Fire, heart and timeless art

Sunset at Ubirr, Kakadu National

Sunset at Ubirr, Kakadu National. Smoke on the horizon – evidence of patch burning as the traditional owners clear dead vegetation to reduce the fire hazard.

For me, Kakadu is a place that stays in my heart and takes my breath away. On route to Ubirr and Burrunguy (the proper name for Nourlangie Rock), I pause and look up at the stone country, the rock giants, and I feel a sense of awe, a feeling of peace.

I’m not the only one who feels it. Mary Lou from Brisbane took in the view from the top of Ubirr and said, ‘Please thank the traditional owners for sharing this place with us; it’s so beautiful.’

I’m not promising that everyone will feel this way. But if you slow down, and sit quietly then maybe you will feel it too.

From the top of Burrunguy and Ubirr you can sometimes see patches of smoke on the horizon. Rangers and traditional owners are cleaning up dead vegetation to prevent wild fires later in the year. New green growth appears rapidly after fire to regenerate country.

What makes Kakadu so special to me is the culture and the spirit of the place. Bininj and Mungguy (the Aboriginal people of Kakadu) have cared for this placefor thousands of years. The rock art tells stories about this place, like what is good food to eat, and paths that ancestral beings have walked in the Dreamtime (the Creation period).

It’s a timeless story that photos cannot capture and is best experienced in person. I hope you enjoy Kakadu as much as I do.

Helen Whitfield 
Seasonal ranger

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