Gurrung, from mid-August to mid-October, is one of Kakadu's six seasons. The weather is hot and dry. Waterbirds gather in huge flocks in the remaining waterholes and the bright yellow flowers of the kapok bush can be seen everywhere at this time of year. It is still 'goose time' but also time for Kakadu's Bininj/Mungguy traditional owners to hunt file snakes and long-necked turtles. Towards the end of the season, white-breasted wood swallows arrive and thunderclouds build, signalling the return of Gunumeleng.
Some of our favourite places to visit during Gurrung are listed below.
To plan your trip:
- Consider the list of seasonal highlights below. Click through for maps and more information
- Check our daily access report at kakadu.com.au/access to make sure your favourite areas are accessible (it's a good idea to check it on the day you travel too)
- For more detailed advice call our helpful staff at Bowali Visitor Centre on 08 8938 1120 or email email@example.com
- Have a great trip! Jump on our Facebook page (facebook.com/parksaustralia) or catch us on Twitter (twitter.com/#!/Parks_Australia) to tell us how you went
From May to early October, why not enjoy our free ranger-guided activities? They include art site talks, guided walks, cultural activities and slideshows, and they take place at some of Kakadu's most popular visitor sites. The timetable is published around April each year - contact our Bowali Visitor Centre if you would like to know more.
A great range of commercial tours are also available. Boat tours, scenic flights and guided day trips operate throughout the year. Find out more about tour options
South Alligator region
Gungarre Rainforest Walk- 2WD accessible. A 3.6 km walk leads you through monsoon rainforest and open woodland to a small year round pontoon that takes you out onto Angurrapal Billabong. Here you can enjoy an iconic Kakadu wetland up close at this fabulous time of the year.
Mamukala Wetlands - 2WD accessible. This site is particularly dramatic at this time of year as a multitude of bird species congregate here. A covered observation platform overlooking this wetland allows you to view the wildlife in comfort. A mural on the wall of the observatory illustrates seasonal changes that occur through the year.
Jabiru Township - 2WD accessible. This regional centre is a vital stop for fuel, food and other essential services.
Bowali Visitor Centre (open 8am-5pm daily) - 2WD accessible. This centre contains a wealth of information about Kakadu's natural heritage including plants, animals, history and park management practices. It is also a vital stop for the latest updates on road conditions, wet season access and information about things to see and do.
Jabiru to Bowali Walking Track - 2WD accessible. From Jabiru, enjoy a leisurely 4 km return walk on a rammed earth walking track through scenic open woodland on your way to the Bowali Visitor Centre. Here, view a display and films about Kakadu, grab a great coffee and a bite to eat and talk to our helpful staff about what's best to do.
Illigadjarr Walk - 2WD accessible. A two hour wander across a small grassy floodplain and along Burdulba Billagong. This 3.8 km circuit is a must for bird enthusiasts, starting at the Malabanjbanjdju or Burdulba Camping Areas.
East Alligator region
Ubirr - A 1 km circuit winds past several fascinating Aboriginal rock art sites. A moderately steep, 250 m climb takes you to the top of a rocky lookout offering superb views over the Nadab floodplain. This is the perfect place to enjoy the sunset.
Boat cruise - Join an Aboriginal guide on a Guluyambi Boat Cruise along the East Alligator River.
Manngarre Rainforest Walk - Wander through the rainforest near the East Alligator River. The walk starts near the Border Store on the way to Ubirr.
Bardedjilidji Walk - This walk winds between huge sandstone rocks, past rock shelters used by Aboriginal people for thousands of years. One of Kakadu's most interesting short walks.
Cahills Crossing Viewing Platform - Enjoy views of the East Alligator River in fast flow from the safety of a viewing platform and nearby picnic tables.
Nourlangie Rock Art Site - 2WD accessible. A series of ancient Aboriginal shelters and outstanding art sites are featured along this 1.5 km circuit. A moderately steep climb up to Gunwardewarde Lookout presents a panorama view out over the woodlands and across to part of Kakadu's escarpment known as Lightning Dreaming.
Nawurlandja Lookout - 2WD accessible. A 600 m climb up a moderately steep, rocky slope offers views over Anbangbang Billabong, across woodlands to the Kakadu escarpment. It is a pleasant spot to observe Nourlangie Rock reflecting shades of red and orange at sunset.
Anbangbang Billabong - 2WD accessible. This picturesque billabong sits in an open area of woodland, in the foreground of the impressive Nourlangie Rock escarpment. Its gently sloping banks and abundant plant life make it a popular watering hole for native wildlife, presenting some great photo opportunities. Take some lunch along and make use of the picnic tables nearby.
Yellow Water region
Yellow Water Wetland - 2WD accessible. From a boardwalk, watch life unfold on Yellow Water wetland, from diving birds to crocodiles sunning themselves on muddy banks.
Boat cruise - Drift through the Yellow Water Wetlands on a Yellow Water Boat Cruise, getting up close to Kakadu's abundant birdlife. You can also book a rare night time cruise.
Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre - 2WD accessible. Learn about Kakadu's local Indigenous culture including family, food, history, hunting, art and stories through a great cultural display and films.
Gungardun Walk - 2WD accessible. An easy 2 km circuit walk passes through eucalypt woodlands.
Jim Jim and Twin Falls region
Jim Jim Falls - Wander through monsoon forest and over boulders to a deep plunge pool beneath the Jim Jim Falls. During the dry season the waterfall stops flowing, leaving a mirror-like pool surrounded by spectacular 150 m high cliffs.
Barrk Malam Walk - This challenging walk takes you to the top of Jim Jim Falls. It is a very steep, difficult six km return walk through the rugged stone country typical of the Arnhem Land Plateau. Allow four to six hours.
Twin Falls - Access to Twin Falls is by a boat shuttle service and a walking track over boulders and sand, and a boardwalk.
Plateau above Twin Falls - A steep six km return walk takes you to the Twin Falls plateau, with good views and pools along Twin Falls Creek above the falls. Allow four to six hours.
Mary River region
Gunlom - 4WD recommended. A popular camping area near a clear plunge pool and waterfall - just remember the falls slow to a trickle during the dry season. A steep climb takes you to the top of the waterfall and a lookout with great views over southern Kakadu.
Yurmikmik Walks - 4WD only. This series of easy to moderate day walks travels through open woodlands. Return distances vary from 2 km to 11 km in length. The Boulder Creek walk is especially lovely, with a quick 2 km circuit leading through a beautiful landscape. On a longer walk to Motorcar Falls, enjoy the stunning landscape on the way to the falls and plunge pool.