Thursday, September 15, 2011

Ubirr and Nourlangie Regions

We had an amazing day yesterday visiting different parts of Kakadu!! 

A true living cultural experience!

Visiting Kakadu certainly educates you about the deep culture and traditions of the Aboriginal people.  

There are groups of clans that ‘caretake’ these areas and pass on stories, language, kinship, and ceremonies onto the younger generations to continue. These traditions have existed since the ‘creation time’.

First up we visited the amazing Ubirr area.

Some of the oldest aboriginal art is believed to be here from the ‘creation era’ or the ‘Dreamtime’ which formed the land and all it contains.

They used ‘Ochre’ stone and animal blood to do their paintings.

In some areas there is a real ‘layering’ effect of art. Newer generations have painted over the art done by older generations. Traditionally this is allowed as long as the art underneath is left unaltered.

These Northern running figures were paintings done by ‘Mimis’ and are estimated to be at least 5000 years old!!

Some of these paintings of long necked turtles and fish are assumed to be 2000 years old…

They have an 'x-ray' style to them as you can see the inside of the fish...

One is thought to be a painting of a whole menu..

 There is also some art in the most amazing places. It is hard to imagine how they did it?? Like on the underside of this high ledge above Charlie....amazing!

The aboriginal values and traditions are also strongly reflected in the art...

For example:

This painting of Mabuyu reminds traditional owners to tell a story which warns against stealing..


The following painting allows elders to teach about the importance of following Aboriginal laws and traditions. It  also teaches about the system of punishment which enforces these laws...

After looking at this incredible art it is hard not to have a deeper respect for our indigenous people and their values and traditions....

We then climbed up a large sedimentary rock lookout to take in the 360 degree views of Kakadu.

Breathtaking of course!!

You can just about imagine what this area will look like in the wet season…..

Just stunning!!

We also visited the East Alligator River which was quite 'infested' with crocodiles who leisurely swam up and had a good look at you on the bank. There was about 12-15 crocodiles over a 200m stretch of the river!! 

You can see this crocodile below has his/her front legs splayed out with feet up and out of the water. They are actually 'herding' Mullet with their front feet. The fish are heading upstream. 

Clever crocodiles!!

Definitely no swimming in this river!!

We also visited the Nourlangie Region which is home to some amazing ancient Aboriginal Shelters and art sites.

The art in this region is more recent, probably being 1000 years old.

A hunting scene..

A dancing ceremony
Nabulwinjbulwinj......a not so nice spirit who eats females after striking them with a yam!!
We were in this region as the sun was setting so the light was really beautiful...

Great time to take photos...

On these walks Charlie has developed a habit of 'hanging back' with me and waiting as I click madly away on the camera. This gives him a bit of time to also stop and look at the rocks and insects. Very cute.

Studying Ochre and Quartz is extremely thirsty work in these parts...

As the sun set on another beautiful day in Kakadu we headed to Anbangbang billabong to watch the end of day activities of some of the local wildlife.

Looking through binoculars we observed wallabies, a wild pig, Magpie Geese, Egrets, Black Cockatoos, and Corellas all gathering at the billabong for last minute nibbles and drinks. The sights and sounds were lovely!!

Plenty of magic happening here in Kakadu National Park..

The end of another amazing day of this amazing adventure....


  1. Every moment of every day is busted packed with so much brain food. You must all be sleeping well in the caravan.

  2. Yep Annie, every day is full to the brim!!! Sleeping well...definitely!!

  3. So memorable, that view of Ubir, love that smoky golden Northern Territory light. I have been to Kakadu three times and would return in a flash, so beautiful. Looks like you're having a wonderful time.


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