After our night in Jabiru we headed south to Yellow Water Billabong, stopping at Burrunggui (also known as Nourlangie Rock) to check out some indigenous rock art and take in some incredible vistas across Kakadu. First stop was Nawurlandja Lookout, a deceptively steep and uncomfortably sweaty 600m climb up a sandstone outcrop, with incredibly rewarding views over the escarpment, Anbangbang Billabong, and Burrunggui in the distance. We had planned to check out the billabong on the way back, but as the path was blocked by a death-by-crocodile sign, we skipped it and headed about a kilometre down the road to Burrunggui itself (where we were greeted by an “angry buffalo on the loose” sign).
Indigenous occupation has been traced back over 20,000 years at Burrunggui, where natural shelters created by cliffs and caves have helped preserve several rock art galleries, joined by a 1.5km circuit walk, depicting animals, ceremonies, ancestral beings, hand prints, and weapons.
After the art sites, a final slog up a steep incline brings you to the Gunwarddehwardde Lookout at the base of Nourlangie Rock, with stunning views out over Kakadu. With the temperature pushing 36°C and not a soul in sight, it was a lovely spot to sit in the shade amongst the native flowers and butterflies, and chug the rest of our water before heading back to the car (eyes and ears on the lookout for a wild solo water buffalo that had been sighted in the area and declared angry and perilous).
We spent our last night in Kakdadu at Cooinda Lodge on the Yellow Water Billabong, a great place to stop before heading south to Katherine Gorge.