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Kakadu National Park

Kakadu is the largest national park in Australia and it covers an area of almost 20,000 km2. The park is about a three hour drive from Darwin along the “Nature’s Way Tourism Drive” or Arnhem Highway, as the northern access road is officially called. The park offers an abundance of things to see and do; there are beautiful waterfalls and freshwater pools and billabongs, wetlands teeming with birds, crocodiles, lizards, water buffalos and many other animals, Aboriginal rock art sites and over 1,000 different plant species. The Bininj are the original inhabitants of Kakadu and the traditional owners of the land, they have lived in the area for over 50,000 years. The park has been entered on the World Heritage list twice: Once for its natural assets and biodiversity and another listing for its cultural significance with the Aboriginal rock art sites at Nourlangie and Ubirr Rock. Within the park there are many 4WD tracks, walking trails and many excellent spots for the keen bird watchers (e.g. Yellow Waters Lagoon). Throughout the park, there are a number of camp grounds, budget accommodation or hotels. There are two major seasons, the “wet” and the “dry”; both have their own charm but during the wet, some roads may be closed due to seasonal flooding.
Kakadu is the only World Heritage site that enjoys a double listing in UNESCO’s records: Its enormous cultural and environmental significance for the world have made this park very special and unique for many Australians. One third of all bird species in Australia have their home in Kakadu and some of the rock art galleries – such as Ubirr Rock or Nourlangie Rock – bear witness to the incredible sophistication of Aboriginal history and the highest levels of rock art. The Yolngu people are the traditional owners of the land, and they have lived here for over 40,000 years. Before European settlements in Australia started in the late 18th century, this was one of the most densely populated areas of the great Southern Land. Today, the fantastic park offers excellent facilities, tours, cruises, excursions and 4WD tracks even for the most intrepid explorers. Arnhemland, just east of Kakadu, is the traditional home of a number of language groups and one of the country’s most remote and least-travelled regions; it can be accessed (with permits) via Kakadu.