Is Kakadu National Park in Arnhem Land?

Is Kakadu National Park in Arnhem Land?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 10/11/2019

Reading time: 3 mins

One of the most recognisable regions in the Northern Territory is Arnhem Land, but does it share land with Kakadu National Park?

What is Arnhem Land?

Arnhem Land, at the very top of the Northern Territory, is a 97,000 square kilometre stretch of land run by traditional owners. The area is known for its wilderness and has been relatively unimpacted by the European invasion of Australia.

The land has been occupied by Aboriginal communities for hundreds of thousands of years, belonging to traditional owners who have control over what can happen there. To enter Arnhem Land, you need a special permit, be sure to arrange your permit before leaving, or you may not be granted access.

Is Kakadu National Park in Arnhem Land?

No, it is not. Kakadu National Park is not in Arnhem Land, nor do the two areas have any cross over. However, they do share a border.

Though they do not share the same land, there are many similarities between the environments of Kakadu and Arnhem land. Both regions belong to traditional owners, and throughout Kakadu and Arnhem many people live on the land under traditional law. When visiting, it is important to always remember that you are entering someone’s home. You must be respectful of their beliefs and traditions.

Permits must be issued for you to access both Kakadu National Park and Arnhem Land, so plan your trip ahead. Both regions are rich in Indigenous history and culture. You’ll be able to learn more about the world’s oldest culture at various cultural centres and on Indigenous tours.

Exploring the Kakadu National Park – Arnhem Land border

  • East Alligator region

    The East Alligator region towards the top of Kakadu National Park is known as the gateway to Arnhem. Here you can find collections of World Heritage rock art, wild crocodiles and beautiful sunsets.

    The East Alligator river divides Kakadu from Arnhem land but also provides abundant fishing opportunities! One of the best places to set down a line and pull up some barramundi, the East Alligator River provides a spectacular Northern Territory experience. Keep an eye out for the ever-present crocodiles and be sure to keep yourself safe inside the boat.

  • South Alligator region

    For those who don’t feel like fishing, head towards the South Alligator region. Here you will come to the Arnhem Land escarpment. Formed by sandstone 500 million years ago, flowing waters wore down rock to form the plateau that can be seen today.

    Watching a sunset roll over the escarpment is something you will never forget. The warm bright sun lights up the sandstone, setting it alight in an orange hue.

Arnhem Land and Kakadu National Park are home to some of Australia’s oldest communities and best cultural experiences.

Related article: The Bininj People of the Northern Arnhem Land

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.