As we lay down our picnic rug with views across Arnhem land, the sun began to slowly set with a smoky pink hue. The soft chime of birds calling, echo out across Arnhem land and we wait in awe for the sky to turn orange. It’s Australia’s very own African Savannah and at this point I knew that Australia really does have it all.

– Shanaee Falzon

Getting there

Kakadu is a two hour drive from Darwin and a one and half hour drive from Katherine. If you are not driving around Australia, the cheapest option is to fly to Darwin and rent a car. We highly recommend renting a 4wd as most of the amazing places are not accessible by 2wd. There are also day tours and multi-day tours that leave from Darwin and Katherine, these can be quite pricey though.

Know before you go

You will need a national parks pass to enter the National Park. These can be pre purchased online before leaving https://nt.gov.au/parks/park-pass
The cost for the passes vary depending on the length and children can enter at a discounted rate.

Pass typeAdultChildFamily
Day Pass$10$5$25
2 Weeks$30$15$75
12 Months$60$30$150
Current Prices for 2023

Things to do

Sunset at Ubirr: Pack some cheese, crackers and your favourite drink of choice. Head up to the lookout one hour before the sun begins to set, it can get busy so you’ll want to snag a good spot. Watch the sun slowly set and by slowly, I mea SLOWLY. It’s incredible.

Aboriginal Art at Ubirr and Burrungkuy: Ubirr is one of the main rock art galleries inside the park. Stop by for a visit, and you can see paintings that are over 20,000 years old. It makes the artwork here one of the longest historical records kept by a group of people on Earth. Kakadu also offers free informational sessions. Click here to view the free educational tours within Kakadu. They are amazing.

Swim at Maguk falls: This dazzling waterfall spills from steep gorge walls into a pristine natural pool. A short monsoon rainforest walk delivers you to this stunning location where lush vegetation and beautiful wildlife is found.

Moline Falls: Moline Falls is off the beaten path, and it’s another beautiful swimming spot in the national park. The water is incredibly clear at the base of the falls, but the water is freezing.

National Park Camping https://parksaustralia.gov.au/kakadu/pub/camping.pdf
Use the link above to explore the national park camping options on a map. At the unmanaged sites there is an honesty box to pay, the managed sites have somebody there to collect your money.

Jim Jim Falls and Twin Falls: No trip to Kakadu would be complete without a visit to these two spectacular waterfalls. Jim Jim only flows after the wet season, but the Twins gush over a 220-meter drop throughout the year. These falls aren’t the easiest to get to but the views are definitely worth it!

Hiking Trails: Kakadu is home to more than 30 established walking trails. Click here to find detailed information. You can find short, easy strolls or challenging multi-day treks. Roam past the rock art galleries, walk past multiple waterfalls and pools, and bring plenty of water and sunscreen.

Yellow Waters Cruise: The sunset cruise on the Yellow Waters Billabong is by far one of the most popular activities in Kakadu. You’re almost guaranteed to see crocodiles, around 280 species of birds, wallabies, horses, buffalo, snakes, and other critters. We highly recommend the sunset tour, it was spectacular.

Helicopter Tour: During peak season (and wet season), many of the areas of the park are closed off. Jim Jim Falls (the tallest falls in the park) closed to tourists when it’s at its peak and during the wet season before it has been checked for crocodiles. The only way to see it during peak season is with a helicopter tour. It is one of the best things I have ever experienced in my life and is definitely worth the money.

Accomodation Options

Free camping
Pit toilets, no drinking water available


Two Mile Hole, Four Mile Hole, Red Lily Billabong,
Bucket Billabong,
Alligator Billabong,
Giyamungkurr, Bilkbilkmi (Permit required)

Paid Unmanaged Sites
$3 child, $6 adult, $15 family
Pit toilets, no drinking water available

Waldak Irrmbal, Kambolgie, Gungurul, Malabanjbanjdju, Burdulba, Sandy Billabong, Jim Jim Billabong, Maguk, Jarrangbarnmi (Permit required)

Paid Managed Sites
$7.50 child, $15 adult, $38 family
Showers and toilets available

Merl, Djarradjin,
Mardukal, Karnamarr,
Gunlom

Caravan Parks

Kakadu Lodge campground
https://aurorakakadulodge

There are a range of facilities nearby including a bistro, bar and a swimming pool. It’s also just minutes from the Jabiru town centre.

Cooinda Lodge Resort
https://kakadutourism.com

The resort offers 100 powered sites and 200 unpowered grassed sites. You’ll also have access to the Cooinda Lodge pool, restaurants, bars and shop.

Anbinik Kakadu Resort
http://www.kakadu.net.au/

The campground has a swimming pool, restaurants and shops close by. The slab sites have power and water connections.

Lodge Style

Cooinda Lodge: Cooinda Lodge is a great option for families or groups of friends visiting Kakadu National Park. It offers 48 spacious, air-conditioned rooms that can accommodate up to four people. There’s also a large swimming pool, a gift shop, and a general store. 

Bamarru Plains: Located in the middle of the park’s wilderness is the Bamarru Plains. The hotel is home to one of the largest crocodile populations in the world.

Kakadu Lodge: Kakadu Lodge has a range of accommodation options. Choose from the self-catering cabins or bring along your tent and spend a night camping underneath the stars. The lodge also organises tours, making it a great option for solo travellers.

4 Day Travel Itinerary

DayActivitiesAccomodation
OneDrive to Cahills crossing and watch the tide change. The big saltwater crocodiles line up for an easy feed as the Barramundi are forced down stream from the running river current. You’ll need to check the tide times before arriving.

Head to Ubirr for your educational tour (sign up prior) and learn about 20,000 year old rock art.

Head to your camp, set up and pack a lovely picnic. Go Back to Ubirr for sunset and feel as if you have been transported to an African Savannah.
Merl Campground $7.50 per child, $15 per adult.

OR

Kakadu lodge in Jabiru
TwoWalk up early and drive to Burrungkuy (Nourlangie). This famous site, with its stunning rock paintings, documents life in the region from 20,000 years ago to the first contact with European explorers.
This 1.5 km walk invites you to take a visual journey through time to an outdoor cultural museum where paintings, shelters and artefacts present traditional ways of life from numerous epochs.

Head to Jim Jim Falls
In the dry season the falls stop running and you can hike into the heart of the gorge and sit in the shadow of these spectacular cliffs. The walk takes you through monsoon forest and over boulders to a deep natural pool, all surrounded by dramatic 200 m cliffs.
Jim Jim Falls campground if you have a 4WD

OR

Cooinda campground if you didn’t head to Jim Jim Falls
ThreeWake up early again and hike to Twin falls. The walk to the base of the gorge is currently closed for a major infrastructure upgrade. However you can experience the falls from above on the Twin Falls plateau walk – a challenging 6 km return hike with jaw-dropping views down into the gorge and across to remote, unspoilt wilderness.

Yellow Water billabong cruise at sunset. Be prepared for the most incredible experience!
Mardukal Camp ground
$7.50 per child, $15 per adult

Cooinda lodge for powered camping or cabins.
FourDrive to Maguk waterfall today and enjoy a beautiful swim and walk through the beautiful forest.

Head to Motor Car falls for your instagram worthy photo opportunity
Head back to Darwin or drive and camp at Edith falls
2023 Travel itinerary based on current openings.

1 Comment

  1. avatar
    Nathan says:

    Thanks so much! This is super helpful

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