Kakadu, Â or also called Gagadju, Â a native tongue of the Aboriginals of the area, Â is a National Park of extremes: extremely wet, extremely hot, extremely many crocodiles â€¦ and great to visit!
It is situated in the northern end of the Northern Territories, Australia. It extends about 100 km from east to west, 200 km from north to south, and is more or less on the doorstep of Darwin.
During the wet season between November and May, most parts of the lowlands are flooded due to water coming down from Arnhem land and pushing the water into floodplains. These plains are some of the most important ones in the world, as they have an outstanding impact on flora and fauna in the area.
Birds can use the billabongs (waterholes) and rivers that end in roaring waterfalls for their nesting. Meter long crocodiles, that are well known since we have all watched the movie Crocodile Dundee have a great splash. Every day spent in the National Park is worthwhile and full of highlights, whether you only have a day on your schedule, or you can camp out under fantastic starry skies for a few nights. You can join a guided tour starting from Darwin or Katherine, or cruise around in your own rented vehicle. Â Enjoy the walks, go birdwatching and see the Crocs â€“ with caution! If there is a warning sign, there are crocodiles. They probably see you before them and getting a close-up photo to show friends is not worth it if you end up as their lunch.
There might not be a better place in Australia to learn about the culture of the Aborigines, next to Uluru, or Ayers Rock. This region was probably one of the first to being settled, at around 40,000 â€“ 60,000 years ago. There are lots of old rock paintings that can be dated back to thousands of years ago that belong to the aboriginal â€œDreamtimeâ€ Â - their histories and stories, which ended when white settlers arrived on their boats in the 18th and 19th century. The paintings, made with ochre, black, yellow or white colors, tell of spirits, hunting techniques, aboriginal morality rules and law, and even of the arrival of people on boats, wearing trousers and hats.
The 19,000 skm National Park had become listed as Unesco World Heritage Site in 1987.
It is advisable to spend at least two to three days in the park.
Places to visit are:
- Mamukala Wetlands Walk
- The Bowali Visitor Centre in Jabiru and the Manngarre Monsoon Rainforest Walk
- Ubirr Art Site Rock: ideal around sunset, and there is lots of rock paintings to study. Check out the view over the wetlands, you might recognise it from Crocodile Dundee!
- Helicopter flight around the National Park
- Nourlangie Rock: Art Site Walk to some rock paintings and a walk to nearby Anbangbang Billabong (2,5 km, 1 hr)
- Mirrai Lookout: bring your swimgear!
- Bubba Wetlands Walk at sunset
- Boat trip on the Yellow Waters Lagoon. The earlier the better, as you will see wildlife aplenty! Crocodiles guaranteed, so donÂ´t hang out of the boat too far!
- JimJim or Twin Falls, if the road is open and you have a 4x4
There are several campgrounds in the park and even a crocodile-shaped hotel at Jabiru. Be sure to bring your food, water and extra fuel, there is a few spots to stock up, but you better rely on your own supplies. And donÂ´t forget your camera.