A guide to the Kakadu wetlands

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 01/29/2024

Reading time: 3 mins

Kakadu National Park is made up of a variety of landscapes.

Over half of Kakadu National Park contains wetlands. This includes floodplains, estuaries, offshore islands, and tidal flats. The Wildman and West Alligator rivers also play an important role in the wetland ecosystem.

On a journey through the wetlands, you will be surrounded by fascinating birds and wetland plants everywhere you look. Some walks will take you past a display of water lilies, while other walks will lead you past a variety of majestic birds.

Importance of Wetlands

Kakadu Wetlands

Wetlands play heaps of important roles that many people don’t realize. They help reduce risks of weather events including flooding, droughts, and cyclones. They do so by absorbing excess rainwater, which reduces the risk of floods. During dry seasons, the water that has been stored in the wetlands gets released and ultimately reduces water shortages and droughts.

There are lots of things that are being done in Australia to keep wetlands protected as well. There are various wetland recovery programs and environmental policies that are helping protect the wetlands. Since the wetlands in Kakadu are part of a national park, they are part of a protected area. There is also continued monitoring of wetland conditions in Australia. This makes sure that the environment is thriving and not under any harm.

The wildlife of the Kakadu Wetlands

There are many plants and animals that thrive in the wetlands of Kakadu National Park. There is an impressive mangrove forest located in Kakadu that includes about 75% of the world’s mangrove species. In the waters, there are several fish species and both saltwater and freshwater crocodiles.

Kakadu is most known for the bird life that is found there. The national park holds around one-third of the bird species in Australia. Specifically from August to October, around one million birds gather in the wetlands. This includes over 60 different species of birds! Some of the most common birds to spot in Kakadu are the magpie geese, purple swamp hens, finches, and cormorants.

Kakadu’s Mamukala wetlands

Mamukala wetlands

The Mamukala wetlands are a large area located in Kakadu National Park. One of the most popular activities in the Mamukala wetlands is bird watching. There are various hiking trails on which you are able to spot a range of birds. One of the walking loops leads to a bird hide, where you can take photos and not disturb the birds. The Mamukaka wetlands are a perfect spot for animal lovers and bird watchers.

There are many other walking loops nearby to continue taking in the gorgeous scenery throughout Kakadu National Park. During the dry season, you may want to try the Gungarre Walk, which is only accessible during the dry season.

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.

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