You’ve been dreaming about a trip to World Heritage-listed Kakadu for ages. For an unforgettable visit, do your research and plan ahead. Planning your trip
If heading into any remote spots, there may be times when you don’t see another person for hours. While this is fine when things are going well, if you break down or run out of fuel, you’ll be wishing another boat would cruise past and give you a hand. Save yourself the embarrassment. Make sure your boat and emergency gear are all in good order and work out how much fuel you’ll need for the trip, taking into account any extra you might require if you’re travelling against strong tides.
Getting there When you’re checking the weather forecast and tide times, also check the latest road conditions online at www.kakadu.com.au/access or give Bowali Visitor Centre a call on 08 8938 1120 to make sure you can get through. Sandbars and strong currents on the South Alligator River can be treacherous, while the East Alligator is known for its rock-bars and submerged logs. If it’s your first visit to Kakadu, ask to speak with one of the district rangers who’ll be up to speed with the local conditions.
If you’re towing your boat, the South Alligator River and Yellow Water Billabong (via Home Billabong) are the most readily accessible boating spots during the Wet. As soon as the Magela is low enough to cross, the East Alligator is also a great option. If you have a larger vessel, put in at Shady Camp and head around the coast to moor at the mouth of the Wildman River and do day trips from there.
While you’re out there You’re in crocodile country, so play it safe and follow the basic rules. Never clean or bleed your fish on or near the water. Use landing nets to get your big one into the boat and remain alert around boat ramps when launching and retrieving.
Before you leave Help reduce the spread of weeds into other waterways by removing any clumps of salvinia from your trailer and propeller before you leave the boat ramp at Home Billabong and Yellow Water. And think of others by leaving the fish cleaning bays at the South and East Alligator boat ramps tidy before you head home. Get the facts For detailed information about boat ramp locations, crocodile safety advice and rules for fishing in Kakadu, download Kakadu’s Fishing & Boating Park Note from http://www.environment.gov.au/parks/kakadu/visitor-activities/fishing-boating.html
If you’re arriving from interstate, remember to purchase your $25 Park Pass from one of these outlets before you hit the water: • Tourism Top End, corner Bennett and Smith Streets, Darwin • Goymarr Interpretive Centre, Mary River Roadhouse, southern entrance to Kakadu • Gagudju Lodge Cooinda, near Yellow Water in Kakadu • Bowali Visitor Centre, at the northern end of the Kakadu Highway • Katherine Visitor Information Centre, corner Lindsay Street and Katherine Terrace, Katherine • Aurora Kakadu South Alligator, 65km east of the northern entrance to Kakadu, Arnhem Highway