Kakadu: The Land Of Many Seasons

Posted On November 25, 2009 

Common Info

Kakadu National Park with an area of 20,000 square kilometres is located roughly 250 kilometres east of Darwin in Northern Territory of Australia. It is a double World Heritage Site (for its remarkable natural and cultural attributes) and is home to some of the stunning bird species in the world. Kakadu is the largest terrestrial national park in Australia.

Country Info

Australia located in the Southern Hemisphere comprises the continental mainland (smallest in the world’s), island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Neighbouring countries are Indonesia, East Timor, and Papua New Guinea to the north, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and New Caledonia to the north-east, and kakadu national parkNew Zealand to the southeast. Northern Territory is one of the administrative provinces of the country in the north. National capital is Canberra.

Features of Kakadu

Several aboriginal art sites and sandstone escarpments are found here notable among which are Nourlangie Rock, Gunlom Falls, Anbangbang Billabong, Barbdedjilidji and Mardugal. It also features the vast floodplains of the Alligator River. Kakadu in fact comprises seven distinct regions, namely, South Alligator Area, East Alligator Area, Mary River Area, yellow Water Area, Jim Jim Area, Jabiru Area and Nourlangie Area.

Cultural features

The Kakadu area is marked by the longest continuous surviving human culture in the world. Aborigines have been living here for at least 40,000 years. Kakadu along with the Arnhem Land Escarpment contain oldest rock art in the world (with around 5,000 galleries of Aboriginal paintings). The Bininj/Mungguy people have been living here for thousands of years.


The vast wildlife habitat in Kakadu comprises stone plateau, forest woodland, monsoon rainforest and open savanna-like flood plains dotted with mangrove-fringed estuaries to the coastal beaches of Arafura Sea. There are kakadu national park wildlifeabout 1,275 types of plant species found here.


The Kakadu National Park is known for the Australian Saltwater crocodile. Besides, kangaroos, wallabies, dingos, possums, Frill-necked and large monitor lizards, dusky rats besides venomous snakes like King Brown and the deaf adder are also found. Water-borne File snakes are also found. 51 different types of aquafauna species are also found here.


The Kakadu National Park is home to over 280 bird species along with 62 mammal species, 125 reptiles, over 20 amphibians and 10,000 insects. The spectacular avifauna in this area includes:

  • White-throated Grasswren
  • Sandstone Shrike-thrush
  • Great-billed Heron
  • Little Kingfisher
  • Black Bittern
  • Buff-sided Robin
  • Banded Fruit-Dove
  • White-bellied sea-eagle
  • Jabiru storks
  • Black-banded pigeons, White-lined honeyeaters and yellow chats occupy special, localised habitats
  • Crested pigeons and pictorella manikins are generally found in the northern region of Kakadu
  • Gouldian finch and the Red Goshawk (both are endangered species)
  • Barking owl
  • Black kite
  • Hooded Parrot
  • Brown Falcon
  • Blue-winged kookaburra
  • Burdekin duck
  • Bush thick-knee
  • Rainbow pitta Pitta
  • Chestnut-quilled rock pigeon
  • Comb-crested jacana
  • Green pygmy-goose
  • Whistling Kite

Kakadu is particularly famous for the water birds like pelicans, herons, egrets, pelicansspoonbills, White-bellied sea-eagle, cranes, Jabiru storks and Magpie Geese. The water birds feed upon the water in the flood plains. Kakadu National Park along with Arnhem Land, the Mary River and the Gove Peninsula are home to Australia’s entire avifauna species.

Birdwatching in Kakadu

Birdwatching tours in the national park offer diverse opportunities to enjoy the rich avifauna life but for those who are looking for more in-depth experience, can opt for specialized birding or even self-drive to many hot zones of watching the birds. Tours, workshops, eagle-nest watching and twitchathon are organised at Alice Springs Desert Park.

Celebrating Bird Weeks

Red Centre in the Kakadu is a haven for the birds. It gives the bird lovers an opportunity to view the feathered inhabitants in a better way. The Red Centre Bird Week is organised to boost the birding events in this part of the world. Also there is the Kakadu Bird Week to cater to the interests of the experienced and beginner bird watchers. Long treks in the standstone country to spot varios endemic birds as well as interactive sessions to train beginners about various bird species are the highlights of this event.

Visiting Kakadu

The national park is open for the visitors throughout the year. There are commercial as well as customized tours and trips in the park. The Bowali Visitor Centre in the park provides all necessary information about exploring the park as well as activities in the park suitable to various seasons. The Centre is open from 8 am to 5 pm daily. The Warradjan Aboriginal Culture Centre is open from 9 am till 5 pm daily. One can also visit the Ubirr Rock (open from 8:30 am till sunset from April to November and 2 pm till sunset from December till March) and Nourlangie Rock (everyday from morning till sunset).


Bowali Visitor Centre, the park headquarters, is located south of the junction of the Kakadu and Arnhem Highways in Australia’s Northern Territory. While travelling by road, one has to take Stuart Highway to reach Amhem Highways which is 35 kilometres towards south and then pursue the Anhem Highway towards east. Just before the Jabiru town, turn south towards Kakadu Highway.

Facilities and services at Bowali Visitor Centre

It has theatre viewing facilities besides coffee shop, video displays, photo gallery and library.The centre can be contacted at 08-8938-1121 (international +618-8938-1121).

Kakadu seasons

Kakadu experiences six spectacular seasons throughout the year. The monsoon extends from December to March (locally known as Gudjewg), clear skies in April (Banggerreng), cool temperature with low humidity in May and June (Yegge), cool weather in June to August (Wurrgeng), hot dry weather between August and October (Gurrung) and the pre-monsoon storm season from October to December (Gunumeleng).


Cooinda is an ideal place to camp in Kakadu National Park. The hotel here is built in the shape of a Saltwater Crocodile. Also there is Aurora Kakadu Motel, Kakadu Resort, Gagudju Crocodile Holiday Inn, Kakadu Lodge and Caravan Park, Lakeview Park Kakadu, Gagudju Cooinda Lodge

  • Mamukala wetlands in South Alligator Area. It is important to keep track on the crocodile warning signposts here.
  • Two Mile Hole
  • Walking safaris
  • Waterfalls like Jim Jim, Twin Falls and Gunlom.Twin Falls Kakadu National Park
  • Flights from Jabiru Airport to view Kakadu’s waterfalls during the wet season
  • Rock climbing at Ubirr to see the Nardab floodplain particularly at dusk
  • Cruise on Magela Creek in East Alligator Area during the monsoons
  • Picnic at Anbanbang Billabong at Nourlangie Area
  • Yellow Water Wetlands in Yellow Water Area
  • Sandstone cliffs and rock art
  • Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre
  • Bowali Visitor Centre
  • Freebush camping Areas. Large tourist groups can camp at Merl, Muirella Park, Mardugal and Gunlom campgrounds. Camping facilities are there in Maguk, Kambolgie, Gungurul and many other campgrounds across the Kakadu National Park.
  • Garrnamarr campground in Jim Jim Falls Area
  • Malabanjbanjdju campground in Jabiru Area
Words to remember while at Kakadu National Park:
  • Be considerate of other Park users
  • Keep all equipments within your confines and away from the surrounding vegetation
  • Set up tents at least 50 metres from the water’s edge when camping near water bodies
  • Try to use gas appliances rather than fires for cooking at the campsites
  • Collect wood from woodbins only
  • Keep away from feeding wildlife
  • Keep away from trees particularly the younger ones
  • Carry your rubbish when you leave and dispose them off at bins located throughout the park
  • Take your rubbish with you when you leave and place in bins located throughout the park
  • Obey safety signs in the park. Do not indulge in risky adventurism

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