Monday, 22 June 2009

Kakadu National Park

A mark left by the Rainbow Serpent when it created this country

Coming out of Litchfield, my next destination is Kakadu National Park which means I have to retrace my steps, drive toward Darwin to the turn-off to Kakadu. Its quite warm and actually quite humid. I run my aircon in my vehicle for most of the way to South Aligator where I call it a day. Connect to power and turn on my house-aircondition to keep cool. The landscape into Kakadu is quite similar to Litchfield, Savannah and scrub dotted with Termite Mounds of varying size, some only small, cone-shaped ones and also large mounds, 3-5 metres tall. Further toward the park there are also wide open flood plains, green and still carrying lots of wildlife, naturally large Saltwater Crocodiles are everpresent in these surroundings, warning posters to this effect are best to be taken seriously.

The campground at South Aligator Campground was quiet, only a few wallabies hopping around the lawn in the evening. A young school teacher who is on a camping holiday with her seven year old girl tells me how really stupid some people are behaving, some standing kneedeep in water while casting a fishing line, totally unaware that a large crocodile can easily grab them and pull them into the water without warning. Last year I watched a scene where a Croc took a wallaby from a distance of about six metres at lightening speed; the wallaby never had a chance to even react. It took the Croc half a second at most to cover the six metres, suddenly there was white water all around the Croc, the Wallaby suddenly missing from the shore

I leave the following morning to drive on about 80km to Ubirr to have another look at the scenery and the Aboriginal rock art.

Some Rock paintings at Ubirr

Quite a few people there, several tours in progress at this time of the morning. In passing I get some of the commentary about Aboriginal culture, what the drawings mean etc., from the respective tour guides.

A view from the plateau at Ubirr onto the wetlands

When I leave about two hours later, I drive to Jabiru, about 40km away. Its quite warm still, so I book into the local Caravan Park with a powered site.

A modern Visitor's Centre at Jabiru

This morning, driving out from Jabiru, I drive westward toward Nourlangie Rock, yet another site with a lot of Aboriginal Rock Art. The rock formations in this area are simply gigantic, colourful with many art sites along the rim on the valley floor.

A view of the escarpment at Nourlangie Rock

A Bad Spirit that kills women
The name "Nourlangie" is an anglicised version of the word "Nawurlandja" and refers only to a portion of the whole area. The higher parts of what is commonly known as "Nourlangie Rock" is known as "Burrunggui" by the Gun-djeihmi speakers who own this land. The lower area is known as "Anbangbang".

1 comment:

John Townsend said...

Stunning photos Peter. Looks like you are in for a wonderful adventure.