Darwin to Kakadu

Turn a road trip into a voyage with some fun stops along the way!

Driving time from Darwin to Kakadu is roughly 2.5 hours but there are lots of sights to see along the way, so why not take your time?

Fogg Damm Conservation Area is a beautiful wetland to stop and explore, with plenty of wildlife including many varieties of birds as well as water pythons and freshwater turtles. From December to July water lilies and other plants are in bloom.

Open: All year round

Fogg Dam conservation Area | Image credit www.nt.gov.au

Combine a trip to Fogg Dam with a stop in at the Window on the Wetlands Visitor Centre. The fantastic interpretation centre has a 270 degree view of the wetlands below and interactive displays to inform and entertain. During the tropical summer season the viewing area can provide a fantastic view of dramatic lightning storms.

Open: Every day from 8.00 am to 7.00 pm

Entry: Free

Water lily - Photo by Parks Australia

Mary River National Park (4WD needed) is home to a huge variety of birdlife from flocks of corellas to brolgas and black-necked storks to magpie geese and sea eagles. Shady Camp is a good spot to stay overnight, or do a spot of fishing.

To travel to Point Stuart you’ll need a 4WD equipped with full emergency supplies to traverse the 57 km unsealed road. If you travel this far you’ll need to stop for the night. Accommodation is available such as Point Stuart Wilderness Lodge - as well as a licensed saloon bar and bistro. Those interested in the history of the area may want to drive all the way up to Point Stuart and reach the coast. A 5 km walk will take you to the John McDouall Stuart cairn which marks the spot the exploration party camped in 1862. Stuart was the first non-Indigenous person to traverse from south to north back in 1862 – and the Stuart Highway up the middle of Australia is named after him.

Mary River | Image credit Point Stuart Wilderness Lodge

Back on the road towards Kakadu, stop at the Bark Hut Inn – it’s becoming a favourite with travellers. The presenters of ‘Sunrise’ certainly thought the pub was iconic when they stopped in. It’s got great memorabilia, good pub food and lashings of outback hospitality - they even have pet buffaloes which you can feed, and often rescued wallabies. Pool, camping and accommodation are also available.  From here it’s only 20 minutes to the park entry!  Welcome! You’ve made it to the Kakadu Information Bay! Stop for a selfie with the park welcome sign, and grab all your initial information to help plan your visit. There are also toilets and picnic facilities available.

bark hut inn.jpg

Kakadu offers 20,000 sq km of World Heritage-listed national park to explore. Stay tuned for more great articles, itineraries and listicles. And let us know what you’d like to see covered in the future.