Wicked Journey through Kakadu

Trip Start Jan 16, 2008
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Trip End Nov 2008


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Where I stayed
Gunlom
Merl Campground
Malabanjbanjdju

Flag of Australia  , Northern Territory,
Sunday, August 3, 2008

We are now part of the Wicked culture! We rented a van that says on the back "Men go to bed and look the same in the morning but women all deterioriate overnight!" Needless to say the amount of chat with other tourists this generated on our travels was substantial and fun!

We set off for Kakadu National Park a huge 20,000 sq km UNESCO heritage site that was shaped by the spiritual ancestors of aboriginal people during the creation / dreaming time. The name Kakadu comes from an aboriginal language called Gagudju used at the beginning of the 20th century.

We spent five days in the park  trekking by day and sitting around a camp fire most nights (Quite proud as we completed over 40kms of bushwalks). One note, don't go collecting firewood in the tall grass or you will be eaten alive by mosquitoes!

Here is a rundown of our best experiences in Kakadu
Cruising on the adelaide river as we came literally within inches of wild croc. The guides held out buffalo bones and these crocs literally blasted out of the water to gobble them up. If you put your hands outside the boat then they became part of the crocs foodchain. One of the best moments of the trip to the park.

Mamukala Walk and viewing platform - dramatic wetlands where a wild pig ran in front of us.

Ubirr - 360 degree views , rock formations and rock art site where part of Crocodile dundee was filmed. The part where he is swinging a boomerang to call any aboriginies in the area is in fact used by them to call the spirits.
Cahills Crossing - Did the beautiful Bardedjilidji Walk on the border of restricted Arnhem land where the majority of the aboriginal communities in the northern territory lives. You need a permit from the australian government to enter. We were lucky enough to stop here as the water from the ocean rushed up the river. We watched in awe as seven or eight crocs fed on the jumping fish... incredible.

Jabiru - lake views and Bowali visitors centre where they screened a movie about the wet season in Kakadu.

Malabanjbanjdju - Superb 4km lligedjarr wetland walk and camping area.

Nourlangie - There is a huge variety of landscapes in the park; savannah woodlands  (eucalypts & tall grasses), monsoon forests (flying foxes or fruit bats), floodplains and billabongs (lots of birds and crocs) and stone country like nourlangie. Nourlangie is famous for its rock art and the 30 to 300 metres tall sandstone escarpment. The 600m steep climb to the fabulous lookout was well worth the effort.

Yellow water Billabong - Another wetland area that's overhyped in the guides. The Warrudjan cultural centre was interesting  as they showed how the aboriginal people hunt for bush food including how they catch and eat turtles. They make baskets from long leaf fronds and dye them using berries and roots.

Gunlom - Driving 37kms on a dirt road to a popular picnic and camping spot was a rough experience but the views from the rockpools at the top of the falls were extraordinary. We saw an aboriginal fella hunting a goanna or iguana at the very top.

The aboriginal people have a number of sacred spots in the park which are off limits, they warn that you will get sick if you tresspass there. When scientists later examined these sites they discovered that all of these areas were in fact rich in uranium ore.. Two worlds coming together.
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