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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Top things to do in Kakadu: part 1

Take a look at our latest piece on Viator, Top Things to Do in Kakadu, to find out why World heritage-listed Kakadu National Park is probably Australia’s best-known national park and one of the country's top sights. It's considered a ‘must-do’ on most travellers’ epic around-Australia journeys, but we think it’s a destination in its own right. This colossal park – over 20,000 square kilometres of it! – boasts fascinating flora and fauna (brilliant birdlife!), ancient Aboriginal art, and diverse range of striking landscapes. And now is the best time to visit - the Wet season is ending so the waterfalls are at their most spectacular, and the heat isn’t too debilitating yet. So here's a taster of the top ten things to see and do at Kakadu - visit Viator for more details.
1. Ubirr Rock -
most people know Ubirr from its scene-stealing performance in the Crocodile Dundee movie; the rock galleries here reveal that local Aboriginals have known about the place for tens of thousands of years, with renderings of fish and marsupials, and stick-like Mimi spirits, and stunning views to enigmatic Arnhem Land.
2. Yellow Waters
- taking a cruise on the calm waters of Yellow Waters lagoon is a real highlight - the wildlife is staggering and the lagoon is a lush ‘birdhouse without borders’ that you float through. There's also the visceral thrill of seeing saltwater crocs - do an early-morning or late afternoon cruise for the best show and most comfortable temperature.
3. Guluyambi Cruise - the laconic humour of the Aboriginal guides makes this boat tour a delight, along with lush scenery, birdlife and plenty more saltwater crocodiles. On our visit at the end of the Dry season we lost count of how many crocs we saw – you need to keep your limbs firmly inside! The insights into Aboriginal mythology, bush survival skills and traditional life are fascinating, and it’s an Aboriginal-owned and operated venture.
4. Nourlangie Rock
- the indigenous art on the rock ‘galleries’ make this a real highlight - the protected Anbangbang Shelter paintings show evidence of occupation going back over twenty thousand years; they represent stories that reinforce traditional laws and social beliefs.
5. Gunlom - also known as Waterfall Creek, it's worth the relatively challenging climb (in the heat anyway) to reach the first level waterhole, where the natural ‘infinity pool’ is as photogenic as Kakadu gets and you’re rewarded with a dip to break the mirror-like reflections - after the obligatory photo shoot.

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