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Kakadu & Top End

Kakadu Highlights No. 9: 6-19 September, 2015

Experience Wonderful Parts of Kakadu that Vehicle Based Visitors Can Never Know

Anbadgoran Falls

On this trip you will enjoy

This trip is more than just bushwalks.. It is a wonderful experience you'll never forget.

Sec 1. Twin Falls Creek: Sep 6-8

View down Twin Falls Gorge from the top of the falls

Twin Falls is one of the icons of Kakadu. For safety reasons, you can visit the bottom of the falls only on a shuttle boat operated by local Aboriginal guides. Swimming is not permitted at the bottom of Twin Falls so the short cruise is the only experience that most people get. A few go further and do the relatively short walk to the top of the falls where they get to look down the gorge from above.

We enjoy much more, much more. Day walkers are not permitted to go more than a short distance above the falls. They miss most of the upper gorge with its many pools and beaches. We carry our packs upstream to one of those beaches and enjoy a wonderful two-night campsite we share with no one else.

View down Twin Falls Gorge from the top of the falls View down Twin Falls Gorge from the top of the falls View down Twin Falls Gorge from the top of the falls

We spend a full day exploring upper Twin Falls Gorge, relaxing and swimming in the many pools. With rain unlikely, we might choose to leave the flies off our tents and sleep under the stars as in the final photo here.

Sec 2. Jim Jim & Anbadgoran — the Rainforest Gorge: Sep 8-14

Relaxing at Anbadgoran Falls

Jim Jim is the best known waterfall in Kakadu. What many visitors don't realise is that Jim Jim has normally dried to a trickle at this time of year. Even fewer realise that a few kilometres away is a different waterfall, spring-fed Anbadgoran, which flows strongly 365 days a year. Fortunately for us, Anbadgoran can be reached only on foot on a multi-day bushwalk so we should have it all to ourselves. The top photo on this page and the one at left show you part of the falls.

Downstream of the falls, the creek passes through one of the nicest patches of monsoon rainforest in Kakadu. While walking down the gorge isn't particularly easy, the entire walk is in deep shade with many pools which seem to demand that you stop for yet another swim.

Lunch stop in the rainforest Walking down the rainforest gorge Walking down the rainforest gorge

The photos here give you an idea of what walking down Anbadgoran Gorge is like, but the only way to really understand it is to experience it for yourself.

Relaxing at Anbadgoran Falls Relaxing at Anbadgoran Falls

As for Jim Jim, while Jim Jim Falls isn't normally flowing much at this time of year, there are still magnificent views, beautiful pools, some interesting Aboriginal rock art and lovely campsites upstream of the falls.

This section finishes with a short cultural walk with senior traditional owner Violet Lawson, a night at Cooinda and a Yellow Waters wetlands cruise.

Sec 3. Maguk and the Barramundi Area: Sep 13-19

This section overlaps the second with the night at Cooinda and the Yellow Waters Cruise. After the cruise, you drive to Maguk and Barramundi Creek, the area which contains the largest and deepest pools we have found in Kakadu.

Top Falls, Barramundi Creek tributary Barramundi Creek, camp 1

Maguk or Barramundi gorge is one of the most popular dry season swimming spots in Kakadu. While it is a beautiful place, few people realise that there are even more spectacular places upstream, accessible only on a multi-day bushwalk.

A three km walk from the Maguk car park brings us upstream of the day use area to a sandy beach next to a lovely pool. On most trips, this is as far as we go on the first day. As always, we should have this campsite to ourselves.

Several kilometres further upstream, we turn off onto a tributary where we find the best flowing water in the area. Unofficially, the pool below the falls is called the Emerald Pool and the ones above Picaninny Pools as they bring out a child's sense of wonder and play in most of those who visit. The second photo here shows a view of Picaninny Pools from a view point on the way up.

Emerald Pool Click to see a short video. Emerald Pool

Swimming at Emerald Pool. Click the wider photo to see a short video clip.

Lower Piccaninny Pool, looking out over the waterfall Click to see a short video. Enjoying the water, Piccaninny Pool

Swimming at Picaninny Pools. The first photo is looking downstream over the falls. The second is looking upstream across the same pool. Click the wider photo to see a short video clip.

From Picaninny, we climb to the top of the plateau and begin a trek of about 5 km, past one creek, a small Aboriginal site, and down to the largest pool in the Barramundi Valley. While the falls which feed this pool are unlikely to be flowing strongly at this time of year, the pool itself will still be too inviting to resist. We now have a choice.

Waterfall Creek upper plateau High view looking down on the headwaters of Waterfall Creek

A one kilometre walk across the valley brings us to the base of a climb to one of the most spectacular views in Kakadu. We may choose to do this as a day walk with the option for some to relax in camp, or we may decide to take our packs and do a loop down to the headwaters of Waterfall Creek, then back through a low pass into Barramundi Valley.

The first photo here shows the view from the top. The second was taken on the way down to the Waterfall Creek plateau. To give you an idea of scale, the red dot in the first photo shows the approximate location of the second, looking back at the high rock formation.

10 kilometres downstream is Gunlom, the largest campground and waterfall in southern Kakadu. Day visitors have no idea that magnificent views like this can be found upstream. Click toe link in this paragraph to see the official park information on the area.

Children in the cave Cave jump If it's not the middle of the day, waterproof torches are useful

Not far from the red dot in the photo above is one of the true wonders of Kakadu — a swim through cave. If we do go down to that level, and if water levels permit, those who want to do so will have the chance of swimming through as shown in the photos here.

We can't show it all here. The only way to really understand what this trip is like is to experience it for yourself.

Terrain and difficulty. Section one is the easiest walk we offer in Kakadu. It makes a great way to acclimatise to the climate. On all sections, our schedule allows most groups to get into camp early or have long breaks during the day.

The walk down the rainforest gorge includes scrambles over boulders. some of which are the size of small houses. A few of those who have done it have thought it was the hardest thing they had ever done. Those who begin with this section without the advantage of having done the previous section, find it harder than those who have done the first section. If it appears that a majority of the group would have difficulty with this walk, the guide can alter the route to omit the hard, but scenic day and return via Jim Jim Falls.

To take part you need good fitness and a sense of adventure.

Your rewards are waterfalls, wildflowers, an incredible Kakadu wilderness experience of a kind that no other operator can offer you.

If you are interested in this trip, our Kakadu Highlights No. 9 detailed trip notes have additional information which is essential reading for anyone who books.

For more information about this trip or to find out how to book email us for Kakadu Highlights No. 9 Information

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Willis's Walkabouts, 12 Carrington Street, Millner NT 0810, Australia walkabout@bushwalkingholidays.com.au

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