Kakadu National Park In Australia How To Avoid The Tourist Crowds
akadu National Park in the woodland, from monsoon rainforest
Northern Territory is to open savannah-like flood
without doubt one of the plains dotted with billabongs,
most popular tourist attractions from mangrove-fringed estuaries
in Australia and is a must see to the coastal beaches of the
for anyone travelling to Arafura Sea.
Australia's tropical regions.
- As a result of the diversity of
Nowhere else in northern habitats the park contains over
Australia will you be able to 1000 plant species, a quarter of
gain the same appreciation and all the freshwater fish species
understanding of tropical found in Australia, and over
habitats, see as much wildlife, one-third of all the bird
learn about Aboriginal culture, species. Add reptiles, mammals,
see ancient rock art, climb and amphibians, and thousands of
swim at spectacular waterfalls insect species... a reminder that
and, and, and... the tropics really are the
breeding ground for the whole
- Almost 20,000 square kilometres planet.
(3.2 million acres) in size - the
same size as Denmark or Ireland! - Aborigines have lived in Kakadu
for at least 25,000 years
- the park is the only one in the (perhaps as long as 50,000
world to protect the entire years), the longest continuous
catchment area of a major river surviving human culture in the
system, the South Alligator world. The park is one of the few
River. World Heritage sites to be listed
for both natural and cultural
- The habitats range from the reasons. Kakadu is a treasure
high stone plateau to forest chest of exceptional galleries of
Aboriginal art, some dating back pools are there for.
to the Ice Age.
2. Choose the right areas within
But Kakadu's popularity has one Kakadu National Park.
draw back: 200,000 visitors a Most tourists enter Kakadu
year, all visiting the same through the northern entrance,
attractions at the same time, the one closest to Darwin. Be
don't add to the experience of different. Instead of turning
"untouched wilderness"... left just south of Darwin onto
the Arnhem Highway, continue on
If you would like to experience to Pine Creek, and turn left
the wonders of Kakadu National there. The Kakadu Highway leads
Park, but want to escape the to the southern entrance, which
tourism circus that surrounds it, is located only 60 km from the
follow the tips laid out below: main highway. Many of Kakadu's
most beautiful waterfalls, like
1. Choose the right time to visit Maguk and Gunlom Falls, can
Kakadu National Park. easily be reached from there. And
It is accepted wisdom that the many people who choose the
middle of the dry season, from northern entrance never make it
June to August, is the best time that far.
to visit Kakadu. This is the time
of the year with the most 3. Choose the right vehicle for
pleasant temperatures, and by far your trip.
the most tourists. Avoid the Kakadu's network of bitumen and
biggest crowds by scheduling your gravel roads is fantastic and
trip earlier or later. It might well maintained. Still, there are
be a bit warmer in May or several tracks that are
September, but heck, that's what accessible by four wheel drive
the beautiful waterfalls and rock only. Hiring a four wheel drive
vehicle greatly increases your 5. Do you like walking?
reach within Kakadu National Kakadu also offers an extensive
Park, and allows you to leave the network of walking tracks. You
other tourists behind. can choose from short half hour
walks, to full day or even over
4. Do you like camping? night trips, and everything in
Kakadu offers some of the best between. The longer the walk, the
camping facilities of all less people you will meet and the
Australian national parks. more different habitats, flora
Therefore the managed camp sites, and wildlife you will see.
the ones that offer a generator
area and a proper bathroom with To sum it up: to get away from
hot water, fill up quickly. the tourist masses visit Kakadu
However, there are many bush National Park in the shoulder
camping sites that are well season, take your four wheel
maintained, too. And usually they drive to the southern parts of
are only accessible by four wheel the park, and be willing to
drive. See point three, and be exchange ultimate comfort for the
willing to rough it a bit. As a ultimate nature experience. You
reward you will wake up to bird will treasure the memories of
songs rather than your your visit for the rest of your
neighbour's blaring stereo. life.
About the Author:
B. Bradtke is the founder and editor of the Outback Australia Travel Guide: off beat travel away from the tourist crowds. Visit http://www.outback-australia-travel-secrets.com for info on big attractions like Kakadu National Park, up and coming regions like the Western Australia Kimberley and for more ideas for travel in the Australian Outback.