Outback in Kakadu | NTAustralia

11:35 PM JustJaslin 0 Comments


NOURLANGIE ROCKS, UBIRR ROCK  My best idea of an outback trekking experience would probably equates to trekking through the tall trees in MacRitchie, swatting mosquitoes that threaten to sting you, and probably to look out for vicious monkeys that may chase you along the way. No scenic views, just a seemingly never ending trail with trees, trees, and more trees around the corners. In all honesty, that's not a very welcoming idea.. And I admit I had my second thoughts when trekking to Nourlangie Rocks and Ubirr Rocks in Kakadu Nation Park was on the planned itinerary in Northern Territory Australia, Darwin. 

But I was completely blown away! I don't even know where should I start from to describe it. It had been nothing but fun and enjoyable (and interesting!) that all the more made me want to kick myself in the foot for hacing second thoughts. We went exploring the outback in Kakadu National Park (and Litchfield National Park - but that's in a separate entry) with Luke, our guide who cracks mean jokes and tells great stories about the local aboriginal people and culture of NT Australia. 


The drive down from Darwin into Kakadu National Park was about 3 to 4 hours, and I hopped onto the front seat of Luke's 4-wheel drive (that's how they call it in Australia) on one of the days. I had killer view of the landscape, the long highways that stretched out to even more scenic views, the dirt road that gives a good massage for your rear (no joke) and you could just spot the animals in the wild!  

Along the way I chatted with Luke, I remembered asking how could he manage a 4-hour drive to and fro with such ease. That's almost the distance of driving back and forth between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur within a day. He mentioned it was all about getting used to (new found respect for tour guides), and being able to be in the outback was his passion. One which made him moved up to Darwin Northern Territory from Victoria, New South Whales. 

Interestingly enough, among the people whom I managed to spoke to on the trip, many said they were from Victoria. And more so when all of them described Victoria as a cold place to live in and they felt the warm weather in Darwin was a welcoming contrast.




On the mount to the very top at Ubirr Rocks! The landscape view is just spectacular, where if you were there with me you could just see the acres and acres of beautiful land and the hint of infinity beyond the thick forests. We were all doing the touristy stuff (taking pictures click click click..) on our way up where Iris our coordinator just told us to save them for the top. It was magnificent. And to say it's a beautiful sight would be such an understatement. I could just look at the view whole day and time would never have felt enough. 




I think what's interesting to Darwin is that there's different things to see every month. Although there's only 2 seasons in Darwin (May-October being the dry season), temperature varies from month to month where wildlife migrates constantly. 

We learnt that if we were to visit during the beginning of the dry season, most of the land would still be wet and closed off due to threats of crocodiles lingering in the area (okay that sounds scary enough). Crocodiles would usually swim inland when water level rises during the wet season, and rangers can only start to catch and release them back to the wild when dry season starts in May.

Therefore September is a fairly nice period to visit where land is dry with beautiful colors in the outback. Temperature is same as Singapore's, but although it sounds warm (because Singapore is unbelievably smothering hot) I didn't find myself perspiring with all the trekking activities. October would also another nice period to visit! Even though temperatures may get a little bit more warmer but you get to see the flocks of birds all migrating or flying into Darwin. That sounds beautiful like a beautiful sight. 











This on the other hand is the Nourlangie Rocks. We trekked around paths, climbed flights of stairs, and learnt about the many stories and myths passed on by the Aboriginal people who used to lived here. This place feels so mystical with all the cave paintings and rock art which were preserved (and traced back to 50,000 years ago! Holy moly.) 

As we went around learning about the myths and how Luke deciphered the rock paintings to us, I can't help but wonder how the landscape here would have been during the aboriginal time, how would the people then look like, what would be their way of life, how they survived, hunted for food, the social hierarchy, the social norms and how their feelings as they painted onto rocks in an attempt to tell a story about themselves. We have certainly came a long way and I can't even imagine the amount of time it would have taken us till where we are today.










I think what's interesting to Darwin is that there's different things to see every month. Although there's only 2 seasons in Darwin (May-October being the dry season), temperature varies from month to month where wildlife migrates constantly. 

We learnt that if we were to visit during the beginning of the dry season, most of the land would still be wet and closed off due to threats of crocodiles lingering in the area (okay that sounds scary enough). Crocodiles would usually swim inland when water level rises during the wet season, where rangers can only start to catch and release them back to the wild when dry season starts in May.

See those white sticks from the ground? They are actually "measuring rulers" that indicates the depth of water levels during wet season when these low lying areas would be flooded.
September is a fairly nice period to visit where land is dry with beautiful colors in the outback. Temperature is same as Singapore's, but although it sounds warm (because Singapore is unbelievably smothering hot) I didn't find myself perspiring with all the trekking activities. October would also another nice period to visit! Even though temperatures may get a little bit more warmer but you get to see the flocks of birds all migrating or flying into Darwin. That sounds beautiful like a beautiful sight. 



Doing my cha cha at the biggest termite mount in Darwin Australia.
I bet it's three times my height and five times my age. 



And yet another drive back to Darwin after a long day of exploration. One other thing I noticed was that the people on the roads in NT Australia are so friendly - drivers acknowledge each other on small roads with a simple gesture and that is what I find so heartwarming about the culture and people here. 

Our guide Luke Paterson is from Adventure Tours where his passion and excitement about the outback in Darwin just radiates. He made our 3-day trip to Kakadu National Park such an enjoyable one where we have learnt so much about the local culture and aboriginal history. If you are intending to visit Northern Territory Australia, he's the man to look out! 

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Also, special thanks to Tourism NT and Omy.sg for sponsoring the trip.

If you would like to read up on all the rest of the bloggers and their experience (including mine!), we are all on My Ultimate Outback Adventure site where you can catch up on our diary, pictures and video entries.



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