Kakadu National Park has made its way to the bucket list of many travellers for it’s natural beauty, indigenous culture and abundant wildlife. Recognised globally for its cultural and natural significance, Kakadu is a double-llisted world UNESCO National Park spread over almost 20,000 square kilometres and home to around 10,000 crocodiles.
Explore and discover this unforgettable remote treasure of Northern Territory Australia in 2022 and immerse yourself in the World Heritage Listed nature reserve.
1. Take a bite out of Kakadu and meet the locals
Save the date 20-29 May to experience the much anticipated ‘Taste of Kakadu’ festival - a celebration of the distinct bush flavours that combine the traditional with the new, using ingredients and unique cooking methods of Aboriginal people. Guests have the chance to sample foods sourced from within the region and that are seasonably available making each bite deliciously fresh. If you’d love to learn more about indigenous culture, book your Taste of Kakadu stay today.
With so many activities on the program, from canape cruises each night, indigenous outdoor cooking classes, art classes, weaving with the Traditional owners, a signature event Dinner Under the Stars just to name a few. Keep an eye out here to secure your spot
2. Nature therapy. improve your wellness by the water
Relax and restore your wellness in natural freshwater swimming holes, gorges and waterfalls. The calming qualities and clean crisp air will ensure you feel at ease allowing normal everyday stresses to be washed away with a holiday around the water.
Maguk (Barramundi Gorge) is a highly recommended spot for tranquility and rejuvenation. This gorgeous rainforest and swimming spot is located an hour’s drive south from Cooinda Lodge. A scenic walk-through lush rainforest vegetation and boulder river section eventually opens up to the large open air gorge. There are plenty of rock pools to explore along the way, to have a dip or picnic.
See Kakadu National Park website for daily access updates
Always remember, it is important to stay safe following National Park rules & guidelines when hiking and swimming in the park.
3. Immerse yourself in the local Indigenous culture of Kakadu
A must see is Warradjan Cultural Centre, developed by the local clans in Kakadu to share their culture and ways of life with visitors. The Cultural Centre provides a comprehensive display of personal accounts, history and information on the local clans. On Saturdays and Sundays, the traditional owners sit down with visitors at the back of Warradjan under the shaded canopy of trees to teach guests to weave bracelets and baskets which you get to take home, and this experience is completely free.
Weaving is a social activity for the women of the Murumburr clan, to share their skills and uniqueness. The Traditional Owners weave at the Cultural Centre on some weekends, anyone is welcome to join and it's free.
The centre has a gallery shop with a range of authentic traditional paintings all sourced locally and weavings are also available for viewing and purchase.
Warradjan Cultural Centre is located just 1km from Cooinda Lodge and is open daily from 9:00am - 3:00pm* wet season (November - April) and 9:00am - 5:00pm dry season (April - October).
4. Unique accommodation in the heart of Kakadu
Spend a night under the stars as you lay mesmerised at the sounds of this spiritual place during sleep time in your glamping tent at Cooinda Lodge. With glamping tents built on an elevated platform ensuring minimal environmental impact and available for use year round, the spacious canvas tents combine the luxury of a room stay with the feeling of camping without the hassle.
Cooinda Lodge also offers hotel style accommodation and a campsite so there is something for all types of travellers and budgets.
Or why not trying sleeping in the belly of a Crocodile? The Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel or the 'Croc' as it is known to locals is part of the Accor brand, located in the small township of Jabiru. With an airstrip 10 minutes from the hotel and 2.5 hours by car from Darwin it is the perfect base to explore the park.
5. Capture stunning views and sunsets at Ubirr
Take a step back in time and experience a breathtaking sunset at the ancient rock art site of Ubirr. The walk to Ubirr is approximately 1 km starting from the car park and the famous lookout is about a 30 minute trek along a marked trail. Stroll through the natural rock art galleries as you make your way to lookout, and once you arrive at the lookout, be ready to truly appreciate the expansiveness of Kakadu and it’s floodplains. As the sun starts to set, you are likely to feel a deep connection with the land and its history making it truly one of the most spellbound experiences you will ever have.
See Bowali Visitor Centre for the latest information regarding road access and open times as these may vary depending on the season.
6. Visit the spectacular Jim Jim and Twin Falls
Venture to the Jim Jim area with its cascading escarpment and magnificent waterfalls. Take your time and connect with the ancient landscape.
This is the perfect location for those who are seeking a challenging walk along a rugged track. Jim Jim falls is a 2km round trek to the waterfall and deep plunge pool.
During the Wet Season, the Tropical Summer brings heavy rainfall making beautiful scenic waterfalls best seen by a scenic flight over the falls.
7. Explore the less accessible areas of Kakadu
Book a 4WD Adventure Tour for the opportunity to learn more about indigenous culture and traditions. This exclusive off-road tour will take you to hidden waterfalls, swimming holes and less visited landscapes. Flexible itineraries cater to all levels of fitness and include meals and refreshments throughout the day. Guests will conclude the tour with cheese, wine and refreshments by the billabong where you can watch wildlife and reflect on your incredible day and enjoy time with the friends you’ve made on this unique adventure.
8. Cruise the Yellow Water Billabong
Step aboard Yellow Water Cruises for a journey through the remarkable wetlands of Kakadu where you will have the chance to see an array of wildlife in their natural habitat. Crocodiles, wild horses, buffalo, over 60 bird species including the Black-Necked Stork, Kingfisher, Brolga, Magpie Geese, and the impressively large, beautiful pink and white water lilies that bob on top of the billabong surrounded by paperbark forests that line the edge of the mangroves.
Yellow Water Cruises has exclusive access to the Yellow Water Billabong operating all year round with up to 6 cruises a day of 90 or 120 minutes duration. The sunrise and sunset cruise are most popular and are the perfect way to see the wide array of wildlife on the water and along the banks.
9. Take a hike along the many walking trails
Visit Nourlangie Rock located just 20 minutes north from Cooinda Lodge and easily accessible by bitumen roads. Here you will see beautiful views from the lookout that is well worth the climb for sweeping views of the escarpment, and rock art that dates back thousands of years including the Namarrgon (Lightening man) painting that explores the relationship of the people to their country and belief. Take the time to learn about the ancient customs and beliefs that are painted using ochre on the rocks and information presented along the trails.
You can view more hiking trails and information here.
10. Sustainability and passion for Country
With a land known for over 65,000 years of continuous human habitation, Kakadu Tourism’s philosophy is based around ‘Planet, People, Benefit’: if we look after the planet, the planet looks after the people, and everyone profits.
Kakadu’s Indigenous peoples have always championed this approach, and with Kakadu Tourism fully Indigenous-owned, the operators are investing in a raft of new sustainability measures to achieve the lowest possible impact on the environment.
3 of our key sustainability measures include:
- The use of renewable energy
- Refurbishment vs replacement where possible across the Park
- Water & waste treatment osmosis
As a visitor to Kakadu National Park, we ask that all visitors respect and embrace our sustainability approach to preserving the natural environment that has been home to the traditional owners for more than 65,000 years.