Kakadu National Park Day Trip
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Day trips in Darwin are pretty tiring, because all them involves getting picked up at the hotel at 6 plus in the morning and returning late in the evening.
Nourlangie Rock Art (also known as Burrungkuy Rock Art)
Our first stop was at the Nourlangie Rock Art site – a place where for over 20 thousand years, people came to camp for a short time in the shade of the sandstone cliffs, and to hunt and gather food from the nearby forests. They left behind their artwork on the face of the cliffs as they sheltered here – some of them using their artwork as a form of record of the events in their lives, or to illustrate stories, some of them using them as religious markings to influence the success of their hunts.
Because the ancient aborigines used natural earth as their paint materials, their form of art were usually limited in the colours used. As a result the artwork that we see today on the rock faces are predominately in the colours of red, yellow, white and black.
These little potholes were created by the rain dripping down from the cliffs and eroding the limestone on the rock surface. They were most likely used by the painters as their palette to mix colours for their artwork.
Perhaps the most famous art piece here in this stone gallery is that of Nabulwinjbulwinj, an evil spirit that eats females after hitting them with a yam.
The Lightning Man – also known as Namarrgon, is another famous art piece here.
Take a Break, Enjoy a Buffet Lunch
Fortunately lunch was included in this tour, and it was at a nearby hotel where restroom facilities were clean and usable.
Highlight of Trip – Yellow River Billabong Cruise
The highlight of this day was the cruise on the Yellow River Cruise – the best way to experience the wetlands of Kakadu National Park. The picturesque yellow water is known to be home to thousands of saltwater crocodiles and up to 60 species of colourful birdlife.
Can you imagine – beneath the serenity of these waters lurks thousands of crocodiles….
Hands and legs had better be kept safely within the confines of the boat. Although this is no jumping crocodile cruise, its better to be safe than sorry.
As we left the clear blue waters behind and entered into this murky brackish waters, we suddenly realised why this was called the Yellow River.
The ‘Spot-the-Crocodiles’ contest begins!
Crocodiles are so numerous here, you are bound to see at least a few on this cruise.
At the river banks are where most of the crocodiles either hide in the shade or bask under the intense sun.
If you get lucky enough, the bravest amongst the crocs may just try and get closer to the boat.
The Kakadu National Park is also home to numerous species of native birds, bird-watchers will love the Yellow River for the up-close experience with birds.
Crocs are so rampant in the Yellow River, its really difficult not to be able to spot one at any time of the cruise.
This one was especially big and fat, enough to rival the ones we saw at the Crocosaurus Cove.
You can see how powerful that tail is going to be, and I never want to be at the receiving end of the powers of that tail.
One of the best things about wildlife cruises such as this one, is the opportunity to interact and observe wildlife without causing much disturbances to their everyday lives.
This croc decides to check us out…
The croc was almost as long as our boat!
A closer look at the face of the croc…
Another big fat one among the lotus. We have to admit that these crocs are so well camouflaged with the mud.
Yet another croc….
The cruise itself is an extremely scenic one…
Our attention was actually one a bird of the top of the tree when we spotted this croc really close to us…
Last Stop – Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre
Last stop for the day was the Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre, a museum cum exhibition of the Bininj people who are the traditional custodians of Kakadu National Park.
The museum gives an introduction to their way of life, illustrated by the artefacts and videos that tells their personal histories and lifestyle. Unfortunately, photography was not allowed in this museum, so we have to be contented with photos in their gift shop.
We recommend the following tours to the Kakadu National Park.
Join us next as we enjoy some coffee at Four Birds.