Kakadu NP: Maguk – Gunlom

Sunday morning we continued our drive through the national park. First we stopped at Mirrai lookout, but the view was partly covered by trees and the morning haze still obstructed the view. The next stop was at Mardugal, where we went to the billabong. Beside a saltie in the distance, there was not much to see either. So we headed on to Maguk, where we finally arrived after a 10 km drive on a gravel road. Maguk has basically too pools. We first went to the lower pool by accident. This one was all right, and we had a swim to get some refreshment. Afterwards we finally found the way upstream, and arrived on the upper pools a few minutes later. This was definitely the best water pools for swimming in the whole national park. It consists basically of three pools, which are connected by small waterfalls. The water was pretty deep, so we had some high jumps off the cliffs, and tried also some deep water soloing. But the hardest part, was the move out of the water. So basically, I just did a nice crossing. The swimming in the rear part was really nice, as the gorge gradually narrowed down. We spent at least two hours at this lovely spot, and it was definitely worth the drive so far south. Afterwards we went to Gunlom, which was another 90 kilometres drive with a 40 km gravel road. We crossed the South Alligator River the third time, and surprisingly in this upstream section, the river was still flowing. We went to the upper pools of Gunlom falls. The water was also here still flowing, but only a very small creek remained. The pools were full of rocks underwater. So the swimming was really bad compared to Maguk, and only the first pool wss made for some splashing. Laying on the edge of this natural infinity pool, and just relaxing and enjoying the view is the best you can do there. Shortly before sunset we went down, and surprisingly there were even free showers in the toilets of the day use area. After utilising them, we headed off in the dusk to another campground, as the one in Gunlom is again pretty expensive. And as we had already our shower, we didn’t need the green grass around us. So we enjoyed our last night at the Kambolgie campground under the sky full of stars.

Except from one saltie there was not much to see in Mardugal billabong
The lower pool in Maguk, where the waterfall still has water flowing down
The small gorge after the pools
The upper pools of Maguk are just stunning…
…and the swim to the rear part is definitely one of the best things to do.
View from a lookout near the Gunlom waterfall…
…which can be also seen from the infinity pool on the top.

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