Kakado or Kakadon’t: Kakadu National Park

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Before visiting Kakadu National Park, we knew very little about it, but we left in absolute love. One of the top sites in Australia’s Northern Territory this park is home to thousands of unique species that you wouldn’t find anywhere else in Australia. Kakadu is like something out of Jurassic Park. Australia’s largest National Park spanning 20,000 square kilometres, nearly half the size of Switzerland! Home to the greatest variety of ecosystems, from vast flood plains to rugged deserts, to mangroves and insane waterfalls, there’s a lot to explore. A UNESCO world heritage site with rich natural and cultural treasures. This land has been home to the native people for thousands of years. It’s now jointly managed by the Traditional Aboriginal owners and Parks Australia.

 

To help navigate your time here it’s best to visit the Bowali visitor centre near the town of Jabiru.

 

When’s the best time to visit Kakadu National Park?

June to August is your best bet. This is generally known as the cold season with daytime temperatures of about 30 degrees. The flooding will have dried up and the birdlife will be more active. Kakadu is known to be a birdwatcher’s paradise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How do you get to Kakadu National Park?

The best way to get to Kakadu is to fly to Darwin and then either rent a car/4WD/van or hop on a group trip. Aerial tours are also available from Darwin via small plane or helicopter.

 

How long should you spend in Kakadu National Park?

You could spend anywhere between 3 days and a week exploring this vast and multidimensional National Park. Our first stop is always the visitor centre, no matter where we are travelling. Bowali visitor centre is a great spot to check for any road or waterfall closures.

 

Camping at Kakadu National Park.

There are a few basic parks managed campgrounds scattered throughout the park. Most have drop toilets and are managed with honesty boxes. Prices range from $15-$30 per adult. A few campgrounds we stayed at: Merl Campground, the closest to Ubirr Djarradjin Campground, not far from Nourlangie Rock. Mardukal Campground, near Yellow Water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things to do in Kakadu National Park:

 

Ubirr Rock Art

This is the most famous attraction at Kakadu as it’s listed as a UNESCO world heritage site for its cultural importance. An easy 1km circuit takes you through the incredible rock art galleries and out to the rocky outlook. This view offers 360 degree views across floodplains and across to Arnhem Land. You’ll be sure to get an incredible sunset here. It’s a popular spot so it’s best to get there early as it can get quite busy, especially during dry season. Just a short drive from Jabiru you could combine this with a stop at Cahill’s Crossing.

 

Cahills Crossing

This spot has been become increasingly popular over time as it’s one of the most accessible places to watch wild crocodiles in their natural habitat. Crocodiles congregate at the crossing to feed on fish that are being dragged across the road by the tide.  It’s best to experience the feeding about an hour after high tide.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mamukala Wetlands

Kakadu is a birdwatcher’s dream. The wetlands are located just before Jabiru. Keen bird watchers should aim to be here in late dry season 9 September) when the magpie geese feed in the area. There’s also a scenic 3km walk around the wetlands, which is worth a visit.

 

Yellow Water (Ngurrungurrudjba)

You can’t visit Kakadu without experiencing a tour of the Yellow Water Wetlands. The wetlands are known to attract a huge variety of wildlife, birds, and crocodiles. You can choose between a sunrise and a sunset cruise. The Aboriginal owned cruises operate all year round (weather permitting). If a cruise is not your thing, you can also experience the wetlands from a viewing platform.

 

Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre

This is without a doubt worth a visit to learn about the fascinating culture of the Bininj and Mungguy people.

 

Swim at Gunlom plunge pool

Made famous by the 1986 Crocodile Dundee, the infinity pool at the top boasts some of the best views.

 

Jimjim Falls and Twin Falls

2 spectacular falls, Jimjim Falls only flows after the wet season, but the twins gush 22omdrop throughout the year. Neither are exactly easy to get to, there is some scrambling and climbing to be done, but I can guarantee you it is worth the climb.

 

Maguk Falls

One of Kakadu’s lesser known attractions. Maguk is a stunning natural waterfall and plunge pool. With steep gorge walls at the base, you can hike up to more plunge pools above. To get here you will need a 4WD.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Helicopter tour

In wet season many of the areas in the park are closed and the only way to see it is by helicopter. Experience the most inaccessible amazing stone formations and breathtaking falls and gorges in the monsoonal rainforest.

Kakadu has so much to offer, be it the rock art, wildlife, culture, or waterfalls, it’s an experience like no other, one that I’d highly recommend.

Australia’s largest National Park spanning 20,000 square kilometres, nearly half the size of Switzerland! Home to the greatest variety of ecosystems, from vast flood plains to rugged deserts, to mangroves and insane waterfalls, there’s a lot to explore. A UNESCO world heritage site with rich natural and cultural treasures. This land has been home to the native people for thousands of years. It’s now jointly managed by the Traditional Aboriginal owners and Parks Australia.
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