World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park is a place of rugged escarpments, lush wetlands and cascading waterfalls covering over 19,000 square kilometres. Kakadu is Australia’s largest national park and can be entered from Darwin on the Arnhem Highway or via Pine Creek on the Kakadu Highway. Entry fees now apply to enter Kakadu National Park.
The flora and fauna in Kakadu National Park is diverse. Pockets of monsoon rainforest, paperbark forests and wetlands are a haven for Kakadu’s amazing wildlife including crocodiles, barramundi, and birdlife. Around 1,000 different plant species, a quarter of all Australian freshwater fish species and over one-third of Australian bird species can be found in the park.
Kakadu National Park is managed jointly by Parks Australia, an Australian government body, and the park’s traditional Aboriginal owners. A number of Aboriginal clans still reside within the park. Kakadu is home to one of the largest concentrations of Aboriginal rock art in the world with galleries at sites like Ubirr and Burrungui / Nourlangie Rock. Other spectacular landmarks include Jim Jim Falls, Twin Falls, Maguk, Jarrangbarnmi / Koolpin Gorge and Gunlom. Kakadu National Park also contains many established walking tracks and camp grounds.
At the centre of the park is the small mining township of Jabiru, which offers a range of services and accommodation. Another settlement, Cooinda, also offers accommodation, and is located on the banks of Yellow Water, a billabong teeming with migratory birds, saltwater crocodiles and other wildlife. Cruises on Yellow Water depart daily. A visit to Kakadu is best started at the Bowali Visitors Centre near Jabiru or the Warradjan Cultural Centre near Cooinda.