A visit to Kakadu NP will make any Aussie proud!

Apr 01, 2021
The view over Ubirr

 

Brent McKean writes about his family holiday on Life’s an Adventure’s 5-day Kakadu National Park walk.

“On the first day we were collected by our Life’s An Adventure guides in Darwin and after loading our gear and meeting the other guests we headed to Litchfield NP. I was travelling with my partner Holly and our kids Matilda (8) and Billy (6).

Our first stop was to see the curious magnetic termite mounds. In a field stood hundreds of these mounds, some over 4m high, their thin edges pointing north-south and broad backs east-west. This aspect minimises their exposure to the sun, keeping the mounds cool for the termites inside. From there we headed to lunch and a swim at Florence Falls, the first of many swimming spots. Accommodation on the first night was at the colourful Lake Bennett Resort where were had a lovely sunset and a swim.

The second day we headed to the East Alligator region of Kakadu. Our first stop was the famous Ubirr rock art site. Traditionally, Aboriginal people camped beneath Ubirr’s cool rocky shelters and used the plants and animals of the nearby floodplain and East Alligator River for food, tools and medicine. The smooth stone surfaces were perfect for painting on. Much of the art here features fish, turtles, goanna and other important food animals.

We then headed to the East Alligator River for a boat tour that would take us across to Arnhem Land, basically the other side of the river. On the boat cruise we spotted 30 or so saltwater crocs. We stopped at Cahills Crossing, Australia’s most dangerous river crossing – because, you guessed it, crocs. And yet there were dozens of people fishing along the river and catching massive barramundi!

Rock art at Hark Dreaming
Rock art at Hark Dreaming

 

After the entertaining boat ride we spent the afternoon at Hawk Dreaming Wilderness Lodge. This remote and restricted area of Kakadu covers wetlands and open savannah and features some of the most impressive rock art we had the privilege to see.

It was an early wake up the next morning as we had a big day and a bit of driving to do. One thing you appreciate is the sheer size of Kakadu – try 20,000 sq km! Reaching the Noulangie Region of Kakadu, another area famous for its rock art, we set off on the 12km Barrk Sandstone Walk. We passed through an area of sandstone outcrops, rock slabs, prickly spinifex and open woodland.

After the walk we hopped on the bus and headed to the local aerodrome for a scenic flight over Kakadu. From 1000 feet in the air you could see the layout of the land and the rivers that twisted like an endless snake.

Cooling off at Jim Jim Falls
Cooling off at Jim Jim Falls

 

For our last two nights we were based at Cooinda Lodge. Our penultimate day included an hour long walk/rock hop to the spectacular Jim Jim Falls where we had plenty of time for a swim and a lazy lunch. I thought this walk would be a challenge for the kids but they took it in their stride.

The destinations for our last day were two more waterholes. The first of our walks took us to Maguk (Barramundi Gorge) an awesome gorge with a big plunge pool. We then drove to the natural infinity pool at Gunlom. It was a steep, rocky walk to the top but the water was welcoming and views to die for. My family had a fantastic adventure at Kakadu and were proud to see a unique part of the country.”

Click here for more info on all of Life’s An Adventure’s walking holiday destinations in the Northern Territory.