Mikinj Valley Arnhem Land Day Tour
Join us for a full day experience exploring the rock art and learning about the culture of the Mikinj or Red Lily Valley in Arnhem Land, Northern Territory. The Mikinj Valley, named for the stunning red lilies throughout the area, is a vast expanse of wetlands and escarpment known locally as stone country. Visit and learn about the local rock art sites including vibrant examples of “early contact” art such as ‘Jacob’s Hand’ and ‘Rickett’s Blue Ship’.
The Mikinj Valley Tour is especially suited to those that are not comfortable climbing Injalak Hill but still wish to experience some spectacular rock art.
Mikinj Valley, Western Arnhem Land
What to expect
Our comfortable air-conditioned four-wheel drive vehicle traverses Cahill’s crossing with ease and enters Arnhem Land, where the real adventure begins. Immediately you will notice the landscape changes. On the left a long billabong known locally as Red Lily Lagoon, with crystal clear water and at the right time of the year a sea of red lilies for almost as far as the eye can see.
Arrive at the escarpment and meet your local Bininj guide. The tour takes you on a mainly flat and slow-paced walk at the base of the escarpment to get up close to some excellent ‘Early Contact’ Rock Art. The tour starts at the ‘Jacob’s Hand’ gallery which is a particularly special place for the local Bininj people.
As we meander along the base of the escarpment, we stop at Seven Spears, and Rickett’s Blue Ship art sites.
At Red Lily Lagoon we sit in the cool shade of some trees at the base of a small rock outcrop and watch azure kingfishers and archer fish catch their lunch.
Atop the outcrop discover grinding scrapes where for millennia people have sat and milled grain in preparation for eating. We too sit to enjoy lunch with our Bininj guide and listen to stories of life in this awe-inspiring place.
Our time is limited by tides as the water levels at Cahill’s crossing wait for no-one! Whether your tour finishes at Jabiru or you’re with us all the way back to Darwin we promise your Mikinj Valley experience will be unforgettable.
What is included
This full day tour operates on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from May to October each year.
Please click the Book Now button for availability and current pricing.
This tour is suitable for active people between the ages of 5 and up with a degree of mobility and ability to climb a single flight of stairs.
- Arnhem Land entry permits and royalties to enter Aboriginal lands
- Full day tour
- Hotel pick up and drop off from either Darwin city or Jabiru in Kakadu
- Visit to Injalak Arts and Craft Centre
- Visit Red Lily Billabong and other west Arnhem art sites
- Lunch (vegetarians and Coeliacs catered for with at least 24 hours notice)
- Tea and coffee and afternoon tea
Pick up and Drop off to your accomodation provider in Darwin / Jabiru.
What to bring
Sturdy walking shoes (runners or reef-type walking sandals) – flip flops/thongs are not suitable
At least 1 litre of bottled water (iced water is available in the vehicle)
Sunscreen and a hat is essential
Light, comfortable clothing
Medications and other personal requirements
Money or credit card if you wish to purchase any artwork or items at the Injalak Arts and Crafts Centre
A sense of adventure!
YOUR EXPERIENCE PROVIDER
Top End Day Tours
Top End Day Tours offers day trips to two locations in Arnhem Land, departing from either Darwin or Jabiru in Kakadu National Park. We are the only tour operator who departs from Darwin. We are also one of only a few touring companies offering this type of exclusive yet accessible Arnhem Land experience in Australia. Our focus is ensuring that you have a premium Arnhem Land experience and learn as much as possible about Indigenous Country, culture and art. Our experienced team of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous guides will provide you with an enjoyable and educational experience.
The Arnhem Land day tour has been running for over 17 years, originally operated by Lords Kakadu and Arnhemland Safaris. Top End Day Tours purchased the Arnhemland Day Tour in 2016 and have improved the tour experience. We continue to offer daily tours with departures from Darwin and Jabiru with experiences focused in and around the Arnhem Land settlement of Gunbalanya, where the famous Injalak Arts and Craft Centre is based.
The parts of Arnhem Land you will explore with us are Aboriginal Land with access controlled by the local communities. Top End Day Tours is one of only a few tour operators permitted access to this land and its art sites. During our tours, guests have the opportunity to experience incredible landscapes, the world’s oldest living culture, outstanding Aboriginal rock art and visit one of Arnhem Land’s most amazing Aboriginal art galleries. These lands are vital to the Aboriginal people, and we visit as honoured guests, making it a truly once in a lifetime experience.