One of Kakadu’s lesser-known attractions, Maguk is a pristine natural waterfall and plunge pool at the base of steep gorge walls.
Spot the spangled drongos and rainbow pitas in the rainforest, swim with the black bream in the plunge pool and marvel at the majestic endemic Anbinik trees along the rocky slopes.
Located an hour’s drive south from Cooinda, Maguk is accessed from a 14km four-wheel drive track off the Kakadu Highway, followed by a 1km walk through monsoon forests, crossing Barramundi Creek.
A 4WD is required to access the site.
An entry fee is required to enter Kakadu National Park.
- Picnic Area
- World Heritage
How do I get to Maguk Waterfall?
Maguk Waterfall is located in Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory. We recommend that you look up directions and track notes in detail prior to departure, as there can be road closures in the wet season (November to April).
As an overview, travel from Darwin via the Stuart Highway for 35km then turn onto Route 36 (Arnhem Hwy) and travel 269km to Cooinda on the Kakadu Highway.
From Cooinda, Maguk is about 2.5 hours, with the last 14km a 4WD track which will take up to 1.5 hours of this time.
When is the best time to visit Maguk?
If you want to see the falls at their full spectacular flow, the wet season is best. The ultimate way to see the falls is from the air via a scenic flight.
Most people prefer to come in the dry season, from May to October, when the days are sunny and the nights cool. The average daily maximum temperature is about 32°C.
November to April is the wet season, when humidity climbs and daily maximums can hit the high-30s. This brings balmy evenings and spectacular thunderstorms, which is part of what makes the NT wonderful. Road closures may occur in the wet season.
How do I get around?
You need a 4WD vehicle to access Maguk.
The walk into the falls starts from the carpark and travels easily through monsoon rainforest. Towards the end of the terrain, the track is a little tricker; you’ll need to negotiate some rocks, so enclosed footwear is required. The effort is well worth it once you reach the pool. Allow about 25 minutes each way.
What makes Maguk Waterfall special?
Maguk Waterfall is a hidden gem, in a secluded location, where a breathtaking waterfall spills from the peak of the steep gorge walls and into a large open and clear pool.
What things are there to see on the way to Maguk Waterfall?
Cooinda and Yellow Water Billabong wetlands are some of Kakadu National Park’s most popular places to visit.
Bowali Visitor Centre
5km west of Jabiru is the Bowali Visitor Centre, which contains information about Kakadu to help you plan your visit. The Marrawuddi Gallery is located at the Bowali Visitor Centre; all artworks at the gallery are created by local Aboriginal people.
Jim Jim Falls, Twin Falls and Gunlom Falls are all within reach of Maguk Waterfall off the Kakadu Highway.
What are the best things to see and do at Maguk Waterfall?
Swim in the pool
It’s recommended that you bring goggles and a snorkel to get a closer look at the freshwater fish. Stay observant throughout your experience as there is a low risk of crocodiles entering the plunge pool or surrounding area. Always obey signage regarding crocodile safety.
Climb to the top of the waterfall
This is a short and moderately challenging climb, but the view from the top is amazing.
Can I camp at Maguk?
Yes, there’s a bush camping area at Maguk approximately 1km from Maguk’s plunge pools. There are no powered sites but toilets (pit), picnic tables, and fire pits are available. Caravans are not permitted. Be sure to bring all your own supplies including water.
Where can I visit after Maguk?
There are many amazing locations to explore in Kakadu National Park, including Nourlangie, Jim Jim Falls, Bilkbilkmi/Graveside Gorge and Lake Jabiru.