Kakadu National Park
Kakadu National Park, Australia
Kakadu National Park Reviews
Kakadu: a timeless natural wonder Oct 03, 2012
*Join a one-day tour group from Darwin
*Stay in the hotel or caravan park at Jabiru
*Buy prepared food from any cafe or restaurant ($15 for a burger!!!!)
*Just visit Ubirr
*Go swimming in the sandy banked rivers
*Hire a 4 Wheel Drive (4WD) or Trail Bike
*Bring a tent
*Prepare you own food
*Take the yellow water sunrise fishing or sunrise bird watching tour
*Swim at Maguk
Kakadu is a massive national park at the top end of Australia in the Northern Territory. It is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site for its cultural and natural values in 1981, covers an area of over 19000km squared and has been home to the aboriginal people of Australia for over 50000 years.
With figures like that it is no wonder that some day visitors to the park come away with the attitude "Kaka-don't", the reason is that its history, beauty and importance cannot be consumed in a matter of hours. By far the best way to access all the great sites in Kakadu is by 4WD, there are some adventure tours which offer 4 day tours of Kakadu, but the best way to get around is to self drive.
Camping in Kakadu is easy as there are many park managed sites which offer warm showers, drinking water, picnic tables and allocated camping sites with fireplaces. There is also bush camping with no facilities which are rarely occupied and can be a nice little escape from other campers if you are looking for solitude and a deeper connection with the land.
Ideally you would need to allocate about 5-7 days to take in most of the major sites and activities. The major attractions also offer camping sites near by and in the dry season (May-Aug) park rangers give daily talks at the attractions and slide shows and presentations at the campsites. These talks/presentations are free of charge and incredibly informative and well worthwhile.
The places I visited and camped at:
Ubirr - A famous aboriginal rock art site with many large cave paintings dating back thousands of years. The view from the top of Ubirr rock offers an incredible long distance view over the wetlands and across the escarpment it is spectacular at sunset (and also very popular). There is a well managed camp site a few kilometers away.
Nourlangie Rock - Another rock art site, a short walk around the site ends at a natural lookout offering views to escarpment some 50-60km away. Nawurlandja Lookout walk offers a great view of nourlangie rock at sunset. This site is not so popular so you can feel like you are the only person there. Fully managed campground at Muirella Park about 25km away with excellent drinking water.
Yellow water wetlands - Dozens of bird species and hundreds of saltwater crocodiles inhabit this billabong with breathtaking views at sunrise. Cruises and fishing charters can be arranged through Gagaduju dreaming nearby. The cost is $100-$150 for one adult but it is arguably the best attraction in the park. I did the Barramundi fishing tour at sunrise for 3 hours and we all caught fish, I took mine back to the campsite and cooked it over the fire, a great experience. Fully managed campground at Mardagul about 5 km away.
Maguk - Giant waterfalls, crystal clear bright blue water, rockpools and long distance views through canyons. This is the best swimming hole in Kakadu, very little threat of crocodiles and the cliff faces make for excellent climbing and diving. Some of the rocks are shaped like slippery slides and can be used as one, its a bit like a natural fun park. There is a plunge pool at the end of the track to the right when you cross the creek and a longer track that starts before the creek crossing and heads up towards the left which takes you to the top of the waterfall and rock pools. There is a campsite with toilets and fire places, no drinking water. 4WD access only.
Gunlom - Gigantic waterfall and plunge pool, the water is clean and easily accessible from the car park. There is a steep walk to the top of the water fall which offers views across the whole south end of the park. There is a selection of rockpools to swim in. Fully managed campsite at Gunlom.
These sites are all approximately 100km apart and require a moderate level of fitness to access. Camping costs $5-10 per night per person and is collected by the ranger around 8pm. A two week permit to the park costs $25 and is quite worth it considering there are about two dozen talks and presentations at various sites within the park.
Kakadu is a destination for the adventurer, visiting the park can be quite exhausting due to the heat and the amount of travel required by vehicle and foot to reach all the sites, so to have the real Kakadu experience you need to be prepared to get active.
3 / 3 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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Amazing Australian Experience May 07, 2012
There are so many options to experience and discover Kakadu. My sister and I booked a 1 day Kakadu tour with Aussie Adventure Tours. We were picked up at the front of our hotel at 6am heading off for the drive to Kakadu in a very comfortable, air-conditioned mini bus. Our driver was very knowledgeable about the Northern Territory and had many aboriginal "Dreamtime Stories" about Kakadu, which I found beautiful and really connected me to the land. We stopped off at a pub on the way home and met some of the locals. Our driver really made the experience wonderful with his knowledge of Kakadu. The Yellow Water Wetlands Cruise was mindblowing! The wildlife is so abundant. We had up close (but not too close) Crocodile sightings, we saw magical bird life and our guide again was extremely knowledgeable of the flora and fauna in Yellow Water. I felt really privileged to be able to experience this beautiful part of my country. It is an amazing, spiritual place. If you are travelling to the Northern Territory a tour of Kakadu is a must. I will definitely return, as we only experienced a very minute part of the very expansive Kakadu National Park. Don't miss out on this wonderful adventure if you are visiting Australia!
season to visit.. Jul 18, 2011
Hi every one kakadu national park is i think a great place to visit in australia but you must be aware that the park if often closed if your not at the end of the dry season, call first... And even there if you dont have a 4x4 it's hard to get to some of the attractions like the twins falls or jim jim fall. it's always possible to rent one though.. Cheers!!!