There is so much to see and do in Kakadu National Park that it can be challenging to decide where to start… Even though we say any time in Kakadu is better than no time at all, we recommend putting an absolute minimum of three days aside to visit the park. Four to five days are even better, particularly if you would like to embark on some of the longer walks, and enjoy a relaxing time at the breathtaking waterholes and around camp.
1. Jim Jim Falls
Sorry to be predictable, but Jim Jim Falls have got to be on the list. The Jim Jim Gorge is one of the most spectacular of the publicly accessible gorges in Kakadu, the walk to the falls is so much fun, and the refreshing swim at the large plunge pool, or off the gorge’s very own beach is just the best- All this while admiring the beauty of this imposing master piece of nature. To be able to visit Jim Jim Falls, you will need to be in Kakadu between July and October when the walking track is usually open. If you are visiting outside of these months, you can take a scenic flight over the area- just not the same though, is it? To reach the falls, you will need to be able to make your way over often sandy and slippery rocks and boulders- the closer you get to the falls, the bigger the boulders. Make sure you bring plenty of water and snacks or a picnic, as this walk can take longer than you might expect.
2. Warradjan Cultural Centre
If you are interested in the indigenous culture and history of the area, the cultural centre is a must! It’s easy to spend a couple of hours here- there are plenty of displays and lots to read, and the information is well presented. It is also a great stop for families as there are many visual displays and things to try out and learn- for example about the local seasons or the indigenous kinship system.
To see some of the most outstanding examples of indigenous rock art in the area, go to Nourlangie. The sites are easily accessible regardless of your fitness level, and the art is just stunning! Art work has been maintained by the local custodians, so the most important images and stories are still very vivid. There are also information boards that explain the stories behind many of the images. If you are here at the right time, you can catch a ranger talk- or even better- bring your own knowledgeable guide by booking a quality guided Kakadu Tour– the best stories are not on the information boards.
4. Gunlom Falls
Ready for another waterfall? Gunlom Falls are a great choice early in the season when the top and bottom pools are still fresh with clear wet season run off. The area usually opens around Easter each year. You have the choice between the relatively short but steep and rocky climb to the top of the falls, where you can take a refreshing swim in Kakadu’s famous “natural infinity pool”. This has to be the most Instagrammed place in all of Kakadu right now! Bring sturdy footwear, flip flops not recommended! Or if you prefer to take it easy, you can stay at the bottom pool and relax on the beach.
5. Gubarra Springs
Most people would not have heard of Gubarra Springs, but that doesn’t make them any less attractive than many other attractions in the park. They are best visited in the shoulder season between February and April and offer a nice refreshment from the warm weather. The walk to the springs is moderately challenging, and when you get there you enter a true oasis. The great thing is that once there, you can explore the area at your own pace; there are plenty of shady spots to relax and enjoy being surrounded by nature. Bring a picnic and enjoy the day!
Of course we are not giving away any secrets here, you will need to come on tour with us to get to the best spots 🙂
Caution: Remember to be crocwise and always observe crocodile warning signs in Kakadu.