A Whirlwind Trip Around Kakadu National Park

kakadu

A few weekends ago I spent a night in Kakadu National Park, which is definitely a highlight of Darwin so far. The park is nearly 4 hours away so we made sure to have a good playlist, and we were on our way.

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We stopped to take pictures of the sunset

The park is located on protected Aboriginal lands, which have been a home to these people for over 50,000 years, making it the oldest living culture still on earth.

It’s getting into the wet season now which means it is roasting hot all day and night, and humid constantly. We arrived just after sunset so we had to set the tent up in the dark, which is unfortunately when we realized that the tent was missing poles. Luckily there were only four of us so we didn’t need the entire tent set up, so we made do with tying some poles together and hoping they would last the night–they did.

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We stayed at Merl Campground, and we only had one neighbor in the entire campground. It was set up much differently than any other campground I’ve been to, since there wasn’t a ranger station and we just drove around and chose our own site.

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The mosquitoes were so bad that we just escaped to the tent after a quick dinner and ended up going to bed around 8:30. Luckily the tent had a window along the top and the sides were pretty much just windows so we could still see the stars. Since we were in the middle of the park, it was like we could see every star.

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The car turned out to be a good way to see the views

We woke up early thanks to a bird, so we were all packed up before 7 and off to explore. We stopped at a few places along the river since one of the girls wanted to fish, but we could see crocodiles everywhere we stopped so fishing was no good.

My favorite spot was Nourlangie, where there was a short walk that went to a few rock art sites. The rock art here was “modern,” meaning it is believed that was painted in the last 1000 years. Normally I wouldn’t think this was modern but there are other paintings in the park that are 20,000 years old.

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Nabulwinjbulwinj (Nar-bull-win-bull-win), a spirit who eats women after hitting them with a yam

We walked a bit up the mountain in order to get a good view of the park.

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Gunwarrdehwarrde Lookout

I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to get back to Kakadu during my time in Darwin since there is definitely so much that I didn’t see!

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