Top things to do in Kakadu

By Alex Pike 25 February 2014
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Famous for its heritage and natural beauty, Kakadu is a must-do adventure tucked away in the Top End.

One of the few World Heritage areas to be listed for both its cultural and natural features, Kakadu National Park is world renowned for its rich Aboriginal history and unique biodiversity.

Some of the most striking examples of Aboriginal rock art can be observed at Ubirr and Nourlangie, providing a glimpse into the lives of early inhabitants – Aboriginal people have lived continuously in the area for at least 50,000 years.

Kakadu’s Aboriginal owners recognise six seasons, which are signposted by the changes in the climate, landscape and environment. The rising waters of the wetter months sees an increase of wildlife in the park and signals the start of the breeding season for water birds, while the drier months are cooler and provide greater access to the range of visitor sites.


Enjoy the breathtaking waterways of Kakadu, look out for freshwater wildlife and catch some dinner at the same time. Fishers will often catch barramundi, catfish and saratoga. Fishing and boating regulations apply and visitors must be conscious of crocodiles at all times.


Bardedjilidji walk is an easy 2.5km stretch that features vine forests, wetland areas and sandstone outliers. Fans of more challenging walks should try the Barrk Sandstone Bushwalk, a difficult 12km trail that passes the Nanguluwur rock art gallery.


One-third of Australia’s bird species can be found in the park, and are best observed in wetland areas and waterways. Pick up a spotlight and head out at night to search for the nocturnal sugar gliders, brush-tailed phascogales and northern quolls, which hide in tree hollows during the day.


The essentials

Location: Jabiru, in Kakadu National Park, is 217km east of Darwin.

Accommodation: There are hotels, motels, budget options and camping areas. Camp in the East Alligator region at Merl campground, which provides drinking water and hot/cold showers.

Food/drink: Jabiru, the main urban centre in Kakadu, has restaurants, cafes and a supermarket. Some camping grounds do not offer drinking water.

Points of interest: Jim Jim Falls is stunningly set in the rich, red rocks of the escarpment, and can be seen from the ground in the dry season or from the air in the wet season.

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