Kakadu National Park

Top choice in Northern Territory

Kakadu is one of the world's great national parks, combining an astonishing array of attractions. Its wetlands and escarpments shelter abundant wildlife, and mysterious rock art that can date back 20,000 years. This is the traditional land of the Bininj/Mungguy, whose presence brings soul and spirituality to the experience of visiting here. Opportunities for exploring the park with Indigenous guides are many and there are abundant walking trails, tours, waterholes and 4WD tracks for self-guided exploration.

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, and 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.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Northern Territory attractions

1. Nardab Lookout

0.22 MILES

The magnificent Nardab Lookout is a 250m scramble from the main Ubirr rock-art gallery. Surveying the billiard-table-green floodplain and watching the sun…

2. Ubirr

0.32 MILES

It takes a lot more than the busloads of visitors to disturb Ubirr's inherent majesty and grace. Layers of rock-art paintings, in various styles and from…

3. Cahill's Crossing

1.65 MILES

It may be small, but there can be few more dramatic frontiers in Australia. This shallow causeway, which is impassable when the tide's in, crosses the…

4. Injalak Arts

8.35 MILES

At this centre, artists and craftspeople display traditional paintings on bark and paper, plus didgeridoos, pandanus weavings and baskets, and screen…