We’re going to take a look at Kakadu and it’s suitability for a family holiday destination. It’s a place I would encourage everyone to visit once in their lifetime. Seeing rock art that is centuries old gives you a real vision into just how small our part in this world is, and how important it is that we care for this land like the generations of people who lived here for centuries before us. If your family has any love of the great outdoors, then definitely it’s a must see. Kakadu left us changed, taught us about the true history of Australia, and left us in awe of the Aboriginal culture and it’s depth and importance when it comes to the future of the environment in Australia.
Where is Kakadu National Park Located?
Kakadu National Park is situated around 250kms from Darwin in the Northern Territory of Australia. When travelling South of Darwin, it is accessed by turning off the Stuart Highway, onto the Arnhem highway toward Humpty Doo, alternatively, by exiting the Stuart Highway near Pine Creek and turning onto the Arnhem Highway when travelling from further inland NT.
It’s important to note that travelling at dawn, dusk or night in the Northern Territory, or anywhere outside Australian cities, presents a higher risk of wildlife being injured. If you need to travel at these times, it’s important to travel slowly to ensure you’re able to reduce the risk of hitting wildlife and causing injury to both the wildlife and your vehicle. Keep this in mind when planning your travel itinerary.
The road into the park is all bitumen, so the main tourist areas are accessible via 2wd. There are some camp grounds and walk areas that are often only 4wd accessible. For travelling with younger kids, the shorter, more accessible walks and tours will provide a great experience, so a 4wd is definitely not necessary.
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Activities for Kids in Kakadu
Mamukala Wetlands: Stop in at Mamukala Wetlands for a spectacular view, with great signage and lots of bird life!
Ubirr Rock Art Site in Kakadu: Without a doubt, one of the greatest attractions for visiting Kakadu is to see Aboriginal Rock Art up close. Ubirr is an easily accessible area that offers wonderful rock art sites, and the opportunity to climb to the very top for spectacular views across the National Park. It’s a great idea to tag along on a ranger talk about the rock art, but if you’re there at other times there are great signs that tell the stories of the art as you walk around.
There are several options for taking in the sights around Ubirr. These include a wheelchair accessible route to take in much of the rock art sites, right through to the climb up to the Nadab lookout for spectacular views.
Note for experiencing Ubirr with kids: Take plenty of water and snacks, wear hats and sunscreen, be sure to have comfy shoes that won’t give blisters, and are suitable for walking the rock climb if going to the top lookout. Our children were 5, 3 and 1 when we did the climb to the lookout and were comfortable doing the entire walk. It’s VERY important to watch children closely when climbing to the lookout and while on the top, it’s a natural environment and does not provide child safe barriers (that would ruin the view). It’s perfectly find for families who feel comfortable tackling something like this, but extra care should definitely be taken with young children.
(Angbangbang) Nourlangie and Nanguluwur art sites: These sites offer a spectacular gallery of Aboriginal Art, and are definitely not to be missed. There’s plenty of walking, but we found it fairly easy so if your kids are up to the challenge, then this nature wonderland is a spectacular walk with art that you won’t forget!
Yellow Water: The aboriginal name for Yellow Water is Ngurrungurrudjba. This is a spectacular place for a family to take a Yellow Water cruise and see an abundance of Kakadu wildlife up close. See huge crocs sunning themselves and a wide range of birdlife as you cruise the Kakadu wetlands.
There are a range of boardwalks to take in the world renowned wetlands, or a range of cruise options that run all day. Cruises give you a chance to not only see wildlife up close, but to learn more about the region, history and wildlife from highly experienced guides.
Have you been to Kakadu with kids? Are you planning to go? Got any questions? Feel free to comment below or drop us a line