Motor Car Falls is one of the few waterfalls in Kakadu National Park that can be accessed during the wet season, which means you can enjoy it when it’s absolutely pumping!


We acknowledge that this adventure is located on Bininj and Mungguy Nations, the traditional Countries of the Bininj and Mungguy peoples who have occupied and cared for these lands and waters for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them as the Traditional Custodians and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.


  • Accessible during the Top End’s wet season 
  • Gorgeous green hike in
  • Big deep pool for swimming

On a Mission to Motor Car Falls

As one of the lesser-known waterfalls in Kakadu, Motor Car Falls is a great option for when you want to avoid the crowds. Plus, as the only waterfall accessible for swimming during the wet season, you get to enjoy it at its absolute peak, with plenty of water flowing through and a nice big and deep pool for cooling off in. 


Motor Car Falls in Kakadu is a Wet Season Must-do, Amy Fairall, Kakadu NT, waterfall, women, friends


The 7km return hike to the falls starts at the Yurmikmik Walks car park, 20km along a dirt road, deep in Kakadu National Park.

Visiting during wet season means that the landscape has come to life! The red rock escarpments are blanketed in blindingly bright green native grasses. You might even spot some bright pink flowers – but don’t be fooled like I was, this isn’t the NT emblem Sturt Desert Rose. Still pretty though! 

Read more: How To Hike in Hot Weather

A wet season mission however does mean that the native grass has grown VERY high. During the first 1km, we encountered three shallow creek crossings and multiple sections of head-high grass which had us stomping our feet as we passed through. This is by far the least-tamed part of the track. 

Read more: How To Survive a Snake Bite


This is a wide part of the track comparatively


Once you reach the sign indicating Yurmikmik Lookout is 200m away (definitely worth the detour), the rest of the trail is pretty flat and dry. There are still sections of long grass, but the path is wider and it doesn’t close in on you as much. 

As you hike in, take notice of the towering escarpment on your right that’s lined with palm trees across the top trying to stay upright in the high winds.



The last few hundred metres involve a bit of rock scrambling over boulders to reach the falls which can be slippery after rain, so take care. 

You’ll emerge at a giant flat rock, perfect for lying like a lizard, right in front of the pool and thundering falls. 

Although there are no Saltwater crocs in Motor Car Falls, there could very well be some freshies. If you see one, leave it be and it’ll do the same for you.

Read more: How To Stay Safe in Croc Country



During the wet season, the pool is often deep enough for jumping into from the rock, but always check the water first before doing so. You never know what could’ve been brought down or moved around by those powerful falls. In dry season when the falls start to dry up, so too will the pool, potentially making it too shallow for jumping.

Read more: Staying Safe Around Swimming Holes

Take lunch and enjoy a picnic on the rock before taking the same path back to the car. 

Be aware that this hike is extremely remote. There’s no reception in most of Kakadu National Park and the visitors centre and closest petrol station may be almost 100km away.

Essential Gear

  • Waterproof hiking shoes 
  • 2L of water per person (more on humid days)
  • Swimmers
  • Towel
  • Rain jacket (it rains nearly every day in wet season)
  • Lunch or snacks
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • First aid kit

Read more: Remember to leave no trace!

How To Get There

The trailhead to Motor Car Falls is about 3.5 hours drive from Kakadu. The last 20km are along a slightly corrugated dirt road, where a 4WD is recommended. 

When I visited, we called the Visitors Centre ahead of time to check road conditions and they said the road had recently been graded so 2WD access was possible. Take it slow though and be extra careful after rain as the road gets soft.

Read more: How To 4WD For Beginners

Skill Level


The hike isn’t too long or difficult, but paired with the remoteness of the area, humidity and creek crossings, a decent level of experience is needed.

Distance / Duration

7km return / 2 hours hiking + time spent at the falls