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As we approach the end of Wurrgeng - what locals call our 'cold weather time' - the skies overhead are a dazzling blue and the average daily temperature is around 30 degrees Celsius! Most parts of the park have well and truly dried up after the wet season flooding and visitors are enjoying exploring favourite places such as Jim Jim and Twin Falls, the art sites at Ubirr and Nourlangie and wildlife at Mamukala wetlands and Yellow Water.
The turkey bush is showing its abundant pink blossoms, orchids are appearing, and the orange of the wollybutt is delightfully vibrant. The kapok bushes are in yellow flower and their swelling green seed pods tell the local Aboriginal people that freshwater crocodile eggs are being laid and can soon be collected.
Nourlangie in the centre of Kakadu is a favourite destination, known for its evocative rock art sites, grand stone escarpments and breathtaking views. During the dry season take advantage of free ranger guided walks, or enjoy a walk and a picnic at the beautiful Anbangbang Billabong - currently busy with an array of birds and wildlife.
Enjoy a stroll at Maguk, in the south of the park. Access is via a 4WD dirt track followed by a 2.6 km return walk to a stunning waterfall and plunge pool. The walk to the pool is an absolute treat as you follow the Barramundi Creek line through monsoon forests. The crystal clear waters of the creek are home to many creatures, and if you take the time to sit quietly on the banks you will be rewarded with visions of Warradjan (the pig-nosed turtle), file snakes and maybe even small fresh water crocodiles.
The East Alligator region in the north is home to the breath-taking Arnhem Land escarpment, sandstone rock outliers, monsoon forests, cool caves and rock art. An entire day can be spent out in this region walking amongst the 1500 million year old sandstone domes at Bardedjilidji, appreciating ancient rock art at Ubirr, discovering life within the monsoon forests on the Mangarre walk, or being awestruck at the plethora of wildlife living on the banks and within the East Alligator River. After such an exhilarating day, why not reward yourself with sunset at Ubirr rock, overlooking the Nadab floodplain, followed by a scrumptious Thai dinner from the Border Store Cafe?
Traditional owner Violet Lawson teaches visitors traditional pandanus weaving
Each July in Australia, we celebrate the richness of Indigenous culture through NAIDOC Week. At Kakadu this meant lots of events for visitors and staff, leading up to a full day of family activities at our Bowali Visitor Centre. We were joined by many visitors as well as members of the local Jabiru community, including some who had never been to the park before.
There was damper making, local art, story-telling and a colouring competition. Kakadu's Anne O'Dea painted the children's hands with native animals which was a big hit.
Seasonal ranger Douglas has another snake encounter - this time with a 4 metre skin a snake shed earlier.
If you haven't already heard, Kakadu's program of free ranger guided walks and talks is on now! It's always a big hit for visitors, running from May to October each year.
Our seasonal rangers join us from all over the country, vying for what's got to be the best job around - showing visitors around this amazing national park and introducing them to the history and culture of the park's Aboriginal owners, Bininj/Munnguy.
Angela joined researchers for some early mornings monitoring quolls and Douglas is keeping an active eye on Kakadu's stunning array of flowers and trees (and a few snakes).
Keep up with what the seasonal rangers are up to at our Parks Australia blog. Free walks, talks and activities are available across all seven regions of Kakadu until Sunday 7 October 2012. Try your hand at basket weaving or traditional painting, enjoy an outdoor slideshow or learn the history of Kakadu's ancient art sites. View the program of seasonal ranger events.
You might have heard stories in the media recently about a dingo incident at Kakadu. It actually involved a wild dog (rather than a dingo) that went into a tent in a caravan park at Kakadu. The dog pulled on the girl's sleeping bag, giving her a big fright. Luckily she was a plucky sort - she yelled at it and scared it away.
We're really glad no one was hurt, and take any visitor safety issue very seriously. Our rangers have been patrolling Kakadu for wild dogs and we don't think that particular dog will be bothering visitors any more. Thankfully, we have very few incidents like this within the park, and it is not an issue at any of the campgrounds within the park or other visitor sites.
Visitors to the park can help us by remembering not to feed the wildlife and to clean up any scraps that could attract animals. If you're at all worried, please contact the staff at our Bowali Visitor Centre. While Kakadu is a wild place and wildlife is part of the experience, we're determined to give you a safe trip and send you home healthy and happy!
Kakadu has been home to Aboriginal people for around 50,000 years, so white fellas are practical newcomers to this part of the world. It wasn't until the late 1800s that European explorers started leading expeditions into this area.
An explorer named John McDouall Stuart was the first to lead a successful expedition across the Australian continent from south to north and he came through Kakadu towards the end of his journey.
Two historical markers have just been unveiled inside the park, recording the passage of Stuart and his companions in the July dry season of 1862. Look out for them when you arrive - one is on the Kakadu Highway where it crosses the Mary River near the Mary River Roadhouse, and the other is on the Arnhem Highway, east of where it crosses the Mary River at the Bark Hut Inn.
Taking your camera along on your Kakadu adventure? We'd love to see your shots!
Why not show them off in the Kakadu Flickr group?