Twin Falls in Kakadu National Park
Twin Falls Gorge is a stunningly beautiful gorge.
The Twin Falls are also one of the most famous sites within Kakadu National Park, a place that most visitors think of when they think of Kakadu.
Yet I think the area is not quite the same, now that it has been developed for easier access. The magic that always comes with those really hard to get to places has been lost.
However, most people will view this as a good thing as in the past they would not have been able to see the falls at all.
(Note: All pictures below were taken on an overcast day and do not do the place justice!)
Getting to Twin Falls
I already described some of the access on the page about Jim Jim Falls. You turn south off the Kakadu Highway, 40 km east of Jabiru/the Bowali Visitor Centre, or 6 km west of the turn off to the Cooinda/Yellow Water area. The first 50 km to the Garnamarr camping area are well maintained gravel road and suitable for all vehicles.
But from here the track gets interesting. Several sandy patches and a few creek crossings mean you definitely need a 4WD vehicle to get to Jim Jim Falls. Twin Falls is located only another 10 km further, and to get that far you also have to cross the deep Jim Jim Creek.
This used to be a major obstacle. Early in the season or if there were deep holes in the crossing it sometimes meant to cross through one metre deep water. Not any more. The water can still be deep. On my last visit it was 600 mm by mid June, about a week after the road had opened. But the crossing is fully concreted now and as long as you do have a snorkel on your vehicle it does not present a problem at all.
The access to the Twin Falls themselves used to be an even bigger undertaking. The only way to get there is through the gorge, in the water. And in the past that meant swimming, against the current, and as you will see you had to swim for quite some distance!
Today there is a boat shuttle service (you can get tickets of the campground manager at Garnamarr) and you aren't allowed to swim any more. Not in the gorge and not in the plunge pool below the falls.
At Twin Falls
The boat shuttle takes you through the gorge and drops you close to the falls. From there you have to walk for like two minutes, over some rocks and then over a boardwalk. You end up at a big pool with a sandy beach at the bottom of the falls.
The Twin Falls keep flowing a lot longer the Jim Jim Falls do. This photo was taken in mid June. As you can see, we even still have Triple Falls! But the falls do get smaller and smaller over the season and may totally dry up.
There isn't much to do here other than take your pictures, and you will likely find that you have to share the little beach with a number of tour groups.
No, it's not exactly an adventure any more, but I am sure the pig-nosed turtles and the freshwater crocodiles breeding on the tiny beaches along the gorge appreciate the peace the boat shuttle and the restrictions on swimming offer them!
At the top of Twin Falls
I hope you do have a bit more time for Twin Falls, because the boat shuttle trip is not the only way to see this place. There is also a walk to the top of Twin Falls.
The initially steep climb starts from the car park and you should allow at least a good couple of hours for the whole round trip (6 km return). I recommend you allow a bit more, because at the top you CAN swim!
There are not only breathtaking views into the gorge below. You can also follow the creek for about another kilometre to find several big pools further upstream.
Many of the tour groups also come up here so you probably won't be entirely alone, but there is a lot of room to spread out and I am sure you will find a nice private spot for a picnic and a swim!
Other popular places in Kakadu: