Rock Art and rocky roads

Trip Start Unknown
Trip End Mar 08, 2013

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Flag of Australia  , Northern Territory,
Tuesday, September 11, 2012

It is a real wilderness here though it’s easy to forget because of the excellent roads and tourist spots dotted around.  We left Jabiru and went up to Ubirr to see Rock art and the surrounds.  Just a few miles from Jabiru, but another world.  Because of its National Park and Indigenous ownership there are no dwellings or communities, just turn offs to visitor sites and at the moment
it’s really quiet so in some places we have been there on our own.   We have been staying in the NT campsites which are much cheaper than the commercial ones (there aren’t many of those so they tend to be busier) and we have chosen the ‘intermediate’ sites with showers and proper loos.  The showers are solar powered and work well.  The sites have water though not always suitable to drink.  These sites have been peaceful and quiet – half a dozen vehicles last night, a dozen tonight.  You can have fires if you are prepared to go and find the wood.  Fortunately we had some work gloves in the bits and bobs box! 

We enjoyed the Rock Art interpretation from the Rangers – they told us the stories around the art, but only the children’s versions as the stories are progressive and a rite of passage for family members, not for the general public.  There’s a lot of rock art in this area but non indigenous people are not allowed to visit the vast majority. 

It’s been very hot – apparently Darwin area is unseasonably hot.  We have been early risers, up with the sun and out for a walk, back 10.30ish for a shower. 

We couldn’t get to Jim Jim Falls – it’s designated a 4WD road, preferably with snorkels, though I know in the past the Park have not been so strict with the rules!!  There was a commercial trip but cost way out of our league……… so we decided to go to Gunlom Waterfall – designated 2WD.  Hmmmm…….  It took us 11/2 hours to drive 37 Km, sometimes at walking pace – with the van rattling and shaking.  The 4x4s came steaming past us (some towing off road caravans) and cars too.  I think the bad road may have seemed worse with our heavy truck tyres, a Swiss
decision, and under normal circumstances a wise one.  Anyway, the falls and lagoons were absolutely stunning .  We slept out in the swag (tent with no fly sheet) , looking at the stars and hearing, in John’s case, unidentified creatures shuffling past in the middle of the night.  Up early and walked to the top of the waterfall to find a series of rock pools and mini waterfalls.  When we got back we had a swim in the lagoon.  Bastards! 
(Excuse language – some friends will understand :>)  )

And out of Kakadu ………………………….

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Judith and Jeff on

Well, it's a long way from Minehead! "Intrepid" is the word I'd use. We're full of admiration, and there we were wingeing about the heat and odd mosquito in Italy! Sounds as if you're having a fabulous time.

Cathy on

Yes....well, this friend understands! You can probably hear Simon saying it from down there! Looks great, love the rock art.

Virginia Evans on

sounds wonderful - especially sleeping under the stars........

jeanette and richard on

Really enjoying your blog helping us remember Darwin', though we remember the humid heat and are in admiration of you both. did you visit the museum in Darwin?

Jane and Dave on

Just sitting here catching up on the last couple of week's news. We've had hot weather in South of france but not as hot as you obviously!! Lovely sunny day in Derbyshire but will soon need to go shopping for thermals! Great to see John's breakfast, he could probably set up small wayside eating emporium for Brits travelling through. Looking forward to next installment.
J and DXX

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