Exploring the Warradjan Cultural Centre

Exploring the Warradjan Cultural Centre

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 11/08/2019

Reading time: 3 mins

Kakadu National Park is filled with cultural experiences and Aboriginal history, a visit to the Warradjan Cultural Centre is a must.

The Warradjan Cultural Centre in Kakadu National Park teaches visitors about the rich Indigenous heritage of the people and land of the park. Developed and run by the park’s traditional owners, the centre is the perfect starting point for any visitor to Kakadu.

The displays include artefacts from the region and tell stories from the traditional owners. These stories have been selected specifically to share with visitors. There are many more they keep secret for their community. The Centre uses contemporary museum techniques to display personal stories, traditions, bush tucker and more. Additionally, the Centre sells arts and crafts made by local Aboriginal artists. During the week you can often find artists at the centre creating new pieces.

As you enter the building you will notice its distinct round shape. The design represents the Warradjan, pig-nosed turtle. This strange-looking creature, a freshwater turtle with flippers and a pig-like snout, has been living in Kakadu for thousands of years. The turtles were a source of food for many people, with bone fragments found in many ancient occupation sites. Additionally, many rock paintings in the park depict Warradjan. Today, the Bininj/Mungguy people still eat the quick-moving reptile.


Their ‘Our Land is Our Life’ exhibit details how hunting methods were altered depending on the season and the recent history of the park. Additionally you will learn about bloodlines and marriage rights, elder stories, and the impact of white settlement. Meanwhile, the ‘Come Look and Feel Our Culture’ exhibit focuses on traditional owners. It helps in building understanding of connection to land and their country.

By visiting the Centre before travelling through the rest of the park you will have a deeper appreciation and understanding of Aboriginal culture. Escape the heat and gain a more in-depth understanding of Indigenous beliefs, cultural lives, and connection to land. Additionally, visiting rock paintings, for example, becomes much more rewarding once you have learnt about the people who made them and the legends that have been passed down for thousands of years that they represent.

When planning your visit check the opening hours of the Centre as they change throughout the wet and dry seasons. You should anticipate at least an hour to explore the Centre and fully appreciate everything they have to offer.

The Warradjan Cultural Centre should be an early stop on any itinerary of Kakadu National Park. The understanding and knowledge you will gain here will heighten your experience, and help you grasp the significance of culture to the traditional owners.

You need a permit to enter Kakadu National Park so save time and book your permit before you leave.

Related article: How did Kakadu get its name?

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.