As nice as they may look, Kakadu Travel blogs can often be dangerously misleading
Travel articles and blogs have become a great source of information for travellers worldwide. However, travel bloggers don’t always hold sufficient knowledge to give the best advice to everybody. Especially when it comes to remote and logistically challenging destinations such as Kakadu. Thanks to Tourism NT who did not hesitate sharing this travel blog on Kakadu National Park on Facebook, we just came across another fanciful article on the park by “Travels with Nina”. The article “Exploring the Top End”, like many other blog posts and articles circulating the internet, can be problematic, and Charter North 4WD Safaris would like to share some critical thoughts here.
We agree that Kakadu is a fantastic place that should be on everyone’s travel list. However, articles like this can be misleading and create false visitor expectations. There are now loads of more accurate and reliable online resources, tours etc. that will help you experience the greatness of Kakadu. So rather than relying on fanciful travel articles like this one, please do your own research on this incredible destination to ensure you experience all of the amazing aspects of Kakadu. Unfortunately we know of at least two recent disappointing visitor experiences resulting from fairy tales and misleading travel articles.
Kakadu facts for visitors
In contrast to what the above article suggests:
1. No, it’s not like you can just hop off your plane in Darwin and take part in a random smoking ceremony to “stay safe” (not that it’s as dangerous here as the author suggests). You will need to take part in some sort of indigenous experience or tour to be given this privilege.
2. No, it’s not as if, just because you are in Kakadu National Park, there will be crocodiles lurking around every corner, waiting to savour you. Unless you join a wetland cruise, you are very unlikely to see any crocs at all. Yes, the Yellow Water Cruise is great. Alternatively, the Gulyambi Cruise is also a fantastic indigenous owned and operated experience.
3. No, it is not always possible to hire a 4WD from within the park. This article sounds as if you could hire them after your Yellow Water Cruise. Transport and tours within the park are very limited, so plan well ahead. Many travellers get caught out like this and end up stuck at their accommodation with no means of getting around the park. Also be aware that tackling the rough roads of Kakadu in a 4WD is challenging and dangerous for the novice. Kakadu roads claim inexperienced drivers and poorly prepared vehicle’s each year! We would advise only experienced off road drivers with adequately prepared vehicles attempt this, or book a tour to be absolutely safe.
It is great that Kakadu gets exposure through travel articles like this one. However, authors and their supporters need to be careful not to create a false image of the park. It is important that every visitor is well prepared, as it is a remote location and it would be a shame if an experience wasn’t what it could be due to a lack of good planning, or miss information.
This article is only one example of many, and while they are great in promoting Kakadu and the Top End as a travel destination, the industry and travel writers need to be careful not to romanticise our stunning environment too much. It is important that travellers come here well prepared and for the right reasons, only then will they fully enjoy their experience and create positive, sustainable word of mouth that works in the long term for our destination.
Read Nina’s Blog post here.