Kakadu National Park is a nature reserve located in the Northern Territory region in Australia. Its landscape is comprised of wetlands, sandstone escarpments, and rivers, and is home to over 2,000 plant and wildlife species. At 19,816 square kilometers, it is also Australia’s largest mainland national park. Visitors come to Kakadu National Park to experience its diverse wildlife, Indigenous art and culture, and natural landscapes.
If you’re interested in taking an e-bike trip to Kakadu National Park, this article will address all your planning needs!
Are e-bikes allowed in Kakadu National Park?
E-bikes are allowed in Kakadu National Park, but cyclists should ensure their e-bike abides by the Northern Territory’s electric bicycle laws.
According to the governmental definitions, a power-assisted cycle is a type of powered cycle that is equipped with one of the following two options:
- Pedals that may be used as a means of propulsion, and an engine, motor, or another device capable of producing a power output not exceeding 200 watts
- A pedelec, which is a bicycle with an electric motor that falls within a class of power-assisted pedal cycle defined in the European Standard EN 15194. This means the e-bike has a maximum motor power output of 250 watts, restricts motor power output when it reaches 25 km/hr, and requires the rider to pedal to access the power.
Additionally, road rules that are relevant to traditional bicycles are applied equally to pedelecs. Pedelec e-bikes must also be certified by the manufacturer and labeled as complying with EN 15194. This label must include the manufacturer’s name, the motor’s cut-off speed, and its continuous rated power in watts.
How is Kakadu National Park organized, is it ready for cycling?
Though there are plenty of hiking trails in Kakadu National Park, there are currently no designated cycling trails in the reserve.
Because of this, riders should be aware that Kakadu National Park is mainly suited for off-road cycling and mountain biking (note that this type of cycling is physically challenging and may not be suitable for beginners). Cyclists can traverse unsealed tracks in order to explore the landscapes of Ubirr, Nourlangie Rock, Maguk, Twin Falls, Jim Jim Falls, Koolpin, and Cahills Crossing.
Where to stay during the trip?
Kakadu National Park offers a variety of campgrounds for visitors. The Parks Australia website notes that advanced booking is not required for many of these campgrounds, as they primarily operate on a first-come-first-served basis.
For example, bush campgrounds are unmanaged and range from free rates to minimal fees for overnight stays. However, commercial campgrounds (which include restaurants, shops, and other facilities) can be booked directly through the resorts.
Some campground names include Alligator Billabong campground, Cooinda campground and caravan park, Kakadu Lodge campground, and Karnamarr. Visit the full list of Kakadu National Park’s campgrounds here.
Visitors can also stay at hotels and cabins at Kakadu National Park, though options are relatively limited. These include Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel, Cooinda Lodge, Hawk Dreaming Wilderness Lodge, Anbinik Kakadu Resort, Mary River Roadhouse, and Aurora Kakadu Lodge Caravan and Camping Park.
You can also find Booking.com recommendations here, and Expedia.com recommendations here.
Where can I eat? Or should I take my food with me?
While it is advised to bring water and food/snacks with you while on your e-cycling trip in order to keep up your energy, there are also a variety of food spots to visit while in Kakadu National Park. Cuisine ranges from pub classics like burgers, pizzas, and salads to local specialties like bush tucker, crocodile, and barramundi fish.
Eatery options include Anbinik Restaurant, Barra Bar and Bistro, Escarpment Restaurant and Bar, Wetlands Restaurant, and Jabiru Sports and Social Club.
Additionally, there is a supermarket and café in the nearby city of Jabiru, as well as service stations at Cooinda and at the Mary River Roadhouse, which are optimal for picking up other food essentials, snacks, and on-the-go items.
What gear should I take on the trip?
For your e-bike trip through Kakadu National Park, essential gear includes: a helmet, a visitor guide, insect repellant, weather-appropriate clothing (long and lightweight clothing is recommended for sun and mosquito protection), a first aid kit, route maps, an e-bike charger, a backpack, food, energy snacks, water, sunscreen, sunglasses, front and rear lights, and side reflectors.
If you are planning to camp, be sure to bring camping equipment like your tent, sleeping bag, cutlery, extra water, chairs, garbage bags, a head torch, dishware, a valid ID, and your wallet.
Where can I charge my e-bike?
Though there are currently no official lists of e-bike specific charging stations, cyclists may be able to charge their e-bike at campgrounds and some cafes and restaurants (be sure to ask for permission if choosing any of these options). Additionally, cyclists should always bring their charger with them, regardless of whether they are taking daylong or multi-day trips.
What kind of e-bike do I need to ride in Kakadu National Park?
Due to the challenging mountainous and uneven landscapes that cyclists primarily endure in Kakadu National Park, we recommend choosing an electric mountain bike (eMTB) or hybrid e-bike for optimal safety and riding capability.
Where can I rent an e-bike in Kakadu National Park, or should I take one with me?
Currently, there are no e-bike rental options in Kakadu National Park. Because of this, we advise bringing your e-bike with you. However, be sure that your e-bike meets the Northern Territory’s specifications (which are outlined earlier in the article) before embarking on your trip.
What else I can do while on an e-bike trip in Kakadu National Park?
While on an e-bike trip to Kakadu National Park, make sure to take advantage of the plethora of other activities!
These include but are not limited to birdwatching, crocodile spotting, fishing, boating, and ranger-guided activities. The reserve also houses one of the world’s greatest concentrations of rock art sites, which include recordings of Indigenous life throughout the last 20,000 years (main sites include Ubirr and Burrungkuy).
Other sights to see are the majestic waterfalls like Gunlom Falls, Maguk, Jim Jim Falls, Twin Falls gorge, and Motor Car Falls. Lastly, hiking trails ranging from easy to advanced include the Bowali track, Bubba wetlands walk, Budjmi lookout walk, Kungarre walk, Ubirr walk, and more!
What is the best time of the year to visit Kakadu National Park on an e-bike?
While Kakadu National Park is open all year round, tourists should be aware of the changing seasons and their accompanying climates. The dry season between May and September is the most popular time of the year for visitors and is the optimal time period for cycling trips. Temperatures range anywhere between 17 degrees Celsius to 37 degrees Celsius.
Cyclists should avoid going to the park during the tropical summer Wet Season (October to April) as it brings heavy rainfall, extreme heat, and flooding, which close many of the park attractions as well as the dirt tracks that are necessary for cycling.
Learn more about the Northern Territory seasons here.
Resources to help plan your trip
This Kakadu National Park Visitor Guide is also a great way to acquaint yourself more thoroughly with the park and its features.
And lastly, for more restaurant recommendations, visit Trip Advisor’s list here!
Read also: Check out Australia’s best travel destinations by electric bike in this overview article.
Do not miss these travel highlights of Kakadu National Park in this video: