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Perth, Australia
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545 posts
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Hi all.

We are heading to Darwin this October and have 4- 5 days to do Kakadu. I have been trying to research it but am ending up more confused about wether we can take a camper van(our initial idea) or if we need a 4WD.

I don't know much about the area but would like to see all the highlights. It is obviously going to be very hot so are there springs we can swim in along the way or are crocodiles a problem everywhere. We are 2 adults and 2 teenagers so it get too pricey if we look at tours.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Sydney, Australia
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113 posts
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1. Re: Confused?

When there recently I read that "the only safe swimming area in Kakadu is Jabiru Public Pool". Not entirely correct however- Cooinda Lodge has a pool as well!!

I'd avoid Kakadu's water holes etc, especially in the wet months, considering other Top End "Designated Swimming Areas" have visible croc traps and warn that Salties may enter the area undetected...

Sydney NSW
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2. Re: Confused?

We visited in October and were told not to swim in the waterways. We saw people standing in water fishing despite croc signs.However later that day we were sitting at a billabong that looked very enticing to wade through. However while sitting we saw a crocodile jump up and take a bird (happened so fast not us or any of the other people sitting nearby caught a camera shot of it). After that I had a healthier respect for the waterways.Safest spots are definitely the resort pools.

We used a 2wd car and this gave us access to the main tourist drives which have a lot to see. A campervan would be fine on these routes. When booking our accommodation prior to traveling we were told some of the 4wd routes could be affected by the wet season that starts around that time (though it didn't while we were there for much of October last year). This site environment.gov.au/parks/…index.html has phone numbers you can call for advice .

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Business Travel, New South Wales
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30,492 posts
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3. Re: Confused?

Good advice above - just stick to the resort pools for a swim... there are a few safe swimming holes in the Litchfield National Park but I still wouldn't swim in them..

Wangi Falls / Bluey Waterhole / Florence Falls - are all safe to swim in.



Kakadu swimming holes - see link below.


Greater Sydney...
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4. Re: Confused?

When we were at Wangi Falls early May the pond was closed for swimming but I understand that is the case early season every year until the rangers are satisfied they are are safe.

Darwin, Australia
Destination Expert
for Darwin
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5. Re: Confused?

Gunlom Is. really best and only place at kakadu to swim safely. It's not known for its swimming opportunities. And best to stick to resorts. People continually fish and do dumb stuff in water corses around kakadu- but you just never know around there . In the wet the whole place is like a flood plain and crocs can move easily thru the areas.

Lichfield is the best for swimming. I go against the previous advice and say there are a few safe areas here swim- especially those that are on top of the escarpment and spring fed, water falls and shallow pools in designated areas inly. CAscades is a good one, Florence, wangai. Freshies are present in many areas like wangai- but ok if you stay away from them.

October will be very hot for camping. Very hot. Better to get hotel rooms which you should, get some good deals as its not so busy. 2wd drive will get you into things, but if it rains which it very well may then you could get stuck going to Ubirr for instance as there are a few little or big water crossings.

The days out here can be high 30's and with high humidity and of course the storms start to roll in.

My advice if it was me- get a 2 wd, motels/ cabins and then do afew day tours for the stuff you just cant get to because you can't take a camper onto gravel or dirt. The more adventure type tours would suit your teenagers.

Or if you get a 4wd that can go offroad, still do hotel /cabins but then do the 4wd stuff yourself.

6. Re: Confused?

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