Escape To Kakadu
Kakadu National Park is ideal for a campervan hire holiday, with plenty of caravan parks to accommodate stream of locals and tourists that all visit with the park. With almost twenty thousand kilometres of swamps and contrasting rocky terrain, this is Australia at its most dramatic.
Kakadu is one of the truly enchanting places still left on planet Earth. Just a 3hr drive from Darwin, Kakadu National Park guarantees a magical experience in the most environmentally diverse landscape in Australia. There are six main landforms in Kakadu National Park:
- The Arnhem Land plateau and escarpment complex, known as the Stone Country;
- The Outliers, pieces of the Arnhem Land plateau that have, through past erosive action, become separated from the plateau complex. They were islands in the ancient seas that once covered much of Kakadu. Nourlangie Rock and Ubirr are good examples of outliers;
- The Lowlands, where the soils are shallow and often overlie extensive sheets of laterite (ironstone) and a thick profile of strongly leached rocks;
- The Southern Hills and Basins is characterised by rugged strike ridges separated by alluvial flats. Its features can be easily observed from the top of Gunlom Falls and on the Yurmikmik walking tracks;
- The Floodplains, where nutrient-rich soils along with an abundance of water and sunlight make the floodplains an area of prolific plant and animal life;
- The Tidal Flats are home to an array of plants and animals adapted to living in the oxygen-deficient saline mud. The dominant habitats are mangrove swamps and samphire flats.
Each landform has its own range of habitats. Kakadu's varied landscapes and the habitats they contain are the features that contributed to its listing as a World Heritage Area.
The South Alligator River is at the heart of Kakadu, and is one of the most popular places to visit as the vast river is teeming with wildlife. Take a river cruise to experience the richness of the river system, and you are guaranteed to see a crocodile or two. The sunsets here are indescribably lovely, with a viewing platform the favourite place to enjoy nature at its best. Plant lovers will feel right at home here, with over a thousand native species inhabiting the park. Kakadu is currently one of the most weed-free national parks in the world. Birdwatchers flock to this region, due to the fact that a third of Australia's bird species can be found here, thanks to the diversity of habitats.
All levels of bushwalkers will be in for a treat, with plenty of trails taking you to fantastic lookouts. There are aboriginal art sites that take you on a journey through time, wetlands brimming with birdlife and reptiles, and gorges that lead you to gorgeous waterfalls and a place to rest. The Jim Jim Falls and the Twin Falls are accessible. In the wet season, the Jim Jim Falls descends from the an elevation of 259m above sea level via one drop of 170m into a plunge pool; in the dry season, the falls may not be running. The nearby Twin Falls are cascade waterfalls on the South Alligator River that descends over the Arnhem Land escarpment. Facilities adjacent to the Twin Falls include a carpark, picnic area, public toilets, and a shaded area.
The wet season (October - April) and dry season (May - September) are distinctive in the Top End. In the dry the roads are all open so you can access nearly all the main attractions. There is not as much rain so the camping parks are ideal. However, there are a lot of tourists during this time and there is not as much water in the river systems. Visit in the wet and there will be fewer tourists, lower prices and plenty of wildlife. Everywhere you look there is colour and scenery, and even if you have to put up with a storm or two, this will add to the adventure of your outback holiday. Just make sure you pack insect spray, and some of the minor roads could be closed.
Whatever time you visit, plan to stay at least a few days to capture the sheer wonder of Kakadu. If you decide to come again at a different time of the year, you will see a different park. There is something for everyone and you will be returning again for another experience of a lifetime.
Territory Expeditions Our guides are experienced Kakadu tour guides. They have excellent knowledge about Kakadu and the Aboriginal people who have occupied this region for thousands of years. Our tours aim to be fun, yet educational. We want you to take away knowledge of