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Destination guides for awesome places around the world. Written by Adventurers, for Adventurers covering adventure, hiking, climbing, travel and more!
|Your next adventure:||Kakadu National Park, Litchfield National Park|
|Where in the world?||Northern Territory, Australia|
|Activity:||Swimming, Hiking, 4WD|
Most of the bushwalks at Kakadu National Park are easy but can get a little bit steep in parts. The main routes are listed on the Parks Australia website with safety tips.
|How long, how far?||3 days|
|Wrap up:||Whether you need an escape or you're looking for an adventure, Kakadu National Park is a must-do Australian destination for your bucket list.|
|Day 1||Leave Brisbane airport in the morning and arrive in Darwin in the early afternoon. You’ll need to arrange a 4WD so you can make the most of your adventure because it does get rough in some areas and you’ll need it to access some of the campsites and waterfalls. Pick up some supplies on the way to Bucket Billabong Campsite and set up camp for the night.|
|Day 2 (morning)||Today you’re going flying! Go to Jabiru Bowali Visitors Centre for a pre-activity before heading to Jabiru Airstrip for take-off. Experiencing the vast landscape from the air is an unforgettable experience (we took the East Alligator River and Floodplains Tour with Kakadu Air). You’ll need to book your flight in advance.|
|Day 2 (afternoon)||Drive to Cahill’s Crossing at East Alligator River and head to Ubirr to see Aboriginal rock art, explore Barddedjilidji Sandstone Walk and take in the views from Gunwarde-warde and Nardab Lookout. Arrive at Kakadu lodge and stay overnight.|
|Day 3 (morning)||Leave Kakadu lodge for Nourlangie (approximately 1 hour drive) and hike to Nawurlandja Lookout (600 metres return).|
|Day 3 (afternoon)||Drive to Maguk Car Park (approximately 1.5 hour drive) and explore Maguk Gorge. Take your swimmers and give yourself a couple of hours to enjoy it! Drive 40 minutes to Gunlom Infinity Pool for another refreshing dip before heading to Pine Creek Railway Resort for your last night.|
Kakadu National Park is big. It’s 19, 804 square kilometres to be exact, and we were determined to experience it in every way possible – walking, swimming, hiking, 4WD-ing and flying. Yes, flying. After our first night camping we took to the skies with Kakadu Air on a scenic helicopter flight over East Alligator River and the Floodplains. We soared over huge, fascinating rock formations, followed winding rivers and looked down on vast floodplains, wondering how many crocodiles were lurking below.
As well as being home to rock art and shelters that date back thousands of years, Nourlangie Rock also has some great walks. As we hiked Narwurlandja lookout, we were taken aback by the vastness and beautiful rock formations that have been sculpted by the elements. Since we were trying to fit in as many things as possible that day we chose a 1 hour walk, but if you’re game you can do a 12 km loop walk over and around Nourlangie. That’s about a 6 hour walk on difficult terrain, so make sure you’re properly prepared if you decide to tackle it!
When I say Gunlom pools are incredible, I mean it. During our Kakadu and Litchfield trip we swam in a lot of waterholes, but Gunlom is really something else. At the bottom of Gunlom Falls there’s a crystal clear and seemingly endless pool. This is just the beginning. After a steep climb (well worth it) to the top of Gunlom Waterfall, we found them – a series of smaller pools overlooking the southern hills and ridges. I would highly recommend giving yourself plenty of time to swim, take in the views and have a picnic. It’s spectacular to say the least.
There are plenty of places to set up camp, park the van or rest in comfort in Kakadu. We tried out Bucket Billabong Campsite, Kakadu Lodge and Pine Creek Railway Resort. Bucket Billabong is free and it’s close to the sights, but it is only accessible by 4WD. It also has no facilities and no fresh drinking water – so be prepared for that. If you want a little more comfort, Kakadu Lodge offers cabins, tent sites, powered van sites, a camper’s kitchen and bistro. If you really want to step it up on the comfort side of things, Pine Creek Railway Resort has modern rooms for weary singles, friends, couples and families.