We've got 4 days in Darwin before flying on. We want to spend some time actually in and exploring Darwin but had initially been reading up about the Litchfield and Kakadu National Parks too. Unfortunately we haven't got time to do both now and organised tours seem really expensive so was just wondering if anyone had been to either, how long they stayed, what you did etc. What you would recommend really.
We could afford to hire a car for a couple of days and will have a tent. We'll be there mid-Sept.
Have seen river cruises advertised as part of a lot of trips (to see crocs) but this is not something we really want to do anyway. More walking and exploring such as ranger walks.
Any advice much appreciated!
G'day Happy Days,
I lived in Jabiru which is in the centre of Kakadu for about 3 1/2 years. I have been and stayed in both national parks and both have their pluses. Kakadu has probably more to offer than litchfield if you are looking for cultural and tourist type things such as the Marrawudi gallery in Jabiru and the gallery at Yellow Waters (Cooinda), the area also has Nourlangie Rock which has ancient aboriginal rock art and is the home of the lightning man and Ubirr Rock which is a favourite among the locals and tourists to watch the sunset over the wetlands with a cold beverage. There are also a number of falls ain the area such as Gin Gin, Twin Falls, Gunlom Falls and Barramundi Gorge to name a few. However you may need a 4wd to access twin and gin gin depending on the road condition. If you like fishing then I would recommend trying to catch a Barramundi in the Kakadu area, there is the South Alligator river on the way to Jabiru and the East Alligator on the way to Arnhem Land just out of Jabiru and Yellow waters to the south, But be warned DO NOT GET CLOSE TO THE WATER as crocodiles are everywhere and you won't see them until it is too late. It is also worth going on the Yellow Waters cruise if you go to Kakadu. Swimming in the above falls should be safe at that time of year as the Rangers set crocodile traps after the wet season to make sure there aren't any in these popular waterholes. I strongly recommend only swimming in these spots and not in roadside billabongs (Crocodiles).
Litchfield on the other hand is also very pretty, is closer to Darwin with all the swimming holes etc.. being relatively close to each other. I would recommend the first swimming spot to be Buley's Rockhole. However I believe you could do the swimming holes and falls at Litchfield in one day.
Hope this helps if you have any further questions just ask.
As scruffa said Kakadu is good for a cultural visit and Litchfield is good for waterfalls and swimming.
In Kakadu I enjoyed the Yellow Waters crocodile cruise, and the walk at Nourlangie Rock, sunset from Ubirr Rock was also nice. In Litchfield I enjoyed pretty much everything, the waterfalls are amazing. If you're going to hire a car usually you have to stick to sealed roads which means you won't be able to go to the 4x4 only areas of both parks.
When I was there I preferred Litchfield National Park as it was quite warm and the swimming was awesome.
I had the same choice to make a few years ago Kakadu or Litchfield. We choice Litchfield! It was a great trip that required less time to get to the park plus the swimming in the rivers and rock pools was great. Loved it.