Tourism NT & Salty Wings
Northern Territory
Kakadu & SurroundsOne of the most culturally and naturally significant sites in Australia, Kakadu is a bounty of ancient landscapes, timeless stories and prolific wildlife. Every day in Kakadu is an adventure and an education.
World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park is a landscape of contrasts. Beneath waters dotted with lotus flowers, saltwater crocodiles lurk, jagged peaks of towering escarpments hide pockets of monsoon rainforest and waterfalls cascade into pools fringed with paperbarks, pandanus and cycads. Travellers can view the spectacular Jim Jim Falls, browse through a gallery of ancient Aboriginal rock art at Ubirr or Burrungui / Nourlangie Rock, or explore the scenic Yellow Water, a billabong teeming with wildlife. An entry fee applies to enter Kakadu National Park. 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. Travellers have several accommodation options in Kakadu, ranging from campsites to hotel accommodation. Further east lies Arnhem Land, encompassing 91,000 square kilometres of unspoiled wilderness. This land harbours a rich and ancient Aboriginal culture and is home to many Aboriginal people, many of whom continue to practise the traditional way of life. The natural beauty of areas such as Gunbalanya / Oenpelli and Mount Borradaile, and the endless coastlines of the Nhulunbuy / Gove and Cobourg Peninsula, make venturing into Arnhem Land unforgettable. These coastal areas are also excellent fishing destinations. Travellers wanting to visit Arnhem Land need to apply for a permit from the Northern Land Council, or if visiting on a tour, these are organised for you.
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Things to do
Experience the magic of Maguk
One of Kakadu's lesser-known attractions, Maguk is a pristine natural waterfall and plunge pool at the base of steep gorge walls. Spot the spangled drongos and rainbow pitas in the rainforest, swim with the black bream in the plunge pool and marvel at the majestic endemic Anbinik trees along the rocky slopes. Located an hour's drive south from Cooinda, Maguk is accessed from a 14km four-wheel drive track off the Kakadu Highway, followed by a one-kilometre walk through monsoon forests, crossing Barramundi Creek. A 4WD is required to access the site. An entry fee is required to enter Kakadu National Park.
Feel the power of Jim Jim Falls
Whether they are raging with water or reduced to a mere trickle, the majestic Jim Jim Falls is a sight to behold.. At the end of a challenging four-wheel drive track in the southern escarpment country of Kakadu National Park, Jim Jim Falls is an imposing 200-metre high waterfall. See it from the air during the tropical season when water roars over the drop and the road is impassable. Take the challenging drive in the dry when the falls are reduced to a trickle to get up close. Marvel at the contrast between the red ochre of the Arnhem Land escarpment and the white sandy beaches. It's worth the 900 metres walk across the rocks to take a dip in the crystal clear water of the plunge pool. Turn east off the Kakadu Highway 43 kilometres south of the Bowali Centre. Then travel a further 60 kilometres along the four-wheel-drive tracks. Allow two hours one-way. Please note speed limits and drive safely, as the last 10 kilometres of track includes areas of soft sand. An entry fee is required to enter Kakadu National Park.
Experience Yellow Water (Ngurrungurrudjba) wetland
Watch wetland life unfold from the Yellow Water boardwalk or take the award-winning Yellow Water boat cruise which operates throughout the year. When the waters recede after the monsoon season, you can walk across the floodplains to a viewing platform on Home Billabong. 2.6 km walk to Home Billabong | 1.5 hours See it: From a boat cruise all year round. Boardwalk and billabong walk accessible July to November. A park pass is required to enter Kakadu National Park. Save time on your holiday and purchase your Kakadu park pass online before you leave home.
Get up close to Australia’s rich Aboriginal Rock Art at Ubirr
Ubirr is one of Kakadu National Park's two most famous Aboriginal rock art galleries. The galleries can be viewed by following an easy 1-kilometre circular walking track. Climb the moderately steep 250-metre track to a rocky outlook with views across the floodplains. Time your visit for a spectacular and unforgettable tropical sunset from the top. There are three main sites of rock art to experience at Ubirr. The walk to Ubirr takes about an hour and is 1 kilometre via a circular walking track from the car park. The climb to the lookout takes a further 30 minutes. During the tropical summer months, access is restricted - check with the Bowali Visitor Centre for the latest information. An entry fee is required to enter Kakadu National Park. Save time on your holiday and purchase your Kakadu park pass online before you leave home.
Kakadu 4WD Safaris
Take a world-class adventure on a 4WD Safari Kakadu 4WD Safaris is a small, Territory owned and operated business specialising in four-wheel-drive adventure tours to Kakadu National Park & Beyond. Our commitment to ensuring minimal environmental impact, affordable and informative experiences is demonstrated by our range of bespoke itineraries and use of unique a uniquely customised 9 passenger 4WD vehicle. Share their extensive knowledge of the flora, fauna and geology, learn about aboriginal culture and have the time of your life on an adventure you will never forget. Kakadu 4WD Safaris are designed to give you more for your money and are best suited to fit, energetic people between 18 and 55. Family-friendly scheduled tours and private charters are also available.
Enjoy breathtaking views from Yurmikmik lookout walk
This walk goes through open woodland up a stony ridge to the lookout where you can enjoy views over Jawoyn country. To the north and west are the southern ridges of Kakadu. The sandstone hill to the northwest is Bornluk. Look along the road for the lush ribbon of vegetation growing along the South Alligator River. To the south is the flat country of the Marrawal Plateau. Marrawal refers to the seasonally swampy uplands between the South Alligator River and the Katherine River. The trees at the lookout with yellow-green bark are dirringgil (gardenia). Mungguy eat their fruits and use the resin as glue. Smell the fragrant flowers in the dry season. 5 km return | 2 hours Moderate Walk on a marked track A park pass is required to enter Kakadu National Park. Save time on your holiday and purchase your Kakadu park pass online before you leave home.
Enjoy Gunlom Plunge Pool
Gunlom Plunge Pool, located on Waterfall Creek in World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park, is a magical combination of seasonal waterfall and serene plunge pool, with picnic areas shaded by tall gums. From the top of Gunlom you will be rewarded with sweeping vistas of three habitats of the southern hills and ridges of the park - stone country, woodland and riparian (riverine) areas. At the top take a relaxing and well-deserved dip in the crystal clear pools. If something more sedate is more your style, take the flat easy walk to Murrill Billabong for some great birdwatching, or follow the short walking track to the main pool below the seasonal waterfall. Bring your lunch and enjoy the grassed, shady picnic area. If you're staying over at the popular camping area (not far from the pool and waterfall), you'll appreciate the facilities such as the solar-powered hot showers. Australian Traveller voted the Gunlom Top Pools within Australia's Top 100 best views and Hooroo has also recently voted Gunlom as a finalist in Australia's 'Secret Spots'.
Take a dip in Jarrangbarnmi (Koolpin) gorge
Known by some as 'The Jewel' in the crown of Kakadu National Park, Jim Jim falls are located in the southern part of Kakadu, along the Gunlom Road, Jarrangbarnmi (Koolpin) gorge. It is a very pretty gorge with great views from the top by the waterhole. Take a dip in the plunge pool, stroll through the scenic bush surrounds or enjoy a picnic by the water's edge. The area is home to a variety of unique native wildlife, including many species of migratory birds. Access to Jarrangbarnmi (Koolpin) gorge is restricted, and you must have a permit, whether it's for a day trip or overnight camping. A limit of 40 people are allowed to use the area at any one time. The area is open to both independent travellers and tour operators. A park pass is required to enter the park. Save time and purchase your Kakadu park pass online.
Take a scenic flight
World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park and Arnhem Land are a vast and varied area of changing landscapes, billabongs, ancient sandstone plateaus and more. A spectacular scenic or helicopter flight with Kakadu Air Services, over this unspoiled wilderness, can help you understand the complexity and vastness of this ancient landscape and see the remarkable landmarks and attractions. Established in 1981, Kakadu Air is the Northern Territory's longest operating specialist scenic flight company within Kakadu.
Explore World-Heritage listed Kakadu National Park
Covering nearly 20,000 square kilometres of exceptional natural beauty and unique biodiversity, Kakadu National Park is teeming with wildlife, home to important Aboriginal rock art sites, and takes in diverse and exotic landscapes. This has earned it a World Heritage listing for both its cultural and natural values. Kakadu is rich in natural beauty and has an abundance of native wildlife. Bininj/Mungguy people have lived on and cared for this country for 65,000 years. Come to marvel at some of the park's prolific rock art, and get a sense of one of the longest historical records of any group of people on earth. Kakadu is three hours from Darwin on Nature's Way tourism drive. Save time on your holiday and purchase your Kakadu park pass online before you leave home.
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