Kakadu/Kakadon’t

Territorians don’t seem to think much of their tourist icon, Kakadu and have given it the nick name of Kakadon’t. We thought perhaps they were exaggerating, so we spent five nights there so as to give it a fair go. However, after the five nights we tended to share their sentiments.

I’m not saying we didn’t find a couple of things there interesting, because we did. We stayed at the caravan park attached to Kakadu Lodge. It was just on the outskirts of the township of Jabiru, and was an above average sort of caravan park with a lovely lagoon pool, and pleasant enough facilities. From reading reviews of all the caravan parks in the area, I think they all have a reasonable standard, and are all reasonably priced (less than $50 a night for a powered site). The pool was too cold for me to get into, but we’ve found that with all the swimming pools in the Territory. They’re all concrete and covered with shades, and absolutely freezing!

The township of Jabiru was a surprise. We’d expected mainly just a general store, but it is a proper, tidy little township with quite a few streets, a Foodlands, a news agency, and several other small shops. It has a population of around 1700. Beware though of the bakery, it sells some dangerously, delicious goodies!!!!

There’s a lot of tourist sites to see in the park, and each of them is approximately an 80 km round trip from Jabiru to visit. The first day we went to Uburr. Uburr is a sacred site with a lots of rock art and a relatively easy climb to the top where you see 360 degree views of the escarpment. It was a place used for a scene of breathtaking beauty in the movie Crocodile Dundee. It is stunning, and was worth the 80 km round trip from Jabiru.

We did several other trips to various spots of around the same distance though, and to us, none of them were particularly memorable. We chose to do the cultural boat trip on the East Alligator River in preference to the yellow water cruise on a billabong. If we’d not seen Crocs before it may have been an interesting cruise. But we have seen lots of crocs before, and that seemed to be the main focus of the boat trip. We had clarified that this wouldn’t be the case before booking it, so were quite disappointed. We were taken across to disembark in Arnemland, and while there our guide showed us how to throw a spear. It was one of those ‘whipdee do’, type of trips, that’s easily forgotten. Perhaps the yellow water trip may have been better.

We also visited a bird hide, and a billabong that’s supposedly the most picturesque in the park. They were both ok but nothing memorable, and nothing that justified the car mileage to visit them. So, Kakadu, or Kakadon’t whatever you want to call it. I’m pleased we’ve seen it, but I wouldn’t go there again.