Kakadu National Park
The Park, 19,804 square kilometres (7646 square miles ) in area, is a Commomwealth reserve under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. It includes the traditional lands of several Aboriginal clan groups. Kakadu National Park is managed jointly by its Aboriginal traditional owners and the Department of the Environment and Heritage. It is located in Northern Territory of Australia, about 253 kilometres (157 miles) east of Darwin.
Kakadu has been listed on the World Heritage List for both its natural and cultural value. Stage one was inscribed in 1981, and stage two in 1987. The whole of the park was listed in December 1992.
The climate is monsoonal, characterised by two major seasons: the dry season and the wet season. Major landforms and habitats within the park include the sandstone plateau and escarpment, extensive areas of savanna woodlands and open forest, rivers, billabongs, floodplains, mangroves, and mudflats. These landforms have been given the following names: Stone Country; Outliers; Lowlands; Southern Hills and Basins; Floodplains; and Tidal Flats.
Archaeologists have found an extensive range of Aboriginal artifacts at old camping sites throughout the Park, dating back between 20,000 and 25,000 years. Among the artifacts associated with the sites are flaked-stone tools, ground ochre and grindstones. Many of the rock paintings in Kakadu depict animals that are now extinct on the Australian mainland.
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. Aboriginal languages used in the Park today include Kunwinjku from the north-eastern region, Gun-djeihmi from the central region, and Jawoyn from the southern region.
We would like to thank Ros Monk, of the Bowali Visitor Centre, Kakadu National Park, for sending information for this page.