Kakadu Arnhem Land
Kakadu and Arnhem Land, Northern Territory
World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park is a sprawling oasis of wetlands, countless species of Australian fauna and flora and ancient rock art sites (some up to 50,000 years old). According to the local Bininj people there are six distinct seasons, varying from monsoonal rainfall between January and March, to comfortably mild weather from June to August, to searing desert heat from August to September. These seasons are essential to the natural yearly cycle of the wetlands, as evidenced in the ever-changing features of the distinct landscape – for instance thundering waterfalls, billabongs sustaining populations of rare migratory birds, crocodiles, delicate water-plants and lush paperbark forests.
Bushwalking is an ideal way to have an intimate encounter with nature and a dip in a sparkling waterhole, while scenic flights run regularly to give you a birds-eye appreciation of this massive area. Kakadu contains one of the largest accessible concentrations of ancient Aboriginal rock art in the world, depicting native animals, tribal people and Dreamtime spirits. A guided tour at Ubirr Rock, Nourlangie Rock and Namarrgon is a good way to appreciate the symbolic significance of these images, while the community of Oenpelli in coastal Arnhem Land allows visitors to watch artists create beautifully colourful artworks using traditional methods.
The waterways and beaches around the region are teeming with countless species of fish and guided fishing tours are a good way to try your luck and maybe even pull in a barramundi. Adventurers can four-wheel drive and camp at sites such as the Arnhem Land Escarpment, whereas two-wheel drive vehicles can comfortably cope with the scenic Nature’s Way road between Darwin, through Kakadu National Park to Litchfield National Park and Nitmuluk National Park.