Brendon hits the NT outback.
The not-so-friendly locals.
Take a refreshing dip.
Forget the driving hassles and maps, head to Kakadu from Darwin with Billy Can Tours to really enjoy the Territory.
Kakadu is Australia's largest national park, covering 20,000 square kilometres. It has a conservation zone of 48 square kilometres and is blessed with a river system within its boundaries.
Kakadu has incredible landscapes and the world's largest living reptile the saltwater crocodile. It holds 50,000 years of Aboriginal history, and three major groups still use traditional means of survival within the park.
Driving in the family car from Darwin to Kakadu is an easy drive, but if you want to explore the heart of the area, a guided four-wheel drive tour with Billy Can is the way to go.
Billy Can Tours won the Australian Tourism Award in 1999 and started as a backpacker operator around 12 years ago. They have 20 experienced guides who drive, cook and share their limitless knowledge with you. Their four-wheel drives are air-conditioned and comfortable, and take a maximum of seven people on tour. On coaster tours they take a maximum of 20.
The philosophy of Billy Can is not to rush rather to ponder and enjoy the beauty of your surroundings.
Around 50 minutes out of Darwin, the tour stops at the Bark Hut Inn in the Adelaide River area for a leg stretch. Next stop is Ubirr Rock, complete with sections of rock art it is the main Aboriginal site accessible to tourists. There is a one-kilometre circular walk around the rock and from the top is a 360° view of northern Kakadu, the Arnhemland escarpment and the wetlands.
For the Aboriginal people it has been a perfect environment for many years. Beautiful sandstone overhangs provide shade, and shelter from rain in the wet season. The floodplains mean plenty of fish, berries and yams.
The night is spent at Gagudju Cooinda Camp Site, which has 40 rooms, 30 budget rooms and a large camping area. Billy Can have their own area within the site. There are showers, a communal kitchen, eating and bar areas, a restaurant, pool and general store. Sleeping bags and sheets are provided, and for a little extra comfort, you can take your own pillow along.
Barramundi Gorge is accessible only by four-wheel drive, making it quite isolated. A one-kilometre walk through a melaleuca paperbark area takes you to a beautiful swimming hole with a waterfall that flows all year round. It's very inviting, but there are crocodiles in the area. Freshwater crocs are supposedly not as dangerous as their saltwater cousins, but they are nevertheless pretty frightening-looking creatures.
Yellow Waters is a large billabong well-known for its crocodiles. There are hundreds of them, but their presence hasn't deterred people from going to Yellow Waters in the mornings to see wildlife feasting on nature's smorgasbord and in the evenings to watch superb sunsets.
Near the southern exit, on your way out of the park, you will see Kakadu's largest termite mound. It measures 1.5m wide and is around 5-6m tall. Your guide explains how the mounds came to be, the different types of formations and how the termites work purely for the satisfaction of their queen.
Kakadu has beauty, history, nature and culture, and tourism has not taken away from any of that.