Kakadu National Park Highlights

It has been 30 years since Crocodile Dundee captivated the international film market, shining a spotlight on Australia’s Northern Territory. The spectacular scenery of the Northern Territory and rugged Kakadu landscapes have certainly not lost any of their appeal, and there are so many ways you can experience Kakadu.  Kakadu National Park Highlights
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Kakadu Highlights

  • Aboriginal

It has been 30 years since 'Crocodile Dundee' captivated the international film market, shining a spotlight on Australia’s Northern Territory.

Filmed between Australia and New York, the movie's Australian scenes showcase some of the Kakadu National Park’s most spectacular landscapes including Ubirr, Nourlangie and Gunlom, along with the region’s rich wildlife – particularly its saltwater crocodiles – and Aboriginal heritage. While the film may be 30 years old, the spectacular scenery of the Northern Territory and rugged Kakadu landscapes have certainly not lost any of their appeal, and there are so many ways you can experience Kakadu. 

Here in Australia's biggest national park, you'll find rugged escarpments, lush rainforest and rock art galleries up to 50,000 years old. Learn about Aboriginal culture from traditional owners the Bininj/Mungguy people. Witness millions of migratory birds amongst the wetlands. See delicate waterlilies and prehistoric crocodiles, thundering waterfalls and sparkling waterholes. Experience Kakadu's magic in six dramatically different seasons. Kakadu is a tapestry of treasures waiting to be explored.

See Aboriginal rock art

Kakadu is home to one of the world’s highest concentration of Aboriginal rock art. 

Nourlangie Rock art site: See rock crevices cut by Dreamtime ancestors at Nourlangie Rock, or view a painting of Lightning Man, the Dreamtime ancestor who still controls the violent wet season lightning storms, in the nearby Anbangang Gallery. The paintings at the base can be reached by a 1.5 kilometre (0.9 mile) circular walk. Accessible for most of the year, during the 'dry' season (April until October), you'll be accompanied by park rangers who will provide informative talks about Aboriginal art and culture. For the more adventurous, we recommend visiting the Gunwarddehwardde lookout which provides impressive views of both Kakadu's escarpment and Nourlangie Rock.

Ubirr Rock: Ubirr is one of Kakadu's two most famous rock art galleries. The art sites at Ubirr can be reached by following an easy 1 kilometre (0.6 mile) circular walking track. Check out a painting of the Rainbow Serpent and some of the world’s finest examples of X-ray art. You’ll see hand prints of animals, hunters and Dreamtime figures, as well as shelters, stone tools, grindstones, rock art and ochre for ceremonial paint. Learn how the art depicts Kakadu’s social, cultural and natural history on a guided tour or through the interpretative signs. If you're keen for a bit more, you can take the moderately steep 250 metre (820 foot) climb that takes you to Nadab Lookout that provides amazing views across the floodplains. 


Experience the waterfalls and wetlands

Kakadu is home to beautiful waterfalls and wetlands which are abundant in rare flora and fauna. 

Yellow Water Wetlands: Part of South Alligator River floodplain Yellow Water provides an opportunity to see the varied flora and fauna of Kakadu's World Heritage wetlands. We recommend taking a Yellow Water Cruise to get the ultimate wilderness experience. Canopied boats will steer you through the tranquil waters, where you'll get to witness witness crocodiles, jabirus, sea eagles and whistling kites across the flood plain.

Yellow Water, Kakadu National Park, NT


Jim Jim Falls: Set in the red ochre of the Arnhem Land escarpment and boasting white sandy beaches and crystal clear water, this is a must see when visiting Kakadu. We recommend taking the 900 metre (2952 foot) walk through a monsoon forest to the deep plunge pool surrounded by 150 metre (492 foot) high cliffs. Access to Jim Jim is via an unsealed road (suitable only for 4WD vehicles) that is generally open from the end of May through to early October. Kakadu Tourism’s 4WD Adventure Tours include Jim Jim as part of the Spirit of Kakadu tour.


Twin Falls: Twin Falls is a gushing waterfall over a is a towering red escarpment, with white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. Access is by ferry boat, with tickets available from the Garnamarr Campground. Only accessible in the dry season, Twin Falls is 70 kilometres (43 miles) from Cooinda, but with the unsealed road, can take up to three hours.

Maguk (Barramundie Gorge): This amazing swimming spot is accessible only by 4WD as it is located within a monsoon forest. The plunge pool sits at the base of a waterfall and swimming is allwoed in the crystal clear water. A short hike to the top of the waterfall offers a magnificent view plus you can swim in a series of small clear pools.

Gunlom: The Gunlom Billabong at the base of the waterfall was made famous by Crocodile Dundee. A walking route to the top of the falls and lookouts takes approximately one hour over a steep terrain, but is worth the effort as the infinity pool provides panoramic views of the southern most parts of Kakadu National Park. 

Gunlom Falls (Waterfall Creek), Kakadu National Park, NT

Go on a road trip

Start in Darwin and wind through a wetland wilderness steeped in Aboriginal culture and pioneering history on the Nature's Way touring route. It takes you from World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park to Litchfield National Park and Nitmuluk National Park. Canoe down the Katherine River, swim in waterfalls at Litchfield and see the world’s largest collection of Aboriginal rock art at Kakadu. Here you can hike to the top of Gunlom Falls, made famous in the movie Crocodile Dundee as Echo Pool, explore rock pools and cook a campfire meal at the base of Arnhem Land escarpment. For photographic, wildlife and bird watching enthusiasts, this is a dream drive, all on a fully sealed road that suits a two-wheel-drive.


Sync with the seasons

You need to visit Kakadu more than once to appreciate its dramatically different seasons. The local Bininj people have classified six, beginning with the thundering waterfalls and dazzling lightening of the Gudjewg monsoon season between January and March through to the hot dry weather of the Gurrung months in August and September. See blossoming paperbarks next to billabongs filled with waterbirds in the Banggerreng season of April. Enjoy pleasant temperatures and clear skies in the Wurrgeng cold weather months between June and August. Soak up this changing scenery on a sweeping flight over the landscape or up close on a bushwalk, billabong or river cruise.


Also published as Places to Go: Kakadu Highlights.

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