Come and explore World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park, around three hours east of Darwin.
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.
Five ways to take in Kakadu:
Kakadu is home to one of the world’s highest concentration of Aboriginal rock art. 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. Check out a painting of the Rainbow Serpent and some of the world’s finest examples of X-ray art at Ubirr Rock. 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.
Take the Gubarra Pools Walk past sandstone cliffs to shady monsoon forests or the Bubba Walk through wetlands rimmed with paperbarks, pandanus, cycads and lotus lilies. See the spectacular Jim Jim Falls which drop more than 250 metres. Cruise the East Alligator River and Yellow Water past crocodiles, barramundi, and birds such as magpie geese, brolgas, jabirus and white-bellied sea eagles. See jacana and jesus birds flying between lily pads. A quarter of all Australian freshwater fish species, and over one third of Australian bird species can be found in Kakadu.
Four wheel drive to Koolpin Gorge or the base of the Arnhem Land escarpment and camp overnight. Or join a four wheel drive tour to key locations such as Jim Jim Falls and Barramundi Gorge. Take in Kakadu’s majesty and size on a scenic flight or catch a barramundi with an experienced sports fishing guide. Glide down East Alligator River on an Aboriginal culture cruise or paddle a canoe to majestic Twin Falls. Bushwalk through monsoonal forest, past waterfalls and clear plunge pools.
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.
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.