What is the rock art at Ubirr known for?

What is the rock art at Ubirr known for?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 04/29/2024

Reading time: 3 mins

  Don’t miss seeing Ubirr, the home to some of the oldest rock art in Australia.

The Ubirr rock art is known as being the world’s longest historical record of any group of people. Some of the rock art paintings are 20,000 years old, and because of these paintings, it is one of the reasons why Kakadu National Park received a World Heritage status.

What are the types of rock art paintings?

There are quite a few different rock art paintings and styles you can see around Ubirr.

Traditional x-ray

The traditional x-ray art was painted within the last 1500 years, during the freshwater period. The x-ray art is a style of art that shows animals and people painted in a skeletal frame.


There’s a selection of animal paintings at Ubirr, including kangaroos, fish, and goannas. But the most notable one is the Tasmanian tiger, which can be seen near the main gallery. This painting alone would be at least 2000 old as the Tasmanian tiger is believed to have gone extinct on the mainland that long ago.

Do the Ubirr walk

The easiest and best way to see the fascinating rock art at Ubirr is by following the circuit. The route is about one kilometre long and takes you by all the different galleries.

You can add extra time on the walk and go to the Nadab Lookout for breathtaking views of Arnhem Land and the Nadab floodplain.

What else to see in Kakadu

Kakadu is one of the many stunning national parks in Australia. Home to some of the tallest waterfalls, wildlife, and unforgettable sites. Aside from seeing the rock art at Ubirr, here are other places to see in Kakadu.

Jim Jim Falls

Sitting at 200 metres high is Kakadu’s tallest waterfall, Jim Jim Falls. All waterfalls are best to be seen after heavy rainfall, which for the Territory is during the wet season between November to April. While it’s the wet season, the only way you can see the waterfall is by air. Otherwise, during the dry season when the waterfall has dried up, you can walk through the monsoon forest and to the base of the waterfall.

Yellow Water

In the heart of Kakadu is Yellow Water, a billabong filled with native flora and fauna. The billabong is a great place to go fishing and to also spot some unique wildlife in the area. To see the very best of Yellow Water is on the cruise!

Ready to explore Kakadu? Take part in a Kakadu one day tour where you visit the highlights of the national park like the Ubirr rock art, see jumping crocodiles, view Cahills Crossing, and so much more.

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.