Have you really visited Darwin if you didn’t see the nearby Kakadu National Park?

Rocks and Gum Trees, Kakadu

A bushland region home to ancient rock formations, cascading waterfalls, and unique wildlife. It is Australia’s largest national park, stretching out to over 19,000 kilometres square. That makes it over half the size of the entire country of Switzerland!

Kakadu lies approximately 253 kilometres from the bustling city of Darwin, only taking two and a half hours to drive without any stops.

With the drive being over two hours, you’ll want to spend a couple of days exploring or set off early morning to spend most of the day in Kakadu. Read on to find out the best way to travel to Kakadu for a day or the weekend in the scenic area!

Hire a car

Hiring a car is a great option for those travellers who want to explore Kakadu on their own. The best car to see the national park is a 4WD, whether you go for a day or a weekend, it won’t let you down. When you’ve got your own car to use, you can take your time at certain stop points and do your own driving around to places where a tour may not take you.

If you plan to stay in Kakadu for a couple of days, you can camp or book accommodation! Keep in mind that camping supplies or accommodation on top of hiring a car can be costly.

With some of the roads throughout Kakadu being unsealed and dirt, you could be a bit nervous driving through the area, especially if it’s your first time. If you’re not comfortable, there are other ways to see this beautiful part of the Territory.

Join a tour

If you’re nervous driving on unfamiliar roads or have run out of time scheduling a trip to Kakadu, joining a tour is your best bet. All you need to do is book yourself a ticket before the date you want and make sure you arrive at your Darwin pick-up location on time.

Tours will take you out of Darwin and towards Kakadu through scenic routes and visit some of the best attractions of the national park. There are different tours available from one-day tours to multiday tours to see more of Kakadu. All tours are different, so make sure you check the itinerary to pick the tour that suits you the best.

A bonus with going on a tour is the information you hear from the local guides. The guides know a vast amount of detail about the history, land, and wildlife of Kakadu, which can make you appreciate the region even more when visiting!

Read on to discover some of the top tours that take you through one of the Top Ends incredible national parks.

Kakadu Accommodation

• Kakadu deluxe tour (one day)
The Kakadu deluxe tour takes you on a scenic experience that allows you to see the best parts of the national park. The tour includes transportation to Kakadu from Darwin, the Yellow Water Billabong cruise, enough time to walk around to explore the waterfalls, and a buffet lunch.

• Kakadu camping tour (three days)
If time permits, a three-day Kakadu camping tour is always the best way to see the national park.

Your first day takes you to the Corroboree Billabong cruise, plenty of wildlife spotting opportunities, and to see the Aboriginal rock art at Ubirr Rock.

On the second day, you travel out to see some breathtaking waterfalls and have a chance to go swimming in some of the plunge pools. You will also see more Aboriginal rock art and hear Dreamtime stories at Nourlangie Rock. Then you will learn more about Kakadu’s traditional owners at the Warradjan Cultural Centre.

For your final day, you’ll go for a walk, see another Kakadu waterfall and have the option to go swimming before you head back to Darwin. Food will be included throughout the three days.

Kakadu National Park sunset

• Kakadu tour (one day)
This Kakadu tour gives you an option to go on the Jumping Crocodile Cruise or you can explore the wetlands of Fogg Dam Conservation Centre. You’ll go to the Bowali Visitor Centre and Murrawuddie Gallery to learn about the local Aboriginal culture and then see Cahills Crossing and Ubirr Rock.

No trip to Darwin is really completed without a visit to Kakadu National Park! So, make sure you hire a car or book in one of the tours listed above! A top tour we recommend for a day trip is the Kakadu deluxe tour. Either way, we do hope you enjoy your time out seeing just how beautiful Kakadu is.

Related article: Can I Feed Crocodiles in Darwin?

Explore the Kakadu Tours from Darwin

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward began with a passion for travel and turned it into a thriving tourism business. He co-founded Sightseeing Tours Australia after starting out as a tour guide in Melbourne. Cameron delights in helping visitors get the most from their trip to Australia. Whether he's leading tours or writing about his favourite places, Cameron loves sharing his local insight with fellow travellers.

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