Do not miss Ubirr. It’s one of Kakadu’s most famous spots.
The walk passes several breathtaking Aboriginal art sites and leads up to a stunning lookout over the Nadab floodplain.
Traditionally, people camped beneath Ubirr’s cool rocky shelters and used the plants and animals of the nearby floodplain and East Alligator River for food, tools and medicine. The smooth stone surfaces were perfect for painting on.
Much of the art here features fish, turtles, goanna and other important food animals. At the main gallery, a painting of a thylacine (the Tasmanian tiger, which became extinct on the mainland more than two thousand years ago) is a rare treat, and gives an idea of the age of some of this art.
Ubirr’s rock art is considered among the best in the world, with fine examples of x-ray painting as well as contact art from the time when Indigenous people first encountered Europeans. Stories about behaviour and law are told at the Mabuyu, Narmarrkan Sisters and Rainbow Serpent paintings.
Marvel at the intricate layers of paintings and come away filled with wonder.
Sunset is a great time to visit. Gaze out over the floodplains, woodlands and dark ribbons of rainforest, and let the spirit and serenity of Kakadu envelop you.
During kudjewk (monsoon season), dramatic storms roll in and lightning shows illuminate the skyline.
As the sun sets, the birds begin their evening song, the Wilkins rock wallaby darts about in the shadows of the escarpment getting ready for the night and the blue-winged kookaburras call out to tell everyone they are home for the evening. Locals refer to this as ‘the call of Kakadu’.
Some of Kakadu’s most important ancestral figures are depicted at Ubirr. If you can, join a ranger-guided tour to learn the fascinating history and stories of this timeless spot. Talks take place all year round and are included in the price of your park pass.
A 1 km circular track takes you past the rock art sites before a steep 250 m climb to a rocky lookout with 360-degree views of Arnhem Land and the Nadab floodplain. Allow at least an hour for this walk, or more if you want to sit at the lookout and absorb the views.
Cruise to Ubirr
Ubirr is accessible most of the year – check the Kakadu road report for current conditions.
If the road to Ubirr is flooded, you can still visit the site on a Magela boat cruise. This is a very special way to get to Ubirr that not many people have the chance to experience.
Wheelchair access: The area around the main art site is flat and accessible to wheelchairs.
Please note – for cultural reasons, alcohol is not permitted at Ubirr.
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