Kakadu National Park covers some 19,800 square kilometres of the Top End of Australia’s Northern Territory. It is approximately 150 kilometres north to south and 120 east to west. It is Australia’s largest national park and the twentieth largest on the World Heritage List. Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory is 250 kilometres to the west and to the east lies the vast Arnhem Land plateau.
Climatically, Balanda (European Australians) think of three tropical seasons, namely, the monsoonal ‘wet’, the ‘dry’ and the (humid) ‘build-up’. Local Indigenous people (Bininj) see six distinct seasons marked by sometimes quite subtle natural signs. Kakadu‘s varied landscape comprises tidal flats and mangrove forests, floodplains and billabongs, savannah woodland, monsoon forests, hills and ridges and the stone country which is the dominant sandstone escarpment.
The speciation and biodiversity is rich with 77 mammals (one quarter of the Australian total), 132 reptiles, 27 frogs, 346 fish, over 2000 plants, 10,000 described insects and 271 birds (a third of the national total).