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Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory

It was a relief to be discovering new places and enjoying new sights after our extended stay in Katherine.

The Park...

The name 'Kakadu' comes from an Aboriginal floodplain language called Gagudju, which was one of the languages originally spoken in the north of the Park.

Kakadu National Park is a Commonwealth Reserve covering almost 20,000 square kilometres, and includes the traditional lands of a number of Aboriginal clan groups. It's managed jointly by its Aboriginal traditional owners and the Commonwealth organisation, Environment Australia.

The Park is World Heritage listed, both for its cultural and natural heritage and it protects one of the finest and most extensive collections of rock art in the world - the legacy of its long and continuing occupation by a number of Aboriginal tribes.

The Experience

We chose to stay in one of the free bush camping areas, Jim Jim Billabong, and suffered the consequences.

Several tour groups also took advantage of the site and the peace and tranquility of the first evening was shattered by the 'bubble gum' music of the mainly teenage clientele they chaperoned.

'If only the crocs were hungry'

...and then the second night didn't offer much relief...with a pair of dueling ameteurs on didgeridoos filling the airwaves with continual humming noises that didn't vary in pitch or tone (did have a pretty good handle on volume though)..

But on the flip side...we tried to reconcile...we did have water views.

We were fortunate to find a spot adjacent to the boat ramp at Jim Jim Billabong and positioned the van overlooking the water...but far enough away from the reach of any of its prehistoric, razor teethed occupants who fancied 'homo sapien' takeway.

The Park was hot, 30+ each day, dry and dusty and much of the scenery wasn't quite as spectacular as we had expected.

However, one of the highlights of our stay at Kakadu was a two hour boat cruise on Yellow Water Wetlands, which we thoroughly enjoyed, despite the $40 per person price tag.

...seems crocs aren't the only things in the Park that bite !!

Yellow Water is part of the South Alligator River floodplain and hosts a diversity of fauna - just some include estuarine crocodiles, goannas, agile wallabies, jabiru storks, sea eagles, magpie geese, several species of ducks, cormorants and other flapping, winged things and a variety of slippery, slivering, hissing serpents.

Paper bark trees and pandanus palms line the shores of the waterway, large lotus lilies proliferate along its length and buffalo grass abounds on its banks and the surrounding floodplains...home to a small number of brumbies and water buffalo who still frequent the Park.

 

termite mounds Kakadu National Park.

 

One of many giant termite mounds encountered on the way into Kakadu National Park.

salt water crocodile Kakadu

 

The estuarine, or salt water crocodile.

This one, encountered on the Yellow Water lagoon cruise wasn't at all phased by a boat load of 'Mactourists'.

 

Nawurlandja Lookout

Anita, at Nawurlandja Lookout on Nourlangie Rock, Kakadu. Rock in background is Namanjolg's Feather - Daberrg.
Aboriginal folklore surrounding this formation has it that Namanjolg's sister took a solitary boulder from his head-dress after they had broken incest laws. She then placed it here to show others what they had done.
Later she became the Rainbow Serpent.

Anbangbang Billabong near Nourlangie Rock

 

 

Magpie geese on the shores of Anbangbang Billabong near Nourlangie Rock

Yellow Waters Wetlands

 

 

Reflection of Paper Bark trees into the waters of Yellow Waters Wetlands

 

 

Snake Neck Cormorant

 

Sunset over Yellow Waters Lagoon

 

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