I wrote this blog after a recent 3 day photo shoot to
Kakadu National Park. When I searched the web I couldn't
get a simple idea of how the drive all feel into place.
There probably are too many phot'os on this page but I
couldn't help myself. There are places of interest here
that will described in other pages soon in greater detail
such as the Mary River National Park - Ijust have to go
back down there for a separate trip soon. All the web
sites says just a 3 hour drive to Kakadu from Darwin and
only 253klm. If you don't blink and drive straight then
that's right but how could anyone drive straight and not
Blog: Arnhem Highway
from Darwin to Kakadu National Park in Northern Territory
Australia is 253klm.
Leaving Darwin is generally
travelled on the Stuart Highway from Darwin. Darwin
CBD is basically 5 straight roads running into Daly
St which is around 2klm long and that runs and begins
the Stuart Highway. Map
of Darwin CBD. If you take the Stuart Highway it's
around 22klm to the junction with the Stuart Highway
veering left to Katherine, Alice Springs, Kakadu and
Litchfield and if you keep straight the road goes to
the smaller city of Palmerston (Pop 22,000) straight
ahead. Palmerston is also the home of our Defense base.
June 2011 - Forget the photo's below it's all changed
I just went down today from darwin and forgot to take
my camera. So let's say left to Kakadu and Katherine
and Alice Springs and straight ahead to Palmerston.
Then 3klm further the
Howard Springs turnoff - which you pass the turn off
you actually don't drive thru this town. There are a
few bed and breakfasts and caravan parks in Howard Springs.
Veering left and further
down 8klm you drive past the small country township
of Coolalinga conveniently located 26km south of Darwin
on the Stuart Highwa (last easy to find shopping centre-Woolworths
As you can see in Sept 2007
the fuel here at the Coolalinga petrol station was Petrol
AUD$1.32 per litre and Deisel was AUD$1.26 per litre,
a good spot to check your tyre pressure and oil.
Down the highway around
35klm now from Darwin you see the Arnhem Highway on
the left with a sign saying Humpty Doo and Jabiru. The
first sight of interest alond the highway is the didgeridoo
workshop, actually at the beginning but it's on the
right of the road.
Humpty Doo, here is another
fuel stop and the home to the Boxing Crocodile though
it a great photo snap for the kids to be in it. It seems
to be an obbession with Australian's to have the biggest
icon's. Humpty Doo is a large sprawling country suburb
of the outer Darwin region.
Point of Interest
on humpty Doo: Humpty Doo is a town some 10klm from
the begiining of the Arnhem Highway with around 2829
residents on 5-20 acre farms with some 1006 households
in the area. I mentioned this as Humpty Doo seemd to
stretch along the highway quiet a bit. I forgot to mention
Futher out the properties
are larger and mostly farmed as Mango Plantations. Can
you imagine the aroma driving with the window down when
there in season around October/November (there was a
small crop at the beginning of September also). Oh Mango
prices at the Darwin/Parap markets on a Saturday morning
are around $4-6 a kilo the first few weeks of the season
and in the middle of the season you get huge Bowan Mangos
(are you ready for this) I mean huge mangoes at AUD$2.50
a kilo.or whole trays at AUD$10.00 Just come for the
mangoes at least.
>The one things about
the Arnhem Highway is once you are on it you don't get
lost. It has every sign you need.
>The sign are in a brown
colour sometimes hard to see but I was glad to see the
blended into the background colours of the land.
|>After we travelled
further along and sw signage for the Wetlands Region.
Basically a low lying land area that floods constantly
during December to April though is home to 1000's of migrating
birds. In this area we came to a a turnoff for Fogg Dam
and as you can see from the photo's it can be a day trip
itself. Now a word of warning allow 3-5 hours here for
2 major icons. The first is Fogg Dam
Fogg Dam is the only
wetland easily accessible to conventional vehicles 12
months of the year only an hours drive from Darwin
on a sealed road.
Turn onto the Arnhem
Highway and drive 35km (22 miles) to the Fogg Dam turnoff
(Anzac Parade) on the left, which is well signed, and
drive 6km to the entrance on the left hand side of the
road, also well signed.
Large numbers of wading
birds gather at the Dam wall at the end of the wet season.
From the end of March until the build up, around the
start of October is the best time to visit Fogg Dam.
Woodlands to Waterlily
- Length: 2.2 km return. Time: 45 minutes. Grade: easy.
Monsoon Forest Walk - Length: 3.6 km. Time: 2 hours.
Dam Wall Walk - Length: 2.2 km return. Time: 45 minutes.
Pandanus Lookout - Length: 2.5 km return. Time: 1 hour.
>The second is Harry
Bowmans - Adelaide River Crocodile cruise. So now we
were some 6klm down the turnoff from the Arnhem Highway
and we had Fogg Dam but then if you continued on and
followed the hand made signs the road goes on for another
10 odd klms (or so it seemed) to a dead end. from there
turn right and the jumping crocodile cruise is located
on their private stretch of the Adelaide River at the
end of Fogg Dam Road. All in all it was about 75 minutes
since I left Darwin.
I then followed to the
right on a dirt track form some 5klm to Harry Bowmans
- Adelaide River Crocodile cruise. Once we arrived I
knew that the 40min trip was worth it. Harry and Karen
came out and greeted us large as life before he realised
he had known us from 10 years ago. So we received a
special once off private tour. And the photo's says
it all. Wow that 30 minutes just amazed my wife and
I. Harry's web site is http://www.adelaiderivercruises.com.au/
Harrys brother Morgan & wife Maxine joined him 10 years
ago when they embarked on a seachange from NSW. $43
for a adult and $16 for a child with 4 cruises a day
and the boat capivity is 30 folks. Cruise times are
9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm Daily from May to November
back to the Arnhem Highway and up the road about 10klm
was the Windows to the Wetlands. A great place to stop
and view the birdlife from a higher view and also really
interesting display's inside to learn about the Wetlands.
Diffinately worth stopping at.
|>A few kilometres
along the Arnhem Highway and up the road to the Adelaide
River about 3 klm were the other 2 Crocodile Cruises both
larger business ventures and a little easier to find.
See below 2 photo's and you will see what I mean. Window
on the Wetlands Visitor Centre is 62 klm from Darwin and
Adelaide River Queen see below (Jumping Crocodile Cruise)
on the Adelaide River is 65 klm from Darwin
Arnhem Highway on the right is Corroboree Park Tavern
- another place to stop for fuel, drinks and a take away
bit to eat. Djukbinj national park along the Arnhem Highway
forms part of the Marrakai floodplains, Djukbinj National
Park contains a portion of the catchment and drainage
for the Adelaide River in this area. The abundance of
water all year round has ensured the park's importance
as a roosting and feeding site for waterbirds, magpie
geese, egrets and brolgas. There is a carpark and bushwalking
though I haven't had time to fully explore it just yet.
the highway we came upon a unique sight and liyterally
at our fingertips. the Termite mounds- they were actually
on the roadside of the Arngem Highway.
Mary River National
Park - I actuallly intend to create a new website
just on this park a bit later. In the meantime here
is a good site. http://www.maryriverpark.com.au
and also http://www.pointstuart.com.au.
Bark Hut Tourism Centre which is located beside the
Mary River National Park reached via Point Stuart Road
some 20 kilometres on. In the park is the Mary River
floodplain seen from Couzens Lookout, or you can try
fishing trips going to Shady Camp, Rockhole or Corroboree
Billabong. You can also hire a houseboat on Corroboree
Billabong from Mary River Houseboats.
Hardies Track -
The Hardies Track runs between the Rockhole Road and
the Arnhem Hwy and passes Bird Billabong which has an
abundance of bird and other wildlife. A small bird hide
is accessed by a app. 3 km return walk and offers very
good photographic opportunities. Allow approximately
3 hours for this drive and often closed int he wet season.
Bark Hut Inn & Caravan
Park on Arnhem Hwy Kakadu National Park NT 0886
Telephone: (08) 8978 8988 Facsimile: (08) 8978 8932.
Here is a REAL Aussie Roadhouse with the walls adorned
by crocodiles and buffalo. This is a tourist icon in
itself and a must see on the way. The staff were a mix
of international backpackers and locals with the service
friendly and meals reasonable for a remote location.
The park offers a nice pool and campgrounds and basic
budget donga's. There a good gift shop and lot's of
room to move around.
An alternative route
to Cooinda (in Kakadu) is via turning right off the
Arnhem Highway onto the unsealed Old Jim Jim Rd some
19km beyond the Bark Hut Inn (above). Often impassable
in the wet season October - April. Though more so with
the heavier rains January-March). The entrance to kakadu
is around 38klm from the Bark Hut Inn. The gates are
a great photographic opportunity and also stop at the
Kakadu Information centre and there is a small box that
has the free Kakadu Booklet in it.
Mile Hole and 4 Mile Hole 4WD Track turnoffs are clearly
visable from the Arnhem Highway some way past the bark
hut inn roadhouse. In September you may witness an incredable
sight with the traditional burnoff (see the photo on the
right below). This is controlled burning for regrowth.
It may be a bit hard to see in this photo but there were
around 30 kitty hawks circling and diving on the smaller
animals and reptiles escaping the burnoff in the photo
above. This is truely an amazing sight. The road seemed
very hazy to pass thru but really it was only for a few
metres nothing to worry about and then it was clear again.
29klm pass the West Branch
of the Aligator River you reach the larger South Alligator
river and also the Aurora Kakadu South Alligator Resort
with accommodation and camping facilties. This where
we filled up for fuel before driving down to Cooinda.
Just to be safe I would fill up here and check the road
| Aurora Kakadu
situated in the Kakadu National Park is the perfect base
to visit one of the world's finest wildlife reserves.
Set amidst 10 hectares of lush bushland, Aurora Kakadu
offers tropical gardens, manicured lawns and abundant
relaxation areas. Aurora Kakadu provides guests with the
opportunity to encounter close at hand some of the Territory's
spectacular wildlife. Magpie geese, Wallabies, Corella
and Goanna freely wander the landscaped gardens and pool
area. Guests are encouraged to explore further the natural
habitats of the animals and plants exhibited by experiencing
the park and its surrounds. Fact sheet Courtesy of http://www.auroraresorts.com.au/
Resort (South Alligator) - Aurora Kakadu
- in the Kakadu Wetlands - Located in the
South Alligator Area of Kakadu, the Aurora
Kakadu is a 3 ½ star property, offering
138 units which include private patios or
balconies, air conditioning, colour television,
refrigerator and tea and coffee making facilities.
Kakadu South Alligator Resort you are now about 40 klm
to Jabiru and 7klm to the Mamukala Wetlands. Now the Mamukala
Wetlands Hatch is not what i expected. back in darwin
I had a very friendly lady tell me that it was a fantastic
hatch you crawled into. She meant well but I don't think
she had actually been too - see what you think.
SUMMARY: Blog on the
road - Arnhem Highway to Kakadu
Well from here you are
only 25klm to Jabiru and the end of our stretch of the
Arnhem Highway. Again all the web sites says just a
3 hour drive to Kakadu from Darwin and only 253klm.
If you don't blink and drive straight then that's right
but how could anyone drive straight and not stop. I
would say stopping Fogg Dam, the Adelaide River Cruise,
Bark Hut Inn, the Termite Mounds, Windows to the Wetlands,
Mamukala Wetlands, South Alligator resort and stopping
along the way say 10 times for photo shoots is an absorbing
10-15 hours. Maybe do some of the icons on the way back
if you go back the same way. Rob
- September 2007
information on Kakadu National Park
Roads to Kakadu National
conditions in the Park vary according to the two seasons
being the Green 'Wet' season or Dry season. Widespread
Green 'Wet' season flooding occured historically and
frequently during November to April there nowdays the
seasons have changed signifciantly. Therefore you should
check the road conditions well before your departure
reports can be obtained from the Bowali Visitor Centre
(Telephone +61 (0) 8 8938 1120). The Arnhem and Kakadu
Highways are sealed and generally remain open throughout
the year. Green 'Wet' season flooding associated with
any prolonged heavy rains may have various locational
We here also provide
helpful tips on Kakadu National Park and what to see
and activities available, visitor safety, park camping
and accommodation facilities, emergency contacts and
useful Kakadu Parks information.
If time allows, we advise
you stay in the park for a 2-5 days so that the major
sites can be explored at your leisure. Kakadu National
Park can be visited selfdrive a 2 wheel drive vehicle
such as a car, camper, 4WD or even a large motorhome
though access is limited to the Kakadu Highway and the
Arnhem Highway. Ubirr, Yellow Waters, Jabiru and Nourlangie
Rock being main the extent of where you can visit a
2 wheel drive vehicle. Currently about 200,000+ folks
visit Kakadu National Park each year. Visitor numbers
are higher during the dry season months of June to September
(approx. 33,000 people visit each July) and lower during
the wet season months (approx. 7,000 people visit each
is Kakadu National Park
Kakadu National Park
an Australian Natural Icon covers almost 20,000 square
kms and is 257 kms East of Darwin the capital city of
the Northern Territory, Australia. Kakadu National Park
is a World Heritage listed area that has been listed
for it's cultural and natural heritage and Kakadu is
the largest terrestrial national park in Australia.
Life in the park does depends on the water, also in
respect to the tropical monsoon climate that produces
the downpours of the tropical humidity of the "wet"
season, and the milder weather of the "dry" season.
Kakadu National Park
is the gateway to Arnhemland. The sealed roads from
Darwin to Kakadu is via the Arnhem Highway and from
Katherine to Kakadu National Park via the Kakadu Highway.
The Bowali Visitor Centre near Jabiru in Kakadu National
Park is located 257 km from Darwin in Northern Territory
Australia via the Arnhem Highway entrance. If travelling
by road, you should allow 3 hours travelling time from
of the road to Kakadu National Park and of Kakadu National
National Park - Seasons
But Australia's Kakadu
sees seasons of varied extremes -- so varied, in fact,
that the park's longtime aboriginal inhabitants have
divided the year into six distinct seasons.
Seasons - Gunumeleng Pre-Monsoon Storm Season -
Gunumeleng, from mid-October to late December, may in
fact last from a few weeks to several months.
Seasons - Gudjewg - Monsoon Season - Gudjewg, from
January to March, can be described as the 'true' wet
Seasons - Banggereng - Knock 'em down storm Season
- Banggerreng, in April, is the season when the rain
clouds have dispersed and clear skies prevail.
Seasons - Yegge - Cooler but still humid Season
- Yegge, from May to mid-June, is relatively cool with
Seasons - Wurrgeng - Cold Weather Season - Wurrgeng,
from mid-June to mid-August, is the 'cold weather' time;
humidity is low, daytime temperatures are around 30°C
and night-time temperatures are around 17°C.
Seasons - Gurrung - Hot Dry Weather - Gurrung, from
mid-August to mid-October, is hot and dry.
Opening hours of Kakadu
Kakadu National Park
is open 365 days per year. Given the large size of Kakadu
there are a number of key attractions that have different
operating hours these are:
Bowali Visitor Centre
- is open from 8am to 5pm.
* Warradjan Aboriginal
Cultural Centre - is open from 9am to 5pm.
* Ubirr Rock - is open
from 8:30am until sunset from 1 April until 30 November
* Ubirr Rock - is also
open from 2pm until sunset from 1 December until
* Nourlangie Rock - is
open from dawn until dusk.
All of the attractions
are open every day of the year and all times are Central
Standard Time. These are based on the season 2006/7.
Goholi Pty Ltd
Postal: GPO Box 380, Darwin, NT 0801
has affliation with the following links
is part of the specialist for selfdrive leisure vehicle
rentals and tour specialist including camping and accommodated
one day or extended tours and safaris from the group of
Goholi groop being an experienced respected licensed Travel
Agent in Darwin, Northern Terriotry Australia (Tel +61
(0) 3 9681 8645). Why come to us - Let us try to get you a
discount off the recommended rates with professional and
experienced service. www.kakadunationalparkaustralia.com
is an 'Affiliate'
of the Australia 4 Wheel Drive Rentals group of sites.
A licensed Australian Travel Agent based in Northern Territory
Tour Information - Mission Statement
Please note some of these
links are supplied only as a link for information our
company has no affliation some of these links. Important;
This site is for the beneift of those researching for
their next vacation to Kakadu National Park in Northern
Territory Australia also know as the 'Top End'.
Australian Kakadu National
Park travel guide and information is not the offical
site - the offical government site is http://www.kakadu.com.au.
This search site offering links to Kakadu, Litchfield,
Uluru, Darwin and Northern Territory accommodations,
tours, safaris, activities, nature parks, nature reserves
and adventure activities.