World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park, covering more than 19,000 square kilometers, is a landscape of contrasts. Beneath waters dotted with lotus flowers, saltwater crocodiles lurk. Jagged peaks of towering escarpments hide pockets of monsoon rainforest. Waterfalls cascade into pools fringed with paperbarks, pandanus and cycads. You can view the spectacular Jim Jim Falls, browse through a gallery of ancient Aboriginal rock art at Ubirr or Nourlangie Rock, or explore the scenic Yellow Water, a billabong teeming with wildlife. Around 1,000 plant species, a quarter of all Australian freshwater fish species, and over one third of Australian bird species can be found in the Park.
It’s a journey that will be your lasting memory, so take your time and experience the raw natural beauty of Kakadu National Park. Hit the road out of Darwin to discover the region’s stunning national parks, pristine river systems and abundance of nature and wildlife. Experience stunning landscapes carved by nature over millions of years and traditional Aboriginal communities and artworks.
Kakadu National 4WD Hire – recommends following things to see and do;
- Cruise the Yellow Water Billabong and spot birds, animals and big crocodiles.
- Take to the air in a light aircraft during the Tropical Summer (November – March) for a breathtaking view of Kakadu’s majestic Twin and Jim Jim waterfalls.
- Head to Gunlom Falls at the southern end of the park where it feels like you’re standing on the edge of the world.
- Take a cultural cruise on the East Alligator River.
- Birds watch at Mardugal Billabong or try the Mardugal Billabong Walk.
- Call in to the Bowali Visitor Centre for the latest information on Kakadu.
Kakadu is shaped by water, being the catchment area for the South Alligator, East Alligator, Katherine, Roper and Daly Rivers. From November to May, waterfalls are at their most spectacular and the lowlands are flooded, attracting millions of migratory birds. The unique and diverse avian life in Kakadu includes jacanas, azure kingfishers, cuckoos, rufous owls, magpie geese, jabiru and more.
The Nature’s Way Tourism Drive is a great way to explore the park. The drive runs along the Arnhem Highway to Jabiru, then the Kakadu Highway to Pine Creek, and then south on to Katherine and Nitmiluk National Park.
A number of Aboriginal clans still reside within the park. Kakadu is home to one of the largest concentrations of Aboriginal rock art in the world with galleries at sites like Ubirr and Nourlangie Rock. Other spectacular landmarks include Jim Jim Falls, Twin Falls, Maguk (Barramundi Gorge), Jarrangbarnmiu (Koolpin Gorge) and Gunlom (Waterfall Creek). There are many established walking tracks within the Park, some still accessible during the Tropical Summer.
At the centre of the Park the small mining township of Jabiru offers a range of services and accommodation. Cooinda also offers accommodation and is located on the banks of Yellow Water, a billabong teeming with migratory birds, saltwater crocodiles and other wildlife. Cruises on Yellow Water depart daily. A visit to Kakadu is best started at the Bowali Visitor Centre near Jabiru or the Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre near Cooinda.
There is a wide range of accommodation in Kakadu including the unique Gagudju Crocodile Holiday Inn, a crocodile-shaped complex that is an amazing sight when viewed from the air. Resort-style accommodation is also available at Cooinda, a village on the famous Yellow Water Billabong, while family friendly resorts are located in Jabiru as well as at the entrance to Kakadu on the South Alligator River.
Kakadu National Park Entry Fee
Kakadu National Park reintroduced a park entry fee in 2010 to help manage the natural and cultural values of the park environment and improve visitor services. Like many World Heritage sites around the world, a park use helps maintain world-best management practices and facilities for the more than 200,000 visitors who experience Kakadu each year. The $25 fee (inclusive of GST) will apply to all interstate and international visitors aged 16 years and over. All Northern Territory residents and children under 16 will be exempt. Tickets and more information are available on the Kakadu website www.kakadu.com.au.
Bowali Visitor Centre
Open daily. Before exploring Kakadu National Park, get familiarized by exploring the Bowali Visitor Centre, where you can watch a 25 minute audio visual presentation to help you gain a greater understanding of Kakadu’s landscape and moods, then take a walk through the interpretive displays. Videos are shown on the half hour giving different perspectives on Kakadu and its international significance. The habitat based display and library gives detailed information about the Park and how much there is to see and do. Take a look at The Marrawuddi Gallery for Aboriginal arts and crafts, books and gifts, and then enjoy a coffee at the cafe.
Jim Jim Falls
Open daily 6.30am to 8.30pm subject to weather conditions. Whether the falls are raging with water or the merest trickle, this majestic waterfall is a sight to behold. Set in the red ochre of the Arnhem Land escarpment, and boasting white sandy beaches and crystal clear water, it is worth the two kilometer return walk across rocks to appreciate this special area.
Mamukala Wetlands and Bird Hide
Open daily. In the dry season, Mamukala Wetlands and Bird Hide displays the spectacle of thousands of migratory magpie geese congregating to feed. You can watch them from one of the bird hides or amble along the marked walking trails beside the tranquil wetlands. Walks vary from one to three kilometers.
Located 46 kilometers from the Kakadu Highway has seasonal access only. Access to beautiful Koolpin Gorge (Jarangbammi) is restricted. Those wishing to visit the site must obtain an entry permit and key to gain access. For details call the Kakadu National Park Permits Officer on (08) 8938 1140
Nourlangie Rock Art Site
Open daily. The walls of the Nourlangie Rock Art Site have served as a shelter and canvas for thousands of years. Paintings such as Namarrgon (lightning man) explore the relationship of the people to their country and beliefs. During the months of April until October, Park Rangers invite visitors to join them and share their knowledge of this ancient gallery.
Gunlom Plunge Pool
Open daily, subject to weather conditions. Gunlom, located on Waterfall Creek, is the magical combination of waterfall and serene plunge pool, with shady gums cooling the picnic areas. A steep climb to the top of the waterfall provides sweeping views of the southernmost parts of Kakadu National Park.
Maguk / Barramundi Gorge
Open daily, subject to weather conditions. A one kilometer walk through monsoon rainforest leads to the base of a beautiful plunge pool. Maguk / Barramundi Gorge is a scenic and tranquil place to enjoy a refreshing swim in a series of small waterholes. The water is crystal clear and a short hike to the top of the waterfall is well worth the effort, affording a panoramic view.
Open daily, subject to weather conditions. Tour fee applies. Twin Falls is set in the Arnhem Land escarpment. Take a ranger-guided boat cruise, followed by a bushwalk and a scenic stroll along a boardwalk to the cascading falls. You will be rewarded by panoramic views of the towering red escarpment and sparkling waters. Afterwards, sit down and relax on the white sandy shore.
Ubirr Located 40 kilometers from Jabiru and is open daily, subject to road conditions. Ubirr is one of Kakadu National Park’s two most famous rock art galleries. The galleries can be viewed by following an easy one kilometer circular walking track. During the dry season, Park Rangers give free scheduled talks about the ancient rock art. A moderately steep 250 meter climb takes you to a rocky outlook with views across the floodplains. Enjoying a spectacular tropical sunset from the top of Ubirr is not to be missed. Please note that the Traditional Owners of Ubirr request of visitors to the Park that no alcohol be consumed at this site.
Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre
Located 4.5 kilometers off the Kakadu Highway en-route to Cooinda and is Ooen daily with free entry. To understand something of the connection Kakadu’s Aboriginal owners have with this special part of the Top End, spend some time at the Warradjan Cultural Centre learning the stories that gave them their laws. Aboriginal people developed this center so they could share their culture. The building has been styled in the shape of a pig nosed turtle, Warradjan, and is based on the theme ‘our land is our life’. Allow at least an hour to view and appreciate this attraction.
Yellow Water Billabong
Open daily. Yellow Water is one of Kakadu National Park’s best known landmarks. Located near the small settlement of Cooinda, Yellow Water is home to crocodiles, wild horses, buffalo and other wildlife. The billabong, which floods to join other waterways during the wet season, attracts millions of migratory birds each year, including jacana, egrets, jabiru, sea eagles and magpie geese. Paperbark forests, pandanus and freshwater mangroves line the banks, and the water is dotted with beautiful pink and white waterlilies. Explore the billabong by joining a wildlife cruise, or witness an unforgettable sunset from the viewing platform.
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Kakadu National Park 4WD Hireprovides fully equipped 4WD’s for Self Drive Touring and allows you to move at your own pace. Head out from Darwin and experience the wonders of the Top End by driving the Nature’s Way adventure route. Eye candy for every driving holiday traveler, the Nature’s Way meanders through Litchfield National Park and on to the World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park and scenic Nitmiluk National Park. It’s a drive through the Territory’s stunning and lush northern tropics, steeped in nature, aboriginal culture and outback pioneering history. Take a dip in waterfalls and rock pools at Litchfield, canoe down the Katherine River, and discover the world’s largest collection of Aboriginal rock art at Kakadu. Draw up your own timetable, but 7 to 14 days is best to see everything on this incredible journey.
The Epic Savannah Way stretches from coast to coast from Broome in the North West of Western Australia to Cairns in North Eastern Queensland through the heart of the outback. The Savannah Way is a 3700 kilometre trek across the Top End of Australia and is an excellent length for a 14 day or 90 day adventure across Northern Australia. The route is designed to also accommodate shorter trips with linkages to many other themed routes like Matilda, Overlander’s and Explorer’s Highways and has the potential for fly and drive options. The 3700 kilometre route links 15 National Parks and 5 World Heritage areas. You can explore just a section or cross the continent enjoying its wide horizons, ancient gorges and abundant wildlife, connecting with Aboriginal and pioneer heritage in today’s friendly outback.
Kakadu National Park 4WD Hire offers “last frontier” style of tourism with the main attractions and characteristics like;
- Outback Experiences, dirt and bitumen roads, small towns, camping and caravan accommodation, open spaces
- Natural Attractions, gorges, waterholes, lakes, rugged landscape, birds, native animals, star gazing
- Heritage and Culture, Indigenous & European, mining, agriculture, exploration, tourism
- Adventure, Ultimate camping, outdoors, fishing, hunting, and 4WD fun
4WD Travel, Adventure and Camping
The wide open wilderness areas and warm climate of the Top End regions make them ideal destinations for caravan and 4WD Camping Holidays. The main season is between May and September, so you need to book in advance to avoid disappointment. Start planning your holiday with Kakadu National Park 4WD Hire from Darwin, cut a straight line across Australia to Alice Springs and Adelaide. Or arc through Australia’s north-west corner driving the Savannah Way to Broome. Canoe down Katherine Gorge and fly over the beehive-shaped Bungle Bungles in Western Australia’s wild Kimberley Region along the way. From Darwin, drive the Nature’s Way to Kakadu National Park, World Heritage-listed for both its cultural and natural significance. See Uluru, Kings Canyon and other Red Centre attractions from the outback hub of Alice Springs. Elegant Adelaide is your base for exploring the Barossa Valley, Flinders Ranges, the Fleurieu Peninsula and the wildlife wonderland of Kangaroo Island.
National Park and Camping Sites
National Parks have serviced camp areas, many with onsite rangers, designated generator and non-generator sites, fresh water, toilets and shower facilities. These areas may have restrictions on length of stay and park fees may apply. See the Parks and Wildlife Commission NT website for more information about national park camping sites and fees. There can be huge distances between townships so you may have to camp on private properties or Aboriginal lands, make sure you obtain permission and permits before entering the area. Some roads are not suitable for towing a caravan and there are camping restrictions in certain areas. Please check road conditions and permit requirements with the local Park Management before you set off on your journey.
For more travel advice, visit http:// www. parksandwildlife . nt.gov.au/ parks/ access
Kakadu national Park 4WD Hire
welcomes you to explore one of the most pristine places on the planet.
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Some sections of roads are suitable for 4WD vehicles only. Take plenty of water on all Outback Trips. Check distances and driving conditions and ensure you have adequate fuel at all times. Remember Outback Rule “Number 1” – if your Vehicle breaks down you MUST stay with your Vehicle for safety reasons. Required driving times for 4WD on unsealed roads are longer, ensure you allow adequate time. During the ‘wet season’ from October to April, vehicles cannot access the 4WD only / unsealed roads. Plan your itinerary in advance to avoid disappointment.