My wife & I have a 3 day stopover in Darwin this June.
We are very keen photographers.
We will be renting a car so we won't have any opportunity to go trailblazing.
(Q1) Should we go to Kakadu or Litchfield or somewhere else?
(Q2) What are your recommendations for accommodation?
(Q3) What are the "don't miss" locations?
I realize we will get to see neither properly & that Kakadu is further from Darwin than Litchfield that is the point of this thread.
We are trying to do a bit of homework to enable us to get the best value from our very limited time.
Both Kakadu and Litchfield National Park are very beautiful and great for photography, I think you'll enjoy whichever you choose to see. I think Litchfield has a more tropical feel with denser vegetation and most of the attractions are water falls or water based. Kakadu is more wetlands and savannah with some rocky outcrops and waterfalls, it also has several aboriginal cultural sites.
I personally preferred Litchfield because of the great opportunities to go swimming as it was quite warm while I was there. If you're purely after photography then maybe Kakadu would be better because of the amazing sunsets, the culture and the crocodile tours - I can highly recommend the yellow waters evening cruise, but remember a jacket because it was cool on the water.
I'm not sure what your best options are for accomodation, in both areas I camped in the camp grounds, facilities are good, flushing toilets, cold showers and fireplaces.
The don't miss locations in Litchfield are all on the main road, the waterfalls and rockholes, my favourite falls were Wangi falls in the evening when the day visitors had left. I wouldn't bother going out to the lost city as it's overrated. In Kakadu, I highly recommend the yellow waters cruise, I enjoyed Ubirr rock at sunset and Gunlom (Waterfall Creek).
That is a terriffic start to my research.
Q1 If this a once in a life time then kakadu
Litchfield is great but kakadu is the ultimate
If time is a problem Litchfeild is still awesome and a great day trip from Darwin
It also caters for a car not just 4 wheelers
Q2 Accomodation is not cheap as may onwards is the dry season
Hotels can be cheap on wotif.com but there are plenty of pack pack and caravan parks to suit other budgets
Google northern territory accomodation
Q3 Dont miss either litchfield Or kakadu and strange as it may sound the jumping crock park it is amazing
Cheers and hoped that helped
I certainly hope it's not our only trip to the area.
However it's our first trip & we are spending 2 weeks in the Kimberley.
We only have a couple of days around Darwin & want to make the best of the short stopover.
I have been looking on the net at a place called "The Butterfly Farm" at Batchelor (Litchfield area) for accommodation.
Maybe someone can give me an assessment of the place!
I loved both but I agree with timtravels about the great swimming oppotunities at Litchfield. Kakadu is probably the more spectacular scenery-wise.
You could do an organised tour which incorporates both national parks.
I can also recommend Kakadu for scenery and photo opportunities. We did a sunrise crocodile tour and got some great photos. Three days is plenty of time to cover the area. I can't remember the name of the hotel we stayed in, but it was the one shaped like a crocodile. From memory, it wasn't cheap but it was great to have an air conditioned place to have a break from the heat.