Kakadu? Mad if you don’t!
With 5 days off we decided to take a trip to check out the Kakadu Highlights. Given it’s toward the end of the dry, we weren’t sure how it would be. In one word ‘Spectacular’.
We were late arriving and spent our first night at Cooinda Lodge Campground and thought we’d treat ourselves to dinner at the bar. Surprised at the cost of the meals, no pub meals here, but the food was beautiful.
An early rise to head out to Gunlom. About an hours drive and then about 40kms of dirt. At the end of that road you’ll find a lovely shady picnic area and the most beautiful swimming hole. The water clear and so refreshing, the bottom sandy. Starts shallow and gradually gets deeper. The waterfall was only trickling but just so beautiful. Could have stayed for days. It gets better.
The crystal clear rock pools at the top of Gunlom falls were an amazing treat after the goat track trek up the hill and definitely one of the best Kakadu highlights for us. A little challenging with all the rocks and it’s quite steep but took us about 25 mins with a couple of stops. So worth it! The pools are so awesome for swimming and you can get the most stunning photographs in the infinity pool with amazing views. You’ll never want to leave this paradise.
Maguk for the night
You can camp at Gunlom but we chose to head back to Maguk to set up camp. This is about 10klms of dirt from the highway and plenty of shady spots. Honesty box for camp fees and first in best dressed. The next morning we headed out to Maguk gorge. Another goat track where you are mostly scrambling over rocks but pretty easy going. The gorge is about 1 km in and again, well worth the walk. The waterfall flows all year round into a deep water hole with steep rock walls all around. The water is perfect for a cool off. Our only regret is we didn’t take our floating chairs. There is a walk up to the top of the fall but we didn’t do this though have since heard we should have.
Sadly, the mighty Twin falls were closed and we had heard Jim Jim falls weren’t running so we decided we’d catch them next time. A great excuse to revisit.
After having spent the last 6 months in our camper trailer, we decided to treat ourselves to a night at the Mercure Kakadu crocodile resort. The resort is in the shape of a crocodile and we were in the tail. Was $249 for the night and included the buffet breakfast. Pretty pricey but we enjoyed the air conditioning and fox movies.
Feeling refreshed, the next morning we headed out to Cahill’s Crossing. If you arrive about an hour before high tide you’ll see a number of crocs lining up for a feed. They know that the fish come over the road as the tide comes in and they are there ready and waiting. There was up to about 18-20 crocs when we were there and we saw many catch a Barra or two. You can watch from the safety of the viewing platform and it’s quite a show.
After our crocodile fix, we headed to Ubirr to check out the aboriginal rock art and the view from the Nadab lookout. WOW! The rock formations are fantastic and the views incredible. You can’t help but be in awe of such an amazing landscape.
More Kakadu Highlights
With just one more night up our sleeves, we decided we wanted to explore Pococks Beach so started heading back toward Darwin. The turnoff out to Pococks beach is about 80 kms west of Jabiru. The road in is all dirt and extremely corrugated in places. 100 kms took us over 2 hours. Couple of good little camp spots for the keen fisherman in 2 mile hole and 4 mile hole but be croc aware.
When we finally got to Pococks, the beach was nice and the campground was down behind the dunes. We decided to travel a few more klms and set up camp at Middle beach. There is actually a fence between the camping and the beach as the crocs can come quite close and the turtles nest. We only saw one croc swimming by but did feel safer at night sleeping in the tent. Given the road in, you don’t get too many people out there so don’t be surprised if you’re alone. We struck the odd camper along the way but only one other at Middle Beach. After a quiet night, we packed up to head back to Darwin.
We both agreed we’d had such an awesome time checking out the Kakadu highlights and will be back to further explore. 4 days was enough to give us a taste but we reckon a week to 10 days would be perfect. 💜
Darren & Kirsten (Roadies)