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5 Different Kakadu Tours from Darwin: Our Personal Favorite Tours  

5 Different Kakadu Tours from Darwin: Our Personal Favorite Tours  

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If you’re looking to experience all of the wildlife, scenery, and adventures that Kakadu National Park has to offer, you’ve come to the right place!

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. 

In this blog, we’ve narrowed down the absolute best tours from Darwin to Kakadu for every type of traveler. Whether you’re looking for a quick one-day trip or a multi-day adventure, you are sure to find the perfect experience for you below!

Quick Pick: Our TOP Kakadu Tour

Our overall top choice for a tour to Kakadu that can fit into anyone’s schedule and budget is this one-day tour from Darwin!

Although we think it’s nice to spend a few days in the park if you can, a lot of people don’t have that luxury, and this tour really makes the most out of the time you spend there. You’ll experience a cultural cruise, along with many scenic stops to learn all about this UNESCO World Heritage Park.

We love that everything is included on this tour from lunch to hotel pick-up and drop-off, so you just get to sit back and relax. It costs only $340 AUD per person and operates on select days of the week from mid-April to November. Make sure to book in advance as this popular tour is bound to book up – just check out the hundreds of glowing 5-star reviews here if you don’t believe me!

Why go on a Kakadu Tour from Darwin?

Relaxing in Barramundi Gorge (Maguk) Waterfall
Relaxing in Barramundi Gorge (Maguk) Waterfall!

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? 

A lady poses for a photo at a viewpoint in Kakadu National Park
One of the viewpoints over Kakadu!

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. 

Our 5 Favorite Kakadu Tours from Darwin 

1. 3-Day Camping Kakadu & Litchfield Tour (Best budget-friendly multi-day option) 

Cooking food at a campsite in Kakadu National Park
Cooking up dinner at our campsite!

This 3-day small group safari is the perfect option for budget-minded travelers who want to explore Kakadu without breaking the bank. We did this tour on one of our trips to Kakadu and loved it!

The tour departs from Darwin and heads straight to Kakadu National Park for an exhilarating three days of hiking, swimming, wildlife sighting, and exploring. We got to cruise through the park on a 4 x 4 vehicle while making stops at all of the best sights along the way.

Highlights of this tour include a wetland cruise to spot some crocodiles, a visit to the Ubirr Rock to view the ancient Aboriginal rock art, hiking through the rainforest, swimming in plunge pools, and visiting some amazing waterfalls – this tour truly does it all!

What we thought was really neat about this tour was that the 3rd day was spent in Litchfield National Park, so we got to experience the best of two different National Parks before heading back to Darwin in the evening.

We think this tour is perfect for anyone on a budget, who doesn’t mind roughing it and camping for 2 nights. It departs on select days from mid-April to October and includes all meals, camping equipment, national park fees, your professional guide, and transportation to/from Darwin. If you don’t mind sleeping under the stars in a self-contained bush bed roll, the tour costs $995 AUD, or you can upgrade to a safari tent for $1,150 AUD per person.

Related Read: Love waterfalls? Check out the best waterfalls near Darwin!

2. 4-Day Kakadu & Katherine Tour (Luxury Option)

A boat cruise in Kakadu National Park with a crocodile in the water
Seeing crocodiles in Kakadu National Park on a cruise!

Prepare for the safari adventure of a lifetime on this four-day Kakadu tour from Darwin! This tour is perfect for those who want to explore the park in depth without sacrificing modern amenities. You’ll thoroughly explore Kakadu National Park in a small group of no more than 20 people on a four-wheel-drive vehicle, making stops at all of the best sights in Kakadu and Katherine along the way. 

This tour itinerary is packed with amazing activities. Visit spectacular waterfalls, ancient rock art sites, and beautiful lookout points. Spot crocodiles, birds, and other wildlife in their natural habitat as you cruise down the East Alligator River on the Guluyambi Cultural. Spend time learning about the history and culture of the Aboriginal people from your knowledgeable tour guide, and best of all, relax in a comfortable hotel each night!

We love that this tour also brings you to the quaint town of Katherine to experience the highlights of this beautiful area. You’ll go on a 2-hour cruise down the Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge, soak in the Katherine hot springs, and visit the stunning Edith Falls before heading back to Darwin.

This 5-star tour (check out the glowing reviews here) starts at $2,260 AUD per person depending on the accommodation type selected. It includes all meals, listed activities, roundtrip transportation from Darwin, national park fees, an accredited Outback driver/guide, and three nights of accommodation in Kakadu and Katherine. It departs every Monday from May to November and is very popular, so make sure to reserve in advance so you don’t miss out!

Related Read: One of our favorite experiences in Australia was snorkeling in Exmouth, WA – check out the other activities there!

3. 1-day Kakadu Tour from Darwin (Best Short Tour)

Our 4wd tour vehicle on our tour through Kakadu National Park
The only way to get around Kakadu is in a 4WD!

This full-day Kakadu tour from Darwin is perfect for those who want a taste of Kakadu National Park, but don’t have the time or budget to do a multi-day 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 the dry season) or a Yellow Water cultural cruise (in the 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 $340 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 day tour. At around 14 hours, this tour makes for a long day, but we think it’s a great option to see Kakadu for those who can’t do one of the other multi-day tours – just check out the hundreds of 5-star reviews it has here!

4. Scenic Flight and River Cruise Day Tour (Bucket-list Option)

A birds eye view of a waterfall in Kakadu NP
Seeing Kakadu from above is so breathtaking!

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 scenic flight from Darwin over to Kakadu National Park for incredible aerial views of waterfalls, the wetlands, and the wildlife that call Kakadu home. Once in Kakadu, you’ll enjoy a cruise down the Yellow River to view crocodiles in their natural habitat, before visiting the Aboriginal Cultural Centre and heading back on another scenic flight.

This bucket-list activity is perfect for anyone who wants an unparalleled experience and a chance to see Kakadu National Park and Darwin from above! It is also a great option for those who don’t have time for a multi-day tour and want to make the most out of the day in Kakadu by flying instead of driving there.

The cost of this tour is $849 AUD per person and includes your flights and headsets, your knowledgeable guide, the river cruise, all national park fees, and lunch and drinks. This highly-rated tour operates daily year-round and departs at 9 am. It is an extremely popular choice among travelers to Darwin, so we recommend booking in advance before it sells out!

5. 2-Day Kakadu Tour 

Rock art in Kakadu National Park
Rock art in Kakadu National Park!

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, a scenic flight over the area, 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 $1,875 AUD and includes return transportation from your hotel in Darwin, breakfast lunch on both days and one dinner, Kakadu National park fees, admission to the Yellow Waters Cruise and East Alligator River Cruise, 30-minute scenic flight, 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.

Is a Kakadu Tour from Darwin worth it? 

People pose with the Kakadu national Park sign
Be sure to get a photo with the sign!

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 

Local people from Kakadu demonstrate using traditional hunting weapons
Local people from Kakadu demonstrate using traditional hunting weapons!

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

travelodge resort darwin pool
Photo Credit: Travelodge Resort Darwin

If you’re visiting Kakadu from Darwin, then you’re going to need somewhere to stay in Darwin before and after your trip. Darwin is also a good base if you want to visit Litchfield National Park as it’s only 90 minutes from there!

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 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.

If you’re looking for more details on where to stay in Darwin, check out our complete blog! Otherwise, you can browse all of the hotels available online or plenty of apartments and holiday homes!

Thanks for reading!

Bailey and Daniel take a selfie in Kakadu NP
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:

Guide to a Jumping Croc Cruise in Darwin

Things to KNOW Before Visiting Kakadu

Darwin to Litchfield Road Trip Itinerary

Things to do in Darwin, Australia