Day 4

APT Day 4 Map.png

We slept well in our very comfortable tent which was elevated off the ground. It was fitted out with two single beds and an ensuite bathroom with all the conveniences of a regular hotel.

We had a filling breakfast at then set off via Jabiru for the first stop of the day, Nourlangie Rock, to view more rock art in the Anbangbang (Arn-barng-barng) rock shelter. Burrunggui (Boor-oon-goy) is the traditional name for the higher parts of Nourlangie.

Aboriginal people have called this shelter home for the last 6,000 years. Occasional use dates further back to 20,000 years, when the climate of the area was drier and food more scarce. Over time objects discarded by people living here have built up the floor of the shelter. Archaeological excavations have revealed organic objects not usually preserved in the hot, wet climate of northern Australia, safe in the dryness of this shelter.

The drawings in Anbangbang shelter are some of the most famous in the National Park. One of the intricate paintings was created by Najombolmi, a renown artist of the Bardmardi clan, who painted the images with his friends in the 1963-64 wet season. Najombolmi lived from 1895 to 1967 and is thought to have created around 604 paintings at 46 sites in Arnhem Land.

We didn’t see one, but there are depictions of Thylacines (Tasmanian Tigers), known to have been extinct in the area for at least 3,500 years.

 Anbangbang (Nourlangie Rock)

Anbangbang (Nourlangie Rock)

Next, after a 40 minute drive, we arrived at Yellow Water Billabong for a cruise amongst the birdlife and crocodiles. Kakadu National Park, Arnhem Land, the Mary River and the Gove Peninsula are home to around 280, or one-third, of Australia's entire collection of bird species with at least 60 to be found in the wetlands.

We quietly cruised the placid waters while our guide gave us both informative and hilarious stories. We learnt that ducks sit near the crocodiles without concern because the crocs don’t like eating feathers!

Our final destination for the day required a drive of another 380 km via Pine Creek and Katherine to the beautiful Cicada Lodge.