Kakadu National Park Off The Beaten Path

  • A Note From The Ranger, Bin Rubbish, Bring Water
    A Note From The Ranger, Bin Rubbish,...
    by Mikebb
  • Ubirr Aboriginal Art Site Map
    Ubirr Aboriginal Art Site Map
    by Mikebb
  • Warning signs for the crossing
    Warning signs for the crossing
    by tiabunna

Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in Kakadu National Park

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    Mary River Cruise

    by Zanzibargirl Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Croc Catching Barramundi on Mary River Cruise

    Departing 9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm & 5.30pm on the Mary river on a cruise is a highlight I would highly recommend. Along which not only is some top end stunning river scenery, but also some amazing animal and birdlife viewing options. Croc catching barrumundi, NT's famous Jabiru, sea eagles, kingfisher, buffalo, wild brumby and so much more were spotted amoungst the lilys invading the early wet season boat ride. The guide was knowledgeable and it was heaven to sit back and relax and feel at one with nature. Located 110 kms from Darwin it is great to scoot along the wetlands of papyrus and lilies and paperbark forests looking for that illusive croc.

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    Magnificent View From the Top - Ubirr

    by Mikebb Updated Nov 28, 2009

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    View From The Top -  Nadab Floodplain, Ubirr
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    After we had completed the 1 km circular track which took us to the Aboriginal rock art sites we then continued on to climb the rocky track leading up to the top of the outcrof.

    Only 250 metres high the climb to the top was managed by most of our group. those experiencing some touble were assisted over the larger rocks. Some sections had half metre high rocks we had to climb over or find an alternative way around.

    The effort was rewarded with magnificent views over the Nadab floodplain.

    Allow at least an hour for this section.

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    Rock Climbing - Take Your Time - Ubirr

    by Mikebb Written Nov 27, 2009

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    Rock Climbing - Ubirr
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    We walked the trail up to the top of the Rocky Outcrop. Although the temperature was in the mid twenties it was a little tough. We stopped halfway up to view another batch of rock paintings and this enabled us to gain a new lease on life and easily climb the final rock. Just make certain you have firm footing when climbing.

    A wonderful 360 degree view from the top.

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    Don't Forget The Flora As You Walk Ubirr Tracks

    by Mikebb Updated Nov 27, 2009

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    Colourful Flowers On Trees - Close Up Photo
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    Your visit to Ubirr is to see the Aboriginal Rock art, however there is much more to see. As you walk the paths and tracks between the attractions be aware of your surroundings and you will add to your enjoyment.

    There are many small and large trees to admire, some in beautiful flower. Keep you eyes on the bush, you many see small animals such as lizards, birds etc. Little chance of finding a snake as they are timid and with all the activity on the tracks they will have moved to a quieter place.

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    Map Of Ubirr

    by Mikebb Updated Nov 27, 2009

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    Ubirr Aboriginal Art Site Map

    This map gives you an indication of the location of the Art Sites, Lookouts, walking Tracks and those paths suitable for wheelchairs.

    The scale on the map represents 100 metres and you will see that most sites are within easy walking distance.

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    Rock Overhang Protects The Rock Art - Ubirr

    by Mikebb Written Nov 27, 2009

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    Rock Overhang

    Some of the rock art is thousands of years old, whilst some is as recent as several hundred years ago.

    Why has it survived for so long? The answer is the Rock artists chose rocks that were protected by a large rock overhang which sheltered the paintings from the sun and Rain.

    There are many areas which have faded art, and you will see that the ground is covered by broken rocks from when the overhang collapsed.

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    Viewing Platform Rock art - Ubirr

    by Mikebb Written Nov 27, 2009

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    As Close as You Can Get - Ubirr Rock Art

    Not so many years ago you could walk up to the Rock art and tough it. This cannot happen now as the Rock Art is protected by rails. This is for the benefit of everyone and future generations will be able to enjoy this art as much as we have.

    My camera took a reasonable photo but nowhere as good as photos taken by a friend with his DSLR camera.

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    Ranger Talks & Cultural Tours - Ubirr

    by Mikebb Updated Nov 27, 2009

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    Notice - Times For Talks
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    During the Dry Season visitors can join rangers for free activities throughout Kakadu. When we visited Ubirr we joined a free Ranger Guided tour of the Rock Art. It was handy to join a group and be guided along the correct walk.

    The Rangers also hold talks and this notice details the times on the day we visited.

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  • Mikebb's Profile Photo

    Aboriginal Rock Art - Visit Ubirr

    by Mikebb Updated Nov 26, 2009

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    Rock Art @ Ubirr
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    Kakadu's rock art represents one of the longest historical records of any group of people in the world.

    More than 5,000 art sites tell of the Creation Ancestors and the changes in the landscape over thousands of years.

    We visited the Rock Art at Ubirr in the East Alligator region. It is an area which is very popular with tourists and has a sealed road and good parking facilities. There are excellent walking tracks that easily take you to the various Rock Art locations.

    The Rock Art now has barriers which prevent tourists touching the paintings.

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  • tiabunna's Profile Photo

    Koolpin Gorge – Swimming with crocs

    by tiabunna Written Jan 9, 2009

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    Koolpin Gorge, just below the pool (pano)
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    Main photo Koolpin Gorge, just below the pool (pano)
    Photo 2 Coming in? Koolpin pool
    Photo 3 VTers enjoying the water
    Photo 4 Trap for saltwater crocs, Koolpin Gorge
    Photo 5 Closed road to abandoned uranium mine..

    After we returned to the southern end of the Kakadu National Park, we visited Koolpin Gorge (Jarrangbarnmi). It is within the Park, but I have included it as an OTBP tip because you will need a special permit from National Parks to visit, the requisite key for the entry gate – and a good 4WD.

    Access is along the inevitable dirt road, with a crossing of the South Alligator River and passing abandoned mining camps: the entry to a former uranium mine is closed and has radiation warning signs. When we reached the parking area, our first task was to check the crocodile trap downstream, then ensure there were no croc tracks past the croc barrier. Satisfied, we headed upstream past several sets of cascades which would have tested the cross-country skills of any 'saltie'. We finally had reached our swimming hole!

    I've headed this tip 'Swimming with crocs”: although we'd ensured there were no 'salties', freshwater crocodiles are native to these streams. The good news is that 'freshies' are not aggressive – make enough noise and they will keep away. Whether it was the noise or the sight of assorted VTers, we saw none.

    This is a delightful spot, tucked between rocky ridges and I suspect we'd all have happily stayed longer, had there been time. It was a hot day and we all had a marvellous time splashing around in the lovely cool clear water.

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  • tiabunna's Profile Photo

    The Arnhem Land escarpment

    by tiabunna Updated Jan 9, 2009

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    Caution - Namarrgon lives here!
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    The bulk of Arnhem Land remains roadless wilderness, comprising a rugged rocky plateau intersected by gorges and bordered by steep cliff escarpments. Nourlangie Rock could considered as an outlier, from which the escarpment is visible only a few kilometers away, rolling off into the distance above the endless carpet of trees.

    It remains very much Aboriginal territory: a mystic landscape, largely uninhabited except by people and creatures from the Aboriginal dreamtime mythology, such as Namarrgon who resides in the columnar cliff area in the main photo. Not a place for the uninitiated to visit! His story is given by the sign in the second photo, while the third photo shows the seemingly endless escarpment cliffs. Somebody was out there though, as shown by the burnoff fires on the top at one distant point (photo 4). As a tourist, this is as close as you’re likely to get!

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  • tiabunna's Profile Photo

    Sunset at Port Essington and Smith Point

    by tiabunna Written Jan 9, 2009

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    VTers photographing sunset at Smith Point cairn
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    Main photo VTers photographing sunset at Smith Point cairn
    Photo 2 Old weathered stones in the cairn
    Photo 3 From Smith Point cairn across Port Essington
    Photo 4 VTer Aussirose photographing the cairn at sunset
    Photo 5 Sunset from Smith Point..

    Port Essington is the large inlet to the west of the Cobourg Peninsula. The British began a colony called Victoria Settlement here back in 1838, apparently in the hope it would become a trading port like Singapore! From the start it was doomed to failure, beaten by cyclones, tropical diseases, a failure to adapt to the country and climate, and sheer isolation. One of the few visitors was the explorer Ludwig Leichhardt, who with his group travelled overland in 1844 from near Brisbane, taking 15 months for the trip. Victoria Settlement was abandoned in 1849, by which time Leichhardt and his crew had disappeared, never to be seen again, on an attempted east-west crossing of Australia.

    Only a few stone ruins remain of the Victoria Settlement: I would love to have visited, but they are on the far side of Port Essington and accessible only by boat. Not far from the camping area though, is a relic from the early days: in 1843-45, a stone cairn was built at Smith Point as a marker beacon for shipping going to the colony. In recent years it has been restored and heritage listed.

    When a bunch of latter-day explorers arrived, in the form of Zig’s Mob, the main priority was taking photos of the sunset. Now that you’ve had your history lesson, I hope the photos are worth it! LOL

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  • tiabunna's Profile Photo

    Black Point Cultural Centre

    by tiabunna Updated Oct 15, 2008

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    Black Point Cultural Centre
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    Main photo Black Point Cultural Centre
    Photo 2 Poster on pre-history of the area
    Photo 3 Cyclone (hurricane/typhoon) tracks over area
    Photo 4 Wind-stripped trees in camping area
    Photo 5 Talking to Robert Cunningham.

    Near the Ranger’s Station on the Cobourg Peninsula, you will find what has to be one of the least-visited display centres anywhere! Because of the restriction on the number of campers, and the absence of day trippers, chances are that you will be the only people visiting the Cultural Centre. A pity, because it is very well done and quite informative.

    Here you can learn a little about the history of the area – from the arrival of Aboriginal people about 40,000 years ago when the sea level was much lower and mega-fauna roamed the area, to the trade with the Macassan people of the islands to the north from the 1600s, and the ill-fated English attempts to create settlements in the 1800s. The area is not accessible to visitors in the cyclone season, but the displays tell of these destructive storms: the most recent to cause problems was “Ingrid”, a category 5 monster which went right across the area in 2005. No wonder that many damaged trees clearly had been removed from the camping area, while the remaining trees looked like almost bare poles!

    Outside the Cultural Centre we met Robert Cunningham, one of the local people. It was a chance for a brief chat: for us to take photos and for Robert to ask without success for a cigarette – none of us smoke! You can see this encounter on Rosie235’s video.

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  • tiabunna's Profile Photo

    Recorded through time

    by tiabunna Written Oct 12, 2008

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    Cave panorama near water���s edge
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    Main photo Cave panorama near water’s edge
    Photo 2 Our guide with traditional rock paintings
    Photo 3 Borradaile traditional rock paintings
    Photo 4 Traditional rock paintings – and a boat?
    Photo 5 The world changes: the arrival of early steamships.

    The Borradaile wetlands were marvellous, but not the main reason for our visit. We were there primarily to see the Aboriginal rock paintings, among the best anywhere to which the public has access.

    After leaving our tinnies, we walked a short distance to an area just above the high-water level for the billabong, where a panorama of paintings awaited us. Nearby we visited an old ceremonial burial cave (a sacred site, so no photographs) with ochre-painted bones on rock shelves.

    Walking only a little further we came to a large rock overhang, totally covered in paintings, layer upon layer, the earliest dating back countless aeons in time. We were not permitted to go further (sacred sites again), but these were truly excellent. Here were paintings of mythological figures from the dreamtime, animals and people, many done in the cross-hatch painting typical of this area. Quite incongruously, painted over the top were the most recent works of what is known as a “contact gallery” – the records of the first sightings of ships arriving from the outside modern world. Imagine if you were one of those painters seeing a paddle steamer for the first time, it would have been like watching an alien spaceship landing! And equally life-changing for the artists and their people.

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    • Archeology
    • Eco-Tourism

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    Kakadu Air Scenic Flight

    by balhannah Written Oct 11, 2008

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    4 more images

    This is quite expensive, in 2008, $195 pp for the one hour flight over Kakadu.
    This would have to be one of my best travel experiences, to view Kakadu from the air, was simply amazing, you get an overall view of the majesty of this place.
    From the air, you see dozens of Crocodiles in the East Alligator river, the Uranium Mine, as well as flying over the Crocodile Hotel.
    There are other shorter flights, the 1/2hour one $120 pp.

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