Jabiru is the modern township in Kakadu National Park. It is host to the thousands of visitors who visit this world heritage-listed park each year and home to the Aboriginal community, Ranger Uranium Mine workers, town infrastructure, tourism and retail business people.
Jabiru is clean and green and well maintained with a lake and picnic grounds on the edge of town. Jabiru was purpose-built to service the mine in 1982 and was originally a closed town. The township was named after the Jabiru bird, Australia’s largest stork.
Jabiru has a range of accommodation and there is much to see and do in Kakadu. There’s a variety of tours, both road and air and scenic cruises. Some are run by Aboriginal people and give a good insight into their way of life and culture.
In the centre of town, a small town plaza is the retail and business hub. Jabiru town services are administered by the West Arnhem Shire Council.
Most visitors come to Kakadu during the dry season. But the wet season (October to April), is very scenic, especially by air with waterfalls flowing. During the wet season, Jabiru experiences heavy rain (some months more than others). Widespread flooding often occurs along the access roads Arnhem Highway and Kakadu Highway, cutting the town’s road access. During 2006–07 Jabiru had its biggest wet season with both highways flooded. The Arnhem Highway was cut off for several weeks as the West Alligator bridge across the Adelaide River was severely damaged.
Aboriginal people count six seasons and enjoy the changes to the environment the weather brings. Different seasonal foods are available and the landscapes change with abundance of water.
Enjoy Kakadu and whatever season you visit, it is worth returning in the opposite season to experience a very different Kakadu.