Thursday, 3 May 2007

To Kakadu or not to Kakadu ... I say Kakadon't

The Northern Territory’s Kakadu National Park is not only World Heritage-listed on two fronts - it’s considered both culturally and naturally significant – but it attracts tourists in droves. Not so much in the wet season, mind, but you wouldn’t be able to move out here in the dry season what with all the tour buses jockeying for position and the camera shutters going clickety-click.

With a landscape shaped by the Aborigines’ spiritual ancestors during the time of Creation, Kakadu is today jointly managed by its traditional Aboriginal owners and directors from Australia’s national parks. I give those folks full credit for keeping their wilderness pristine; I also give their marketing department full marks for overstating Kakadu’s case just a teensy-weensy bit.

It’s billed as a paradise for crocs and birdlife but on our two-hour cruise up the Yellow Water Billabong at the end of Jim Jim Creek – a wetlands area of channels, floodplains and backwater swamps – we spy exactly two sea eagles and a few assorted birds. Nor is there a croc to be seen because the water is so high - in fact, at one point we are actually boating around in the parking lot, with the water lapping at the top of the traffic signs. It's not easy keeping a six- and an eight-year-old interested at the best of times, but when there's not much of anything to look it, well, hell, yeah, Annie and Molly, those traffic signs sure are exciting, aren't they?!

Don’t get me wrong, though, I still blame no one but myself for coming up here at the wrong time of year. But at risk of being caught complaining about the rain yet again (ARGHHH!) the truth is I left Kakadu in a decidedly Kakadon’t state of mind.


Megan R. said...

Hi TravellinMama...

David McMahon sent me to take a peek at your blog, after he noticed that it looked a lot like mine. I'm pretty sure after reading a few of your posts that yours is way more interesting than mine (and I will definitely come back to read more when I don't have homemade ice cream to make~ don't ask), but please feel free to check out mine, if you're interested.

:-) Megan

Anonymous said...

If this doesn't read like a page out of a diary from 1984, location Paris, subject-one traveller from Kitchener walking along the streets with bird dung sitting royally on her head....."Yee-f*****g-ha"

Nancy Harper said...

Gail, I know that's you!! We also call it "spitting the dummy"!!