What landscapes will you find in Kakadu?

What landscapes will you find in Kakadu?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 11/15/2019

Reading time: 3 mins

Each of the landscapes in Kakadu contains a unique eco-system and diverse plant and wildlife!

Kakadu National Park contains almost 20,000 square kilometres of land. With such a great size, it’s easy to understand how there are so many different landscapes across the land. The park contains six main land forms – savannah woodlands, southern hills and ridges, tidal flats and coast, floodplains and wetlands, stone country, and the outliers. Each landscape has its own attraction and iconic Kakadu sites for you to explore.

  • Savannah Woodlands

    The savannah woodlands are the biggest landscape in Kakadu. The cover nearly 80% of the park and consist mostly of tall grasses and eucalyptus trees. The woodlands act as habitat for more plant and animal species than anywhere else in the park. Though at first glance they seem rather empty, the areas are rich with wildlife. Walk quietly and listen to your surrounds, you’ll hear the soft calls of doves, honeyeaters and parrots welcoming you.

  • Southern Hills and Ridges

    The southern hills and ridges cover a large part of the southern end of Kakadu. Here, rock has been exposed from beneath the Arnhem escarpment. These rocks are 2500 million years old and create a unique eco-scape. Many of the species here cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The southern hills and ridges are the junction of two eco-systems. It is an important breeding ground for many uncommon species. Here you will see brightly coloured birds flocking as well as the antilopine wallaby.

  • Tidal flats and coast

    Coastal and estuarine areas cover approximately 500 square kilometres of Kakadu. Mangrove line most of these areas and unique species have learned to thrive in the areas low oxygen mud. It takes a special kind of animal to thrive in and around mangroves and the wildlife you’ll find here is particularly unique. These areas are hotspots for wetland bird life and turtles. The waters here are also home to dugongs (sea cow) and sea snakes.

  • Floodplains and Wetlands

    Floodplains and wetlands are exactly what they sound like. Large areas flood during the wet season, then recede during the dry season. It’s a constant cycle that sees the areas abundant with plant and wildlife due to nutrient rich soil and freshwater access. Kakadu’s funniest looking animal, the pig-nosed turtle, lives in the floodplains. These areas are also know as colloquially as croc-country. This is due to the regions famous saltwater crocodiles.

  • Stone Country

    The Arnhem Land Plateau forms the stone country of Kakadu National Park. It is believed that millions of years ago Kakadu was under a shallow sea. The escarpment formed sea cliffs, while the plateau served as flat land above the sea. Here you may see the endemic chestnut-quilled rock pigeon and the black wallaroo. These areas are also where you may come across freshwater crocodiles. Crocodiles bury their eggs in shallow holes here and become protective around humans.

  • Outliers

    The outliers are off cuts of stone country. Years of erosion has seen pieces of the Arnhem Land Plateau separate from itself. These separated areas are known as the outliers. These outliers were islands when the park was covered by ancient seas. Ubirr and Nourlangie Rock are good examples of outliers you might visit. 

Kakadu National Park has an array of landscapes for you to explore. Each provides its own unique experience for you to enjoy.

Related article: What are the main features of Kakadu National Park?

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.

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