Kakadu National Park – Day 1

Map of Kakadu, not that you can see anything…

The chunk of the park we ventured to explore in two days.

Pretty sure, by now, you’ve got the idea that Courtney and I have been relishing our mornings of tea, books, Suduko, feet up, and audibly sighing, “Ahhhhh,” with each moment of relaxation. It’s not like either of us have overly trying lives on a daily basis that would make these moments just that much sweeter…she’s self-employed from home and spends many a morning with her feet up with a coffee (albeit, she’s generally on the phone or e-mailing away at the same time) and I have an eight minute drive to work that starts around 8:00 am ish. Certainly no morning panic in either of our lives. I suppose we have just become THAT good at appreciating a special, still moment regardless how rare or unrare it may be.

So, after our morning ritual, we hit the road towards Jabiru (pronounced jab-ih-rooo, not ja-beee-rooo like we’d initially thought, and somehow we found this pronunciation amusing and difficult to remember) and spent the first few hours of the day driving and Visitor Centre-ing. DAMN, they have some sweet Visitor Information Centres in Kakadu! I mean, just look at this bench and patio area to welcome us!

kakadu national park, northern territory, australia, travel

Inside it was non-stop information but in a twisty maze of hallways and displays and info boards all over the place.

The next stop was Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre and it was just as magnificently set up and full of information. No photos, but it was great. You’ll just have to take my word for it. Thinking of British Columbian and Albertan First Nations tribes, languages, and words, I haven’t yet decided which ones have more difficult/fun to pronounce. I mean, Osoyoos and Tsuu T’ina don’t seem like such a big deal now, but look at all the “O”s and silent “T.” Even Kelowna is a pretty ridiculous name. Are they only outrageous because they aren’t part of my everyday life? I can’t quite tell – Australians seem to have just as much difficulty with most of the names as I do. Lilooet and Similkameen aren’t too tricky after the first run through. Anyway… back on topic. We headed to the Yellow Water (Ngurrungurrudjba) Region. HA,..okay, back to the word discussion. LOOK AT THAT ONE. My Kakadu Visitor Guide writes the pronunciation as Noor-roong-oo-rooj-bar. Give it a go… right now. Out loud. Call your friends, family, co-workers over after the strange looks they give you and have them try it out. And sound fluent and normal saying it. I can’t.

As I was saying, Yellow Water Region. We ventured out into the wetlands a wee bit (on a raised pathway) and checked out the river.

We had lunch in Cooinda and were off to the Nouralangie Region (or Upper and Lower sections of this area can also be referred to as: Burrunggui and Anbangbang). On our way, we saw evidence of the yearly burn off (following Aboriginal tradition).




We stopped for a walk around part of the Anbangbang billabong (the rest of it still closed/underwater despite it being well into dry season).

Anbangbang Billabong

Nouralangie awaited and there we saw perfect rock paintings all along the 1.5 km walk.

My fave: Yams are his weapon of choice.

Dangerous Yam Spirit

Endless view from another incomprehensibly named lookout at the top of Nourlangie.

From Gun-warddehwardde Lookout on Nourlangie

We checked out Jabiru on our way home – got lost in the maze of the tiny town and saw so much more! We continued with our typical afternoon ritual of more coffee/tea, reading, journalling our day, Sudoku, and this time also got to visit the on-site pool. Magnifique! We had a fabulous dinner at the restaurant (ever review we read about the Aurora Kakadu mentioned the chef/restaurant and they weren’t kidding about how yummy it was!) and ended our evening with more reading and tea, of course. We also had more welcome, and unwelcome, visitors. A mini gecko spent the evening on the floor and we carefully monitored the cupboard the cockroach hid behind. EW!

A mini!

Stay tuned for the Adventures of Day 2 in Kakadu and our last hours in Northern Territory.

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