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Kakadu National Park is an enormous park in Northern Australia. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and has been since 1981, being expanded in 1987 and again in 1992. Kakadu National Park contains a huge swath of relatively unspoiled terrain, with a wide range of flora and fauna. The park also offers an amazing view into the deep history of the Aboriginal peoples of Australia.
Kakadu National Park covers more than 4.7 million acres, or nearly 7,700 square miles (20,000 sq. km). This makes it about one-and-a-half times the size of the state of Connecticut, or roughly the size of Israel. Kakadu National Park is home to more than 10,000 species of insect, more than 1,500 species of plant, more than 50 species of aquatic animal, more than 50 species of mammal, and nearly 300 species of bird. It contains four important river systems, the East, West, and South Alligator Rivers, and the Wildman River.
Kakadu National Park represents a swath of land that has been inhabited by Aboriginal people anywhere from 20,000 to 50,000 years, without interruption. Visitors can experience at least part of this habitation by viewing any of the more than five-thousand art sites that dot the park. The park is still inhabited by Aboriginal people, a population of about 500, who are officially recognized as the owners of more than half of the park, and have a claim to the other half. Kakadu National Park is actually leased by the Aboriginal people to the Australian government to manage it under the National Parks system.
Two species of crocodile are found in the Kakadu National Park, and are one of the most popular attractions for visitors looking for fauna. Kangaroos, wallabies, various butterflies, and an incredible range of frogs are other highly visible animals found within the park. Many of the mammals found within the park are nocturnal, but for those willing to spend the time and energy on the lookout for them, they can provide a rare opportunity to see these marsupial creatures.
Visitors interested in flora will find a great deal of diversity in Kakadu National Park. There are a number of distinct biomes, each with their own specialized forms of life. A handful of endemic species, which can only be found within Kakadu National Park, may be found as well, including Eucalyptus koolpinensis. Mangroves, banyan figs, paper bark trees, some unique water lilies, various resurrection grasses, and kapok trees are among the flora to be found in the park.
Kakadu National Park is enormous, and contains a huge range of beautiful landforms for sightseers. The park contains excellent swimming, and has some truly majestic waterfalls. Good hiking and climbing can be found throughout Kakadu, and the various wetlands and rivers offer opportunities for water travel.