Nourlangie Rock is inside the world heritage-listed area of Kakadu National Park. It is one of the best sunset lookouts and also you can find the Nourlangie Rock art sites along your walk. It is one of the most beautiful viewpoints within the National Park and an awesome spot for both sunrise and sunset as I experienced.
HOW TO GET TO NOURLANGIE ROCK
Nourlangie Rock is in Kakadu National park, which is 253 kilometers east of Darwin. Sealed roads will take you all the way into Kakadu National park and you should allow 2-3 hours to reach the park from Darwin.
From the highway, you will need to take the turn off, which is 19 kilometers south of Bowali Visitor Center, and then continue on this road for 12 kilometers.
Nourlangie Rock is then a short walk up the escarpment. Along the way, you will pass several rock art sites, which hold significant historical and cultural importance.
KAKADU NATIONAL PARK TOUR FROM DARWIN
The best way to have a great experience visiting lots of the unique things to do in Kakadu National Park is on an organized tour run by a local expert guide. This specific tour includes pick up and drop off from your hotel in Darwin. The tour I am recommending to you takes you to all of the top highlights, including Nourlangie Rock, in Kakadu but also includes a Billabong Boat Cruise!
Book your tour: Full Day-Trip to Kakadu + Bonus Boat Cruise
NOURLANGIE ROCK ART SITES
There are over 5,000 Aboriginal rock art sites in Kakadu National Park and there are some spectacular examples at Nourlangie Rock Area that depict lightning dreaming. We visited several throughout our visit to Nourlangie Rock and the surrounding area and enjoyed reading the explanation of the story and the images.
NOURLANGIE ROCK LOOKOUT WALK
We visited Nourlangie Rock twice. Once we visited during sunset and then we decided to come early in the morning to watch the sunrise. Both were immensely beautiful and the peaceful, quiet atmosphere in this area really gave you time to take it all in and appreciate the history, culture, and landscape of where you were sitting.
The walk up to the viewpoint from the parking lot takes about ten minutes and is mildly steep. Most tourists will be more than capable of this short walk. At the top, you have sweeping views of the Burrungkuy region. The scenes from the top are what Kakadu is all about for me. That vastness and almost prehistoric feeling hit you hard. It’s amazing to sit up here and think that the local culture is still alive after 65,000 years. Australia, as we know, has been formed for less than 200 years to put that into perspective.
These are the photos from our sunrise and sunset at Nourlangie Rock lookout:
WHERE TO STAY IN KAKADU NATIONAL PARK
I stayed at Cooinda Lodge and it was one of the highlights of the trip and incredibly well-organized accommodations as well as a tour operator. They are keen to show off all the things to do in Kakadu National Park, teach you about the local culture, and of course, make your stay the best they can.
Cooinda Lodge: It is seriously the best place you can stay in Kakadu National Park for a few reasons:
- Firstly, you are in the outback and might expect some average food. The chef at Cooinda Lodge defies that and whips up some amazing dishes. He incorporates local ingredients like the crocodile, local berries and fruits, and of course barramundi into modern cooking.
- Secondly, the rooms are great. Kakadu National Park is great but it is damn hot. There is nothing better than coming back after a day of exploring all the things to do in Kakadu National park and enjoying an air-conditioned room, hot shower, coffee, and relaxing on a comfy bed.
- Thirdly, Cooinda Lodge is more than just an accommodation. It is the hub of lots of tours run by the same owner. They run the sunrise and sunset crocodile tours on the Yellow Water, which I did both of. I also did the sunrise barramundi fishing experience on the Yellow Waters and it was so stunning and peaceful in the morning. I also did a full-day waterfall tour of Gunlom and other secret waterfalls in the area.
- Fourth and final, you are nearby lots of attractions like Nourlangie Rock. If you have your own car you can explore on your own and enjoy the unique atmosphere of Kakadu National Park.