Rock art

Kakadu's rock art is world class - it's one of the reasons for our World Heritage status. The paintings provide a fascinating record of Aboriginal life over thousands of years. With paintings up to 20,000 years old, this is one of the longest historical records of any group of people in the world.

Our main rock art galleries are at Ubirr and Nourlangie. Look for naturalistic paintings of animals, traditional x-ray art, and paintings of early contact with European people.

The local Aboriginal word for rock art is gunbim. For us, art is an expression of cultural identity and connection to country. The act of painting is generally more important than the painting itself so many older paintings are covered by younger ones.

Download the rock art park note (PDF - 450 KB)

  • Rock art in the East Alligator region

    See ancient paintings of traditional Aboriginal foods and learn stories about law and creation. See it April to December.

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    Download the park note (PDF - 1.13 MB)

    • Ubirr

      See creation ancestors, including the Rainbow Serpent who painted her image on the rock as she passed through Ubirr to remind people of her presence. In the dry season, rangers give guided rock art talks.

      See it: April to December

      Watch the video for a taste of this experience.

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  • Rock art in the Nourlangie region

    Aboriginal people have used shelters in this area for at least 20,000 years. Learn their stories through descriptive paintings. See it all year round.

    See map

    Download the park note (PDF - 534 KB)

    • Nourlangie Rock

      At the main rock art site, Anbangbang Gallery, learn about creation ancestors including Namarrgon, the Lightning Man. In the dry season, rangers give guided rock art talks.

      See it: All year round

      Watch the video for a taste of this experience.

      Read more

    • Nanguluwurr Rock Art Walk

      A smaller rock art gallery tucked away at the end of a 1.7 km walk. See an early depiction of contact between Aboriginal people and Europeans - a two-masted sailing ship painted with anchor chain.

      See it: All year round

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