A new interpretive arts centre opened in West Arnhem land on Wednesday, providing jobs for local artists and giving tourists the chance to experience original, high quality Aboriginal art.
Visiting Gunbalanya to open the new visitor interpretative centre at Injalak Arts Centre, Chief Minister Adam Giles commented that the arts centre was right on the doorstep of Kakadu National Park and was a significant tourism drawcard for the West Arnhem Land region, attracting around 8000 people a year. “Injalak Arts is an ideal stopover for tourists looking for an authentic art and cultural experience, and it has strong appeal to international tourists and domestic grey nomads,” Mr Giles went on to say.
For those wishing to experience the rich culture and striking landscapes that Arnhem Land has to offer, now is the time to start planning for your trip. The Northern Territory is best visited between May and September - the hot and humid wet season has packed up for the year, giving way to the clear blue skies of the cooler-but-still-warm dry season. Kakadu National Park is a popular winter getaway for those seeking to escape to warmer climes.
If you’re coming from Darwin, you may want to leave getting a first hand glimpse of Aboriginal artwork and crafts at the Injalak Arts Centre until after you experience Kakadu, as the Centre lies just beyond the eastern edge of the National Park.
It’s not hard to find somewhere to camp in Kakadu with an array of park-run camping areas available but if you’re looking for the ideal no-stress way to experience the park, try picking up a campervan rental from Darwin and making the three hour road trip east. There’s a number of caravan sites to choose from, and having your accommodation built into your transportation means less time setting up camp and more time exploring Kakadu’s gorgeous natural surroundings.
A World Heritage listed treasure, Australia’s largest national park is known worldwide for both its diverse environment (ranging from ancient stone country to dynamically shifting wetlands and tidal flats) and the archeological sites and Aboriginal rock art, some of which dates back 20,000 years.
A few things to do in Kakadu:
Jump out of your campervan and set out on foot - the park boasts numerous walking tracks; you’ll be missing out on an essential part of the Kakadu experience if you don’t try at least one. For a cheat sheet on which ones you really need to discover, check out the recent Stuff.co.nz feature that outlined some of the best, with in-depth reviews.
You have to see the Aboriginal artwork. From 20,000 year old primal designs to depictions of first contact with European settlers, step into the past when you visit the petrograph galleries at Ubirr and Nourlangie.
Try a guided tour of the park’s waterways - this is perfect for observing the local wildlife, including flying foxes, crocodiles, and some of the 280 bird species the park is home to.
You can pick up a Kakadu pass for just AUD$25 - this allows you access to the park for 14 consecutive days (children under 16 and Northern Territory residents can visit for free). You can order a pass online or head to Tourism Top End and Britz in Darwin, the Bowali Visitor Centre or Aurora.
With the new extension to the area’s art centre, now is the perfect time to plan a journey of cultural and natural discovery, into the heart of Kakadu.
Darwin not where you want to head? Check out our other Australia Motorhome Rental options and grab yourself a campervan rental Melbourne, campervan hire Tasmania or head further afield and consider New Zealand for a Campervan Hire experience.