Nourlangie and Anbangbang Billabong, Kakadu National Park June 17 - 18 2021
  We spent the night at Malabanjbanjdju Campground. A tad closer to Nawurlandja than Sandy Billabong.

We are a tad higher, a few meters in altitude. With turkey bush.

There is lots more shade here, but of course that brings more mosquitoes.

We eat inside.

  We make a leisurely start.

The west side of Anbangbang Billabong has a promising walk around the billabong.

Alas, this is as far as we got, the edge of the billabong, before encountering "seasonal closure" signs in both directions.

But there is a clue. Perhaps the afternoon light will illuminate Nourlangie Rock.

  We walk up Nawurlandja to the lookout.

On the horizon is the Arnhem Land escarpment. The 240km of escarpment that reaches as far as Katherine.

The sandstone was laid down in a shallow sea. The escarpment is the underwater coastline, falling to a shelf - an underwater plain.

The sandstone didn't rise. The sea fell.

The source of the sand that formed the sandstone was somewhere unknown, to the north west. One can imagine a very large mountain range reduced to a very large volume of sand - a  very rough calculation suggests 8,000 cubic km .... which really is "lots".

In parts there are basalt (volcanic) intrusions to bend the sandstone, and even some basalt that flowed above the sandstone, though perhaps not on the scale of shield volcanoes. There was pre-existing basalt below the sandstone.

  We think Salvinia. An introduced floating water weed that is threatening to choke the waterways of Kakadu.

A small billabong beside the campsite. Choked.

  A bigger billabong close be with ducks, hurrying as fast as ducks do, to be out of range before I can press the camera shutter.
  Ali and I grow restless.

The Illigadjar Floodplain Walk beckons. A 3.8km loop from the campsite.

It looks sufficiently dry to us (bone dry sums it up). All that is lacking to open it is the tractor with slasher that will be driven around it to trim the grass and weed.

The steel pipes with yellow painted tops are sufficient for where the track is less clear.

We set off clockwise. Towards Burdulba Campsite.

  Past Burdulba the track follows the banks of creeks and billabongs.

Generally easy to find the track disappeared in this long grass.

We could see the next pole, but not the track.

But eventually, we stared at the grass long enough, and the track became apparent.

  Past meandering creek and billabong.

With occasional birds.

We are hot, and tired.

  Its not 3.8km. The tracker says nearer 5km. Perhaps the extra bit from the campground to be part of the loop.
  We thought we would have to be in Jabiru to catch the post office open on Friday. But Peter made a fleeting visit to pick up parcel.

Add that not only is Ubirr closed but also the Merl campsite and all tracks in that area we return to Malabanjbanjdju Campground.

Friday starts in a leisurely manner. A return to Cooinda for a walk along the boardwalk.

Very pleasant.An egret in the morning light.

  At last. A magpie goose.

One of two we saw.

Perhaps an early arrival.

  No cameras inside the cultural centre.

This is outside. A representation of the six seasons in the area.

  We drive back to Anbangbang Billabong. But this time the east side.

Relax, watching the birds.



  Among other events a small flock of whistling diving ducks (or plumed?) arrive.

They are hesitant, in a tight bunch, waiting until it is safe to cross the open patch of ground in front of us.

Then a dash for the other side.

  The leader keeping a watchful eye.
  Then re-form the flock and resume eating.
  An early dinner.
  We've watched the sun move to better illuminate Nourlangie Rock from just in front of our dinner site.
  Then back to the west of the billabong to walk up to the Nawurlandja Lookout and look north east across Nourlangie Rock.

The escarpment much better illuminated than the previous morning.

We read the clues correctly ......

  Looking east.
  I venture a bit higher.

Ali remained to enjoy the view, across the billabong.

Then back, again, to Malabanjbanjdju Campground.

An early start tomorrow as we venture north about 300km to Garig Gunak Barlu (Cobourg Peninsula) National Park.

Garig Gunak Barlu National Park (Cobourg Peninsula) June 19 - 20 2021

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