It would be remiss of us to not have Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks at the top of this list. These national parks are at the very heart of the Top End of Australia and give this area its magic.
Kakadu is a colossal national park and is the size of Wales in the UK, or half the size of Switzerland – It is essentially nearly a whole country!! Kakadu is famous for its extensive wetlands and native wildlife and is full of ancient crocs and unique birdlife.
Covering nearly 20,000 square kms, Kakadu National Park is packed with waterfalls, lush rainforests, rocky gorges, local wildlife plus more than 5000 Aboriginal rock art sites! Due to its size, you’ll want to spend a few days exploring – this is one spot you won’t want to rush! You’ll need a vehicle to get around the park, or you can join a coach or 4WD tour. Kakadu experiences a dry season (April-Oct) and tropical summer (Nov-March) so be sure to check which spots are inaccessible during the latter.
Don’t miss Ubirr rock art site to learn the story of the Rainbow Serpent and climb the Nadab Lookout for panoramic views over the floodplain and beyond into Arnhem Land. A great spot for sunset.
Get an early start to catch a Yellow Water cruise at sunrise. Yellow Water Cruises has exclusive use of Yellow Water Billabong where you can experience the Saltwater Crocodile in its natural habitat and maybe even spot a buffalo on the floodplains!
Head to the Jim Jim and Twin Falls area to see the ancient gorges, towering cliffs and plunge pools up close. You’ll need to have a 4WD or join a 4wd tour to access these spots which are a must-see!
You can’t visit Kakadu without visiting Gunlom Falls! Climb up to the insta-famous plunge pool – an unforgettable natural infinity pool with sweeping views across the bushlands of Kakadu. Take a dip in the crystal clear waters + relax at the billabong at the base of the waterfall, made famous by ‘Crocodile Dundee’.
Not far from the legendary Kakadu, is Litchfield, a 1500 square km national park which is famous for its enormous termite structures, thundering waterfalls and tranquil plunge pools.
Florence Falls and Wangi Falls are two picture-perfect spots where you can take a dip. Both are surrounded by lush monsoon rainforest and crystal clear natural plunge pools. Buley Rockhole is another delightful swim spot – a network of layered pools among ancient orange rocks. Pack a picnic and enjoy a truly memorable lunch at any or all of these picturesque places.
Litchfield’s major attractions are linked by a sealed road so a 4WD isn’t necessary unless you want to access The Lost City or the Reynolds River Track. As always, a tour guide will be able to take you off the beaten track + give you some extra insider info.
Litchfield is also famous for its hundreds of Magnetic Termite mounds. Up to 100 years old, these structures are home to thousands upon thousands of termites and stand up to 2 metres high!
Kangaroos, wallabies, possums, flying foxes, and dingoes all live in Litchfield National Park. To get up close to some local wildlife join the famous Jumping Crocodile Cruise on the vast Adelaide River, teaming with hundreds of native bird species!
If you’re into hiking, The Tabletop Track is an excellent, 39km bushwalk that takes you through woodlands, along creeklines + to waterfalls and pools like Florence Falls, Greenant Creek, Wangi Falls + Walker Creek.
If you do have a 4WD, test your driving skills on the rough + rocky 10km track into the Lost City. The Lost City is made up of a series of large sandstone formations spread over the area of a small town. Estimated to be over 500 million years old, the sandstone block + pillar formations look like the ruins of a city!