Kakadu National Park Things to Do Tips by bsfreeloader
Kakadu National Park Things to Do: 144 reviews and 340 photos
A Big Saltie
The Top End is known worldwide for its crocodiles. Two species are regularly encountered – Estuarine (“Salties”) and Freshwater (“Freshies”) Crocodiles. Salties have been known to exceed six meters and take the occasional tourist, usually a German judging from the fact all the crocodile warning signs include the word “Achtung.” Freshies don’t get nearly as big and generally shy away from people but have been known to bite when agitated. A great way to view both species is on a Mary River wetlands cruise. With less boat traffic than the more popular Yellow Water cruises, the Mary River cruises tend to enjoy more intimate wildlife encounters. In addition to crocodiles, several species of birds and Agile Wallabies are likely to be seen, among other critters.
Kakadu is home to several thousand Aboriginal art sites, but, being sacred, most are inaccessible to tourists. One area that is open to tourists is Ubirr. Ubirr’s rock-art galleries feature many fish and turtles and at least one thylacine (Tasmanian Tiger), along with stick-like Mimi spirits. There also is a lookout offering unobscured views of the Arnhemland escarpment and across the East Alligator River floodplain.
Jim Jim Falls
Kakadu’s two most famous waterfalls are Jim Jim and Twin Falls. These falls are only accessible during the Dry and even then a 4WD vehicle is required to reach them. When we visited, the falls were but a trickle but still a memorable sight. In addition to a stunning view, the reward for climbing to the top of Twin Falls is a dip in the cool waterholes that can be found upstream from the falls’ precipice. Swimming is no longer allowed at the base of Twin Falls because Salties are occasionally found in the area, but Jim Jim Falls is still open for swimming. In addition to the swim, a highlight of a visit to Jim Jim is seeing the gorge lit up by the afternoon sun. Another waterfall worth visiting, while not as visually spectacular but in many other ways superior, is the one at Maguk or Barramundi Gorge.
While Yellow Water cruises in Kakadu are the most popular wildlife cruises, most locals would probably tell you Mary River wetlands cruises are better. The reason is simple: fewer people and less boat traffic on the Mary River leads to more intimate wildlife encounters. Black-necked Storks, Brolgas, and White-bellied Sea-Eagles are just some of the many species of birds common on these trips. Also typically seen are both species of crocodile and Agile Wallabies.
The Mamukala Wetlands on the outskirts of Kakadu National Park are home to many of the Top End’s ducks, geese, and wading birds. The wetlands are particularly known for the high numbers of Magpie Geese they attract at the end of the dry season. A sheltered viewing platform provides good looks at and photo opportunities of the geese and the other water birds attracted to the area.
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