Can you do a day trip to Kakadu from Darwin?

Can you do a day trip to Kakadu from Darwin?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 11/27/2023

Reading time: 3 mins

Embark on a day trip to Kakadu to experience the natural beauty and unique scenic landscapes.

Kakadu is the Northern Territory’s largest national park filled with Aboriginal history, wildlife, and waterfalls.

You most certainly can do a trip to Kakadu from Darwin in a day! Even though with the long drive, it’s worth your time and it is an unforgettable experience exploring this part of the Territory.

You can tour Kakadu on your own with a four-wheel drive but if you’re a traveller and don’t have a car, you can hire one or book a one-day tour!

Things to do in Kakadu

You can try to fit all these things in a day or select some of the highlights that interest you the most if you decide to drive to Kakadu.

Warradjan Aboriginal Culture Centre

The Warradjan Aboriginal Culture Centre is the best way to start your journey through Kakadu. The traditional owners of Kakadu developed the culture centre which has displays of Aboriginal culture.

Ubirr Rock

Ubirr Rock has five different sites of different rock art, with most of the art being painted over 2000 years ago. The rock art was painted by Bininj and Mungguy people who are the traditional owners of the land and have lived here for thousands of years.

At the different sites, you might spot the Tasmanian tiger painting, long-neck turtle, or mimi spirits.

Yellow Water

Yellow Water is a large wetlands area that has scenic views and wildlife. The best way to see this spectacular side of Kakadu’s wetlands is by joining the two-hour cruise along the water. You get a remarkable journey across the wetlands and spot all kinds of wildlife with bonus scenic views during sunrise and sunset.

Cahills Crossing

Cahills Crossing is considered one of the most dangerous crossing points in Australia, and it could be due to the crocodiles! You can check out Cahills Crossing and not cross it yourself, but to just see it can be fascinating. You can overlook the crossing and see the crocs at the viewing area on the western bank of the East Alligator River.

Those who do want to cross it to ensure to have a high clearance four-wheel drive, cross during the dry season only, and during low tide. You will also need a permit to visit Garig Gunak Barlu National Park prior to crossing!


Kakadu has some magnificent waterfalls, including the tallest one in the Territory, Jim Jim Falls, which is about 200 metres high! Other notable waterfalls in Kakadu to visit include Gunlom Falls, Twin Falls, and Maguk.

If you can spend more time in Kakadu, we recommend spending around three days to get the best experience. You can even spend up to a week exploring Kakadu, but a one-day trip can be just as good if that’s all you can fit in during your Territory experience.

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.