If you saw the movie Crocodile Dundee, you might recognize the shot below. In the movie, it is where Mick Dundee and Sue spend their first night in the wilderness—or to be more precise, it’s where we see them preparing to face the day after they spend their first night in the wilderness. Needless to say, having been there myself, I was delighted to see it in the movie.
The large rock outcrop in the background is Nourlangie Rock. Nourlangie is the site of important Aboriginal rock-art “galleries,” and we were there, on my first day in Kakadu, to view generations of fascinating paintings. It is estimated that Aboriginal people have been using this site for around 20,000 years. The entire area is archaeologically important, as it is believed that this is where the earliest tropical settlement of Australia occurred. The people in this area developed grinding stones for crushing seeds and later used the grinding stones to crush ochre for painting. At Nourlangie, we saw rows of “bowls” ground into the stone from centuries of artists crushing their pigment.
Nourlangie Rock and surrounding early art sites are among the reasons Kakadu National Park was made a World Heritage Site. The richness of the ecosystems here is another reason for protecting the area.