Exploring Australia’s Kakadu National Park

Kakadu National Park is one of the most famous parks in the world. It is located in the Northern Territory of Australia and is about 200 kilometers (124 miles) east of Darwin. It was the 1986 movie “Crocodile Dundee” that brought the park into the forefront, and today it is very popular tourist destination.

The park is the ancestral land of a tribe of aborigines known as Gagjudju. In 1978, the tribe leased the land to the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service. In 1979, the park became a National Park and now it also designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The park is spread over 7,304 square miles (19,000 square kilometers) and you can see diverse range of flora and fauna. The park boasts of 1,000 kinds of plants, 50 mammals, 275 species of birds, 75 kinds of reptiles, 25 species of frogs and 55 different kinds of fish. It is best to hire the services of a guide who will be able to point out rare species of birds, animals and plants. Another place of attraction for visitors is the hundreds of termite mounds which range from small to 20-feet. You can also enjoy the scenic waterfalls and gorges.

The largest tourist center in Kakadu National Park is Jabiru. This was built along with a uranium mine and facilities include lodgings, medical center, shopping center and a service station. There is also a small airport but unfortunately there is no air service from Darwin. However, you can enjoy a scenic drive on the 900 kilometer road that will take you through park, city of Katherine and back to Darwin.

There is no dearth of accommodation in Jabiru. You can choose anything from a campsite to an up-market suite. There is resort aptly named Kakdu where you walk through the jaws of 273-yard (250-meter) crocodile to get to the lobby. If that is not suitable, you can also opt for a villa with cascading bougainvillea and flowering bushes in Cooinda. This resort is just an hour’s drive to the south. Both, Kakadu and Cooinda, also display some of the finest aboriginal art collection.