If you’re looking for a summer escape, Kakadu is at its most stunning in the tropical summer, with a tremendous range of adventure options made even more attractive by good value accommodation and deals.
Kakadu summer is the time where you will see waterfalls at their most thunderous, wetlands at their greenest, and wildlife at its most abundant. While you can expect thunder and lightning on many evenings, the idea is to sit back with a cold beer and enjoy the light show – it comes for free! During the day there is plenty to see and experience, and with sealed roads throughout Kakadu National Park, it’s easy to get around the Park.
So what can you do in the tropical summer?
Experience the waterfalls. The money you save on accommodation is best spent on a scenic flight with Kakadu Air over the National Park to see the waterfalls at their most awesome. The torrential flows over the Escarpment into rock pools below are a sight you will never forget. And you can view waterfalls up close at both Motor Car Falls and Moline (Ikoymarrwa), where you can also cool off in the swimming holes.
Remarkable cruises. Yellow Water Cruises operates cruises throughout every day of the tropical summer season. The stunning waterways, filled with Kakadu’s wildlife – from gigantic crocs to tiny, vivid kingfishers – are best seen at dawn and dusk. There is also a memorable tropical-season only cruise through the melaleuca forests of Magela Creek to the Ubirr rock art site led by experienced Indigenous guides.
Million-dollar fishing. From December through to March, the Million Dollar Fish competition offers fishing enthusiasts the chance of hooking a million-dollar tagged barramundi and 100 others with $10K tags. Try your luck on a special Yellow Water Fishing cruise or just dine on the million-dollar tasting seafood at Escarpment Restaurant or Mimi’s at Cooinda.
Inspirational tours. Explore the park in your own 4WD or take a fully-guided and catered Spirit of Kakadu 4WD Adventure Tour, which will take you to some of the best locations around Kakadu.
Trekking the tropics. Many walks are open throughout the summer which are easily accessible and will provide a rich appreciation of the ancient landscape. These include the Kubara Pools Walk, the 12km Barrk Sandstone walk near Nourlangie Rock, where you may see wallaroos and a variety of birdlife, and the much shorter Boulder Creek walk where you may find banded fruit doves and spangled drongos, with their iridescent blue-green spots.
Art rocks in Kakadu. There is outstanding rock art at Nourlangie, one of the famous sites from the Crocodile Dundee films. Take the path to the Kunwarddewardde lookout and along the way you will discover the renowned Anbangbang gallery and shelter, with the rock art charting some 20,000 years of life in the region. Walk on to the Kunwarddewardde lookout, which offers views across the Arnhem Land escarpment with its sandstone cliffs and expansive savanna woodlands. And if you have time, also view the Nanguluwurr rock art site and take the short climb to nearby Nawurlandja Lookout for fantastic sunset views of the escarpment.
The world’s oldest living culture. Kakadu has over 65,000 years of human settlement, and the incredible rock art at Nourlangie and Ubirr is testament to the region’s cultural heritage. Modern day indigenous art can be viewed at art galleries in Jabiru including the Crocodile Hotel’s Ochre Gallery and Marrawuddi Gallery. You can discover the rich history of Kakadu’s evolution at Warradjan Cultural Centre and the Bowali Visitor Centre.
Written by Kakadu Tourism
Images supplied by Kakadu Tourism and Tourism NT