Kakadu National Park

Ubirr rock art. Photo by Shaana McNaught, Tourism NT.
Ubirr Rock Art Talks

Ubirr hosts some of the world’s most outstanding rock art and is one of the reasons for Kakadu’s dual World Heritage status.

The paintings document ancient human interaction with the environment. A few galleries have an extra element of intrigue with some of the first interactions with non-Aboriginal people recorded.

X-ray art

Most of the x-ray paintings in this gallery are from the freshwater period, within the last 1,500 years. They show the abundant foods available in the area round Ubirr, including fish, waterfowl, mussels, wallabies, goanna, echidnas and yams.

Contact art

The main gallery has fascinating examples of contact art. A white fella shown wearing a shirt, boots and with his hands in his pockets was probably an early buffalo hunter painted in the 1880s.

Tasmanian tiger

Near the main gallery you can see a painting of a thylacine (Tasmanian tiger), believed to have become extinct on the mainland 2,000-3,000 years ago.

Creation

Creation ancestors are also here, including the Rainbow Serpent who painted her image on the rock as she passed through Ubirr to remind people of her presence.

In the tropical summer float across the flooded Magela Creek to reach Ubirr on the Guluyambi boat cruise.

Site accessibility

  • 2WD