Kakadu is a whole lot more than a national park; it's also a vibrant, living acknowledgement of the link between the Aboriginal custodians and the country they have nurtured and respected for thousands of generations. Encompassing almost 20,000 sq km (about 200km north–south and 100km east–west), it contains a spectacular ecosystem and a mind-blowing concentration of ancient rock art. The landscape is ever-changing − periodically scorched and flooded, apparently desolate or obviously abundant depending on the season.
In just a few days you can cruise on billabongs bursting with wildlife, examine 25,000-year-old rock paintings with the help of an Indigenous guide, swim in pools at the foot of tumbling waterfalls and hike through ancient sandstone escarpment country. Ubirr and Nourlangie are the main rock art sites, Jim Jim has the best falls, Cahill's Crossing is terrific for crocs, while Yellow Water is great for birds and crocs.
If Kakadu has a downside it's that it's very popular – in the Dry at least. Resorts, camping grounds and rock-art sites can be very crowded, but this is a vast park and with a little adventurous spirit you can easily get off the beaten track and be alone with nature.