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Arnhem Highway to Kakadu Australia

Point Stuart Mary River ©
Point Stuart Mary River © supplied by NT Tourism
About Arnhem Highway to Kakadu National Park Australia
About Arnhem Highway to Kakadu Australia |

Arnhem Highway from Darwin to Kakadu National Park in Northern Territory Australia is 253klm.

Best photos at © source | courtesy of kakadunationalparkaustralia.com

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. 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.


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.


Wetlands Region
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
Fogg Dam is the only wetland easily accessible to conventional vehicles 12 months of the year – only an hour’s 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. Grade: easy.
Dam Wall Walk - Length: 2.2 km return. Time: 45 minutes. Grade: easy.
Pandanus Lookout - Length: 2.5 km return. Time: 1 hour. Grade: easy.


Adelaide River Crocodile Cruise
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/ Harry’s 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


Windows to the Wetlands
We travelled 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.


Adelaide River Queen and Jumping Crocodile Cruise - Spectacular
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.


Corroboree Park Tavern
Along the 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.


Termite Mounds
Further along the highway we came upon a unique sight and literally at our fingertips. the Termite Mounds - they were actually on the roadside of the Arnhem Highway.


Mary River National Park
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
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.


Old Jim Jim Rd turnoff
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.


2 Mile Hole and 4 Mile Hole 4WD Track
2 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.


South Alligator River
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 conditions. 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 it’s surrounds. Fact sheet Courtesy of http://www.auroraresorts.com.au/


Mamukala Wetlands - Birding
From Aurora 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.


Kakadu General Information

There are many interesting places to discover in the area, but some things to remember too:
• Saltwater crocodiles inhabit the South Alligator River and are extremely dangerous. Do not risk your life, keep away from the waters edge.
• Freshwater crocodiles inhabit the area. Do not approach or interfere with them.
• Do not jump off rocks or cliffs as there are unseen dangers and accidents have resulted in death.
• Jim Jim Plunge Pool can be hazardous as the shallow water suddenly becomes deep.
• Use the toilets provided.
• Observe and enjoy the native animals, but do not disturb or feed them. Fishing is prohibited.
• Use fuel stoves in preference to open fires.
• If lighting open fires, collect firewood along the access road into Gunlom and use it sparingly. Use the fireplaces provided, attend fires at all times and extinguish them before you leave.
• Use the recycling facilities supplied and place all other rubbish in the bins. Remember, cigarette butts, orange peel and tissues are rubbish too.
• Sunscreen and insect repellent pollute waterways. Wear a long-sleeved shirt and hat as alternative protection.
• The mornings and evenings are the best times to walk and observe wildlife. For your own comfort and safety please keep to the marked tracks, wear a hat and sturdy shoes, and carry plenty of drinking water.


Kakadu 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.
• Kakadu Seasons - Gunumeleng Pre-Monsoon Storm Season - Gunumeleng, from mid-October to late December, may in fact last from a few weeks to several months.
• Kakadu Seasons - Gudjewg - Monsoon Season - Gudjewg, from January to March, can be described as the 'true' wet season.
• Kakadu Seasons - Banggereng - Knock 'em down storm Season - Banggerreng, in April, is the season when the rain clouds have dispersed and clear skies prevail.
• Kakadu Seasons - Yegge - Cooler but still humid Season - Yegge, from May to mid-June, is relatively cool with low humidity.
• Kakadu 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.
• Kakadu Seasons - Gurrung - Hot Dry Weather - Gurrung, from mid-August to mid-October, is hot and dry.


The dry season which is approximatley which is classed generally as May - October each year.Though in current year the wet has not set in till late December or January and then finishes mid April.

Resources Links
• parksandwildlife.nt.gov.au/
• environment.gov.au/parks/
• facebook.com/RoadReportNT
• roadreport.nt.gov.au/
• ntlis.nt.gov.au/roadreport/
• toiletmap.gov.au/
• travelnt.com/
• kakadu.com.au/access

• © source | courtesy of kakadunationalparkaustralia.com
• © source | courtesy of litchfieldnationalpark.com
• © source | courtesy of tropicaldarwin.com
• © source | courtesy of australia4tours.com
© source | courtesy of darwin4tours.com

© Drive from Jabiru | NT Tourism Commission
Crocodiles | © NT Tourism Commission
">© NT Tourism Commission - map of Kakadu National Park Australia
© NT Tourism Commission - map of Kakadu National Park Australia

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