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.
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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.
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.
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.
Explore the Northern Territory
See what else there is near here to inspire your holiday planning.
Eating and drinking are experiences in themselves in the Northern Territory. Food and wine in Australia’s top end is a world away from the norm, with magical outdoor dining, spectacular landscape backdrops and colourful personalities behind the incredible food. Singaporean journalist Esther Au Yong, Brazillian chefs Rodrigo Oliveira and Aharon Rosa, Malaysian journalist Julie Wong, Chinese food blogger Sabrina Ping and Indonesian celebrity blogger Alexander Thian spent a couple of days uncovering the magic of this region.
Bordered by Kakadu National Park, the Arafura Sea and the Gulf of Carpentaria, Arnhem Land is a vast unspoiled wilderness, rich in Aboriginal culture. The Yolngu people are the owners of Arnhem Land and have occupied the region for at least 60,000 years. The Yolngu retain strong cultural and spiritual links to the land and you will find authentic indigenous experiences. This is the land where Australia's famous musical instrument, the didgeridoo, originated.
Wind through the Adelaide and Mary River wetlands to World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park. Here you can bushwalk through rugged escarpments and lush rainforest and discover a treasure trove of Aboriginal rock ark. Learn about the Territory's pioneering history in Pine Creek and swim in crystal-clear waterholes in the tarzan landscape of Litchfield National Park. You can do this dream drive on a fully sealed road in a two-wheel-drive vehicle.
For most of the world, winter means layering up and heading indoors. Not in Australia's Northern Territory, when the dry season from May to October is the perfect time to get outside and celebrate. Rock out under the stars at Darwin's Bass in the Grass music festival. Cheer for your favourite camel at the riotous Imparja Camel Cup in Alice Springs. Discover the ancient rhythms of Aboriginal culture at Arnhem Land's world-renown Garma Festival . The Territory's warm winter days and cool nights host a whirlwind of celebrations, from the quirky to the sacred.