Kakadu National Park is a vast biodiverse nature reserve in Australia’s Northern Territory. Kakadu National Park consists of wetlands, rivers and sandstone escarpments, which is home to some 2,000 plant species and wildlife including salt water crocodiles and Aboriginal rock paintings.
The name Kakadu comes from an Aboriginal language called Gagudju which was one of the languages spoken to the north at the beginning of the 20th century, which along with Limilngan are less regularly spoken, however, descendants of these language groups are still living in Kakadu. Aboriginal languages still in use today include Kunwinjku from the north-eastern region, Gun-djeihmi from the central region and Jawoyn from the southern region.
Kakadu National Park is managed jointly by its Aboriginal traditional owners and the Director of National Parks, and is so much more than a National Park. It is vast store of ancient & breathtaking Aboriginal rock art paintings which remind us that Arnhem Land was the gateway through which natives entered Australia 30,000 years ago, settling and recording their cultures & beliefs of the Dreamtime that were shaped by the spiritual ancestors of Aboriginal people during the Creation Time. They brought with them laws to live by, which included ceremonies, languages, kinship and ecological knowledge.
Aboriginals have occupied the region since their arrival in Australia. The Park is rich in ancient Aboriginal paintings. The origins of the escarpment which forms the skyline for hundreds of kilometres, goes back 2000 million years and outlier rocks now isolated on the plains show how the plateau has eroded down the ages. The most easily reached galleries are at Obiri Rock & Nourlangie Rock, both displaying among their styles the distinctive X-ray paintings, which show internal organs of the subject.
THINGS TO DO
- Ubirr - the Aboriginal rock art here is considered among the best in the world
- Warradjan Cultural Centre - artefacts that illustrate the stories that the traditional owners wish to share with visitors
- Maguk Gorge - one of the most authentic nature experiences on offer in the Top End
- Anbangbang Billabong - a good place to view a wide range of wildlife
- Twin Falls - a cascade waterfall on the South Alligator River that descends over the Arnhem Land escarpment
06 Aug 2016