Kakadu – the name alone is enough to send the mind wandering to the outback.
The sky is wide, the plains endless, and the sun lights up the rocks in an earthy rainbow of browns and yellows. You can’t help but feel like you’re meeting Australia for the first time.
During the Dreaming, Ubirr was visited by Garranga’rreli, the Rainbow Serpent, during her path across the top end of Australia. As she crossed the land, she sang the rocks, plants, animals, and people into existence. This songline is still a sacred path to the Aboriginal people who live in Australia’s North.
We visited Mamukala Wetlands, Ubirr – home to some of the longest historical records of any group of people in the world (paintings 20,000+ years old) – and Burrunggui (Nourlangie Rock).
Keep your eyes on the sun and you will not see the shadows.Australian Aboriginal Proverb
Our final day on the mountain
Day Three – We woke early, to views of Gunung Barujari from our tent. After breakfast (and planting a tree) we headed for the crater rim, stopping by the lake to stare in disbelief at just how far we’d come from the summit.A beautiful morning as we began our climb to the crater rim.So much respect for these guys, who carry equipment and supplies up the mountain, down steep tracks, set up camp every night and walk over 35km, some barefoot, some more than once a week. They leave their families for days on end, and this is their job, every week of the year. This was our final view of the crater before we headed down the mountain to Sembalun. After two hours of downhill, and an unexpected storm – aka tracks-turned-waterfalls – we made it back to base, soaked and happy.
All I can say is, the hike was damn hard but really worth it!
What goes up…
Day two – We woke at 2.30am to make it to the summit for sunrise, so by the time we reached the top we were exhausted and happy. We were rewarded with the most incredible views.
Little did we know what was ahead of us.
The climb down began by navigating our way down the steep track of loose stones, making good use of BOTH hiking poles. We met some monkeys – living at crazy altitudes – and stopped to take in the views along the way, constantly changing with the light as the sun rose higher in the sky. Those were the last photos I took before putting my camera in my backpack to protect it. Parts of the track were steep, with large boulders and sheer drops.
Eventually, the track flattened out as we hiked through the forest and open fields headed for camp.We arrived at camp late afternoon, our tent already set up for our second night under the stars, and just in time to soak our weary bodies in the nearby hot springs before sunset, then it was back to our tent for dinner and an early sleep.Read more – Indonesia / Climbing Rinjani: Day Three
Roughly 400km southeast of Darwin lies a small town called Mataranka. On our way back to Darwin from Nitmiluk National Park, we spent an afternoon with the fam swimming in the dreamy waters of the Mataranka Thermal Springs, under the shade of the paperbark and palm forest.
Sunsets are a kind of meditation. For a moment, we’re still and present.