• A great example of the rock art at Ubirr.
    A great example of the rock art at Ubirr.
  • An excellent example of the rock art at Ubirr.
    An excellent example of the rock art at Ubirr.
  • Now that's a termite mound!
    Now that's a termite mound!
  • The excellent view from the top of Ubirr.
    The excellent view from the top of Ubirr.
  • Our guide B tells us about some of the rock art we see at Ubirr.
    Our guide B tells us about some of the rock art we see at Ubirr.
  • The excellent view from the top of Ubirr.
    The excellent view from the top of Ubirr.
  • Exploring Ubirr's splendid rock art.
    Exploring Ubirr's splendid rock art.
  • We had a refreshing swim at Florence Falls.
    We had a refreshing swim at Florence Falls.
  • Discovering rock art at Hawk Dreaming.
    Discovering rock art at Hawk Dreaming.
  • A field of magnetic termite mounds at Litchfield NP.
    A field of magnetic termite mounds at Litchfield NP.
  • The beautiful wetlands of Hawk Dreaming.
    The beautiful wetlands of Hawk Dreaming.
  • Exploring the East Alligator River on a guided boat tour.
    Exploring the East Alligator River on a guided boat tour.
  • Another gorgeous view at Hawk Dreaming.
    Another gorgeous view at Hawk Dreaming.
  • We hopped off our East Alligator River boat tour and took a short walk in Arnhem Land.
    We hopped off our East Alligator River boat tour and took a short walk in Arnhem Land.
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Great Walks has just returned from a walking trip to the Northern Territory. Thanks to our good friends at Life's an Adventure we explored Litchfield and Kakadu National Parks and as these photos attest the trip was excellent.

 

I was really interested to see how my two kids would go – Matilda (8) and Billy (6) – as the days could be long and hot, and of course there was a fair bit of walking involved. And I'm please to say the kids loved it. With kids the key is to manage expectations and have an exit strategy so if they decide they don't want to walk anymore you can offer them a way out.

 

The good thing about Life's An Adventure’s tours is most days there are two walking options – a medium longer walk and an shorter, easier one. This came in handy when I knew the kids wouldn't want to talk 9-10km in the heat but we were also able to challenge them a little bit, to walk that bit further, which was a great experience for them to get a little bit out their comfort zones.

 

On the first day we explored Litchfield National Park including the magnetic termite mounds and several waterfalls which were perfect for a mid afternoon swim. Highlights of the day were swimming in Florence Falls and Buley Rockhole.

 

Our guides Glenn and B were incredibly knowledgeable about the park and had plenty of great stories about the First Nations people and early European pioneers. Accommodation on the first night was at the colourful Lake Bennett resort where were had a lovely meal, a swim in a pool and comfy rooms that looked out onto the lake for the perfect sunset.

 

The second day we headed to the East Alligator region of Kakadu National Park in the Life's An Adventure 4WD truck. Our first stop was at the famous Ubirr rock art site. Traditionally, Aboriginal people camped beneath Ubirr’s cool rocky shelters and used the plants and animals of the nearby floodplain and East Alligator River for food, tools and medicine. The smooth stone surfaces were perfect for painting on.

 

Much of the art here features fish, turtles, goanna and other important food animals. At the main gallery, a painting of a thylacine (the Tasmanian tiger, which became extinct on the mainland more than two thousand years ago) is a rare treat, and gives an idea of the age of some of this art.

 

A walk to the top of Ubirr offered great views of the surrounding savannah wetlands and rocky outcrops further away. It's places like this offering such a contrast to what we see and experience in cities like Sydney and Melbourne that makes you realise what a truly amazing country Australia is!

 

Watch out next week for part two of our Kakadu photo series and for more info on the trip click here and for more info about travelling anywhere in the Northern Territory click here.

Words and photos_Brent McKean

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