Vacation 2001, Day 18
Tuesday, August 7
Kakadu National Park, Australia

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Expectations for Today

Todays touring takes us on a cruise of the East Alligator River, viewing of aboriginal rock art at Ubirr, and learning about the flora and fauna of the area. Back to the crocodile shaped hotel for tonight.

Created July 14th, 2001

What actually happened this day.

Today we drove northeast from Jabiru towards Jabiluka (see map below, upper right corner) and the East Alligator River. We set foot briefly in Arnhem Land which is a large Aboriginal reserve area to the east of Kakadu National Park. On the map it's shown as a beige shading to the right of the green shaded park. It is a much larger area than shown on this map. Special permits are required for nonaboriginals to enter this area except on the boat cruise. I'm not exactly sure where the Ubirr Art site is on this map but it's about 40 minutes drive from the East Alligator river. The "I Flew Kakadu" flight flew in a circle mostly north and east from Jabiru.

The weather both yesterday and today has been what the weather turned out to be on the entire Top End tour: sunny and warm/hot with almost no humidity.

An East Alligator river crocodile. An English
explorer saw all the crocodiles, thought they were
alligators, and named the river the East Alligator.
Alligators and Crocodiles are not related species.

A view along the river.

This escarpment divides Arnhem Land from
Kakadu National Park.

See the faces in the rocks? On the left is a man
sleeping on a pillow, centre looking left is ET,
and a man with a mouth and up pointed nose
in the centre looking to the right.

Here are some of the tour group on an outcropping
of rock in Arnham Land looking down on the East
Alligator river and across it to Kakadu.

Another slightly different view in Arnham Land.

Our Aboriginal guide showed us some of the
items Aboriginals use now and in the past.

A view of the river as we headed back to our
starting point.

Another slightly better view of the Arnham Land
escarpment as we headed back.

Our guide showed us a native musical instrument
called a Diggerdedo. It's a branch of a tree
hollowed out by termites. Soak it in the water
and it makes a deep growling sound. Aboriginal
music at its best!!!

Here, at the Uhirr art site is some of the best rock
painting in Australia. It all has various meanings
but it is very complicated and I don't remember
much of it.
More paintings. The red colour had the longest
life so its thought that these were more colourful
in years gone by but have faded.

Another painting, again in the long life red colour. If I remember correctly these marking are
considered newer than the others but still many
years old.

Most of the paintings are in this rock formation.

We climbed a rock formation somewhat larger
than the one in the previous picture and got a
360 degree view around the area.

Turning to the right of the image above.

Further to the right.

Just a bit further to to the right of the picture
above on the right.

Turned even further.

A bit more than half way around.

A bit more than 3/4 way around. Can just see
a bit of the flat area centre right.

The final event for the day (for those who wanted to and pay extra) was a flight over Arnham Land and the eastern part of Kakadu National park. I was in a Cessna. Here are some images from the flight:

Taxing up to the end of the runway for takeoff. At the end of the runway with a plane taking off
in the distance. Permission to take off had to
come from a flight services controller located in
Brisbane several thousand kilometres away.

The uranium mine in Jabiru. Pretty much the
only industry except tourism in this area.

Arnham Land rock formations.

A river cutting its way through Arnham Land. It's
probably the East Alligator but I'm not sure.

Back in Kakadu National Park one of those
many fires burns away the vegetation.

The area near the Ubirr Art site from the air.

Another view with a fire in the background.

On approach to the Jabiru Airports only runway. Closer to the runway. The picture 4th above was
taken at this end of the runway. If the runway
looks high in the middle, it is.

The Cessna I flew in. I was in the front seat on
this side beside the pilot.

For my effort I got the pictures here and this
button, "I Flew KAKADU".

[ On to Day 19]

Last updated September 24th, 2001

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