3 Day Kakadu or 3 Day Kakadu Litchfield?

Making a decision on which kakadu tour to do is hard!

There seems to be so many choices, or is there?

One of the harder decisions is also whether to just do a Kakadu only tour or one that also includes Litchfield.  

Here is a few tips to help you decide.

Kakadu and the NT is a BIG place! On a 3 Day Kakadu tour, you will do around 950km of travelling, compared to about 1250km on a 3 Day Kakadu/Litchfield tour! So that’s about 3.5 hours of extra driving or ‘lost’ time that could be spent delving deeper into Kakadu!

If you do choose a Kakadu/Litchfield combination tour, make sure it is one that does minimal backtracking. Some tours zig-zag back and forth all over the place wasting time retracing previously travelled sections meaning more lost time!

Check the Itinerary content – Will you actually be visiting the places you want to see?  Due to time constraints, some tours have dropped key iconic destinations such as Twin Falls off their Kakadu/Litchfield combination tours.

4 Reasons to do our 2 Day Tour in April.

4 Reasons to do our 2 Day Tour in April.

4 Reasons to do Our 2 Day Tour in April

1. We are April Fools and have dropped the price for our last 5 tours!

With only a few departures left for this month before we kick start our popular 3 day tour in May, we have decided to treat you to a discount.

All 2 Day tours in April now only $395 All Inclusive!

2. Spectacular Wet Season Landscapes.

We are just at the crescendo of our Wet season and what a wet it has been!  As we move through April, the storms and rain will ease slightly along with the river levels and waterfalls.  So if you want to see Kakadu at its most vibrant, now is the time to visit!

Ikoymarrwa (Moline Rock Hole) - One of Kakadu's hidden secrets!

3.  Air Conditioned Budget Style Accommodation.

It’s no fun camping in the Wet!  Even in waterproof safari style permanent huts, the air temperature is still around 25-30 degrees and 75% humidity so you end up hot & sweaty and don’t get much sleep.  Until the end of April we stay in Budget style Air conditioned rooms to ensure you get a good night’s rest!

Air Conditioned Budget Share Rooms at Mary River Roadhouse.

4.  Beat the Crowds – Have the place to yourselves.

Over the last few months there has been lucky to be less than two tour groups a day visiting some of the places we go and virtually no self travellers.  As we approach Easter holidays (April 14th) this will change.  By staying just to the south of the Park, we also get into places like Yurmikmik much earlier than other groups so have some peace and quiet before they arrive!

Small Group tour on walk to Motorcar Falls - Kakadu
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3 Reasons to do our 2 Day Tour in March.

3 Reasons to do our 2 Day Tour in March.

3 Reasons to do Our 2 Day Tour in March

Spectacular Wet Season Landscapes.

We are just at the crescendo of our Wet season and what a wet it has been!  As we move through March into April, the storms and rain will ease slightly along with the river levels and waterfalls.  So if you want to see Kakadu at its most vibrant, now is the time to visit!

Ikoymarrwa (Moline Rock Hole) - One of Kakadu's hidden secrets!

Air Conditioned Budget Style Accommodation.

It’s no fun camping in the Wet!  Even in waterproof safari style permanent huts, the air temperature is still around 25-30 degrees and 75% humidity so you end up hot & sweaty and don’t get much sleep.  Until the end of April we stay in Budget style Air conditioned rooms to ensure you get a good night’s rest!

Air Conditioned Budget Share Rooms at Mary River Roadhouse.

Beat the Crowds – Have the place to yourselves.

Over the last few months there has been lucky to be less than two tour groups a day visiting some of the places we go and virtually no self travellers.  As we approach Easter holidays (April 14th) this will change.  By staying just to the south of the Park, we also get into places like Yurmikmik much earlier than other groups so have some peace and quiet before they arrive!

Small Group tour on walk to Motorcar Falls - Kakadu
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Why we still use a ‘Troopy’

Why we still use a ‘Troopy’

Twenty years ago the tried and tested Toyota Landcruiser Troop carrier was the mainstay of budget orientated touring.  Originally designed for the military (hence the name ‘troopy’) it is part of the reliable Toyota brand.

Over the years though, there has been development of other variations of vehicles designed to carry tourist in different locations.  The driving force behind these designs has been to make them a bit more comfortable and ‘classy’ and improve the quality of touring.

With the current range of vehicles available, the only way of achieving this is to modify existing vehicles.  The most popular way is to build pod style passenger modules that can be mounted onto a new range of 4WD trucks.

These modified vehicles are much larger and carry around 16 passengers.  The purchase price is up around $170,000! (I can get three troopy’s for that price!)

 

TROOPY2As opposed to the Troopy that is manufactured as standard by Toyota, costs around $60,000, is smaller and the only vehicle to carry 9 passengers!

Ok, so the main discerning aspect of the Troopy is that it has side facing seats in the back, meaning there is not as much legroom and you have to look at your travelling partners!  Whilst many say that may be uncomfortable, many argue that it creates a much more sociable group than those that are just staring at the back of seats!

As we know, there are a number of factors that determine the ‘quality’ of a tour.

I mean, you can have a brand new comfortable vehicle, but if you end up with a dud group, an inexperienced guide, a crap itinerary and have paid an arm & a leg for the tour, not much quality there!

On the other hand, if you have a great guide, a fun group, an itinerary that isn’t just ticking boxes that was an affordable price but the vehicle was a bit uncomfortable, then I would suggest the ‘quality’ of the tour would be more than comparable.

As such, for the time being anyway, for most of our tours we will continue to use the trusty old troopy!

Small Group Tour – Really?

Small Group Tour – Really?

This has always been a contentious issue for me!

What size should truly be considered as a small group tour?

It really annoys me when I see tour companies that operate 20+ seat minibuses promoting their tour as a small group tour!  I guess in comparison to the old standard Coach tour comprising up to 48 people, it is somewhat smaller!  At one point years ago, there was even a 30 seat coach promoting itself as a small group tour!

Obviously the reason for the size of the group is dictated by a number of factors such as style of tour, cost of tour and target audience.  Matching all these things to be at an optimum is tricky and hence it can be hard for you when deciphering the promotional blurbs and deciding on a tour.

From experience and research based on sporting teams, business focus groups and educational learning guidelines, the optimum group size is 5-7 members.

The group size that continues to function effectively is 4-9 members.

Groups are known to function cohesively with a size up to 12 members.

I have noticed recently that some of my colleagues who specialise in the more personalised style of touring have come up with a new term; ‘Micro‘ to further distinguish themselves from the broad spectrum that is ‘small group’.  Most of those guys are using vehicles with a maximum of 6 or 7 passengers so that is a fairly apt description.

This is how I reckon tour group sizes should be referenced:

Micro: 2-7 people
Small: 8-12 people
Medium: 13-30 people
Large: 30+ people.

Maybe the medium bracket could be broken up to ‘Mid’ (13-25) and ‘Medium’ (26-35)!

Obviously when considering out-laying your hard earned dollars on what is hopefully going to be a lifelong memorable experience, many of the following factors will come into play:

  • Your expectations of the tour
  • Group size
  • Destinations included
  • Cost of tour – Budget limitations
  • Value for money – based on previous factors

All tours currently operated by Kakadu 4WD Safaris have a maximum group size of 9 passengers.

Any variations from this if third party operators or larger vehicles are used for any reason, will always be advised or noted prior to confirmation of any bookings.