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If you’re planning a trip to Northern Australia, chances are you’ll find yourself in Darwin at some point. Darwin is filled with tons of fun things to do, and is a tourist destination in its own right. It’s great for both adventurers wanting to explore all the city has to offer or travelers who just want to relax on the beach. Darwin is also closely located to many other amazing places in Australia, including Kakadu National Park.
Kakadu National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Australia, and for good reason! The park is home to an abundance of wildlife, as well as some of the most stunning scenery in the country. From stunning waterfalls and hikes through the rainforest, to ancient Aboriginal rock art, there’s something for everyone in Kakadu National Park.
After living in Darwin and visiting Kakadu countless times, we’ve come to realize that taking a tour is the best way to see the park. It’s the most convenient, hassle-free option, and you’ll be able to see so much more than you would if you went it alone.
And we’re not the only ones who think so – even Darwin locals and Kakadu experts recommend booking a tour when visiting the park to maximize your time and ensure that you see all of the best sights!
In this blog, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about choosing a Kakadu tour from Darwin including choosing the 6 absolute BEST tours out there – we’ll even reveal our personal favorite!
Why go on a Kakadu Tour from Darwin
It’s no secret that Darwin is the starting point for most people visiting Kakadu National Park. After all, it’s the capital city of the Northern Territory in Australia and home to the closest airport – making it the perfect base for exploring Kakadu. With its convenient location, travelers can easily access all of the best attractions that Kakadu National Park has to offer.
However, what many people planning to visit Kakadu don’t realize is that the park is HUGE. At nearly 20,000 square kilometers, it’s one of the largest national parks in the country. And with so much ground to cover, it can be difficult to see everything that Kakadu has to offer without a little help.
This is where guided tours come in! Darwin is home to many great tour companies that offer day trips and multi-day excursions to Kakadu National Park. With a knowledgeable guide by your side, you’ll be able to see all of the best sights that the park has to offer without having to worry about getting lost.
Not only that, but most tour companies also include transportation to and from Darwin, as well as all of the necessary equipment for your Kakadu adventure. This means that you can just sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride!
What are the different types of Darwin to Kakadu tours?
There are many different types of people who visit Kakadu National Park – and there are just as many different tours to cater to them!
Whether you’re a budget traveler who is short on time or a luxury traveler who wants to take your time and explore everything the park has to offer, there is definitely a tour for you. Below, we’re going to break down some of the different types of tours available so that you can choose the one that’s right for you.
Keep in mind that because the park is so big, we recommend visiting Kakadu for at least three days if possible. This will give you enough time to see all of the different attractions without feeling rushed.
6 BEST Kakadu Tours from Darwin
1. 3-Day Camping Kakadu Tour (Budget-friendly)
This 3-day small group safari is the perfect option for budget-minded travelers who want to explore Kakadu without breaking the bank (and our personal favorite tour!).
You’ll start your tour with a pick-up from Darwin, and then head straight into the park for an exhilarating three days of hiking, swimming, wildlife sighting, and exploring. You and your group of friends will cruise through the park in a 4×4 vehicle, making stops at all of the best sights along the way.
Highlights of this tour include Gunlom Falls, Jim Jim Falls, Ubirr Rock Art, and Nourlangie Rock Art – just to name a few! Spend your three days in Kakadu watching the sunset at Ubirr, taking a dive into the plunge pool at Jim Jim Falls, or enjoying the calm serenity of Edith Falls.
After an action-packed three days in Kakadu National Park, you’ll be dropped back off in Darwin, feeling refreshed and ready to take on the rest of your Australian adventure.
The price of this tour starts at $810 AUD per person and includes all meals, camping equipment, national park fees, and return transportation from Darwin. The cost also includes a professional guide who will show you all the best places to see wildlife and experience the true beauty of Kakadu. All you need to bring is your sense of adventure!
This is the Kakadu tour that we did during one of our trips to Kakadu National Park and absolutely loved! One of the best parts about this tour is that you’ll get to camp under the stars in Kakadu National Park – something that we highly recommend doing at least once in your life!
It’s a perfect option for nature buffs who don’t mind sleeping in a tent, and who want to get the most bang for their buck.
Related Read: Love waterfalls? Check out the best waterfalls near Darwin!
2. 3-Day Kakadu Tour in Hotels (Luxury tour)
This 3-day Kakadu tour is the perfect option for those who want to explore the park without sacrificing modern amenities. Instead of camping, this tour includes hotel accommodation.
On this cultural tour of Kakadu, you’ll get off the beaten path and learn about the traditional Aboriginal way of life. You’ll venture into Arnhemland, visit ancient rock art sites that are only accessible by foot, and with the guidance of a knowledgeable indigenous tour guide, you’ll get to experience Kakadu from a completely different perspective.
You’ll start your tour with a pick-up from Darwin, and then head into Kakadu National Park for three days of exploration. You and your group will travel in luxury by air-conditioned coach, and end the night indoors at a comfortable hotel of your choice nearby the park.
One of the highlights of this tour is a visit to the world-famous Yellow Water Billabong, where you’ll take a cruise and spot crocodiles, birds, and other wildlife in their natural habitat. This tour also includes stops at the Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre and the Kakadu Heritage Centre, where you can learn about the history and culture of the Aboriginal people.
After three days of fun-filled exploration, you’ll be dropped back off in Darwin, feeling like you’ve gotten a true taste of Kakadu National Park.
The price of this tour starts at $1650 AUD per person and includes all meals, return transportation from Darwin, national park fees, and three nights of hotel accommodation. Choose from one of three different overnight accommodation options to suit your budget and style.
This tour is the perfect option for those who want to explore Kakadu National Park in luxury and style. If you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, this is the tour for you!
You can book this luxury tour here.
3. 4-Day Kakadu 4WD Tour
Prepare for the safari adventure of a lifetime on this four-day Kakadu tour from Darwin! This is one of the longest tours available, and therefore, one of the most in-depth.
On this 4-day tour, you’ll explore Kakadu National Park in a small group of no more than six people. You’ll travel by four-wheel-drive vehicle, making stops at all of the best sights in Kakadu along the way.
Visit spectacular waterfalls, ancient rock art sites, and beautiful lookout points. Spot crocodiles, birds, and other wildlife in their natural habitat as you cruise through the ancient Billabong wetlands by boat. Spend the day learning about the history and culture of the Aboriginal people from your knowledgeable tour guide, and relax in comfort each night at one of the comfortable lodges or hotels located nearby the park.
The price of this tour starts at $1700 AUD per person and includes all meals, return transportation from Darwin, national park fees, an accredited Outback driver/guide, and three nights of twin-share accommodation in Kakadu and Pine Creek.
This is the perfect Darwin to Kakadu tour for explorers who want to get off the beaten path and explore Kakadu National Park in an intimate group setting. Travelers with a moderate fitness level are recommended for this tour, as there is some walking involved.
You can book this safari adventure tour here.
4. 2-Day Kakadu Tour
This 2-day tour of Kakadu National Park is the perfect option for those who want to explore the park without spending a lot of time.
On this tour, you’ll cruise around Kakadu in style in a luxury air-conditioned coach, equipped with wifi and USB ports to keep those cameras charged! You’ll visit all of the best Kakadu sights, including the world-famous Yellow Water Billabong, the Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre, and the Kakadu Heritage Centre.
This tour also includes stops at spectacular waterfalls and beautiful lookout points around the park. You’ll cruise through the Billabong wetlands in search of crocodiles, birds, and other wildlife, learn about the history and culture of the Aboriginal people, and take in dramatic views of the park from Ubirr Rock – where you’ll see ancient Aboriginal rock art that is over 20,000 years old!
The cost of this tour starts at $995 AUD and includes return transportation from your hotel in Darwin, lunch on both days, Kakadu National park fees, admission to the Yellow Waters Cruise and East Alligator River Cruise, and one-night accommodation in a room category of your choice.
This tour is perfect for those who want to explore Kakadu National Park in a shorter amount of time, or for those who want to do so without spending a lot of money. This tour is also great for families with small children, as it includes plenty of opportunities to see wildlife and take in the scenery without doing too much walking.
You can book this 2-day tour here.
5. 1-day Kakadu Tour from Darwin
This full-day Kakadu tour from Darwin is perfect for those who want a little taste of the park without committing to a longer tour.
On this dynamic day tour of Kakadu, you’ll visit the world-famous East Alligator River, where you’ll join an Aboriginal guide on a Guluyambi cultural cruise (in dry season) or a Yellow Water cultural cruise (in wet season) in search of crocodiles, birds, and other wildlife. You’ll also have a chance to visit Arnhem land where you’ll watch a cultural demonstration, see ancient rock art at Ubirr Rock and enjoy picturesque views from Nadab lookout.
The cost of this tour is $290 AUD per person and includes a professional guide, pick up and drop off from select hotels in Darwin, and admission to the cultural cruise. Lunch, snacks, and water are also provided on this Darwin to Kakadu tour.
This tour is a great way to see some of the highlights of the park without having to spend a lot of money or time in Kakadu. We honestly only recommend this tour to travelers with a really short time frame though, as it really only scratches the surface of all there is to see and do in Kakadu.
You can book this full-day tour here.
6. Scenic Flight Tour
This once-in-a-lifetime experience is the perfect way to see Darwin and Kakadu from a completely unique perspective!
On this tour, you’ll take a 1-hour scenic flight over Darwin city and harbor, before heading out to Kakadu National Park for incredible aerial views of the world-famous Jim Jim Falls, the wetlands, and the wildlife that call Kakadu home. Get a birds-eye view of Kakadu as you soar above the wetlands and majestic natural landscapes carved out over millions of years. This tour is perfect for those who want an unparalleled experience and a chance to see Kakadu National Park and Darwin from above!
The cost of this tour is $795 AUD per person and includes a 2-hour scenic flight, and a window seat on board the aircraft – perfect for soaking up the stunning views and taking photos! Infants under two years old can ride for free on this tour.
This tour is an extremely popular choice among travelers to Darwin, so we recommend booking in advance before it sells out.
You can book this scenic flight tour here.
Is a Kakadu Tour from Darwin worth it?
If you’re thinking of visiting Kakadu National Park, you might be wondering whether it’s better to go on a tour or try to explore the park on your own. While there are certainly merits to both approaches, we think taking a guided Kakadu tour from Darwin is the way to go.
Benefits of choosing a Darwin to Kakadu tour
We truly believe that the best way to see Kakadu is with an expert guide. Darwin to Kakadu tours offer a number of benefits that you just won’t get if you try to explore the park on your own.
For one thing, Kakadu is a huge park, and it can be tough to know where to start if you’re going it alone. With a tour, you’ll have somebody who knows the lay of the land and can show you all the best bits. You will also have the peace of mind of knowing that somebody else is taking care of the logistics, so you can just sit back and enjoy the ride.
Secondly, if you’re like most people visiting Kakadu National Park, you probably don’t have a lot of experience driving in the outback. That’s where guided tours come in handy. Not only will you have someone who knows the area well and can navigate the sometimes treacherous roads, but you’ll also get to enjoy the company of other people on the tour.
Next, tours also tend to be more affordable than going at it alone, as they often include things like park fees, entrance tickets to attractions, and meals. This means that you’ll be able to see and do more without having to worry about budgeting for everything.
And lastly, let’s face it – going on a tour is just more fun than going it alone! You’ll get to share your experiences with people who are just as excited about seeing Kakadu as you are. So if you’re looking for an easy and enjoyable way to see this amazing part of Australia, a guided tour is definitely the way to go.
Where to Stay in Darwin before/after your Kakadu Tour
If you’re visiting Kakadu from Darwin, then you’re going to need somewhere to stay in Darwin before and after your trip. There are tons of amazing places to stay in Darwin. In fact, there are so many that you might have a hard time choosing!
For that reason, I’ve hand-selected the best hostel, hotels, and Airbnbs for you in Darwin. These choices are based on my own personal experience and the experiences of friends and family who always came to visit us in Darwin!
Best Hostel – Youth Shack
This backpackers hostel is located right on Mitchell Street in the most central location. They have dorm beds, budget private rooms, and all rooms have air conditioning. Their rooftop pool and bar is always busy ad the perfect place to party and meet other travelers. You can book the Youth Shack on either Booking.com or Hostelworld.
Best Budget Hotel – The Cavenagh
This centrally located hotel is super cheap but also comfortable with a pool and clean rooms. They have standard double rooms but also have a few dorms available. The onsite restaurant is a favorite among Darwin locals for their delicious steak and cold beer!
Best Moderately Priced Hotel – Travelodge Resort Darwin
I love the Travelodge Resort Darwin for their amazing outdoor area complete with tropical gardens and multiple pools. Located a short walk from Mitchell Street, this hotel is in a quiet area but still central. Their rooms are great value and are perfect for couples or families.
Best Luxury Stay – Mindil Beach Casino and Resort
It doesn’t get more luxurious in Darwin than the Mindil Beach Resort. Located right on Mindil Beach, this hotel is known for its oceanfront pools, tons of delicious onsite bars and restaurants, and just pure luxury! If you’re looking for the best place to stay in Darwin – then this is it!
Best Holiday Home/Airbnb – Darwin Buena Vista Executive Apartment
This holiday home is located right near the Darwin Waterfront and includes everything you’d expect from a fully self-constrained apartment. Fitted with a full kitchen, laundry, and onsite pool it has everything. The apartment has a queens bed and a single bed and therefore sleeps up to 3 people.
Thanks for reading!
There you have it, 6 Kakadu Tours from Darwin. As you now know, each tour offers something different and caters to different types of travelers – be sure to pick the right tour for you and I’m certain you’ll love your time in Kakadu.
If you enjoyed this blog, be sure to check out some of our other blogs about Australia including a few related reads below: