In the Australian Outback the road appears to stretch to infinity. The traffic approaches as if rising from a mirage as it floats across the endless Mitchel grass plains.
In 2012 we travelled through the outback to the Northern Territory. After years of drought two good seasons of rain had produced lush pasture, hay making was in progress, we saw the outback at its best. Now a year later it is once more in the grip of drought with no rain for almost a year since we travelled through.
That winter we travelled to the Northern Territory to explore Kakadu National Park. Kakadu is considered a living cultural landscape. The Bininj Mungguy Aboriginal people have lived on and cared for this country for more than 50,000 years. Their deep spiritual connection to the land dates back to the Creation and has always been an important part of the Kakadu story.
The Aboriginals are the oldest living culture still in existence and their dream time stories say they stretch back to the beginning of creation, into the mists of infinity.
I felt privileged to have the opportunity to explore Kakadu. I felt it had an aura of the ancient Traditional Owners still lingering in the rock art and the tracks and bill-a-bongs that so many years ago the tribes had followed. Aboriginal people were traditionally hunter-gatherers and moved regularly to places where resources were plentiful. There were no permanent settlements, but favoured camping areas were used for many, many generations. Among the temporary dwellings the people used were stringy-bark and paperbark shelters near billabongs, wet-season huts built on stilts on the floodplains, and rock shelters in the stone country.
Yes Kakadu is a very special place, a spiritual country of beauty. I feel privileged to have spent 6 days discovering it and learning more about the Traditional Owners that have lived here for so long. I hope that their culture and stories can remain into infinity and not forgotten.