Growing up in the great outdoors in Australia, I spent much of my time in the bush. We camped for days and even weeks without power or running water. The toilet was a hole in the ground and leaves were the paper. We sat around the fire at night and as the embers burnt away we drifted off to sleep under the stars without a care in the world.
I wasn’t clean, fresh grazes often covered my knees and my feet usually looked like they belonged to the ground more than my body. At the time I had no idea, but those years out in the bush shaped my love for adventure and the outdoors.
Moving to the Northern Territory
Years later my partner Bailey and I decided to move to Darwin in the Northern Territory of Australia and we began exploring all of the different things to do in Darwin. For the next two years Darwin became home and the surrounding national parks and beautiful untouched landscapes became our playground.
While there we headed out any chance we had, we visited waterfalls, gorges, rivers, natural pools and saw a lot of the local wildlife first hand. However for me there was one place that stood out, Kakadu National Park. Located around 250km from Darwin this spectacular national park is filled with some of the most amazing landscapes I have ever seen.
Kakadu National Park
Kakadu isn’t just about breathtaking landscapes; it’s also a great way to learn about Australia’s first settlers and traditional landowners. The Indigenous people of Australia have a history on the continent of around 40,000 years. Kakadu gives any visitor a chance to step back in time, to see how the Aboriginals lived off the land, and learn how special it all is to them.
Visiting Kakadu in the dry season (May to September) is highly recommended as flood waters close the park and also allow Crocodiles to enter into the swimming areas. I spent many weekends in this pristine area and after every visit I was amazed! With that said I have composed a list of my favourite spots within Kakadu National Park!
Also known as “Waterfall Creek”, Gunlom Falls has to be one of the most beautiful swimming spots in Kakadu National Park. Gunlom Falls is most famous for its natural infinity pool that sits high above the below river. I spent hours at this spot exploring the upper and lower pools and relaxing with some breathtaking views!
Another great place to cool off is Maguk (also known as “Barramundi Gorge.”) The spring fed, fresh water swimming hole has a small upper pool with many smaller sections for relaxing and taking a natural spa bath. Exploring even further up you can sim between the gorge walls finding even more great areas to see.
This famous crossing separates Kakadu and Arnhem Land and is famous for its high population of Salt Water Crocodiles and great fishing. I suppose it’s the fishing that attracts both people and Crocodiles to the area. This place is great for those wanting to see a few Crocs in the wild up close from the safety of the viewing deck!
Jim Jim Falls
Jim Jim Falls is the tallest waterfall in the park, and at over 200m it’s huge! The main swimming pool is a challenging hike over rocks however once there it is totally worth it. I remember camping there, and wow, it really makes you feel small. Swimming in the lower pool is great however those more adventurous can hike to the top and look over the edge – if you dare!
Ubirr is the most famous cultural stop in Kakadu. With or without a guide one can take a walk along small trails and view some traditional artwork that dates back thousands of years! This is a must for anyone visiting the park. I remember walking the area and being amazed at the stories and artwork still showing to this day!
*Please be aware when visiting any swimming area or body of water in the Kakadu that it’s important to be Crocodile wise and check for park updates online or with rangers. Do not swim in any area not clearly marked as safe to do so!
Kakadu National Park is a magnificent place to visit and is my personal favourite spot in Australia. You don’t need to rough it either with great campsite facilities and park rangers you can enjoy Kakadu with your usual comforts….well mostly! I would also like to thank the traditional land owners for allowing us all to visit this important place in their history and culture.