How can I not begin this review by mentioning that the Gagudju Hotel, known locally as "The Croc" is built in the shape of a crocodile. Yes, really! It celebrates the fact that it sits in the middle of Kakadu National Park famous for crocs. The hotel in the little out-of-the way town of Jabiru is a dusty three-hour drive from Darwin, but a welcome surprise. It has everything a remote hotel needs for your comfort, i.e., clean comfortable room at a reasonable price, nice shower, pool, bar, restaurant, WiFi and a helpful friendly staff. Not fancy, but has most everything a guest needs. A good thing, as it is the only place to stay for miles around.
The evening buffet is large and has something for every taste. Quite amazing when you consider where the hotel is located.
Two main reasons for being there are to visit Arnhemland to see the ancient prehistoric cave paintings and to go out on the Yellow Water to see crocs. The tour of Arnhemland that I recommend is Sab Lord's Kakadu Safari which will provide background information on the area, a guided tour of the cave paintings, a very nice lunch, some magnificent views of surrounding lands and a tour of the village, arts center and shop where locally produced art, baskets and woven fabrics can be purchased. This tour takes most of a day, is very hot and requires that you are able to do some climbing up a steep escarpment and even to crawl through some short tiny caves. It is well-worth the effort, however, and the art work accompanied by interpretation from the guide is spell-binding.
The other must tour is the boat ride on the Yellow Water to see not only the crocs but extensive bird and plant life and a beautiful sunset if you go in the evening. It is wonderful to see the crocs in the wild and not in a zoo or theme park. But you are surely glad you are safely in the large boat as the "salties" as they are known can grow to 15 feet and in spite of their sleepy look and cumbersome size can move very fast.
And so after a full and hot day in the wilds of northern Australia, "The Croc" looks very good to you. Go for a swim, have a cold drink in the bar, enjoy an leisurely dinner and a good night's rest in a peaceful setting. You'll be glad you came here.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- From the marble foyer to the air-conditioned guest rooms, Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel is a cool retreat in the midst of Kakadu National Park s wilderness. This uniquely shaped hotel, just 2 hours drive from Darwin, is the ideal base to explore Ubirr and Nourlangie rock art galleries and view the towering sandstone escarpment of Arnhem Land. The hotel offers 110 guest rooms making the shape of a crocodile which overlook's a central shaded courtyard and swimming pool. Award winning Escarpment Restaurant offers tastes of Kakadu with both buffet and a la carte options available. Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel also has an Indigenous art gallery showcasing works from the Kakadu and Arnhem region. Guests have access to a 9-hole golf course, Olympic-size pool, and tennis courts at neighbouring Jabiru Township. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Gagudju Crocodile Holiday Hotel Kakadu National Park
- Holiday Inn Gagudju Crocodile
- Gagudju Crocodile Holiday Inn
- Holiday Inn Kakadu National Park
- Kakadu National Park Holiday Inn