Start early to get the most out of your day
Rise early and depart Darwin along the Stuart and Arnhem highways for your 2 hour drive to the northern entry of Kakadu National Park. A 4WD vehicle is highly recommended for this trip as some locations are only accessible via an unsealed track.
As you’ll be visiting Aboriginal owned land, a park pass is required. Your pass includes entry to the park, ranger guided walks and talks, and interpretive materials. You can buy your pass online or at several convenient locations in the Top End. For details visit the Parks Australia website.
Begin your adventure at Bowali Visitor Centre
Your first stop will be the Bowali Visitor Centre. Stop for refreshments at the cafe before you wander through interpretive displays and gallery. Remember to check in with the staff at the Visitor Centre regarding any road closures or conditions you should be aware of for your trip through Kakadu.
Cruise on the East Alligator
Now it's time to see some of the park’s sights. See Kakadu from the water and join a cultural cruise on the East Alligator River. Keep an eye out for crocodiles while your local guide talks about culture, shares stories about creation time, bush foods and survival skills.
Be prepared and arrange a permit to Arnhem Land
Prior to your trip, apply for a permit to enter Arnhem Land so you can travel across the border at Cahill’s Crossing to visit the Injalak Art Centre. The centre is a source for high calibre Aboriginal art, all made locally. You may also be able to see the artists at work, and watch local women weaving pandanus baskets.
You can apply for the tourism permit to visit Arnhem Land online through the Northern Land Council, allow processing time prior to your trip. Alternatively you can apply for permits on site at the NLC office in Jabiru, however, again please make sure you have some time up your sleeve, as the permit can still take a couple of days to be approved.
Cahill’s Crossing is a tidal river and during some seasons a 4WD may be required to cross. If you don’t have a 4WD there are many tour operators who travel into Arnhem Land daily and can also arrange your permits for you.
Take advantage of free Dry Season activities
If you're travelling during the dry season, make the most of the seasonal ranger program and get involved with over 40 free activities per week to choose from, such as cultural demonstrations, guided walks, night time slideshows and rock art presentations.
Experience a famous Ubirr sunset
The late afternoon guided walk at Ubirr – one of Kakadu’s most visited sites – is a must-do; the local guide will explain the meanings of the ancient Aboriginal rock art and you'll finish the tour atop Ubirr in time for a stunning sunset and memorable views across the floodplains.
Rest your head in Jabiru
Home tonight is in Jabiru, Kakadu’s main township, which has a variety of accommodation options including camping and hotels.