Exploring Jim Jim Falls

The Kakadu National Park is famed for its ancient landscape, harking back millions of years and promising visitors a trip back in time as they explore the sprawling scenery and the vibrant selection of plant and animal life.

In the heart of it all lies Jim Jim Creek, which rises up in the Arnhem Land escarpment inside the confines of the UNESCO World Heritage listed park. The Creek is best-known for its accompanying falls, which cascade over the ancient scenery and have been registered on the Australian National Heritage List.

Top of Jim Jim Falls

The History of Jim Jim Creek

It is thought that the Kakadu National Park sprawled out under a shallow sea 140 million years ago. The escarpment that you see there today was sea cliffs and the Arnhem Land plateau formed an expansive stretch of land just above sea level. Today, the escarpment soars around 330 meters skywards above the plains and rolls out for more than 500 km to the east of the park.

In the area surrounding Jim Jim Creek and its falls, the land varies between vertical cliffs and stepped cliffs.

Explore Jim Jim Falls

Jim Jim Falls, NT

Jim Jim Falls, along with Twin Falls, is the best-known attraction in the Kakadu National Park, drawing visitors in with its 200 metre cascading waterfall that gushes into an ancient gorge below. Combined with the stunning, surreal landscape that surrounds it, the falls offer a mesmerising experience for anyone visiting.

Getting to Jim Jim Falls

In the past, getting to Jim Jim Falls wasn’t an easy feat. In fact, you could only reach it after undertaking a two hour walk from the Kakadu Highway turn off, or a lengthy drive along a rough track.

Now, however, it’s a different story. Access to the creek and its surroundings has been much improved. You can now reach it via a well-maintained gravel path, which curves around to the Jim Jim camping area. From there, you can take a short walk to the creek and the falls through incredible scenery.

The well-kept Garanammar campgrounds provide the only access to these falls, and since these grounds are only accessible by 4WD vehicles it’s clear that this destination is extremely secluded and almost untouched. Once you reach the campground’s car park you will be ready to lace up your hiking boots and get started on your adventure to the falls.

While the route from the car park may only be 900m, it can take up to 2 hours to cover this distance because of the uneven terrain. With huge boulders blocking the track alongside the river, you’ll be climbing your way towards the falls, but while it may be rough there is plenty to admire along the way and several places to stop and rest. About halfway along this trail, you will find a sign that points you off the main track towards a ‘Viewing Pool’, this is the perfect place to stop for a breather and you’ll have a great view of the Jim Jim falls through the gorge ahead.

Once you reach the falls you will be faced with a scene of staggering beauty, making the entire journey worthwhile as you enjoy the beach-like sand bank beside the natural pool at the foot of the falls. For those with an undying adventurous spirit, the trail does not end here, there is still a 6km hike up the side of the valley that will bring you to the top of the waterfall, where you will have a panoramic view of the park around you in all its splendour.

When is the Best Time to Visit Jim Jim Falls?

Explore Jim Jim Falls

Be sure to visit this incredible waterfall during the dry season between the months of April and November, when the trail to the falls is accessible by land. The peace and serenity of this destination inspires feelings of freedom and liberation as it allows you to get in touch with Australia’s stunning nature.

Visiting the Jim Jim Creek isn’t just an adventure into Australia’s stunning natural world, it also presents a historic look at the country and how the landscape may once have rolled out in this part of the world. As well as an eclectic selection of plant and animal life, you can learn more about the centuries-old history that imbues this area and explore some of the oldest landscapes that cover Australia.

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