Nourlangie Rock plateau is lit up by the afternoon sunlight in Kakadu National Park, NT.

    Photo Credit: Don Fuchs/Australian Geographic

    The lip of the Nourlangie Rock plateau, where sandstone pandanus grows in clusters beneath the escarpment. Established in three stages, from 1979 to 1991, and World Heritage listed in 1992, Kakadu is Australia’s largest terrestrial national park, covering an area almost one-third the size of Tasmania.

     

     

    Photo Credit: Don Fuchs/Australian Geographic

    The Nourlangie plateau, on the Barrk walk. About one-third of Australia’s bird species have been recorded in kakadu and it’s home to one-quarter of the country’s freshwater fishes. 

    Photo Credit: Don Fuchs/Australian Geographic

    Overnight bushwalks in Kakadu are typically across the ‘stone country’ of the Arnhem Land escarpment. Routes are unmarked and overnight treks require a permit. 

    Photo Credit: Don Fuchs/Australian Geographic

    Walkers trek through savannah on the Barrk Walk near the Nourlangie Rock in Kakadu National Park. 

    Photo Credit: Don Fuchs/Australian Geographic

    An estimated 15,000 rock-art sites, dating back as far as 20,000 years, are scattered across Kakadu National Park. 

    Photo Credit: Don Fuchs/Australian Geographic

    Walkers take in the view of the Nourlangie Rock plateau in Kakadu National Park, NT. Park authorities recommend that on a dry track such as Barrk, walkers carry at least 1L of water for every hour.

    Photo Credit: Don Fuchs/Australian Geographic

    In the Nourlangie Rock area, fractured sandstone rises in stacks and pinnacles, and weaving through the small canyons in-between is like wandering into a ruined Asian temple.

    Photo Credit: Don Fuchs/Australian Geographic

    World Heritage listed in 1992, Kakadu is Australia’s largest terrestrial national park, covering an area almost one-third the size of Tasmania.

    Photo Credit: Don Fuchs/Australian Geographic

    Nourlangie is the canvas for two of Kakadu’s three major public rock-art sites, but like so much of the park, it has ancient art hidden everywhere.

    Photo Credit: Don Fuchs/Australian Geographic

    Kakadu is rarely thought of as a pure bushwalking destination. Anja Toms, who oversees the park’s walking permit applications for overnight trips, thinks that may be changing. 

    Photo Credit: Don Fuchs/Australian Geographic

    Overnight bushwalks in Kakadu are typically across the ‘stone country’ of the Arnhem Land escarpment. Routes are unmarked and overnight treks require a permit. Applications must include details of the route and campsites, as well as a marked-up topographic map. 

    Photo Credit: Don Fuchs/Australian Geographic

    Like so many of Kakadu’s natural treasures, Gubara can’t be reached by a vehicle. To get there we must walk, which invariably means a combination of pleasure and pain.

    Photo Credit: Don Fuchs/Australian Geographic

    Monsoon Creek on the Gubarra Walk, Kakadu National Park. Permits aren’t required for day walks in Kakadu, except at Jarrangbarnmi (Koolpin Gorge), where numbers are limited to 40 at any one time.

    Photo Credit: Don Fuchs/Australian Geographic

    After the shadeless savannah of the Nourlangie Rock area, stepping into the monsoon rainforest at the end of the track is like being swept up in a cool change.

    Photo Credit: Don Fuchs/Australian Geographic

    Gubara Pools location is a crystalline rock hole chipped into the slopes of Nourlangie Rock in Kakadu NP, perfect for swimming after a long, hot walk.

    Photo Credit: Don Fuchs/Australian Geographic

    Rock formations form interesting features along the Gubara Pools Walk in Kakadu National Park. 

    Photo Credit: Don Fuchs/Australian Geographic

    Tracks around Jim Jim Falls and Twin Falls remained closed in May 2014, but when accessible, waterfalls still flow at Gunlom and Yurmikmik, at the park’s southern extent.

    Photo Credit: Don Fuchs/Australian Geographic

    A swimmer stands in one of Kakadu’s classic rock pools on the Gunlom Walk. 

    Photo Credit: Don Fuchs/Australian Geographic

    The Yurmikmik network of tracks ambles beneath sandstone ridges and into a variety of waterfalls and gorges, like the Motor Car Falls shown here.

    Photo Credit: Don Fuchs/Australian Geographic

    Common crow butterflies rest on the rock on the Yurmikmik Walk, at Motor Car Falls, Kakadu NP.

    Photo Credit: Don Fuchs/Australian Geographic

Gallery: Hiking in Kakadu National Park

By AG STAFF | June 26, 2014

Kakadu is rarely thought of as a pure bushwalking destination, but with more than 25 day trails, Kakadu National Park offers bushwalkers the chance to soak up the unique and plentiful treasures of Australia’s Top End.