Kakadu NP: Nourlangie

Thursday early morning we drove with the first sunlight the 4WD out and then the gravel road until the Kakadu highway. There are several ranger activities, which are for free and included in the NP pass. Or in the case of me, it’s free at all, as I’m officially now a local NT resident 😉 (as I told before, otherwise you can’t have a car registered at your own). Hence, spending 32$ for a one year driver licence was cheaper than 40$ entrance fee of the Kakadu NP. The talk started at 9 o’clock, and after the gravel road I needed to increase the tyre pressure, before heading back onto the highway. We almost made it, and were just 5 minutes late. Nevertheless, the group was already gone and we needed to hurry up to catch them. The ranger was quite skillful and told us about different topics from the Aborigines. There’s evidence that the people already lived in this specific area since 20,000 years. Their original way of living is highly integrated into the nature. They believe in the spirits on their ancestors and as their language isn’t able to write down, the only method of transferring information of 1,000 generations is by painting things onto the rock. The rocks we were walking along are about 1.6-1.8 billion years old (depending if there was quartz included in them or not). Compared to the age of the earth of 4.54 billion years, these rocks are definitely quite old. The rocks were a former ground of the sea, and got pushed up due to tectonical movements, but they don’t have any fossil on their surface. Just because at this time of the earth age, there haven’t even been any bacteria on the earth. So the whole earth was just sterile. We were also introduced to the kinship system, which is a very complicated system of how relationships got managed in order to preserve strong genetics. I didn’t got it completely, but at least I got that the terms mother and sister, and so on not depending on the biological relationship, but also depending on the skin colour which you inherited from your father (if I’m not wrong). In essence, your sisters would be all females of the same skin colour, and after you got an adult in a ceremony, you’re no longer allowed to talk to your sister (even if it’s not your biological sister).

After we finished the two hours ranger talk, we went to the nearby Anbangbang billabong. We walked around, which was OK, but quite long, and the scenery didn’t changed a lot. Along the way we saw a herd of Emus. I guess I never saw wild Emus before. In the afternoon we went for a two kilometres return walk to another rock art gallery. Even if it was mainly flat and we had almost no supplies with us, it was quite strengthenous to walk in the afternoon sun at 14 o’clock. The rock art is a bit boring, if you don’t get any explanation to it. Sometimes it is also repetitively. In the evening we went back to the Nawurlandja lookout, where another ranger activity should take place. But unfortunately, after we waited for 15 minutes, there was no ranger showing up, and 20 people were waiting for him. In the end we went this 15 minutes walk at our own to the top and enjoyed the sunset. On the way down we spotted two nice boulders, and just did some moves in the dusk, before we went to a nearby campground. That was our first real, but basic, campground. It just has had a pit toilet, but the light was not working. Three French girls camped also next to us. After dinner I joined them, and we played an easy French card game together for a while.

View from the Gunnwarrdehwarrdde lookout to the wetlands…
…and to a stone on a ledge, which represents a feather of an ancestors who was in incest with his sister (actually not his biological one). Eventually, he turned into the salt water crocodile.
On the other side of the plains at this three large pillars, there lives the spirit of lightning and thunder. And it’s better not to wake him up, while visiting him.
The spirit of lightning and thunder is drawn on the upper right side of this rock art.
There’s evidence that under this rocky roof, people continously lived in the last 20,000 years. And typically they just painted in their living room.
There was not too much water in the billabong…
…but still enough to attract a group of Emu
On our walk in the afternoon, crossing pretty dry and quite hot land
These old rocks itself are pretty impressive itself.
The bad spirits are typically painted with six fingers and toes.
This rock with the boulder on the ledge is seen throughout the wetlands, and almost remembers the people to follow the kinship.
Enjoying sunset and the quite cooler temperatures
Jakub did a 360° boulder in clockwise direction, whereas I repeated it in anti-clockwise direction. The crux is directly on the other side.

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