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Kakadu National Park

Travel Guide Oceania Australia Northern Territory Kakadu National Park

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Introduction

Kakadu National Park, Australia

Kakadu National Park, Australia

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Kakadu National Park is a vast park the size of Israel in the Northern Territory, Australia, east of Darwin. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Kakadu National Park supports a huge variety of flora and fauna, many species of which are rare or endemic. Historically, Kakadu National Park was the home of Aboriginal people, and much of the current NP is Aboriginal land. The area is also rich in Aboriginal rock art, with over 5,000 sites found.

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Sights and Activities

  • Aboriginal rock art - Ubirr, Nourlangie and Nanguluwur are three of the best examples of Aboriginal rock art in Australia.
  • Bowali Visitor Centre - a good first impression of the park, its history and nature and the people who live here.

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Opening Hours

The park is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Not all areas though can be visited during all days, as the main thing to remember is the fact that the rainy season might spoil some plans you have. There is always something to do though and boat trips are a good alternative to walking trails during that season. There are a few restrictions to the 24-hour-open-policy:

  • Bowali Visitor Centre: Open 8.00 am - 5.00 pm daily.
  • Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre: Open 9.00 am - 5.00 pm daily.
  • Ubirr Rock: Open 8.30am - sunset from 1 April - 30 November; 2.00pm - sunset from 1 December - 31 March.
  • Nourlangie Rock: Open dawn - dusk daily.

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Cost

Park entrance is free until 1 April 2010. From then there will be a fee of A$25, except for people living in the Northern Territory having proper ID.

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Getting There

By Car

If you're coming from Darwin, the most direct route is via the Arnhem Highway, which leads straight into the northern part of the park. Alternatively, it is also possible to drive into the park along the Kakadu Highway, which intersects with the Stuart Highway at Pine Creek. This is a more convenient option if you're coming from Katherine or other towns further south in the Northern Territory.
Both entrance roads are sealed and you can do a total loop visiting places along the way. Note that some parts might be cut off during the rainy season though (November - March/April).
You can find the latest road conditions at the park's website.

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Getting Around

Most of the main sights and activities can be reached by good tarmac roads, which are all-weather roads. Some areas might have limited access though during the wet season (Nov-March/April). This includes popular walking trails which become inaccessible during this season. The road to Ubirr (Ubirr Rock opening times, see above) for example is often the last road which opens up somewhere during April.
You can find the latest road conditions at the park's website.

There are fuel facilities at Kakadu Resort (at South Alligator), Jabiru, Cooinda and Wirnwirnmila Mary River Road House. Fuel up as many times as possible.

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Sleep

There is a wide range of accommodation options in the park, from campsites to relatively luxurious hotels.

Budget

Camping sites throughout the park include those at Jabiru, Cooinda and South Alligator, which all have commercial camping areas and are in close proximity to most of the important natural attractions in these areas.
There are also some free sites, but with less facilities. At many of the larger camping sites you can also rent simple rooms. These mainly fall into the mid-range accommodation though.

Mid-Range

Upscale

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This is version 6. Last edited at 13:01 on May 28, 13 by Sander. 12 articles link to this page.

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