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Welcome to Kakadu's premier car hiring service, known for our attention to detail and personalised customer service. As you enjoy the stunning landscapes and unique cultural heritage of this World Heritage region, rest assured knowing your vehicle hire needs are met with stellar service. We pride ourselves on providing swift, reliable, and comprehensive support to all clients, ensuring your Kakadu journey remains seamless and enjoyable.

Car Hire in Kakadu

Prepare to Be Astonished by Australia's Natural Beauty

City car navigating through iconic Kakadu with kangaroos, cockatoos, waterfalls, cliffs and a brilliant sunset

Welcome to the wonders of Kakadu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site that combines both exceptional natural marvels and rich cultural significance. Stretching over 20,000 square kilometres, the park offers substantial biodiversity, stunning landscapes, and a profound connection with the Indigenous heritage. Given the extensive size of the park, exploring Kakadu by car has become the preferred method for most travellers.

One of the most visited attractions is undoubtedly the Jim Jim Falls, nestled at the heart of the national park. Accessible by four-wheel-drive tracks, it's a favourite for those adventurous souls seeking magnificent natural beauty. Driving around Kakadu also opens the possibilities of exploring the picturesque wetlands of Yellow Water Billabong, home to an astonishing number of bird species and saltwater crocodiles. Prepare your camera for the Ubirr Rock Art Sites, comprehensive galleries of ancient Indigenous art.

Given the vast distances within Kakadu National Park, it's essential to plan your trip in advance. If you have a vehicle suitable for off-road use, the Arnhem Land plateau provides a four-wheel-drive adventure that is second to none. Bear in mind that travel times may be significantly increased during the wet season, so be sure to check the latest Northern Territory road reports. No matter the season or the route, Kakadu promises an immersive journey into Australia's heartland, filled with memorable landscapes and cultural experiences.

Kakadu Car Hire

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the cost of hiring a car in Kakadu?

The cost of hiring a car in Kakadu varies depending on factors such as the car model, season, and hire period. Furthermore, the price includes insurance, taxes, and kilometres allowance. It is advisable to compare prices from several car hire companies to get the best deal.

2. Which car model is most commonly hired in Kakadu?

The 4WD (Four Wheel Drive) is the most popular car model for hire in Kakadu. Due to Kakadu's rugged terrain and off-road tracks, a 4WD is most suitable to navigate the area safely and comfortably.

3. What are the popular locations to hire a car in Kakadu?

Major locations to hire a car in Kakadu include Darwin and Jabiru. These towns have a number of car hire companies, offering a variety of vehicles to suit different travel needs.

4. Is there a 24-hour pick-up and drop-off service?

Most car hire companies in Kakadu offer 24-hour pick-up and drop-off services, accommodating all flight arrivals and departures.

5. Is there a minimum rental period?

Yes, typically the minimum car hire period in Kakadu is 24 hours.

6. What is the required minimum age to hire a car in Kakadu?

The minimum age requirement for car hire in Kakadu is generally 21 years. However, this may vary among car hire companies.

7. What documents do I need to hire or drive a car in Kakadu?

In order to hire a car in Kakadu, you will need a valid driving licence and credit card. Different companies may have additional requirements, thus, be sure to check with the specific car hire company.

8. When is the best time of year to visit Kakadu by car?

The best time to visit Kakadu by car is during the dry season (May to October). The dry roads and minimal rainfall make it easier to access many attractions in the park.

9. What are the main airports in Kakadu?

The main airport near Kakadu is Darwin International Airport. Other significant airports include Katherine Aeroport and Gove Airport.

10. Can I pick up the car in one city in Kakadu and drop it off in another city?

Yes, subject to the policies of the car hire company. However, there may be an additional fee for this service.

Car Hire Reviews

Imogen Pickering

Darwin – 02-11-2024. Professional, reliable and affordable. The staff were courteous and always willing to help. The cars were clean and comfortable - perfect for exploring the majestic landscapes of Kakadu. The pick up from Darwin was quick and hassle-free, and the return process equally efficient. The price was also extremely competitive considering the high quality of service and vehicles. I will definitely hire from this company next time I visit this region.

Ian Chen

Kakadu – 01-09-2024. Hiring a car in Kakadu from this company was an absolute breeze. They have a comprehensive range of vehicles to choose from and their pricing is clear and straightforward. I was particularly impressed by their level of professionalism and transparency. It's refreshing to find a car hire company you can actually trust. Highly recommended.

Shari Kapoor

Kakadu – 20-06-2024. Quality car hire service! I visited Kakadu for a weeks’ holiday and, as a first time visitor, I truly appreciated how the staff cared to explain all the best tourist spots. The car was great, it ran smoothly and was well-maintained. Convenient location with swift and easy pick-up and drop-off. Plus, it was fairly priced. I wouldn't hesitate to hire with them again!

Alec Granger

Darwin – 19-03-2024. I rented a car with them for a road trip from Darwin to Kakadu. Rates were reasonable, service was top-notch, and the car was in excellent condition. They provided a detailed map and offered helpful advice about Kakadu's must-visit places, accurately reflecting their local knowledge. This is not just a car rental company, but also a helpful guide for your exploration of the area. Would definitely use their services again.

Sabrina Nguyen

Kakadu – 03-01-2024. I had no issues with my car hire from this company. The vehicle was new and clean, and got us around Kakadu with ease. The staff is friendly and the return process was quick and easy. Plus, the charges were very reasonable for the area. A reliable service that delivered exactly what was promised.

Clarence Gardner

Darwin – 27-11-2023. Having hired cars all over the world, the quality of service and vehicle from this company was amazing. Pristine cars, friendly and professional staff, and the price was reasonable. They made exploring Kakadu a joy. Unusually for car hire, there were no hidden extras. I highly recommend this car hire company.

Kakadu's Highlights

Major Cities within Kakadu National Park

  1. Jabiru: This purpose-built service town is Kakadu's only town and the main hub for visitor information.
  2. Cooinda: Located near the famous Yellow Water Billabong, Cooinda is known for its stunning wildlife.
  3. Border Store: Located near East Alligator River, it's a central hub for tours and services.
  4. Marrkolidjban: Small community close to Nourlangie Rock, an iconic Kakadu's spot.
  5. South Alligator: Once a bustling mining town, it's now a gateway to explore the park's wildlife.
  6. Murwangi: Famous for Murwangi Safari Camp, an appealing option for visitors' accommodation.
  7. Ubirr: Known for its significant Aboriginal rock art sites, and access to hire vehicles for park exploration.

Kakadu Road Connections

Important Road Links for Visitors Hiring Cars in Kakadu

  1. Kakadu - Darwin: A distance of approximately 253km, typically a 3 hour drive mainly through Arnhem Highway. The highway is sealed and accessible for regular cars.
  2. Kakadu - Katherine: Covering a distance of around 316km, it roughly takes 3.5 hours. The journey is mostly via Kakadu Highway. This road is sealed and in good condition.
  3. Kakadu - Jabiru: Approximate distance is 35km, with an average travel time of 23 minutes. The main road is Kakadu Highway.
  4. Kakadu - Yellow Water: Around 56km long journey, 45 minutes driving time. Mainly connected via Kakadu Highway.
  5. Kakadu - Gunlom: It's a distance of roughly 138km, averaging a 2 hour drive. The main driving route is via Kakadu Highway and Gunlom Road.
  6. Kakadu - Nhulunbuy: Covering a large distance of approximately 774km, taking around 10 hours' drive, mainly via Central Arnhem Road. A 4WD vehicle is required for this route as it includes unsealed roads.
  7. Kakadu - Litchfield: A distance of about 300km, typically a 3.5hr drive, primarily via Batchelor Road and Litchfield Park Road. The roads are sealed and suitable for all vehicle types.

Kakadu Must-see Sites

Top 8 attractions to explore while driving

  1. Ubirr Rock Art Sites: View some of the world's oldest indigenous art, providing insight into local culture.
  2. Yellow Water Billabong: Experience the beauty and tranquility of this wetland home to diverse wildlife.
  3. Jim Jim Falls: A magnificent waterfall and plunge pool, especially stunning in the rainy season.
  4. Nourlangie Rock: A historical site boasting ancient indigenous art and breathtaking views of Arnhem Land.
  5. Anbangbang Billabong: A peaceful place to admire a diverse range of birdlife and aquatic creatures.
  6. Maguk: A beautiful and secluded natural plunge pool, perfect for a refreshing swim.
  7. Warradjan Cultural Centre: Explore Aboriginal culture, with educational displays and local arts and crafts.
  8. Mamukala Wetlands: A birdwatcher's paradise with a viewing platform providing panoramic views of the wetlands.

Kakadu Roadtrips

A guide to the best driving routes

  1. Kakadu Highway: Starting from the town of Jabiru, this 211 km route covers the core of the Kakadu National Park, featuring stunning landscapes, waterfalls and Aboriginal rock art.
  2. Arnhem Highway: From Darwin to Jabiru, 253 km of picturesque savannah woodlands and floodplains, with iconic stopovers like the Mamukala Wetlands and Ubirr rock formations.
  3. Jim Jim Falls Road: A challenging 50 km off-road route to the spectacular Jim Jim Falls, a four wheel drive vehicle is recommended due to rocky terrains.
  4. Yellow Water Road: A 50 km drive from Jabiru to Cooinda, this route offers close encounters with diverse wildlife, particularly at the Yellow Water Billabong.
  5. Gunlom Road: An 136 km off-road adventure from pine creek to the spectacular Gunlom Falls, offering sweeping views over Kakadu from its natural infinity pool.
  6. Old Jim Jim Road: A historic 90 km track located near Jabiru. It’s rough and challenging but offers exciting adventures and visits to Twin Falls.


Kakadu Driving FAQ

Essential Information for Motorists

1. Which side of the road should I drive on in Kakadu?

In Australia, including Kakadu, cars are driven on the left side of the road.

2. What are the speed limits in Kakadu?

Speed limits in Kakadu National Park vary. Some areas have a limit of 80km/h whilst other parts, especially those close to populated areas, have a limit of 60km/h. Always keep an eye on the posted speed limit signs.

3. Are radar detectors allowed in Kakadu?

Using, possessing, or even buying radar detectors is illegal in all parts of Australia, including Kakadu. Anyone caught using a detector can face heavy fines.

4. Are there any toll roads in Kakadu?

No, there are no toll roads in Kakadu National Park.

5. Can I drive in Kakadu with my foreign driver’s licence?

Yes, drivers with valid overseas licences can drive in Australia. However, if your licence is not in English, you will need to carry an International Driving Permit (IDP) or an official translation.

6. What are the main road rules in Kakadu?

Some key road rules to remember are driving on the left, obeying speed limits, giving way to the right at intersections, and not overtaking until it's safe. Always comply with directions given by traffic signals and signs.

7. What safety considerations should I keep in mind while driving in Kakadu?

Always have enough water, a good map, sun protection, and a charged mobile phone. Do not drive through flooded roads or causeways unless you're certain it's safe. If driving after sunset, be aware of wildlife on the road.

8. Are there many service stations in Kakadu?

There are only a few service stations in the park, so it's best to fill up your tank before you enter the park.

9. How well maintained are the roads in Kakadu?

Whilst the main roads in Kakadu are sealed and generally kept in good condition, the park's side roads and tracks can be rough and are often only suitable for 4WD cars.

10. Can I drive off-road in Kakadu?

No, off-road driving is not permitted in Kakadu. Stick to designated roads and tracks.

11. Is it safe to drive at night in Kakadu?

Driving at dusk, dawn or night should be avoided due to the risk of wildlife on the roads.

12. Are there rest stops or camping sites along the roads in Kakadu?

Yes, there are several campgrounds and rest stops in the park. Ensure to plan your journey in advance.

13. Are there speed cameras in Kakadu?

Yes, speed cameras are used throughout Australia, including in Kakadu, to enforce speed limits.

14. Can I hire a car in Kakadu if I only have my learner's licence?

No, you must hold a full valid driver's licence to be eligible for car hire.

15. Is there roadside assistance available in Kakadu?

Yes, however as Kakadu is a remote location, there can be extended waiting times for roadside assistance. Hence precautionary checks to your vehicle before venturing out are recommended.