KAKADU NATIONAL PARK AND THE TOP END
Kakadu, Arnhem Land and the Top End provide some of Australia’s most renowned visitor experiences. Our Kakadu and Beyond Tours showcase Australia’s largest and most acclaimed National Park, Kakadu, along with other such icons including Katherine Gorge (Nitmiluk), Litchfield and the more intriguing Arnhem Land! As a living cultural landscape with dramatic land forms and incredible habitat diversity, Kakadu, Arnhem Land, Katherine and Litchfield display all of their Natural and Cultural treasures. Through our long established local relationships, our guests are able to penetrate and experience all of the Top Ends natural diversity and cultural exchange.
Aside from its stunning natural beauty, the Top End is renowned for being arguably Australia’s most complex cultural landscape, supporting a continuous Indigenous heritage spanning more than 70,000 years.Today the Top End and its people welcome visitors to their traditional homelands, to explore and immerse themselves in this absolute “piece of paradise”
SIGNIFICANT ASPECTS OF KAKADU AND OUR TOP END
- Towering sandstone escarpments and the ancient Arnhem Land Plateau, one of our planets oldest land forms
- Our Top End environment supports one of the oldest surviving Indigenous Cultures in the world
- A complex cultural fabric supporting numerous language groups
- Kakadu and Arnhem Land protect and preserve one of the most prolific and artistic collections of rock art on our planet
- The most artistic pictorial recording of pre-history witnessed anywhere in the world, dating back at least 15,000 years
- The Top End contains an absolute paradise of lush habitats and environments, with stunning habitat diversity supporting hundreds of bird and wildlife species
- Kakadu is the only National Park in the world completely protecting the entire catchment and length of a major tropical river system
- One of the most photographic landscapes on our planet
- Strong historical and geographical connections to the Indonesian Archipelago to our north
- Our Top End management strikes the perfect balance between cultural maintenance, conservation and tourism
- A unique contemporary history of economic development and growth over two centuries
OUR KAKADU TOURS & BEYOND INCLUDE
Jim Jim Falls is one of the main visitor attractions of Kakadu National Park. Only accessible in the dry season, it’s an exciting 4WD track to the Jim Jim Falls area, crossing several creeks and floodlines. There is a good reason why this track is 4WD only, and many self drivers succumb to its challenges each year. The drive is also very scenic, winding its way through lush tropical environments and past towering sandstone escarpments. The hike into Jim Jim Gorge to the impressive Falls and plunge pool is challenging, but extremely rewarding. The gorge is particularly stunning in the late afternoon, when most people have left and the colours and moods of the gorge change with the sun set.
Twin Falls is another iconic Kakadu attraction, with opportunities to explore the top falls and the gorge and falls below. Walking to the top of Twin Falls rewards you with stunning views over the gorge and the sandstone country of Kakadu. The top falls area is also ideal for a refreshing croc free swim. After exploring the top falls and descending to the gorge, a boat cruise operated by the Indigenous traditional owners allows you to experience this lush environment up close, while providing you with some local cultural insights. Due to the remoteness and tranquillity of Twin Falls, we often witness some local wildlife as well. Upon arrival at Twin Falls, enjoy a picnic lunch before exploring the falls and its sandy beaches.
Ubirr is one of Kakadu National Park’s most renowned cultural sites. You will experience an amazing cultural journey through ancient occupational shelters, and view rock art that documents Indigenous culture and lifestyles spanning millenium. Creating images on the rock walls of these ancient occupation shelters was an important means of communication. Mostly used for educational purposes, many paintings tell intriguing stories of the dreamtime and cultural protocols. After a pictorial journey through time, the climb to the stunning Nardab Lookout is another highlight of the Ubirr Rock area. From here, you can witness the incredible diversity of Kakadu with 360 degree views. This is an extremely stunning and spiritual experience, topped off by typically striking Kakadu sunset.
One of the most photographed and enjoyed waterfall features of Kakadu is Gunlom Falls. Gunlom has it all: Croc free swimming in the top falls, stunning views of southern Kakadu, and a towering waterfall with picturesque plunge pool. Those who are feeling lazy have the option to relax at the lower plunge pool beneath the waterfall, while the active take the challenging climb to the top of falls. Once at the top, you will be rewarded with stunning views over an endless Kakadu landscape, and a beautifully inviting set of waterfalls and cascades. The highlight of the expedition to the top is the swim in the refreshing waters of the upper pools, literally a natural infinity pool and picture perfect experience. This is a photographers dream!
Yellow Water is one of Kakadu’s larger wetland areas, part of the massive South Alligator River, and another very special Kakadu attraction. A sunset or sunrise Yellow Water Cruise reveals the importance of this Ramsar listed wetland to the local and surrounding environments, and an absolute abundance of native wildlife and birds. Taking time on the wetlands with a local Indigenous guide allows you to take in the wetlands tranquillity, appreciate its cultural significance, while admiring the amazing beauty and biodiversity. You will also witness our famous saltwater crocodiles coexisting in their natural environment.
Maguk (Barramundi Gorge) is another popular Kakadu waterfall, however quite different to Jim Jim and Twin Falls. Maguk is a softer environment from the harsh sandstone country of Jim Jim and Twin. The hike into Maguk takes us along the watercourse lined with stands of weeping paperbarks, together with pockets of lush monsoon forests as we reach the lower falls. The lower falls and plunge pool provide easy access to the crystal clear waters, while the top of the falls invites you to explore the many smaller pools and cascades. Maguk is a true hidden oasis amongst the rugged sandstone escarpments of Kakadu.
All of our Kakadu, along with our Kakadu and Beyond Tours include a Wetland Cruise. Venture out to view the local wildlife, literally hundreds of bird species, and of course our elusive crocodiles, all from the relative safety of our boat. This experience is a great introduction to our local environment, and the perfect opportunity to learn about our flora and fauna, as well as witnessing the saltwater and freshwater crocodiles co-existing in their natural habitat.
Litchfield National Park is the Top End’s favourite aquatic playground, offering a fun filled day of easy short walks, swimming and snorkelling. Visit Tolmer Falls, Florence Falls, Buley Rockholes, Wangi Falls and the fascinating Termite Mounds that reach heights of up to six meters. Whether you join us on our one day Litchfield Tour, or one of our Kakadu & Beyond Tours, Litchfield is the perfect park to unwind and enjoy a day of aquatic fun!
Katherine Gorge in Nitmiluk National park is the main attraction of the Katherine area. Even though often referred to singularly, Katherine Gorge actually combines a total of 13 gorges in all! Canoeing through this complex gorge system is the best way to explore it. The gorges, with an average height of around 180 meters, make for a spectacular journey as you paddle upstream. Each gorge is different in shape and atmosphere, overall providing an exhilarating and tranquil experience. There are clean sandy beaches, crystal clear water, and an abundance of bird life. A large waterfall and plunge pool at the end of the third gorge is the perfect spot for a picnic lunch and a swim before your return paddle.
Edith Falls (Leliyn) is part of Nitmiluk National Park, and is another beautiful Top End destination ideal for a hiking and swimming expedition. A loop walk connects the bottom and top pools, providing several stunning picture opportunities along the way. The upper pool and falls invite you to swim, snorkel, sun bake and relax, while the much larger lower pool allows for a final refreshing swim after our descent from the upper falls area. We include a visit to Leliyn on all of our Kakadu & Beyond, and Kimberley Tours.