu National Park. Special departures and private charters can be arranged as well as scheduled departure tours.
The focus is on enjoying the environment, and no prior camping, canoeing or walking experience is necessary. Everything is tailored to your pace and preferences so you’re as comfortable as possible. Tours can be as challenging or as relaxing as you wish – there’s even opportunity to join exploratory trips into new and exciting areas.
Location: Top End
Sweeping from the Gulf of Carpentaria to the West Australian border, the vast Katherine region is full of hidden treasures.
Its diverse landscapes and unique ecosystems set the scene for outback adventure activities like fishing, canoeing, bushwalking, birdwatching, camping and four-wheel driving.
The outback meets the tropics at Katherine, about 300km south of Darwin. The township is situated on the banks of the Katherine River, which flows down from the world-renowned Katherine Gorge (Nitmiluk National Park).
Day trips from Katherine can be taken north to Pine Creek or south to Mataranka. Pine Creek has a strong gold mining heritage, with original buildings dating back to the 1800s, while Mataranka is famous for its tropical thermal pool and nearby Elsey National Park.
Individual tour description
The Tailor will be delighted to create a journey especially for you. Below is our most popular tour with Gecko, but other itineraries are available.
Katherine River 3-Day Respite
Day 1 – Transfer to the Katherine River, and after the obligatory gear check, safety briefing and paddling instructions you’re ready to commence your journey on the water…
The tour sets a relaxing pace with stops along the river for a morning break, lunch, swim and time to view the diverse river environment and wildlife.
In the afternoon you’ll step ashore for an overnight remote camping experience (no set campsites). There will be time to relax, fish or read all while your guide prepares the evening meal.
After a campfire dinner enjoyed with your favourite bottle of wine or spirit, sleep in a bed-roll (swag) under a blanket of stars.
Day 2 – Wake to a dawn chorus in the brisk morning air with time for an early morning swim. After a hearty cooked breakfast, help pack up camp and continue paddling down-stream. As you get further from immediate civilisation, the feel of remoteness sets in. The river continues to change from shady paperbark forests to lush pandanus channels, through open sections, surrounded by the river woods and over some small sparkling rapids which are fun and easy to negotiate.
At the end of this satisfying day, you’ll be finding your ‘camping legs’ and camp will get set-up quickly – leaving more time to explore, relax, chat, check-out some animal tracks or just ‘find yourself’.
Day 3 – After a sumptuous breakfast, the camp is packed up for the last time (you’ll now know where everything goes!), and return to the kayaks for one last relaxing day. ‘Tuned in’ to the sights and sounds, you’ll find yourself exhilarated by every experience. Enjoy it while the moment lasts – by mid-afternoon you’ll be picked up from the river and transferred in a 4WD back to Gecko headquarters to conclude your journey.
Tours operate during the Top End dry season – from April to October.
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