richoztrek: Richos trek oz 2013 travel blog

We stopped at Pine Creek on the way today. This is the...

Entering Kakadu. One of only 25 sites around the world which has...

The kids are actually in there having their lunch - not a...

Sunset over the wetlands at Yellow River

Playing UNO after breakfast at Mardugal campsite

The local aboriginal calendar has 6 seasons


After five lovely nights camped at Edith Falls (one more than we had planned!) we moved on. I was getting slightly itchy feet; ready to move on to the next place. Sal on the other hand was feeling like we'd better get moving or she might get too attached and never want to leave the place.

And so we entered Kakadu.

Once again our planning was minimal. Sal's the expert at grabbing all the brochures and maps and collating a bit of an itinerary as we drive towards a destination. The original map we looked at suggested that Gunlom Falls might be the only ones we could really access with a 2 wheel drive but when we turned onto the dirt it was very corrugated and we realised this was a no go. So we push on a little further into the park and came to Mardugal campsite, near the Cooinda tourist lodge and Yellow river activities. We headed down to Yellow River that evening for a ranger guided sunset walk around the wetlands (on a boardwalk). We didn't get to see the crocodiles we were all kinda hoping to, but saw some other wildlife and the sun setting over the wetlands.

Before heading further into Kakadu the next morning we popped into the Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre near Cooinda. It is brilliantly set up and informative (though it kept the parents occupied for a little longer then the kids, and they were disappointed that the theatre was out of order). We learnt lots about the culture of the Bininj (aboriginal custodians) and their more recent interactions with the Balanda (white settlers). I've been struck in a number of these places where the aboriginal tribes and the government jointly manage an area of native title, by the graciousness of the aboriginal custodians. I suppose to some degree they realise they have something special which the world wants to see (and which they can generate income from) and they don't shy away from discussing the injustices they've suffered, but the tone always seems to be, 'please come and share our culture and story'.

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