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Planning for Kakadu in 2014

Ottawa, Canada
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Planning for Kakadu in 2014

I am planning to drive from Adelaide to Darwin this November stopping in Katherine for a few days and Kakadu for about five days in a 2WD, with a mozzie net, lots of water, and cotton clothing. Hoping to do short walks, see bird life and crocs, take a yellow water cruise, see rock art and stay in a caravan park. Any advice or warnings about roads likely being closed would be appreciated. Thank you.

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Darwin, Australia
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for Darwin, Kakadu National Park
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1. Re: Planning for Kakadu in 2014

Generally most of the Territory will be hot during November. In 2012 I drove up the highway to Darwin and the temperature was in the 40C all the way though nearer the coast as the humidity rises the temperature drops a bit. Another year it was in the low 30C!! While staying in a caravan park may be the best for your budget (the accommodation is limited between Port Augusta and Darwin with the exception of Katherine and Alice Springs) you may prefer to have an air conditioned cabin in order to get a restful sleep. November is off peak so you should be able to get better rates.

For Kakadu only a couple of places are open that feature aboriginal paintings, Oberri Rock and Nourlangi Rock. Both are on sealed roads so a 2WD car will nor have any problems in reaching them. This web site http://www.parksaustralia.gov.au/kakadu/ it will give you a lot of information in planning your stay in Kakadu. Note that some walks may be closed for safety reasons if the temperature and humidity is too high for comfort, This pamphlet by the Health Department highlights some of the problems of high humidity but one has to be careful as drinking too much water can be just as dangerous. …nt.gov.au/library/…

On the way out to Kakadu detour into Fogg Dam, the turnoff is near a large Radio Relay Station (one of those places you don't ask questions about!! ) Drive across the narrow earthern dam to the other side where there is a covered platform, plenty of birds are visible here if you are up early enough. Don't go walking into the water.

This area does have the largest population of pythons, Death Adders and File Snakes in Australia because there is plenty of food here for them, mainly water rats.

Also drop in to the Windows on the Wetlands it is also free like Fogg Dam and it is situated just before the highway crosses the Adelaide river

If you are driving up from Katherine then you can enter the Park at Pine Creek then return to Darwin via the Arnhem Highway, saves a few miles. If you decide to drive first to Darwin then drop in at the Adelaide River Hotel, an interesting old place and you must try their Barramundi for lunch. Ever seen the movie Crocodile Dundee? If so the buffalo that was a star in the movie, he has now been stuffed and is by the bar. However he was too big for the overhead fans so the taxidermist had to shorten his legs.

The trip to Litchfield can be done as a one day trip or you can stay overnight in Batchelor. Rum Jungle is nearby but it was an uranium mine and most of it is closed. It got its name as year ago a waggon going to the gold fields happened to break down here so the teamsters had to lighten the load of rum in the only way they would know.

There are sealed roads in Litchfield NP, any unsealed ones are suitable for 4WD only. Unlikely any roads be closed in November though in the build up to the Wet there can be thunderstorms which can drop a lot of rain in a very short time and so the roads could be closed at the floodways for half an hour or so. While the odd cyclone has turned up in November you will hear about it on TV and the radio so you might have to change plans at the last minute.

Swimming ok in Litchfield NP in the signposted areas, in Kakadu no no unless it is a swimming pool or a properly signposted area, ( a fisherman was taken from his boat on the weekend by a very large croc) in any of the rivers you cross on the Stuart Highway No !!

Forgot to mention but you might find the midges, sand flies a problem in Kakadu they will easily climb through your mosquito nets if you taste nice. you may need something to combat their itchy bites.

Edited: 10 June 2014, 13:11
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Pine Creek
Pine Creek
Top End, Australia
Batchelor
Batchelor
Top End, Australia
Ottawa, Canada
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2. Re: Planning for Kakadu in 2014

Thank you very much, Bob! You have reassured me that going in November can be a good trip despite the reports I heard that made me fear I might have to give up my plans. I will check the links you provided to carry on with my planning. Your information is just what I needed. Much appreciated.

Darwin, Australia
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3. Re: Planning for Kakadu in 2014

It is very unlikely that there would be any 2WD road closures that early in the year, so you should be fine to go to both Nourlangie and Ubirr. There is a billabong about 10kms out of Jabiru - Anbangbang Billabong - which has a reasonable walk and lots of bird life.

Accommodation in the park should be reasonably cheap as you are going in the off-season. I would second you getting a cabin or aircon room. November is hot and humid, without the regular relief of storms or monsoon. This'll also solve the problem of hungry midgies.

I would highly recommend the Windows on the Wetlands - it is a great stop off (even for a local).

Ottawa, Canada
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4. Re: Planning for Kakadu in 2014

Thanks very much, Tessa. We are looking at availability of cabins and I have added your recommendations to our itinerary. Getting excited with our planning, so encouraged by the feedback from local Aussies.

Pune
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5. Re: Planning for Kakadu in 2014

I am planning to stay in Darwin in November 2014. I want to know if there is public transport from Darwin to Kakadu. Is it possible to get a hang of Kakadu in a day trip from Darwin?

Darwin, Australia
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6. Re: Planning for Kakadu in 2014

It is 300+ kms from Darwin to Jabiru and there are not many people in the area. Greyhound buses run there 3 days a week, trip leaves Darwin 8.30am arrives Jabiru 12.15, leaves Jabiru 13.30 arrives back in Darwin around 17.30.

Some companies do have a one day tour of Kakadu, you do not see all that much and it is a long day. November is a very hot and humid month.

Darwin, Australia
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7. Re: Planning for Kakadu in 2014

Pune if you only have one day I would recommend a day trip to Litchfield National Park. In my opinion Kakadu needs at least 3 days to see if properly (it is the size of the country of Wales) - a lot of people who try to rush it leave disappointed.

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Pune
Pune
Pune District, India
Wales
Wales
United Kingdom
Darwin, Australia
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for Darwin
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8. Re: Planning for Kakadu in 2014

Sorry that last message should have been addressed to shri5 not Pune!

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Pune
Pune
Pune District, India
Pune
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9. Re: Planning for Kakadu in 2014

Thanks for the replies. Can you provide me details of public transport from Darwin to Litchfield National Park?

Darwin, Australia
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for Darwin
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10. Re: Planning for Kakadu in 2014

There is no public transport from Darwin to Litchfield. You will need to either hire a car or take a day tour.