Kakadu NP and the Top End Travel Route (Campervan Hire)

Explore the stunning Kakadu National Park and Australia’s Top End that offers everything in abundance – nature, culture and character!
Distance: 1,000kms
Time Frame: 7 days minimum
Best Time: May to September
Route PDF

Highlights of the Top End

  • Pick up/return your camper in Darwin or explore further afield and consider a one way hire
  • Enjoy the multi-cultural city of Darwin where you can see remnants from World War II. Visit the Mindil Beach Sunset Markets on a Thursday night (smaller on a Sunday Night)
  • Enjoy the beautiful lush Top End and explore the wetlands
  • World Heritage Kakadu National Park is tropical and lush in some places and red and rocky in others – a great opportunity to learn more about the Aboriginal Culture
  • Beautiful Litchfield National Park has diverse scenery and places to swim in the dry season. We recommend doing both as they are quite different and will both be highlights on your Top End adventure
  • There are some 4WD tracks in these parks, however plenty is accessible via 2WD
  • For those looking to spend a night at a working cattle station, there is camping available at Mt Bundy Station at the Adelaide River
  • Pop into Edith Falls on the way to Katherine (20 km sealed road detour) to enjoy walks, swimming and national park camping
  • Spend time in Katherine – a great place to stock up with provisions, before exploring the nearby stunning Katherine Gorge in the Nitmiluk National Park
  • Head an hour further south on the Stuart Highway to Mataranka. Relax in the thermal springs – there’s two separate springs, make sure you enjoy both (no cost)
  • For a fun night, stop at the popular outback pub at Daly Waters which has an adjacent campground

For more exciting details about this travel route, grab yourself a drink, sit back
and relax while you watch this 9 minute video giving you more insight about the route


Darwin, Kakadu and the Top End is a very popular area to explore in a camper.  For some, this forms part of an iconic trip down to Adelaide or others might continue along the stunning Western Australia coastline to Perth.  For those short on time, you may be exploring the Top End only but one thing is for certain – if you find yourself here, you won’t be disappointed.  There are a lot of natural attractions in a relatively small area.

Northern Territory:

  • There are crocodiles in the Top Third of Australia, so you may well be lucky to spot one or two as you are exploring these areas. A commonsense approach to the crocodiles will ensure there is no reason to be concerned
  • Areas that have crocodiles are well signposted – this means no swimming or standing in the water to fish for your prized barramundi
  • Some areas will be open for swimming, like in Litchfield National Park for example in the dry season. The reason they are open is that when the water levels are low enough, the area is checked for salt water crocodiles over a period of time.  When it is deemed safe, the area is opened.  If it is a late wet or unseasonal rain, some areas may be closed during what is usually considered the dry season.  This is for your safety
  • If you are travelling in the dry season, and would like to see some crocodiles, it is often possible to see them at Cahill’s Crossing (this crossing is the entry into Arnhemland; permit required; most hire vehicles not permitted). This is about 40 km from Jabiru in the Kakadu National Park, near Ubirr (easily accessible in dry season, viewing platform)
  • Depending on the tides, the crocodiles line up along the rocks to catch the barramundi as they are jumping over the rocks  (viewing platform or place to try and catch a barramundi, do not ever fish in the NT standing in the water)
  • Like many of the attractions in the NT it is a totally different experience in the dry season to the wet season

What Else?

  • See plenty of wildlife along this route also like Crocodiles (top third of Australia); kangaroos, wallabies and a vast range of birdlife
  • Learn about Aboriginal Culture, particularly in a well set up centre inside the Kakadu National Park
  • Explore the wetlands in the Top End
  • Enjoy a thousand star accommodation – you’ll see a number of commercial camps, low cost camps and free rest areas that allow overnight camping
  • Best travelled in the Dry Season (May to September)
  • Suggested minimum time frame of 7 days; many of our retired clients take longer or add it onto a trip to Perth, Adelaide, Alice Springs, Cairns or Brisbane
  • Refer to the Camps Australia Wide Guide book for locations for freedom camps which can be purchased for AU$65 from us, or you can purchase along your route at some information centres, book or camping stores.  You can also purchase an app called ‘Wiki Camps’ if you use a smart phone or tablet, plus the information centres en-route are a gold mine for local information.
  • On 1 September 2017, a Banned Drinkers Register began operation in the NT, in an effort to restrict access to alcohol for problem drinkers and make local communities safer.  What does this mean for you? When buying takeaway alcohol, you will be required to produce approved photo ID (primarily a drivers licence or passport) which will be scanned, triggering either a green or red light to indicate to the trader whether they may sell you alcohol.  No personal details are retained.  If you would like any further information on this, jump online and check out at  www.BannedDrinkerRegister.nt.gov.au.

For a personalised information pack for this travel route drop us an email or call us on +61 7 3314 1518 (Australia) or +64 3 547 3003 (New Zealand) and we can provide you with rates and vehicle options.

We have a wide range of vehicle options to suit your travel needs and you don’t pay any extra to deal with us and you will benefit from our one to one customer service, experience and greater variety of vehicle options.


map_enquiry_button1Click here to view the full route brochure (PDF document)