Highlights from the Stone Country

Staff from Kakadu meet visitors to the festival

Staff from Kakadu meet visitors to the festival

There was no time to rest when I visited the annual Stone Country festival at Oenpelli (Gunbalanya), Arnhem Land to tell people about Kakadu.

Our stand included historical park photos, the always-popular crocodile props and a range of kid’s activities – including ‘pin the legs and beaks on the birds’. Not as easy as you might think!

In the school grounds were other stalls, food and drink outlets as well as dance and circus demonstrations – the local kids loved the chance to have a go! After manning our stall I was off to enjoy the festival. I was amazed to see a local footy tournament being played in the roasting sun at the nearby oval – coming from ‘down south’ I’m used to rugging up in beanie, scarf and jacket to visit Canberra Stadium on a chilly winter’s day.

In the Injalak arts centre a group of artists wove pandanus strips to make baskets while visitors purchased hand-made products including dilly bags, bark paintings and screen printings. There was also the chance to taste local bush foods, go on guided tours to Injalak Hill, and try spear throwing.  At dusk a large crowd gathered to watch traditional dance demonstrations and were encouraged to get involved. Local bands played into the clear and starry night.

It was a wonderful day celebrating the community – I highly recommend extending your Kakadu journey to take in the galleries and the sights of the Stone Country.

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