The Aboriginal Art Of Australia’s Kakadu National Park

Aboritinal Art in Kakadu National Park
Kraig Becker

Australia’s vast and wild Northern Territory holds a number of wonders for visitors to discover, not the least of which is Kakadu National Park. Spread out across more than 7600 square miles, the park is the true embodiment of the Outback with a rugged and unforgiving landscape that includes some of the most breathtaking scenery that can be found anywhere on the entire continent. But Kakadu is more than just pretty scenery as it also holds important keys to understanding Australia’s past in the form of Aboriginal art that is scrawled across rock faces throughout the region. That artwork offers important insights into the history of the indigenous people who have inhabited Australia for more than 40,000 years and continue to have a lasting impact on the country.

Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981, Kakadu is one of the rare destinations that earned that distinction by scoring points for being significant both for its cultural and natural wonders. Travelers need only visit the spectacular Jim Jim Falls and Twin Falls to understand why the park earned the nod in the area of natural significance, as those locations are postcard-perfect representations of just how beautiful our planet can be. Both places require a little work to reach, but the payoff in both cases is a stunning waterfall dropping majestically into a serene pool of water.

Kakadu’s historical and cultural significance is also found at the sites of Nourlangie and Ubirr, where Aboriginal artwork adorns the rock faces in spectacular fashion. Since Australia’s indigenous tribes had no written language they would often leave messages for one another in the form of pictures on the sides of cliff faces. Those images could convey important messages such as which animals lived in an area and which were best to eat. Other images represented characters from Aboriginal legends, which were typically passed along orally from one generation to the next. Those characters gained a level of immortality by surviving on the rocks in Kakadu for hundreds of years.

The artwork that is found in Kakadu is simple in design but often surprisingly detailed. The artists tended to draw what they saw around them, so much of what is depicted on the rocks there is straight out of the daily lives of the Aboriginals. For example, at the Ubirr site there are numerous drawings of fish, the very distinct outline of a kangaroo, a couple of turtles and even a white man. That particular image clearly reflects the growing interaction with the Aboriginals and the strange outsiders who began visiting their lands just a few hundred years ago. The simple figure is depicted using white paint, which was surely no coincidence, and he is clearly wearing shoes and standing with his hands in his pockets, something that the indigenous people had no knowledge of prior to Europeans coming to their country.

Aboriginal Art in Kakadu National Park
Kraig Becker

Each of the images was created using ochre, a colorful mineral that is plentiful throughout the region. The soft material comes in a variety of yellows, whites and reds, although the industrious artists found ways of creating still other colors by mixing it with animal fats and other natural resources around them. In Aboriginal tradition, it was forbidden for female members of the tribe to gather the ochre, although they could use it in their artwork once the males had taken it from the earth. The location of the ochre pits remain sacred ground to the original inhabitants of Australia even to this day and some are still used for collecting the mineral for use in traditional ceremonies.

Because it can’t be carbon dated it is impossible to know exactly how old the artwork at Ubirr and Nourlangie actually is. But judging from what is on the wall it is possible to estimate an approximate age. For instance, Europeans haven’t been living in Australia for all that long, relatively speaking, so the image of the white man is probably no older than 300 years. On the other hand, visitors to Ubirr will notice an image of a Thylacine, or Tasmanian Tiger, which have been extinct on the continent for at least 2000 years.

While the artwork in Kakadu has survived for centuries it remains a fragile piece of history that could be easily lost forever. The original artists never meant for their works to stay on the rocks indefinitely, as they were often erased or painted over with new artwork much like a blackboard. The images found in the national park have survived through the years in part because most of them are sheltered from the elements by overhanging rocks. That natural protection has kept this aspect of Aboriginal culture alive and on display for visitors to Kakadu to appreciate generations after the artwork was originally created.

Australia’s Aboriginal tribes wandered the country for millennia before Europeans began to arrive. Those indigenous peoples had an intimate relationship with the land and that shows through in their artwork and the places that they painted those indelible images. In Kakadu, where the landscapes are so beautiful and dramatic, that connection with the Earth can still be felt. It is as ageless as the artwork that marks the passage of time, sending us a message from the past that is undeniably powerful and humbling at the same time.

Aboriginal Art in Kakadu National Park
Kraig Becker

How to choose a reputable adventure travel company or guide

adventure travel companiesAdventure travel” is a nebulous term these days. But whether your idea of a thrill is a Class-III rapid or climbing Everest, there’s one thing that’s ubiquitous when choosing an outfitter: safety. There are hundreds of adventure travel companies worldwide; not all are created equal. There are key things you should look for when choosing a company or independent guide, whether you’re booking a three-week luxury trip, or a one-day backpacker’s special.

I’m not implying adventure travel in general is risky, or that most operators and guides don’t know what they’re doing. There are numerous certifications in place (they vary according to country) to ensure companies adhere to national and industry safety standards.

The following are tips on what to look for or avoid when choosing a company or guide, based on personal experience and what I’ve gleaned from the owners of several highly regarded adventure companies. I’ve done trips with each company, but I have no personal gain in endorsing them: I’ve just found them to be, among the dozens of outfitters I’ve used, the best of the best.

My sources include Mark Gunlogson, president/guide of Seattle’s Mountain Madness, a mountain adventure guide service and mountaineering school; Marc Goddard, co-owner/guide of Bio Bio Expeditions, a whitewater/adventure travel company in Truckee, California, and Britt Lewis, co-owner/guide of Austral Adventures, a custom travel company on the island of Chiloe, in Chile.

I’m also including a few horror stories based on guide negligence. That’s why, the first thing you should do when planning any kind of adventure activity or trip is…

Do your research
Even a brief online search will bring to light any serious breaches in safety or conduct. Safety doesn’t just apply to those who plan to scale the Andes or kayak the Zambezi. Even the tamest “adventures” require guides who are knowledgeable about the area and activity, and are currently certified in emergency first aid and rescue procedures.

[Photo credit: Flickr user Luis Fabres]

adventure travel companiesLest you think I exaggerate the importance of guide knowledge and research, the idea for this article germinated in 2003, when I was visiting Australia’s Kakadu National Park during the “Wet,” or monsoon, season. That time of year brings potential problems such as floods, but it was a widely publicized trial that made an indelible impression.

A negligent guide was charged in the accidental death of a 24-year-old German tourist who’d been killed by a croc, after the guide assured her group a swimming hole was safe. My own guide informed me that just weeks earlier, another company had tried to gun their small tour bus over a flooded waterway, only to have it overtaken and swept downstream. The passengers were eventually airlifted to safety (don’t let these things scare you off of Kakadu in the Wet; it’s absolutely spectacular, and free of crowds).

Australia of course, isn’t the problem. It’s just that crocs and corpses make compelling headlines. Sometimes accidents aren’t publicized, lest they impact tourism (In New Zealand, an operator confessed to me a rival company’s fatal bungee-jumping miscalculation a month prior, which put them out of business), and of course there have been dozens of mountaineering and whitewater-related tragedies on commercial trips on various continents over the years. Again, participating in these activities doesn’t make you likely to suffer a mishap. Are they inherently dangerous? Yes, but so is crossing the street, driving a car, or hiking solo.
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What certifications to look for
This depends upon type of activity and country. Says Lewis, “If there aren’t national qualifications or certs, a combination of information is required for form an opinion about an outfitter. How clear and accurate is their literature or website, their answers to your questions, etc.?” I would also add, how long does it take them to respond to your emails or phone calls? A few days is standard, but if you find yourself having to follow-up repeatedly, move on.

Marc Goddard: Ask about the qualifications of each guide. If you’re doing a river trip, find out how many years the guides have been guiding rafts, and on which rivers. Don’t be shy about asking some serious questions: you will, after all, be entrusting them with your life!

Mark Gunlogson: The adventure travel industry has matured, and most activities now have some sort of industry standard. In the case of mountain guiding, there’s the American Mountain Guides Association certification for guide services. Level of first-aid training for guides is also essential to look for, and industry standards apply here, as well.

Signs you’re dealing with a good company or guide
Whether you’re planning a high-end holiday or making a walk-in query in a backpacker ghetto, there are questions to ask and things to look for that signify a solid company. Be aware that hostels and other backpacker-oriented locales are magnets for sketchy outfits. If it sounds too cheap or good to be true, it probably is. If the activity involves something potentially dangerous, don’t bite.

Gunlogson suggests asking the company what’s included and what’s not, so all services are clearly spelled out, including guide qualifications. But, he says, “In the end, sometimes it just comes down to how comfortable a person feels with the company and their interactions with them.”
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Adds Lewis, “Ask a few simple questions about first-aid and emergency procedures. Do they appear to have a plan for unforeseen events? If you’re a walk-in, does their office have a fire extinguisher? Are their vehicles legal for tourist transport? Are the guides certified for the activities for which they’re assigned?”

I learned just how deadly budget guides can be while climbing Cotopaxi in Ecuador with a Mountain Madness guide. We were forced to turn back at 17,000 feet due to extreme avalanche danger. My guide was fully accredited, and his experience includes some of the toughest technical climbs in the world (For my part, I’d been conditioning for this trip for months, at high altitude, upon the advice of Mountain Madness).

We had returned to the refugio, an overnight acclimatization hut located at 15,000 feet. We saw a young, rowdy group of backpackers being shepherded out the door by their equally youthful guides; it was obvious from their attire they were attempting a summit. My guide, concerned, went and had a word with the other guides: They totally blew him off. I didn’t hear about a group of backpackers getting creamed in an avalanche that day, but that experience really clarified for me the potential for disaster posed by cheapie trips targeted at inexperienced backpackers. It’s not worth it.

On a related note:
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Look for red flags
“If they’re farming you out to a local outfitter, it could be a red flag,” says Goddard. “But the big warning is if they don’t know who their guides are, or what their qualifications are.” Some companies do “outsource” to local guides or outfitters, It’s not always a bad thing, and in fact can be positive, because you get someone with insider knowledge and you support the local economy. It comes down to their qualifications and relationship with the parent company.

Gunlogson adds, “Ask about guide qualifications, number of years in business, and hidden costs regarding services.” A reputable company willingly discloses information.

Ask for referrals
Lewis suggests asking for past client’s emails, and contacting them about their experience. You can also look at reviews on sites like TripAdvisor.com, or search travel blogs.

Listen to your gut
If you have a bad feeling about a guide, it’s best to pay heed. On my same Australia trip, a certain American guide led us on an overnight bushwalk in Litchfield National Park. Amongst his many other transgressions, he endangered our lives by having us pitch camp on a narrow sandbar at the base of a waterfall-fed swimming hole (I actually voiced my concern, only to receive a withering look from him). Sure enough, a monsoonal downpour made the water level swiftly rise, leaving us backed into a rock wall. Fortunately, we were able to rescue our tents and gear, and the water receded before we had to swim for it. That’s when I learned to listen to my instincts regarding guides. My sensor went off immediately after meeting this guy due to his arrogance, but I felt obligated to do the trip.

Whether it’s a negative reaction to a guide, concern over the poor/worn quality of the gear, or the activity itself, always listen to your gut.

What to do if you have a bad experience
You have several courses of action. You can go to sites like TripAdvisor.com and travel blogs and write the company up (letting them know about it before taking any action). Says Lewis, “It depends on the country in terms of informing authorities. However, the power of the Internet is a huge reward to a good company and an effective way to punish an unsafe one.”

Adds Gunlogson, “Unless there’s injury and an obvious case of negligence, there’s not too much you can do unless you really want to spend the time and money to pursue it. In the end, word-of-mouth has a cathartic effect for clients if their complaints are ignored. Those companies that understand the power of a former client taking to the Internet do their best to mitigate any potential bad-mouthing, whether justified or not. It lets the client know that their dissatisfaction was acknowledged.”

I say: Playing devil’s advocate, I’ve found there’s usually one client on every trip who seems determined to have a bad time and find fault, even where none exists. DON’T BE THAT PERSON. No one likes a whiner or a complainer, and guides work long hours, under considerable stress. Don’t just sit on your butt: ask what you can do to help, be it chopping vegetables, loading gear, or finding firewood. If you have a legitimate complaint, by all means follow the advice provided above, but don’t go trolling for a refund or discount just to be an a-hole.

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What are the refund policies?
Because shit happens.

Consider climate and seasonal factors
If you want to avoid a monsoon, snow, or inhumanly hot, humid weather, be sure to voice those concerns and do some research on your destination. It also pays to ask about or check on things like growing, spawning, or breeding season of pesky or harmful flora or fauna. Someone I know (her name is Laurel) paid through the nose for a snorkeling trip off a remote island in Southern Thailand. Imagine her surprise when she hit the water and discovered it was peak jellyfish spawn. She spent the remainder of the trip covered in painful, head-to-toe welts that made her the object of much mockery. Far more painful was the knowledge that the scam artists/snorkeling guides knew full well swimming was inadvisable.

Are they a green company?
It matters, and this philosophy also includes hiring locals whenever possible. Don’t let yourself get “greenwashed.”

Honestly assess your own capabilities
You don’t just put yourself at risk (of a bad trip, potential injury, illness, or worse); you jepordize the safety and well-being of other clients. If nothing else, you make your guide’s life hell. Please don’t if you can help it.

Do you trust your guide’s capabilities and judgement?
When you literally trust a guide with your life (and I can only say this about three of them), it’s a sign that that company is doing something right. Never have I been more impressed with guides than the two trips I’ve taken with Bio Bio; Mountain Madness follows a close second.


Consider travel insuranceadventure travel companies
If you’re doing some really hard-core stuff, will be in very remote areas, or have some existing health or physical conditions, it may be worth the extra expense.

Don’t forget to tip
Says Goddard, “I don’t feel tipping is mandatory; it’s done if you feel the guides did a good job. An average tip is 10% of the trip price, a great tip is 20%.” Adds Lewis, “The amount may also depend upon what country you’re in, but it’s always appreciated. Few, if any, guides do their job solely for the money [FYI, it’s not a high-paying job]–there’s a love of people, nature, or the activity that comes with it. But tips are welcome, as they’re a tangible “thank you,” and acknowledge a job well done.”

If you made it this far, consider yourself schooled. Here’s to safe adventures!

[Photo credits: crocodile, Flickr user jean-louis zimmerman; first aid kit, Flickr user 8lettersuk; warning, Flickr user psd; cash, Flickr user Todd Kravos; caving, Laurel Miller]

Australia’s Kakadu National Park floods trap tourists after they ignore closed road signs

Australia floodsWhat is it with German tourists and Australia’s Northern Territory? If they’re not getting eaten by crocodiles or succumbing to dehydration, they’re blatantly ignoring road signs and driving their way into croc-infested floodwaters. NT News online reports that four wayward Germans visiting remote Kakadu National Park drove their rented four-wheel-drive–allegedly at 80mph, no less–through the flooded crossing at Magela Creek and Oenpelli Road. The group were en route to see the famed Aboriginal rock art at Ubirr, in the East Alligator region of the park.

The car stalled out, leaving the foursome stranded in three feet of water, smack-dab in the middle of a 300-foot crossing. Despite their apparent inability to heed large, glaring warning signs and screams from more intelligent roadside onlookers, the Germans possessed enough survival instinct to clamber to the top of their vehicle, where they were rescued by police 30 minutes later.

Look, I’ve spent a lot of time in Australia, including Kakadu. I’ll be the first to point out that the international media and popular film and literature make the country out to be some kind of fauna-invoked death wish. If the great whites and saltwater crocs don’t get you, the box jellyfish, blue-ringed octopi, brown snakes, taipans, or redback and funnel web spiders will.

I’m not disputing the deadliness of these creatures. And I can’t deny that certain situations like the current floods in Queensland make an encounter more likely. The advice to avoid “crocky” areas of tropical Northern Australia is no joke, and should be taken very seriously. In general, however, it’s easy to avoid crocs and the rest of these much-maligned critters; your odds of ever seeing one (even if you’re Australian) are unlikely. It’s a huge continent, guys, and like most venomous or aggressive species, most of these animals won’t attack unless provoked.

When I visited stunning Kakadu (with a seasoned outfitter from the region, because there’s no shortage of untrained, self-proclaimed, even downright dangerous guides in the world), it was this same time of year; the “Wet,” or monsoon season. It’s low season for tourists because many roads are flooded, and as such, that does make for greater statistical odds for a croc encounter. But more to the point, why would you intentionally disobey safety precautions, especially when you’re in a foreign environment/they’re prominently displayed/designed for easy comprehension by international visitors?

The bottom line is, whether you choose to explore isolated places alone or with an environmentally-responsible, accredited professional, use your brain. Obey the rules, because they exist for a reason. Behave with respect for the land, flora, fauna, and people. Your stupidity or carelessness often cause more than just inconvenience to others. It can result in great expense and lost lives, including those of your rescuers. If nothing else, you’ll become fodder for global news outlets, who use you as an example of what not to do.

Outback Australia: Kakadu Culture Camp

Yesterday I told you about the wonders of Kakadu National Park. What made my experience there all the more organic was the unique place that I called home for three days. I’m not much of a hotel person and I certainly wouldn’t want to stay at a resort while trying to appreciate a national park (even if one is shaped like a crocodile). Ideally, I would camp in my own tent and cook my meals on an open fire. But short of that, a cabin and personal time with people know that land better than anyone else may be the next best (or even better) option. And that’s exactly what I found at Kakadu Culture Camp.

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By no means is Kakadu Culture Camp a Colonial Williamsburg of Aboriginal culture. Rather, it is the only accommodation in Kakadu that is owned and operated by indigenous people whose have called the region home for countless generations. The Hunter family runs Kakadu Culture Camp to provide not only accommodations for visitors, but a learning experience for anyone who visits the park. Jenny, Fred, Dell and Douglas were all born and raised in what is now Kakadu National Park. Jenny and Fred work as park rangers while also operating the camp. In other words, my hosts had a wealth of knowledge about the region, the land, its history and the local cultures.

I was greeted at Kakadu Culture Camp by Andy Ralph, who is noticeably white. He’s married to Jenny and helps operate the camp and leads various talks and tours as well. He would prove to be a valuable source of guidance on what to see and do while at Kakadu National Park and also hosted a fascinating talk on water buffalo and the history of hunting in the park.

I was housed in a safari tent, which was nestled in the woods and provided both privacy and comfort. All of the structures in Kakadu Culture Camp save the restroom facilities are temporary, as the area is under several feet of water come wet season. I had a full-sized bed, screened windows to allow for airflow and was situated a fair distance from the campsites that can also be reserved on the property. While the accommodations were basic, they were perfect for a national park visit, as I spent most of my time exploring hiking trails and rock art rather than relaxing in bed. And in the evenings, the pitch black surroundings and near total silence allowed me to sleep off the day’s activities.

Kakadu Culture Camp offers a variety of tours and demonstrations to educate the public on indigenous culture. One does not need to be staying at the camp to attend these tours, so they also provided me with an opportunity to meet other travelers and share tips on what to see and do. I attended a discussion on bush tucker, a demonstration of didgeridoo playing (Douglas is fantastic while I am horrendous) and a tutorial on spear throwing. I also went on their moonlight boat tour in search of local fauna. While everyone searched vigilantly for a crocodile, I relished the opportunity to see the activity of nocturnal birds and the many fruit bats that call the area home.

Because Kakadu Culture Camp is owned and operated by native people, the entire experience was more respectful and authentic than other tours I have attended that have been hosted by people who do not directly represent the culture that is being discussed. The Hunters are quite proud of their heritage and share that passion with their guests.

Breakfast and dinner are provided, and Andy typically grills up a wonderful meal of local meat and vegetables. Dinner also provides a peaceful opportunity to ask the Hunters questions about the area and how life has changed since the land became a national park.

Kakadu Culture Camp is a wonderful blend of rustic accomodations and experiential travel. You could easily stay there, keep to yourself and explore the park all day, but you’d be missing out on the wonderfully organic cultural experience that exists there. The Hunters made Kakadu Culture Camp one of the more unique experiences I had in the Northern Territory. Just be sure you ask Andy to make your water buffalo patty medium rare. Those things can get a bit chewy.

For more information on Kakadu Culture Camp, visit their website.

Mike Barish traversed the Outback on a trip sponsored by Tourism Northern Territory. He traveled alone and had no restrictions on what he could cover during his travels. That would explain how he ended up eating water buffalo. You can read the other entries in his Outback Australia series HERE.

Outback Australia: Kakadu National Park

Kakadu National Park covers 7,646 square miles of Australia’s Top End in the Northern Territory. How big is that? Well, you could fit both Yosemite and Grand Canyon National Parks inside of Kakadu with room to spare for all of the fanny packs (that’s bum bags for you Aussies) that would be roaming around. In other words, it’s massive. It’s also the native homeland of several groups of indigenous peoples. It’s a living history of Australia’s Outback story and a great place to begin a trip to the Northern Territory.

You can drive to Kakadu from Darwin in under four hours, and that’s exactly what I did. Be forewarned, though, that once you’re a few hundred kilometers out of Darwin, you’ll probably only get one radio station (ABC) that is a combination of NPR and local news talk radio. But if you’re a travel geek like me, you’ll enjoy listening to local music and hearing about the regional political conflicts as you scan the endless horizon for any sign of a town or passing vehicle. Along the way, you won’t pass much and you’ll quickly realize that the Northern Territory is defined more by what isn’t there than what is. It’s a land of natural beauty and devoid of much man-made structure. And Kakadu is the epicenter of much of that scenic wonder.

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The first thing I noticed upon entering Kakadu were the signs for the East Alligator, West Alligator and South Alligator rivers. The second thing you’ll notice is that there are no alligators in Kakadu. Or in the Northern Territory. Or in Australia. In the early 1800s, an English navigator by the name of Phillip Parker King visited the region fresh off of a trip to Florida. He mistook Australia’s crocodiles for alligators and the misnomer has stuck ever since. Just another quirk in an already quirky country.

And those crocodiles are prevalent in Kakadu. You’d be foolish to swim in any of the billabongs or rivers that you find in your travels. However, there are plenty of opportunities to safely observe these descendants of dinosaurs safely. One of the best is on the Yellow Water Cruise. Don’t let the odd name fool you. The cruise takes you through some of the most serene areas of the park and allows you to view wildlife from crocs to jabiru. It’s a great way to spend a morning and both kids and adults will be in awe of the creatures and landscapes that you witness. For the best experience, sit in the back of the boat with the guide and stand on your seat to take pictures without fear of blocking anyone’s view.

While Australia’s most famous inland natural wonder, Uluru, is several hundred kilometers south of Kakadu, the park is not lacking for dramatic rock outcrops. Nourlangie Rock (Burrunggui in the native language) features some pristine rock art and breathtaking views of the wide expanses of the Northern Territory. You can clearly notice paintings of wallabies and hunters (pictured), as well as many of the traditional spirits who are the central characters of the indigenous people’s Dreamtime or Dreaming. These are the oral traditions that make their history of the universe and their land and the art provides a window into how the native people lived thousands of years ago.

Similar to Burrunggui, Ubirr Rock has a “gallery” of art that dates back thousands of years. Park guides regularly host scheduled talks at various art sites to explain the pictures and their significance to the native people. I was beyond pleased to see several aboriginal guides working at the park and sharing the stories of their heritage as they had learned them as children.

Ubirr Rock is a popular destination for park visitors because of its breathtaking sunsets. The good news is that the view is even better than advertised. The bad news is that you’ll be sharing the experience with several hundred of your newest photo-crazed friends. Anticipating a rush of people around sunset, I elected to climb Ubirr (it’s a fairly easy walk) in the mid-afternoon. The top was nearly devoid of people during the hottest part of the day and I looked out onto the flood plains and water buffalo grazing areas in quiet solitude. It wasn’t until around 5:30 that the hordes of tourists with their cameras and boorish behavior arrived en masse. By then, I had enjoyed several hours of peaceful reflection high atop the Outback with nothing to keep me company but welcomed breezes and the occasional white breasted sea eagle.

That said, the sunset at Ubirr was phenomenal. As the evening approached Kakadu, the sun itself seemed weary after a long day. It relinquished its position high above the plains and seemed to sink meekly towards the horizon, as if conceding that the moon had once again claimed victory in this daily battle.

For a true sense of the Northern Territory’s size and scope, Kakadu National Park is a must-see. Many travelers camp or stay in camper vans while visiting. Others stay at the crocodile-shaped Holiday Inn in the mining town of Jabiru (not to be confused with the bird). No matter where you lay your head at night in Kakadu, however, you won’t wake up far from some of the most beautiful vistas you’ve ever seen.

One could easily spend several weeks in Kakadu lingering in various sections of the park and interacting with the land. Sadly, I had only a few days. Thankfully, I stayed in some incredibly unique accommodations that helped me learn about the park from the people who grew up there. And that’s what I’ll be covering tomorrow.

Mike Barish traversed the Outback on a trip sponsored by Tourism Northern Territory. He traveled alone and had no restrictions on what he could cover during his travels. That would explain how he ended up eating water buffalo. You can read the other entries in his Outback Australia series HERE.