Sleeping under the stars: Caravan and camping grounds *
Get off the beaten track and keep it self-sufficient. There’s a raft of great spots throughout NT for those wanting to get away from it all. Kakadu National Park boasts some of the Top End’s most picturesque and untouched camping grounds to pitch a tent. The park-run campsites have no booking system – places are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. For camping outside of designated camping areas you will need a camping permit. Settle in for some serious relaxation and some of Australia’s best night-sky dining and peaceful surroundings.
Popular campsites in Kakadu National Park:
Alligator Billabong camping area
Reached via the track to Red Lily Billabong by 4WD, this campsite is 26 km south of the Arnhem Hwy. There are no facilities, toilets or drinking water.
Graveside Gorge camping area
You need to obtain a permit and bookings are essential at this basic bush site, which has no toilets or other facilities. The track in is suitable for experienced 4WD drivers only. You will find the camping area 44 km south-east of the Kakadu Hwy, with access 73 km south of the Bowali Visitor Centre. The site is sometimes closed to allow for cultural use by Aboriginal traditional owners.
Bucket Billabong camping area
No toilets or drinking water are available at this site, just 2 km past Red Lily Billabong camping area. You will need a 4WD.
Burdulba camping area
This camping area is near the turn-off for Nourlangie Rock, which has a number of impressive rock-art sites. Various walks link these sites, and there is also a track to the Nawurlandja Lookout, which gives good views over the surrounding countryside. There is no caravan access to Burdulba, and some campsites require a short carry-in, so are suitable for tents only. You will need to bring drinking water. Look for the sign 15 km south of the Bowali Visitor Centre.
Four Mile Hole camping area
This 4WD site may be inaccessible in the wet season and has no toilets or drinking water. To get here, continue past Two Mile Hole for another 22 km.
Garnamarr (Jim Jim Falls) camping area
This is the closest campsite to the spectacular Jim Jim Falls. It can cater for 200 people, with showers and drinking water. It’s accessible only in the dry season, and is a 60 km journey by 4WD on gravel roads. Turn east off the Kakadu Hwy, 43 km south of the Bowali Visitor Centre.
Black Jungle Springs camping area
You will need a 4WD to reach this basic site on the Old Jim Jim Rd, which links the Arnhem Hwy to the Kakadu Hwy. There are composting toilets but no drinking water.
Gungurul camping area
There is all-year-round access for camping and caravans here. There are picnic tables and toilets but bring your own drinking water and firewood. It is a 4 km bushwalk to the South Alligator River. Access is signposted off the Kakadu Hwy, 47 km north of the Mary River Roadhouse.
Gunlom camping area
This is a great camping spot with access to Gunlom Falls and a swimming hole, as well as a bushwalk to the top of the waterfall. There are separate generator and non-generator areas, BBQs, hot showers and drinking water. Follow Gunlom Rd for 22 km past the Kambolgie camping area to reach this site. Note: it is on a gravel road so check suitability for 2WD and caravans.
Most visitors to Kakadu National Park choose to stay at least three nights in the park – after all, there’s far too much to see and do here to fit into just one day. Check out some more accommodation options in Northernterritory.com
Reference: * Kakadu & Arnhem land, Northern Territory – explore Australia travel guide, 2010