The next morning we're up for a walk to Nourlangie Rock where after viewing the 30,000 year old rock art galleries we start our hike to the kakadu escarpment. The views are tremendous as we climb into the top of the escarpment and the eerie eroded rock formations on top. Following a track across the top we descend into verdant Kakadu forests seen by few visitors and more rock art galleries. The next day we have a full day bush tucker and wildlife walk planned in the company of an aboriginal guide who is a Minitja man from Kakadu. He has spent most of his life here and today you will have the opportunity to learn a little of the rich cultural interaction between his people and their country.
We will travel north across the Magela floodplains and past some of the spectacular escarpment outliers to Ubirr, one of Kakadu's major aboriginal rock art sites. Here you will go through the natural stone galleries and gain an insight into the culture associated with some of these intriguing works of art. The art here spans a vast period, from ancient times before the sea level rose to its present level right through to interaction between Aboriginal people and early European visitors. You will see paintings of spirit characters and the famous x-ray art depicting the internal structure of some of the animals of this country.
Our journey takes us west from here to floodplains of the mighty South Alligator River. We'll visit the Mamukala wetlands where thousands of birds congregate in the drier months of the year. There is a bird hide that enables a good view across the entire floodplain but a guided walk around the edges will often reward us with sightings of the less common birds and other animals. After leaving Kakadu we move south to Katherine and the highlight of our trip in the Nitmiluk National Park.
We have a four day walk planned with a Traditional landowner following a little used song line through the Nitmiluk dreaming trail. The Nitmiluk Dreaming Place Trail begins outside of the borders of Nitmiluk National Park, (perhaps better known as Katherine Gorge) working its way into the park and along the Katherine River. The local Flora and Fauna is prolific and the scenery is varied and beautiful.The Katherine River flows all year round and during the long "Dry" season, becomes the only water source for all manner of wildlife.
The Dreaming Place Trail is a "traditional hunting trail" used by the Jawoyn people. It covers highland escarpment and river country, hillsides dotted with dry land eucalyptus and amazing gorges cut deep into the rocky landscape. Spend 4 days walking along the amazing Nitmiluk Gorge and you will hike between 10 to 15 kilometers per day in untracked, remote areas, completely dependent of your campsite destinations, which can be reached between 2pm and 4pm each day. On arriving at camp you are free to relax, swim, read and enjoy the beauty of your surrounds. Each campsite has its own water source, thanks to the Katherine River which you will follow throughout your journey. Each afternoon brings about a different pool or spa to sit back and relax in.
You will be expected to carry your own pack on the 4 day Dreaming trail which will include lightweight camping equipment and some dehydrated food packs. On the other walks in Kakadu you only need to carry a daypack as your luggage stays back at your accommodation. We are visiting at the end of the cool season and daytime temperatures will still be comfortable.
Day 1: Arrive Darwin and drive to Kakadu National park.
Day 2: Yellow waters cruise and Kakadu Escarpment Bushwalk 12km.
Day 3: Full day Aboriginal bush tucker and wildlife tour in Kakadu.
Day 4: Katherine Gorge and township.
Day 5: Start Nitmiluk Dreaming trail walk.
Days 6-8: Nitmiluk Dreaming trail walk.
Day 9: Transfer back from Katherine to Darwin.
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