What to pack for Kakadu National Park
A trip to the otherworldly Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory will undoubtedly be filled with good times, unforgettable adventures, and plenty of fantastic memories you can look back on long after you've gone home but before your journey begins, packing all the essential items you could possibly need is super important. In case you don't know where to start, we've put together a list of essentials from weather-appropriate clothing to binoculars so you're trip is guaranteed to be a stress-free one.
1. Appropriate walking/hiking shoes
When travelling to Kakadu National Park it's sort of a given you'll be doing a lot of exploring on foot, meaning packing comfortable and appropriate shoes with you is a big yes. And we're not just talking about shoes you bought specifically for your trip that haven't been worn yet. Kakadu National Park is almost 20,000 square kilometres and if you want to explore even the tiniest portion of it you can't be walking around with blisters from shoes you thought were going to be comfy but turn out to be the complete opposite. You've been warned.
2. Long or lightweight clothing
If you're travelling to Kakadu during the warmer months then packing long clothing might not be high on your priority list but trust us when we tell you that your legs will thank us for it. Trekking through the park is tough at the best of times and some of the hikes open to the public require you to go bushwalking, meaning if you're wearing shorts then expect your legs to be scratched with every step. The best way to avoid this? Wear long pants.
3. Cardigans & jackets
Regardless of when you're travelling to Kakadu National Park, it's a good idea to pack some warmer clothing as it can get cooler during the evening, especially during the winter months. Temperatures can get down to 20°C during the months of June and July and while that might not seem low, it's still worth packing cardigans or jackets to ensure you're not cold when the sun goes down.
There are plenty of natural pools in Kakadu National Park where you can play around and swim including Gunlom, Motorcar Falls, and Jim Jim Falls so to make the most of this beloved park's natural beauty, pack your bathing suit. Whether you want to soak for a while and listen to the sounds of the Aussie wilderness or cool off after a long and challenging trek through the bush, these swimming holes are guaranteed to add another layer of fun to your trip.
5. Sun protection gear e.g. sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses etc.
Even if you're travelling to Kakadu during the colder months, the UV rays can still be quite high so making sure you're fully protected against the sun should be at the top of your priority list especially since you'll be spending a considerable amount of time in the great outdoors. Some sun protection essentials include sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses so you don't have to squint.
6. Visitors guide/park notes
If you're exploring Kakadu National Park as part of a group, like on our Hike the Kakadu National Park trip, then having a visitors guide or your own park notes with you may not seem that important. However, it's always a good idea to have as much information as possible about where you're going and the type of landscape you can expect to lower any chances of getting confused or lost when out hiking.
7. Reusable drink bottle
Kakadu National Park can be quite a physically challenging park, especially if you plan on undertaking some medium-difficult hikes, and the one thing you should always make sure you're doing while you're out and about is drinking water. Keeping up your hydration levels is super important, particularly if the temperature is high so this one's a no-brainer.
There are over 482 species of animals who call Kakadu National Park their home and the best way to spot as many as you can is to bring binoculars. From small reptiles sunbaking on rocks to fast-flying birds soaring through the skies, getting an up-close and personal look at some of Australia's native animals only adds to the fun of exploring this iconic national park.
While mobile phones do a pretty good job of capturing high-quality images these days, there's nothing like whipping out a camera and snapping a couple of pics of whatever breathtaking natural formation you're looking at. From zooming in to changing the settings, carrying a camera around with you opens up photography possibilities left, right and centre.
10. Backpack/day bag
This is another must-have if you're planning on spending most of your time outside in Kakadu National Park (this should be everyone). There are plenty of things you need to carry around with you when you're trekking through the bush from sunscreen and lip balm to bandaids and mobile phones so packing a backpack or something similar to put everything in is a must.