ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Australia's Top Tourism Treasures - Kakadu National Park

Updated on March 25, 2010

Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory

Kakadu National Park is a place for all seasons. Whether you climb the stone country, cruise the waterways, swim in the numerous plunge pools, amble through the shady monsoon forests, or take time to get acquainted with the unexpected wealth of woodland wildlife, you will be enriched by time spent exploring its habitats. You could spend a lifetime here and never run out of discoveries: if there is an earthly Eden, this is it.

World Heritage-listed for its outstanding natural and cultural values, Kakadu National Park encompasses an area of almost 7,700 square miles and includes the traditional lands of a number of Aboriginal groups. Within its boundaries lie some of the world's finest examples of rock art as well as spectacular scenery, ranging from the rugged sandstone escarpment of the Arnhem Land Plateau, which extends 310 miles along the eastern edge of the plains, to the vast wetlands that teem with bird life. It also embraces an entire tropical river system, the South Alligator, and examples of most of Australia's Top-End habitats.

Nearly 80 percent of the preserve comprises savanna woodlands, mainly eucalypts and tall grasses such as spear grass. The remainder includes pockets of monsoon forest, rugged stone country, rivers and billabongs, floodplains, paperbark swamps, tidal flats, and coastline.

From this mosaic of habitats stems an astonishing variety and abundance of plants and animals, including one-third of all Australia's known bird species, about one-quarter of its freshwater fishes, more than 60 mammals, nearly 100 reptiles, 10,000 insects, and 1,900 plants. In the kingdom of Kakadu, all subjects, from the native bee to the ubiquitous kapok bush, have had to adapt to a monsoonal climate that swings from the parched heat of the dry season to the flooding rains of the Wet. Through long association with the land, the park's Aboriginal traditional owners, the Bininj, have learned to recognize not two but six distinct seasons, each characterized by a climatic feature and its effect on plant and animal life. Newcomers can tune in to the park's subtle rhythms at the Bowali Visitor Centre, near Jabiru, which provides an excellent introduction to Kakadu's habitats through displays, videos, and ranger talks.

Kakadu is a birdwatcher's paradise and a croc-spotter's heaven. Its wetlands provide important refuges and feeding grounds for many Australian waterbirds and are significant for at least 30 migratory species. They are also prime territory for saltwater crocodiles, and freshwater crocs can be found in the upper reaches of the rivers. Opportunities to explore the wetlands abound, but without doubt the renowned boat cruise at Yellow Water provides one of the richest experiences, particularly during the Dry when the creeks and floodplains recede and wildlife crowds the permanent billabongs.

Commercial boat cruises of the East Alligator River, which forms part of the border between Kakadu and Arnhem Land, bring further encounters with wetland wildlife and also focus on Aboriginal culture. Birders in search of yet more things feathered can head for Mamukala, wetlands east of the South Alligator River on the Arnhem Highway. At its most dramatic in the late dry season when thousands of magpie geese congregate to feed, Mamukala offers two easy walks, a covered observation platform with a mural illustrating seasonal changes and common waterbirds, and a bird blind. Hearing the thunderous flapping of wings as a huge flock of magpie geese takes to the sky is an unforgettable experience.

Continued in: Australia's Top Tourism Treasures - Kakadu National Park & The Kimberley

Back To Start


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      8 years ago from Toronto

      Take me with you. I wanna go back to Oz sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo bad!

    • Michael Shane profile image

      Michael Shane 

      8 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

      Sounds awesome! I'm ready......


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)