How to Experience Twin Falls

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Kakadu Facts 1Kakadu National Park is one of the Northern Territory’s best-loved treasures. Boasting a landscape filled with rocky escarpment and cascading waterfalls, it’s the perfect place to discover the natural beauty of Australia.

The Twin Falls are one of the most famous sites within the stunning confines of the park, and are one of the major reasons a lot of travellers head to the region.

Taking pride of place in the World Heritage Listed region, there are numerous ways to see the Falls – expect incredible views and a surreal swathe of scenery the sprawls out in every direction.

You can grab tickets for the popular boat shuttle at the nearby Bowali Visitor Centre, but you can also opt to explore the falls via the on-site boardwalk that has been created especially for prime viewing purposes.

If you’re visiting during the dry season, it’s worth noting that the waterfall will slow to a trickle. It might not be as impressive as during the wet season, but it’s still a pretty sight to see. Bowali 3

Seeing Twin Falls
The most popular way to see Twin Falls is via the boat shuttle. This cruise takes you along the picturesque length of the river and lets you see the falls themselves from a unique perspective.

This particular form of exploration was put in place to protect the surrounding wildlife. It allows the resident crocodiles and birds to nest and feed in peace without having to contend with crowds of visitors on the little beaches that flank the banks.

Alternatively, (or in addition to), you can also walk to the top of Twin Falls. The steep climb begins in the visitor’s car park and takes a couple of hours to complete – it’s a 6km return trip.

twin falls kakadu national park australiaOnce you reach the top, you’ll be exposed to breath-taking views of the Twin Falls Gorge below. Here, there is the chance to swim and cool off after your amble to the top.

If you follow the creek along for another kilometre or so, you’ll find a couple of bigger pools dotted around. These mark the perfect spot for a picnic and a relaxing sit down, though you may find you’ll have to share the scenery with other visitors as it can get quite busy during peak season.

Twin Falls is a must-see if you’re in Kakadu National Park. This picturesque waterfall boasts ancient scenery, and gives you the chance to enjoy mesmerising views across the surroundings.

How to Experience Koolpin Gorge

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Koolpin Gorge1Koolpin Gorge is a secluded paradise that not many visitors get the chance to see in person. Also dubbed Jarrangbarni – it’s Aboriginal name – it provides a little slice of heaven in the heart of Kakadu.

So why do not many people get to see it?

There are three reasons for this. Firstly, it is only accessible by 4WD. It’s not a particularly difficult drive, but you will need a 4WD to get there. Secondly, there is just a bush campsite near the gorge that has no facilities apart from pit toilets.

And, finally, there are no specific walking tracks that are marked, which makes it difficult to get to the lookouts and boardwalks. From the gorge itself, the walk takes you through real wilderness scenery, and the terrain can be incredibly rough.

koolpin Despite that, Koolpin Gorge has plenty to offer its visitors – in fact, because of its rough beauty and difficult-to-reach scenery, it’s an incredibly special place to explore.

There are plenty of adventurous pursuits to get stuck into, including bushwalking, which takes you through some rough and wild scenery to spectacular lookout points, wildlife watching, with many native species of plant, animals, and birds calling the area home, and swimming. There are a number of relaxing swimming holes to enjoy in the secluded peace and quiet.

To experience everything Koolpin has to offer, you’ll want to spend at least two nights in the area, so you can discover some of the hidden trails and enjoy some of the more secluded hotspots in the area. For the pick of the bunch, arrive early to choose a shady spot to camp!

If you’re looking to kick-start your time in Koolpin by soaking up some of the incredible beauty on offer, start by heading to the Pink Pool before venturing on into the wilderness and up the rocky cliff face to the Black Pool, which can be reached via an unmarked track. Once you emerge at the top, you’ll be greeted by breath-taking scenery, stunning views, and even more relaxing rock pools to cool off in. centre gorge scramble pb

For the intrepid explorer, Koolpin Gorge is the perfect place. As well as incredibly beautiful scenery that remains mostly untouched thanks to its lack of visitors, there is plenty to do in the area, whether you’re looking to hike, swim, or spot some of Australia’s best-loved native creatures. Whatever you do, your time at Koolpin Gorge will be one to remember.

Getting to Know Gunlom Falls

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kakadu michaelIn the heart of World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park, Gunlom Falls forms part of Waterfall Creek. Here, a cascading waterfall joins up with a serene and peaceful plunge pool to provide a stunning backdrop for relaxing, swimming, and picnicking.

From the top of the waterfall, you can enjoy spectacular views out across the south of Kakadu National Park while cooling off in the refreshing waters of the pools. At the top, you can check out the lookout walk, which takes you past pretty rock pools and exposes you to panoramas of the southern hills and ridges.

From there, you can continue on the flat walk to Murrill Billabong, where you can get stuck into some birdwatching and have a picnic in the grassed and shady picnic area provided.
The views from Gunlom Falls are perhaps the biggest draw to the attraction. At the top you can look out over the three distinct habitats of the south – stone country, woodland, and riverine areas

The Facilities at Gunlom Falls Murrill Billabong michael

Gunlom Falls caters well to visitors with facilities including barbecues, a car park, a designated picnic area set amongst shady woodland, and public toilets. It has everything you need for spending a day in the stunning surrounds.

Activities at Gunlom Falls

As well as marvelling at the impressive views from the top of the falls, you can go swimming in the crystal clear pools that accompany the cascading water. Elsewhere, there are plenty of walks that take you past numerous different sites – remember to keep your eyes peeled for the local wildlife as you go.
Camping is popular in the area, as the lush scenery makes for the perfect place to sleep under the stars. There are special camping spots for you to pitch your tent on that boast great facilities and views.

How to Get to Gunlom Falls

gunlom falls michaelTo get to the Kakadu National Park, leave Darwin and head out on the Arnhem Highway. Access to Gunlom Falls is available throughout the year, regardless of whether you’re visiting in the dry season or the wet season (where the dry season runs from May to October). The watering holes in Kakadu are monitored throughout the year and, if there hasn’t been enough rainfall, the swimming pools will be closed if it’s thought it is not safe for visitors.

If you’re in Kakadu National Park and looking for a beautiful place to relax, head to Gunlom Falls for stunning views and great swimming opportunities.

Seeing Centuries-Old Art at Ubirr Rock

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The Kakadu National Park is a alive with cultural significance, promising visitors the chance to dive back in time and learn all about the unique Aboriginal history that is imbued in the landscape.


Ubirr Rock is one of the most popular locations because of its extensive collection of centuries-old rock art. Here, you can visit one of the two major rock formations in Kakadu and discover traditional stories to gain an insight into the lives of the local Aboriginal people.


Ubirr Kakadu SunsetBoasting three prominent galleries, the site is easily reached via a 1-kilometre circular walking track that leads up a modest 250 metre track to an observation point that looks out across the surrounding floodplains. To experience the landscape at its best, visit during the sunset, which bathes the picturesque scenery into a milky glow before darkness falls.


In the Main Gallery, the most popular viewing spot, you’ll be exposed to numerous age-old artistic representations of the animals that the Aboriginal people hunted in a ritual that pays respect to the creatures for giving their lives for future success.


This gallery is also filled with what’s known as “X-ray art”, as well as images of white men and Mimi spirits that are so skinny that they are thought to be able to slip in and out of the cracks in the surrounding rock. There has been much debate about how the artists managed to even get to these parts of the rock to paint the Mimi spirits, but it’s thought that the spirits painted the pictures themselves, bringing the rock down to an accessible ground level to do just that.


Ubirr Kakadu National Park Group ShotAt one end of this gallery, you’ll see a painting of a Tasmanian tiger which has been extinct from the region for more than 2,000 years and shows just how old some of the paintings on the rock are.


In the other galleries, you can marvel at important Dreamtime ancestors that have been immortalised on the walls, including the Namarrgarn Sisters and a magnificent Rainbow Serpent.


How to Get to Ubirr
Walking to Ubirr takes around an hour along a pretty 1-kilometre track that takes you directly from the carpark to the rock formation itself. Allow an extra 30 minutes to climb to the lookout – however, if you’re visiting in the summer months, access to this part of the area is restricted. It’s best to check in with the Bowali Visitor Centre for the latest information.

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What to Do at the Yellow Water Billabong

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The Kakadu National Park boasts a plethora of magical landscapes, from ancient rainforests to sprawling wetlands and everything in between. In the heart of it all sits the Yellow Water Billabong, which promises visitors the chance to journey through some amazing wetland scenery packed full of incredible wildlife.


If you’re in the area, there are plenty of ways you can get to know the surrounding scenery and learn more about the fascinating animal life that calls this part of Australia home.


Things to do at Yellow Water Billabong


Yellow Water Billabong 1Try Your Hand at Fishing
Yellow Water Billabong is one of the best places to fish in the whole of Australia. Its waters provide an exceptional habitat for numerous species of fish, including the famed Kakadu barramundis. The great thing about fishing here is you can do it whatever your level – whether you’re a pro angler or someone who just wants to dip their toes in the water.


Take a Cruise
Exploring the waterways of the Yellow Water Billabong is a must-do, as the scenery in this part of the national park is spectacular and provides some of the most incredible wildlife encounters in the region.


To get to know it from a different perspective, hop on a cruise that operates throughout the year and discover the truly remarkable landscape. Take to the water at sunrise or sunset to see the water and its surroundings lit up in a magical glow, or head out in the daytime for some great wildlife spotting opportunities.


yellow water billabong kakadu crocGet to Know the Resident Wildlife
The wildlife at the Yellow Water Billabong is second to none. Covering vast wetlands, it is home to numerous species of native creature that thrive in this environment.


The billabong itself forms part of the South Alligator River System, although there are no alligators in Australia – they’re all crocs here! So you can witness these prehistoric creatures in the water, as well as keep your eyes peeled for colourful bird species, different varieties of snake – both venomous and not – and a huge amount of fish species, including the famous Kakadu barramundi.

 
Explore Kakadu National Park is an incredible experience, and the landscape surrounding the Yellow Water Billabong is one of the best places to soak up everything the area has to offer. Whether you’re on the hunt for wildlife, want to see some of Australia’s most surreal landscapes, or simply want to try your hand at fishing, the billabong has you covered.

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Exploring the Mamukala Wetlands

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Mamukala WetlandsThe Kakadu National Park is awash with colourful wildlife. Throughout its expansive landscape, you can spot native Australian creatures, wander amongst ancient plant species, and walk beneath the hefty wingspans of vibrant birds.


In the heart of it all sits the Mamukala Wetlands, a haven of bird life that can be found two hours from Darwin off the long stretch of the Arnhem Highway. Here, you can feast your eyes on thousands of migratory magpie geese as they gather together to feed from a bird hide, or simply stroll through the peaceful wetlands and marvel at the stunning surrounds.


If you’re planning on visiting Mamukala, you’ll find the scenery at its most dramatic towards the end of the dry season – September and October. This is when the magpie geese come to feed and cause a frenzy for keen photographers looking to capture the most candid shot. But whenever you choose to visit, you’ll find the wetlands looking their best.


Mamukala Wetlands IIFrom an observation platform, you can gaze out at the unique birdlife that characterises the area and soak up the acute seasonal changes that seem to be most dramatic in this part of Australia.


Exploring Mamukala Wetlands
To make the most of your visit, take the three kilometre walk that runs alongside the wetlands. As you go, keep your eyes peeled for egrets, darters, herons, and colourful forest kingfishers. It’s not all birds, though, as you wander past paperbark trees and Pandanus that line the edges of the wetlands.


There are other walks, too, that allow you to take in different parts of the wetlands, depending on what kind of adventure you’re looking for. They vary from between one and four kilometres. In the drier months, you might want to venture out onto the Gungarre Walk which is only accessible during this time.


Mamukala Wetlands IAfter you’ve taken a stroll and soaked up the pretty display of water lilies that garnish the wetlands and spotted some of the area’s native creatures, you can kick back and relax by the car park where there are a selection of picnic tables and benches. From here, you can look out over the stunning expanse of the area and tuck into a tasty snack to refuel for more adventures.


For keen animal lovers, birdwatchers, and nature enthusiasts, the Kakadu National Park is a must-visit if you find yourself in this part of Australia. And, once there, make sure you venture to the Mamukala Wetlands to explore the diverse bird and animal life that calls it home.

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Things to Do in and Around Jabiru

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JabiruSurrounded by the stunning expanse of the ancient Kakadu National Park, the small town of Jabiru offers the perfect place to start your explorations of the area. Built back in 1982 to house the small community living near the Ranger Uranium Mine, it is now a fully-functioning town with plenty of things to see and do – not least experience the beautiful scenery of the surrounding national park.


In the town itself, you’ll find a charming central plaza that’s flanked by souvenir shops, a supermarket, cute cafes, and family-run bakeries.


Things to Do Around Jabiru
The main reason visitors stop off in Jabiru is to explore the Kakadu National Park. It marks a great starting point for exploring the crisscross of hiking trails and to experience the views from a different perspective.


Bowali 3Bowali Visitor Centre
The Bowali Visitor Centre is perhaps the most popular attraction in town. Here, you can learn more about the Kakadu National Park through impressive videos, displays, and the library, and pick up a souvenir or two at the Marrawuddi Gallery, which stocks a selection of Aboriginal art, crafts, books, and gifts.


Bowali Bike and Walking Track
If you’re keen to explore the outdoors, head out onto the Bowali bike and walking track which begins by the Gagudju Crocodile Hotel in the centre of town. This 4km walk takes you through winding woodlands, passing ancient plant life and incredible natural scenery.


Scenic Flights
You can even discover Kakadu National Park from a different perspective by taking a scenic flight from Jabiru over the expanse of scenery below. Pick out major landmarks and spot colourful native wildlife as you soar through the sky.


KaKadu TwinFallsElsewhere in town, you can kick back and relax around the Jabiru town lake, with its picnic areas and barbecue facilities, or take part in some Barramundi fishing before taking a cruise across the Yellow Water.


For a step back in time, head out on a day-trip to Ubirr Rock and Twin Falls, where you can learn about local Aboriginal history and discover some of the region’s fascinating rock paintings.


Discovering the Kakadu National Park and everything it has to offer is top of many visitors’ wishlist. So, for the chance to dig deep into the incredible history of the area and explore stunning scenery, make a stop off in Jabiru to learn about small town life and to start your discovery into the beautiful surroundings.

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The Bininj People of the Northern Arnhem Land

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bininj peopleThe Bininj people are a group of Indigenous Australian people that live in the Western Arnhem land in the country’s Northern Territory. The land they occupy sprawls out between the Kakadu National Park in the west to the Stone Country in the east. In the middle of it all sits the Arnhem Plateau, a sandstone escarpment that’s imbued with centuries-old traditions and narratives.


The escarpment itself and many of the surrounding natural structures, like Injalak Hill, form one of the most important rock art sites in the world. Here, you can discover rock paintings that span thousands of years that decorate the walls of bark shelters and caves.


The name Bininj means “men” or “people” in the local dialect, and it is the name the people refer to themselves as. Today, the history of the Bininj is strong in this part of Australia, and there are a number of traditional ceremonies that take place throughout the year. The people divide themselves into eight so-called “skin” groups and two moieties, Duwa and Yirridjdja.


Bininj people IFor the Bininj people, life continues very much how it has done for years. Hunting and harvesting bush foods is an important day-time activity which still revolves around an age-old calendar comprised of six distinct seasons. In the late wet season (known as bangkerreng), for example, the appearance of dragonflies over the water shows that the fish are fat and plentiful. If you explore some of the rock paintings in the region, you’ll see plenty of game representations.


Bininj people IIThe Mythology of the Bininj
Like most of the Indigenous tribes in Australia, the Bininj have many fascinating histories that have spanned generations. As with many of the other people in the Western Arnhem Land, the Bininj believe in the primordial creative function of a Rainbow Serpent. This creature is known as Ngalyod, and features a more feminine appearance than masculine.


It is thought to have come across to Australia via the sea to the northeast of the Cobourg Peninsula and, once settled in Coopers Creek on the East Alligator River, transformed her many children into men. From there, she began to create waterholes to serve the people’s thirst, and began supplying men with spears and women with digging sticks. She endowed both with intelligence and the use of all their senses. This theory is still imbued in the Bininj people, and their traditions, ceremonies, and lifestyle revolve around this way of thinking.

The Beauty of Maguk

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Maguk1Maguk, located in the Kakadu National Park, was formally known as Barramundi Gorge. Today, it can be found in the Mary River area to the south of the national park. It’s situated around an hour’s drive from Cooinda and is made up of an ancient gorge in the Stone Country. To get there, it is a 14 km four-wheel drive trip followed by a further 1km walk. Once there, you’ll be greeted by a beautiful natural plunge pool that languishes at the bottom of the steep gorge walls.


Walking to Barramundi Gorge
The 1km walk to Maguk exposes you to some of the most breath-taking scenery in the region. To begin with, the forest starts to open gradually out into a sandy, rocky landscape. The track weaves its way back and forth across the creek you emerge into, then it’s time for some stepping-stones to get across the small layer of water.


In certain areas, the creek opens out into a small, natural pool, perfect for taking a refreshing dip in when the weather is warm. The further along the creek you go, the more difficult the walk starts to get – you might have to clamber over a rock or two. But, the further you climb, the more beautiful the scenery that greets you.


Maguk2The beauty of Maguk is that it’s one of the only falls in Kakadu National Park that doesn’t dry immediately when the rain stops. Sure, it starts to slow down towards the end of the dry season, but it continues to flow regardless of the weather.


For a unique natural experience, you can swim your way across the refreshing pool and stand under the waterfall. There was, at one point, a tunnel that marked a walk to the top of the falls, but this has since been closed for re-vegetation.


Maguk3The Maguk Bush Camping Area
Close to the falls, you’ll find the Maguk bush camping area. Here, once you’ve indulged in the beauty of Maguk and its surrounding scenery, you can relax with the barbecue facilities, enjoy the picturesque picnic area, and kick back and soak up the stunning surrounds.


Maguk lies deep in the heart of Kakadu National Park, promises its visitors a unique natural experience that brings together ancient gorges, pretty vegetation, and a selection of relaxing facilities for you to enjoy as you spend some time in this magical part of Australia.

Exploring Jim Jim Creek and its Waterfalls

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jim jim falls2The Kakadu National Park is famed for its ancient landscape, harking back millions of years and promising visitors a trip back in time as they explore the sprawling scenery and the vibrant selection of plant and animal life.


In the heart of it all lies Jim Jim Creek, which rises up in the Arnhem Land escarpment inside the confines of the UNESCO World Heritage listed park. The Creek is best-known for its accompanying falls, which cascade over the ancient scenery and have been registered on the Australian National Heritage List.


The History of Jim Jim Creek
It is thought that the Kakadu National Park sprawled out under a shallow sea 140 million years ago. The escarpment that you see there today was sea cliffs and the Arnhem Land plateau formed an expansive stretch of land just above sea level. Today, the escarpment soars around 330 metres skywards above the plains and rolls out for more than 500 km to the east of the park.


jim jim falls4In the area surrounding Jim Jim Creek and its falls, the land varies between vertical cliffs and stepped cliffs.


Jim Jim Falls
Jim Jim Falls, along with Twin Falls, is the best-known attraction in the Kakadu National Park, drawing visitors in with its 200 metre cascading waterfall that gushes into an ancient gorge below. Combined with the stunning, surreal landscape that surrounds it, the falls offer a mesmerising experience for anyone visiting.


Getting to Jim Jim Creek and its Falls
In the past, getting to Jim Jim Falls wasn’t an easy feat. In fact, you could only reach it after undertaking a two hour walk from the Kakadu Highway turn off, or a lengthy drive along a rough track.


jim jim falls3Now, however, it’s a different story. Access to the creek and its surroundings has been much improved. You can now reach it via a well-maintained gravel path, which curves around to the Jim Jim camping area. From there, you can take a short walk to the creek and the falls through incredible scenery.


Visiting the Jim Jim Creek isn’t just an adventure into Australia’s stunning natural world, it also presents a historic look at the country and how the landscape may once have rolled out in this part of the world. As well as an eclectic selection of plant and animal life, you can learn more about the centuries-old history that imbues this area and explore some of the oldest landscapes that cover Australia.

The Colourful Bird Species of Kakadu National Park

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Kakadu birdsKakadu National Park is one of the Northern Territory’s best-loved natural attractions. Set 171km southeast of Darwin, it boasts beautiful backdrops and an incredible selection of flora and fauna. The park itself is located inside the Alligator Rivers region of the Northern Territory and extends almost 200km from north to south and more than 100km from east to west.

The huge expanse of the park is home to numerous habitats that host over 280 species of birds – or, to put it more simply, about one third of the bird species in Australia. Some of the birds that live here reside over several different habitats in the region, but many can only be found in singular environments.

Around 11,246km of Kakadu’s savanna habitats have been labelled as Important Bird Areas by BirdLife International, because they support species of endangered birds such as the Gouldian finch, the red goshawk, the partridge pigeon, and the chestnut-backed button-quail.

The savanna regions of the park are also home to lorikeets, northern rosellas, silver-crowned friarbirds, numerous varieties of honeyeaters, white-browed robins, and long-tailed finches amongst many other species.kakadu birds

But it is not just the savanna landscapes that host all manner of birds. Elsewhere, the waters of the Kakadu National Park are home to hundreds of different species, including large populations of magpie geese, wandering whistling ducks, green pygmy geese, black-necked storks, Australia pelicans, darters, night herons, and brolga.

The list of colourful bird species goes on and on, as this is one of the most abundant places to find birds in the whole of Australia. As well as the species listed here, there are plenty of other migrating birds and other lesser-spotted winged creatures to keep an eye out for as you pass through, as well as other species of fauna like native mammals and marsupials.

kakadu birds2The Kakadu National Park is a haven for animal lovers – and, in particular, forms the perfect backdrop for keen bird-watchers. Whether you’re taking a hike through the undergrowth, exploring the vast savanna regions, or wandering around the water-based areas, you’re bound to see a bird or two on your travels.

With such a huge number of different habitats, including mangroves, grasses, monsoon forests, savannas, and floodplains, the park is the perfect place for birds to feed, rest, breed, and migrate, all of which is set against a stunning backdrop that makes this part of Australia such a beautiful natural wonder.

What to See and Do in Arnhem Land

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Arnhem Land1Bordered by the stunning expanse of the Kakadu National Park, Arnhem Land boasts a sprawling wilderness in the northeast part of the Northern Territory. Here, rocky outcrops carve a surreal silhouette against the skyline, while ancient gorges and deep rivers weave their way through the scenery.

This is the home of the Yolngu people and, to visit, you need a permit. As well as learning more about the landscape and its people, you’ll get to explore some of Australia’s oldest culture and history in these parts – in fact, this was the place the didgeridoo originated from.

The Scenery of Arnhem Land

The landscape here is incredibly diverse, boasting a mixture of wild coastlines, remote islands, and cascading rivers overflowing with all sorts of fish and animal life. Elsewhere, lush rainforests meet soaring cliff faces, while savannah woodlands promise a collection of wildlife.

arnhem landArnhem Land provides a haven for many animals, with the area now a conservation site for dugongs, turtles, and migratory birds.

The area is perhaps best-known for its incredible fishing opportunities. You can take a deep-sea fishing charter or inland cruise to catch some of Australia’s famous Barramundi.

Indigenous Art in Arnhem Land

The region boasts an incredibly rich indigenous history. At Gunbalanya, you can watch artists as they work and pick up paintings at the popular Injalak Art and Craft Centre. You can also take a tour with an indigenous guide to see some of the ancient rock art that decorates the cliff faces.

Browse the indigenous art at the collection of centres here, including the community of Maningrida and Yirrkala, which sits close to the quaint coastal town of Nhulunbuy.

didgeridooHistoric Sites in Arnhem Land

History runs riot through the sprawling landscapes of Arnhem Land, with fascinating stories unravelling all around. You can visit the ancient ruins of an early European settlement in Garig Gunak Barlu National Park, or head to the Cobourg Marine Park, where you can catch a glimpse of the thousands of bird species that call this part of Australia home.

If you’re on the hunt for ancient histories and rich culture from some of the oldest parts of Australia, a trip to Arnhem Land is in order. Not only can you marvel at the incredibly diverse scenery that spans the area, but you can dig deep into the indigenous past through the area’s prominent arts and crafts industries.