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Kakadu National Park

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The Kakadu National Park lies some 300 kilometres east of Darwin and is said by some visitors to be the most beautiful place that they have ever seen. Certainly the escarpment forming the eastern boundary of the park is impressive, and some of the waterfalls, when flowing in the Wet, are awe-inspiring.

Kakadu National Park

One can travel to Kakadu by car on a Greyhound bus, or one can go on a tour. Some tours show you the sights in a day, while others stay overnight and let you spend two days here, or three, or even four. However you travel, you will be subjected to payment of a fee for entry to the National Park. The Kakadu national park fee covers you for a week within its boundaries.

 

The route to Kakadu first follows the main road south from Kakadu, and then, after forty kilometres, turns off east, and soon reaches Humpty Doo. Here you can find Graeme Gow's Reptile World, a display of snakes and reptiles, including 25 of the world's most venomous snakes. The road crosses the Adelaide River after a further few kilometres. This is the place at which there are cruises on the river to see the jumping crocodiles.

 

Continuing, the Djukbinj National Park is on your left, and then you will come to the Mary River Crossing, with Mary River Park and, three kilometres on, Bark Hut. A little further on is the entrance to the Mary River Wetlands, less famous than Kakadu, but offering plenty of wildlife observation, bushwalking and fishing. There are tours operating from here, especially bird watching tours, for several rare species are found in the area, attracted by the year-round water supply. There are also crocodile cruises every two hours. The scenery is less spectacular than that of Kakadu, but the area has a less touristic feel to it. Everybody knows about Kakadu, but few know how beautiful the Mary River Wetlands can be too. Budget accommodation and camping are both available here.

 

Travelling on eastwards, you will soon come to the entrance to Kakadu. It is a vast area, so there are several places to stay and many more which one ought to visit. The aborigines may have lived in this area for some 50,000 years and there are 5,000 sites throughout the park bearing witness to their culture, of which Nourlangie and Ubirr are two of the best known examples. The Kakadu park covers 19,804 square kilometres and also offers a huge range of wildlife to be observed.

 

Highlights of Kakadu are the art sites of Nourlangie and Ubirr, Bowali Visitor Centre at Jabiru, Warradjan Cultural Centre at Cooinda, Jim Jim Falls, Twin Falls, Gunlom Falls, Yellow Waters and Mamukala.

 

Accommodation is available in Kakadu. It is a very good idea to book such accommodation in advance. Camping is permitted at designated camp sites, of which there are about a dozen.

 

The main Kakadu tourist office is the Bowall Visitors Centre just south of Jabiru on the Kakadu highway. Lots of information on Kakadu is available and all the practical stuff that you will need.

 
 

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