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Oceania » Australia » Northern Territory » Arnhemland
September 24th 2013
Published: October 24th 2013
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It was a very early start for the drive from Darwin to Arnhemland, but luckily I managed a good sleep on the way, whilst still waking up I'm time for sunrise. When we arrived at the boundary of Arnhemland, which is privately owned land, there is a crocodile infested river, where we spotted many crocodiles. Visiting Arnhemland is restricted to very few tour companies, and not cheap, but it was an amazing day and I'm so glad I went, especially as it had been on my bucket list for a few years. When we arrived in the community we collected our local guide, Tomo, and drove to a rock escarpment that we were to climb. We were told it would take 3 hours to get to the top for lunch, even though it didn't look too high. It did take over 3 hours to reach the top, however that was because we stopped to see so many rock paintings, and hear the stories they represent. There were so many rock paintings on the escarpment, and I feel privileged to have been given a glimpse of these paintings, as well as their stories being shared.

Whilst it was very hot up on the rock there was plenty of shade due to the nature of the escarpment, so we kept fairly cool considering. Lunch was the most scenic cheese sandwich I've ever had! It was amazing to simply sit in the shade on a rock eating, looking out over such a beautiful area. After lunch we visited another lookout before learning about the Aboriginal burrial customs, and even seeing the skeleton of an elder hidden in the rocks, where he asked to be laid to rest. For obviour reasons we were prohibited from taking photos of the skeleton, not that I'd really want to anyway! It was quite amusing also to see the other people in the group's reactions to seeing a human skeleton!

It was then time to climb back down the escarpment and start heading back, via the art shop in the community. Whilst there were many amazing pieces of art there they were all a bit too expensive for me to be able to afford rigt now, and I don't exactly have anywhere to hang anything anyway! But it was still really nice to see the local artwork. I did buy a book of aboriginal children's stories however, which will hopefully come in handy when I'm Au Pairing!

Overall I had an amazing day, and I'm so glad I stopped off on my way to Sydney and went out to Arnhemland. I hadn't realised until I went that Arnhemland is inaccessible for 6 months of the year, starting in October, due to rivers making it impossible to drive there, so I chose a good time to visit!


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