Drifting silently through rivers and lily-covered wetlands on a guided cruise, spotting saltwater crocodiles – leathery-skinned, prehistoric predators – peering from the water is a highlight of any visit to Kakadu. The most popular is the Yellow Water Cruise at Cooinda, but the Guluyambi Cultural Cruise on East Alligator River with an aboriginal guide is really special too – not only will you spot wildlife but you’ll get the chance to disembark on the Arnhem Land side where you’ll be shown traditional hunting methods.
4WD safaris through the park are a great way to see all the must-see spots and include waterfalls, hikes, Aboriginal bush tucker education sessions and ancient rock art. Choose from full-day cultural trips with an Aboriginal guide, adventure tours or overnight and multi-day tours that combine Kakadu with other wonders around the area such as the Cobourg Peninsula and Arnhem Land.
Hikes & Walks
If you like walking and hiking you’ll love Kakadu. There are good short walks at most of the major sites. One of the best things about Kakadu is that its most popular walking trails are staffed by park rangers who, during the dry season, give guided tours for free. But there are plenty of longer full-day trails as well as the guided six-day walks run by trekking companies.
You get a whole new perspective of Kakadu’s extraordinary floodplains and escarpments from the air, especially in the wet, when the only way to see the famous waterfalls are on a scenic flight or helicopter trip. If you’re a photographer, a helicopter flight offers the ultimate in flexibility with doors-off flights.
Big game anglers get a glint in their eye when the word “barramundi” is mentioned, and the warm, shallow waters of the Mary River flood plains and billabongs of Kakadu National Park are one of the best places in the world to fish for this prized catch. Join a Kakadu fishing tour or book into Bamurru Plains, which has exclusive access to a 100-sqare kilometre portion of the wetlands, and during the peak barra season of February-April, there’s even a dedicated fishing lodge. While most ’mundi are “catch and release”, the occasional fish can be handed over to the camp’s chef and cooked up for dinner.