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Yellow Water Billabong Kakadu National Park

Posted on 03 March, 2023 in Birdwatching, Culture, Darwin, Fishing, Kakadu, Photography, Top End Locations, Tours, Wet Season, Wildlife

Yellow Water Billabong is part of the South Alligator River Floodplain situated in Kakadu National Park. Known as Ngurrungurrudjba, this living landscape is located near the small settlement of Cooinda and is teeming with native flora and fauna. 


It is home to crocodiles, brumbies, buffalo and other wildlife. The vast range of resident birdlife includes jacana, egrets, jabiru, sea eagles, magpie geese, and many other native species, making it a favourite with birdwatchers. There are a few ways to experience this well-known billabong.



When the waters recede, you can follow a 2.6 km return walk across the floodplain to a viewing platform on Home Billabong. A boardwalk offers incredible views of Yellow Water's wildlife.

Study the Paperbark forests, pandanus and freshwater mangroves that line the shore. The surface of the billabong is dotted with beautiful pink and white waterlilies giving it a tranquil appearance. But don't be too complacent; many saltwater crocs also inhabit this waterway!



The Indigenous-owned Yellow Water Cruises offer a unique way to experience the astonishing birdlife of Kakadu’s World Heritage-listed wetlands. Operating year-round, Yellow Water Cruises are a past winner of the Qantas Australian Tourism Award for Major Tour Operators, and they have exclusive use of Yellow Water Billabong. All Yellow Water Cruises' have experienced guides onboard that give fascinating insights into how the Bininj people use flora and fauna to support their way of life.

With up to six cruises a day varying between 1.5 - 2 hours long, there is an opportunity to see this spectacular waterway at different times. Sunrise and sunset cruises are the most popular, and advance bookings are recommended. Animal movements vary according to the time of day, and colours change dramatically.


The birdlife is wide awake in the morning when the air is still cool. So sunrise is the perfect time to get on the water if you are a keen birdwatcher. Our resident crocodiles prefer the warmer waters in the late afternoon, and the sunset cruise usually has a visit from a saltie or two. For this reason, it's not unusual for visitors to take more than one cruise.



Yellow Water Billabong is located at the end of Jim Jim Creek, a tributary of the South Alligator River, which is the largest river system in Kakadu and contains extensive wetlands that include river channels, backwater swamps and floodplains. Aside from its natural beauty, this spot is also popular amongst anglers.

It's an experience of a lifetime! Yellow Water fishing provides an opportunity to catch the famous Barramundi on Kakadu's most famous billabong

Fishing experiences are three hours and are ideal for enthusiasts and novices wanting to try their luck in one of the world's most picturesque fishing locations. The tours are led by experienced guides with plenty of fishing stories who can give you tips on casting and retrieving and will make sure you use the best lure to entice a Yellow Water barramundi. All fishing gear is provided, and as fishing is with lures only, there is no need for live or fresh bait.

The boat has a casting deck, seating, partial shade, iced water, refresher towels and excellent guides that know all the deep water holes. All you need to do is show up.



Turtle-shaped Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre near Cooinda is a must-see for all visitors to the region. Developed by the Aboriginal traditional owners of Kakadu, displays include artefacts illustrating the stories that the traditional owners wish to share with visitors. With a mix of contemporary techniques, the exhibit touches on hunting techniques by the clans over the different seasons, the recent history of the park, bloodlines and marriage rights, tribal elder stories and the effects of white settlement in the Top End. The gallery shop sells a range of arts and crafts, including traditional local artwork, books and cards. Open – daily, 9 am-5 pm (including public holidays) / Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre will close at 3 pm during the wet season. (Oct-Apr)


If you'd like to embark on a tour from Darwin, which includes a Yellow Water Cruise or Fishing Experience, then Venture North Safaris offer tailor-made tours which include this not-to-be-missed location. Contact us to learn more or if you have any questions about the Yellow Water Billabong.