Kakadu National Park
At nearly 7,700 square miles of exceptional natural beauty, teeming with wildlife, Australia’s largest national park – Kakadu – is heaven for those seeking to reconnect with nature. The park is typified by rivers which flow over rugged sandstone escarpments, forming waterfalls that tumble into pools tumble into wildlife-rich pools. This World Heritage-listed region is a great place to unleash your adventurous side, whether that’s on a croc-spotting river cruise, finding that perfect sunset spot, or diving into one of the many cascades throughout the park.
Top things to do in Kakadu National Park
Take a cruise
Kakadu’s plentiful wetlands support a variety of flora and fauna, and the best way to view this is from the water. The most popular boat ride is the Yellow Water Cruise across the floodplain of the same moniker, where you’ll get the opportunity to see saltwater crocodiles (“salties”), sea eagles and buffalo. We recommend timing your visit with the sunrise or the sunset as this is when the animals are at their most active. You can also witness the spectacle of vivid oranges and crimsons reflected in the calm wetland waters. However, tours at this time are extremely popular so be sure to chat with your Travel Expert so you don’t miss this brilliant experience.
Jim Jim Falls
At the very end of a gorge that feels more like a corridor for giants is Jim Jim Falls. Falling spectacularly from 200m into the plunge pool below, Jim Jim is a great place to swim in the waters of Kakadu – as long as you’re prepared for the refreshingly cold waters of course. Our top tip? Head downstream for slightly warmer waters and, if you do choose to swim, be sure to adhere to any crocodile warnings or signage.
Around six miles from Jim Jim Falls, crystal-clear waters cascade from a height of 150m into the deep Twin Falls gorge via two streams. The sound of the water crashing into the plunge pool below echoes throughout the gorge, providing a calming soundtrack for you to enjoy alongside the beautiful backdrop. Pack a picnic and have your lunch on the beach at the base of the gorge; from here you can lay back and appreciate the grandeur of the landscape around you.
There is fierce debate as to whether Jim Jim Falls or Twin Falls is better. We think they’re equally breathtaking however, so why not visit both to draw your own conclusions? A great way to view both falls is from the air, especially during the summer when rains send torrents of water tumbling down the escarpments.
Surrounded by a sandstone amphitheatre this natural waterfall and plunge pool is less well known than the cascades at Jim Jim and Twin Falls, however it is a great place to unwind in the tranquil waters, cool down and let your troubles drift away. Embark on the monsoon rainforest walk and, on the left bank, you can find a collection of smaller plunge pools with outstanding views.
Marvel at the Indigenous art
The rock art in this region dates back 20,000 years and, as such, it is one of the oldest collections in the world. Ubirr is the site of some of the best examples of Indigenous rock art, best viewed via a 1,000-metre-long long circular track. Another great example of rock art can be found at Nourlangie where the 0.9-mile Nourlangie Rock Art Walk takes you past an Indigenous shelter, not to mention some outstanding drawing examples. Visit the outstanding Anbangbang Gallery to hear the stories of Dreamtime ancestors, including seeingthe striking drawing of Namarrgon, who is believed to control the lightning storms that occur in Kakadu National Park during the wet season.
See the birdlife at Mamukala Wetlands
Over 280 species of birdlife can be found within the wetlands at Kakadu National Park, which constitutes one third of all Australian bird species. The best place to catch a glimpse of some of this diverse birdlife is at Mamukala Wetlands, where you can stroll along the walkways and visit the bird hide. Look over the wetland and spot enormous herons and the tiny, electric-blue forest kingfisher, or hear the shrill calls of the whistling duck, as well as a host of other species.
Watch the sun set from a superb lookout spots
Made famous by ‘Crocodile Dundee’, one of the best places in the park to watch the sunset is Gunlom Plunge Pool. Here you can go for a dunk in Kakadu’s answer to the infinity pool while looking out across the lush wetlands and distant rolling hills. A more accessible, but no less spectacular, spot to watch the daylight ebb away is Nadab Lookout. This is one of Kakadu’s most famous spots, providing a perch over the Nadab Floodplain and its ribbons of rainforest.
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