Does Kakadu National Park Close?

Does Kakadu National Park Close?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 04/29/2020

Reading time: 3 mins

Kakadu National Park is one of Australia’s most beautiful regions, but does this native oasis ever close?

The short answer is no! Technically the park does not close, nor does it have opening hours, however when you look a bit deeper there are certainly times when the park is closed.

Camping grounds

Kakadu National Park has many camping grounds scatted within its borders. Though camping grounds don’t exactly open or close, you might be surprised to know that some do lock! Once the lock is on the gates the campsites are closed until the next morning.

Due to the vast wilderness of this park, many campsites have cyclone fencing that gets locked in the evenings until the next morning. Though it might sound strange, there are several benefits to having these gates.

First, it means that the campsites can’t be looted. Looting and theft aren’t very common crimes in Australia at all but is always nice to have that little bit of extra security. Think of it like locking your things in a locket at a hostel.

The second, and more important, reason campsites close it to keep large predators out. No one wants to wake up to a crocodile roaming their campsite! Campsite close times differ around the park, as well as depending on time of year. No matter when or where you are camping our guides always make sure to get you to your campsite safe and sound.

Park Access

Kakadu National Park has a beautiful tropical climate. Its long, hot, dry season is crashed by spectacular wet season lightning storms and downpours.

While these downpours are undoubtedly beautiful and breathtaking to witness, they often cause flash flooding in certain areas in the park. This means that during the wet season many attractions are closed for months at a time.

Waterfalls and natural pools become hot spots for crocodile activity. Safety is always paramount when travelling through this natural wonder, and avoiding crocodiles is an important step to keeping safe.

In addition to full closures, some areas have restricted access. These areas are only accessible in four-wheel-drive vehicles, so if you’re venturing out without a tour you’re unlikely to be able to reach these areas. Don’t worry though, our guides will do their absolute best to show you as much of Kakadu as possible, even if you are travelling in the wet season!

Cultural closures

There is one other reason parts of the park may be closed to the public. Areas may be closed for a few days if the area is being used for cultural ceremony or tradition by the traditional owners. Additionally, many Aboriginal people still live within the park. This means that by entering areas marked as not open to the public you might be walking into someone’s home!
The best way to avoid this is to simply follow signage and listen to your guide.

Kakadu National Park is a beautiful park and even though some parts may be closed sometimes, there is always areas open for you to explore!

Related article: What is Kakadu national park famous for?

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.