Do you need a 4WD to visit Kakadu National Park?

The short answer is no, the long answer is…it’s complicated.

A popular question among people looking to go to Kakadu National Park is do I need a 4WD to visit? Well, we have exciting news for you, no you don’t!

Hiring a car can be expensive at the best of times, add the need for that car to be a four-wheel drive and you’ve just skyrocketed the price even further! Lucky for you there are a few options to help avoid exorbitant rental car prices.

  • Take a 2WD car

    While there are certainly benefits to having a 4WD drive car when visiting Kakadu, you can get by with a good 2WD. Kakadu is a well-developed park with a high number of visitors every year. The two main highways through the park are both fully sealed. In addition to this, many of the main side roads to popular sites are also sealed. If driving your own 2WD car there are some well-maintained gravel roads that you may drive down safely. However, if hiring a car, remember that you cannot drive on any gravel road, no matter how well maintained.

  • Join a 4WD tour

    Many people choose to join a tour of Kakadu for a variety of reasons, including the ease of not needing to navigate their own way around the park. 4WD and Safari bus tours are a great way to experience Kakadu as the vehicles are equipped to take you to all the fantastic sites you can’t access in a 2WD. They’ll also know of what areas need permits to enter and which roads are the safest for the time of year you are travelling. 4WD tours are also great for those who have little or no experience driving in all-terrain areas.

  • Advantages of 4WDs

    We’ll be honest, to access the best parts of Kakadu National Park, a 4WD is essential. Many great spots are accessible in a 2WD. However, you won’t be able to access any waterfalls, gorges or swimming holes as they are all located on unsealed roads. Most of the tracks are not particularly difficult to drive but still require a 4WD. It is also important to check road access daily to see what roads are safe to travel. If visiting in the wet season 4WDs must also be fitted with a snorkel.

To see the best of what Kakadu National Park has to offer with the least amount of effort, a tour is a fantastic option. You’ll head to all the best 4WD-only access spots and have none of the stress of getting bogged!

One of the best ways to do Kakadu is on a multi-day tour. Camp in the park, access restricted permit areas and experience all the beauty the park has to offer.

No matter which way you choose to see Kakadu, always remember to drive safe and smart. Keep an eye out for access updates, adhere to road signs and warnings, and leave the park as you found it.

Related article: How to get to Kakadu National Park?

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