Return to Ubirr

Closure.  It has taken 27 years, but I have been reconciled with Ubirr.  As a teenager, on a trip with another family, we visited Ubirr. It was hot, as usual, and looking at rock art was not an inspiring afternoon’s activity. So I sat out the rock art tours in the carpark with a few other teenagers and boy, weren’t we the clever ones not getting all hot and bothered on the boring walk!

It was only when the rest of the group returned to the coach, waxing lyrical about the views over the escarpment and Arnhem Land did our teenage invincibility shatter.

Worse was to come. A few years later whilst watching Crocodile Dundee at the movies, I was tormented with the stunning cinematography of the view from the top of Ubirr. I was confronted with the beauty of what I missed.

Ubirr (aka kunjwinku for "Rock of Torment")

My biggest relief from all the angst was that, upon climbing to the summit of Ubirr, it is an absolutely stunning vista and a place of utmost beauty. I was not disappointed. The 360 panorama of the flood plains, the escarpment and across into Arnhem land was enjoyed in the sunset with the family, the Bohemians and others. It did not matter that there were a lot of people up there, it mattered that I was.

Return to Ubirr

Scenery good enough for the movies

I also began to see why for 50,000 years, Ubirr has been a home to indigenous people.  The shelter of the rock, the food from rivers, flood plains and woodlands together with the wonder of the area would tempt anyone to set up home.



Enjoying the sunset.

As we walked back to the carpark I was telling the kids the story of my previous encounter with Ubirr, ending with  “as teenagers, always go on the walk”,  after which I hear someone behind me say “Thank you for that advice”. I turn around and notice a mother with a grin and a teenage daughter looking rather sheepish.

The rock art was pretty good as well.

Rock Art 1

Rock Art 2

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5 Responses to Return to Ubirr

  1. Marnie says:

    Glad that you have had the chance to redeem your teenage disinterest! Great blog to read.

  2. Stellamarie says:

    Great post Spike, I thought we were going to hear you had been carried off by dingos or summin! Hehehe!

    Lovin’ it all. Just soooo envious. I will have to do it myself sometime.

  3. Libby says:

    That rock art is beautiful. I do hope I see some for myself one day.
    Looks like a wonderful place.

  4. The Rowes says:

    I love that story!

  5. Penny Cuthbert says:

    Dear Spike and Kate

    could you please contact me as asap I would like to reproduce your Rock Art 1 image of
    X-ray fish at Ubirr in an exhbition at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney.

    Best wishes Penny

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