Kakadu National Park

Northern Territory, Australia Oceania icon Oceania

Kakadu National Park is located in northern Australia in the north part of the Northern Territory. The national park boundaries encompass an area of 7,646 square miles (19,804 sq km). It basically stretches 62 miles (100 km) east and west and 124.3 miles (200 km) north and south.

Kakadu National Park is renowned for its pristine wilderness while being ecologically and biologically varied. The park features four significant rivers traversing through the park boundaries which include the East Alligator River, the South Alligator River, the West Alligator River, and the Wildman River.

The landscape of the park is characterized by estuaries, floodplains, lowlands, stone country, and the southern hills. Diversity is also recognized in the flora with over 1,700 species found within the park. The vegetation varies by region and characteristics of the park.

Chasms, gorges, and rocky terrain create spectacular picturesque landscapes. The Arnhem Land escarpment is home Jim Jim Falls which reaches a height of 660 feet (200 m). The Arnhem escarpment features stepped cliffs in some areas and vertical cliffs in others. Other waterfalls include Gunlom Falls, Maguk, and Twin Falls.

The diversity is furthered revealed in the wildlife with 74 species of mammals, over 280 species of birds, 50 species of freshwater life, and 117 species of reptiles. Kangaroos and wallabies are quite common and fairly active in the cooler times of the day. Insects are plentiful with over 10,000 species of bugs.

There are both freshwater and saltwater crocodiles in the park. The saltwater crocodile is the king of the reptiles and the most notorious species of the park. It can reach lengths of 19.6 feet (6 m) while its cousins the freshwater crocodile only reach lengths of 9.8 feet (3 m).

Kakadu Highlights:

Kakadu is a pristine wilderness and one of the best places to experience the “outback” of Australia. The rugged terrain with the gorges and escarpments is fantastic. When you add in Jim Jim Falls, you create one of the most photographic landscapes.

The highlight of almost any explorer is having the opportunity to see one of the full-grown saltwater crocodiles reaching over 19 feet (6 m). The size of these creatures is mesmerizing. These are easily seen in the East Alligator River and Yellow Water, of course, caution is warranted.

Ubirr, Burrunguy, and Nanguluwur are places that display the original rock art of the Aboriginal people. The national park not only provides visitors with an incredible escape into nature, but it also provides historical and cultural insights of the Aboriginal people.

Trails in Kakadu National Park

Kakadu is a massive wilderness area and trekking through the park is one of the best ways to experience the splendor it has to offer visitors.  There numerous trails that allow travelers a chance to get out into the remote and rugged terrain.

Ubirr Aboriginal Art Walk Trail: This is a 1.2-mile (1.93  km) loop trail that is partially paved.  Visitors can leisurely walk through the trail viewing the historical artwork of the Aboriginals.

Nawurlandja Lookout Walk Trail: This is another short easy 1.1-mile (1.77 km) trail that meanders through the wilderness with views of the scenic terrain and rock formations.

Barrk Sandstone Walk Trail: This is a challenging 9.8-mile (15.77 km) ascent up an elevation gain of 1,246 feet (379.78 m). The primary highlight is the rugged terrain of Kakadu National Park.  The trail is exposed without shade and can be quite exhausting.  It is rated as difficult.

Kakadu Highlights

  • Jim Jim Falls
  • Saltwater Crocodiles
  • Aboriginal rock art

Map

Photo Gallery

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