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Driving to Kakadu

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Driving to Kakadu

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1. Posted by heda (Budding Member 15 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Hi all,

I'm visiting Darwin & Kakadu in a weeks time and was wondering if I'd need a 4WD to do the major things or will a 2WD do the job? I'd presume I'll be taking the Arnhem Highway from Darwin just before noon and driving over to Jabiru. Stay in Jabiru for three or four nights, potentially driving to different attractions each day, presumably take in a scenic flight also then back to Darwin.

I see most rental companies in Darwin have limits of around 400km. Can anyone suggest alternatives?

Thanks for any information!

2. Posted by timtravels (Respected Member 350 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Check the Kakadu National Park news site for current conditions, I'd say a number of the attractions will be closed due to it being the wet season and high water levels in rivers and billabongs. You should be able to download the most recent PDF that outlines what's open and closed.

Check with operators to ensure scenic flights will be running when you're going to be there, a friend of mine went up a few weeks ago and couldn't get on a flight because it was "out of season".

Any roads that are open are probably drivable in a 2wd car, although if it rains heavily there might be significant runoff. You should be able to download a map of the park from the Kakadu site that will indicate if roads are 4x4 only.

3. Posted by heda (Budding Member 15 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for the info Tim!

I understand it being wet season but it's my only chance on this trip to go there so its now or never.

It's just that 4WD's are so expensive relative to 2WD! But then Jim Jim falls, Twin falls etc would be closed now even to 4WD vehicles? I might just keep my fingers crossed that the rain holds off and all the sealed roads are open. I seen there was a cyclone went through a few weeks ago alright so you're friend might just have been unlucky, i'll double check with some operators though.

Thanks again

4. Posted by gnangarra (Full Member 59 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Even sealed roads can be closed, most minor rivers are crossed by causeways/fords rather than bridges also shoulders and parking bays can be soft/muddy.

I recommend a 4wd, even soft roaders like the Subaru Liberty for anyone lacking experience in the region at this time of year, the extra traction, height and water tollerances in designs maybe the difference in keeping out of trouble.

What ever you choose to drive ensure your plans allow for a delay of two days getting back to Darwin for the flight out.

I've been there done that with 2 wet seasons of driving trucks Perth -- Darwin return on sealed roads the longest delay I had was 3 days

5. Posted by heda (Budding Member 15 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Thanks gnangarra

I'm planning to head back to Darwin on the 19th, flying out on the 22nd. So hopefully that should give me enough time should I get delayed anywhere.

I'll take another look and see whats available from the rental companies.

Thanks again!