Kakadu National Park
The name 'Kakadu' comes from an aboriginal floodplain language called Gagudju which was one of the languages spoken in the north of the park at the beginning of the twentieth century.
Gagudju is no longer regularly spoken but descendants of this language group are still living in Kakadu.
The park has two seasons, 'wet' and 'dry'. In the wet (October to April) many of the attractions are impossible to get to so that the dry season (May to September) is the peak period for visitors.
The attractions include the opportunity to learn about the people, geology, plants and animals which make Kakadu a unique and precious resource, not only for Australians but for all the people in the world. The Bowali Visitor Centre contains a wealth of information about Kakadu. The Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre presents the culture of the local aboriginal people in an accessible way.
However, the wetlands provide the greatest visual pleasure. The freshwater and estaurine (saltwater) crocodiles sleep on the banks of the Alligator River or the many billabongs for most of the day but can also be seen floating or swimming in the water. Birdlife abounds from the stately Jabiru to the amusing "Jesus" bird (Jacana) as it steps from lily pad to lily pad. At dusk on the Yellow Water billabong (Ngurrungurrudjba), hundred of herons circle overhead landing and taking of from half-submerged trees. Ospreys sit on termite mounds or soar on high looking for prey beneath the still waters. The billabongs of the Kakadu national park are anything but "stagnant pools of water" (see Waltzing Matilda)