At almost half the size of Switzerland, it’s no wonder Kakadu National Park has plenty of stuff worth seeing. Sprawled across nearly 20,000 square kilometres are 280 different species of bird, 20,000-year-old examples of rock art and 2,000 types of plants. Oh, and there’s also about 10,000 crocs. But hey, who’s counting?
With temperatures hovering around the 33-degree-celsius mark, you’ll soon be looking for ways to cool down. Here’s four of our favourite places to get wet. We don’t want to dwell on the whole croc thing, but you do need to be on the lookout. There’s always a risk involved when you take the plunge in a place like Kakadu. But hey, you’re not here to float around in overcrowded public pools reeking of chlorine!
1. Gunlom Falls
There’s a massive pool just below the waterfall (which will either be roaring or trickling depending on what time of year you visit). We highly recommend making the steep climb to the top of the waterfall. It’ll only take 15 minutes, and you’ll be rewarded with ridiculously gorgeous views across southern Kakadu. Oh, and did we mention the rock pools (pictured above) and crystal clear plunge pool?
2. Motorcar Falls
The walk to Motorcar Falls follows the historic track where the first motorcar entered the region in 1946. The journey was put to a stop by an impassable creek, which is now known as Motorcar Creek. It splits off into several branches, creating a concentrated collection of waterfalls, pools and rock formations.
3. Jim Jim Falls
Jim Jim is at its best in the wet season (late Nov-March). The walk from the carpark to the plunge pool is only about 900 metres, but you’ve got to scramble over a bunch of slippery boulders, both big and small. Once you’re there, look up to see the falls tumbling from ancient cliffs over 150 metres high.
See those little specs in the bottom right hand corner? Those are people. Yep, it’s big.
4. Koolpin Gorge
This one isn’t easy to get to. You’ll need a permit, there’s no marked walking tracks, no signed lookout or photo platforms and the camping area is tiny with no facilities. Restricted to just 40 visitors per night, this is about as rugged, wild and untamed as it gets. We’ll let the photos do the talking on this one…
Feature image c/o Rita Willaert, Flickr